LM10 wrote: ↑
Thu May 31, 2018 9:08 am
Phil wrote: ↑
Thu May 31, 2018 8:36 am
Interesting tire allocation. Mercedes has the least amount of HS, by quite a margin.
Meaning: Ferrari will have much more practice runs on HS for one lap pace. Come race, I assume, like always, all of them will have the same amount of each tyre.
No, it means that Mercedes has gambled that the Super-Soft and the Ultra-Soft will be more important for the race. Both RedBull and Ferrari have 2 sets of SS and 3 sets of the US tire. That means they are limited to some degree what and how they test. For example; If they want to retain a fresh set of SS for the race, they can only use one set each during free-practice and gather intel from them.
Last year, it was a 1 stop for most (= 2 stints) with some that gambled on 2 stops (i.e. Vettel). The one-stoppers (Ham, Bottas, Kimi, Ric) started on the Ultra-Soft (the softest at that race) and some did the second stint on the SS and some on the S. Vettel who did a two stop, did US-SS-US. This year could be a 2 stop race for most if the tires are indeed that less durable because they are more aggressive than last years tires. Hamilton also once demonstrated that stopping more can work if you're fast enough to catch up, as overtaking is possible on this track.
If it is indeed a 2-stop race, having fresh and unused sets of the harder compound could be an advantage. Obviously, the allocation dictate how much you can test and gather intel on them during FP and retain a fresh set for the race. The big question will also be, how usable the HS tire is. No doubt it will probably be the quickest, but how long will it last on a track where you can easily overtake? If it doesn't last long, it may not be a tire you'd want to use during the race.