This is what Alonso said regarding McLaren`s poor qualy performance on this track and I think it`s the same case for Mercedes: "This circuit requires a little bit different setup concept for qualifying and the race distance, because here the rear degradation is huge … With this type of circuit being stop and go, with heavy traction, corners and things like that, you need a very strong rear end. If you have a very strong rear end then you struggle in qualifying to rotate the car in the hairpins with the front end missing, so maybe we setup the car a little bit too much towards the race”.
Now regarding the FP2 race sims, being no.2 at their team Kimi and Bottas simulated the 2nd and 3rd stint of the race on the wrong tyre. Meanwhile, the favorite driver – Vettel – did the right thing to do: he did the 2nd race stint doing 17 laps on the soft one and was at least 4 tenths faster than both of them. Afterwards he did 6 laps on SS tyre, simulating the 3rd stint, being constantly on high 1.34 and low 1.35. In contrast Lewis did 12 laps on SS tyre simulating the 2nd stint, lapping in mid-1.35 at the beginning and low 1.36 at the end of the stint, but constantly being 1 to 2 tenths faster than Bottas. At the end he did a 7 lap 3rd stint (meaning his 2nd and last stint) lapping on low 1.35 …
There are at least 3 things worth to mention regarding tomorrow`s race strategy:
1. Soft tyres are faster (at least 2 tenths), last longer but most of all more consistent than SS tyre
2. Medium tyre, although it has the widest working window of all 2018 tyres, the optimum working temp is on the lower range and that`s the reason Lewis simulate that 3rd stint when track temps are at the lowest … and, I may suggest, it`ll favor Merc`s car the most …
3. Fuel consumption will be an issue for Ferrari in the race and this was the reason behind certain time lap drops and not driving to a delta like some thought.
4. That 100m longer DRS zone should have an impact here.
Edit: after qualy it seems that all teams has simulated the first and the second stint, hence what did Vettel on that soft tyre could be an encouraging fact for Lewis ...
Last edited by atanatizante on Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:52 am, edited 4 times in total.
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