Formula One’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli is set to cause a stir at the forthcoming German Grand Prix by bringing an exciting tyre trio to the Hockenheim track which returns on the calendar after a one-year-long absence.
The Milan-based company will supply the teams with the medium, soft and ultrasoft compounds, skipping the supersoft compound from the trio. Pirelli might want the ultrasofts to be a very good qualifying tyre with its high grip level. This compound with the softs and the mediums may open up various strategies in the race.
The soft and medium will almost certainly secure the option of a one-stop strategy. However, if the ultrasoft compound presents a significant jump in grip on the rear-limited Hockenheim circuit, a two-stopper can also pay off. It remains to be see what the difference is between ultrasoft and soft because these two compounds and the supersofts have performed very similarly so far this season both in terms of grip and wear.
Teams have a very similar tyre selection for the next round with only the Renault team standing out with its high number of ultrasofts. Generally, teams selected only one or two sets of mediums, a few more of softs and seven-eight of ultrasofts, indicating that the medium tyre is deemed to be too hard and therefore it will make hardly any appearance in race conditions.
The current three top teams, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull opted for almost identical choices, the minor differences might be evened out come the qualifying session.
Sauber Alfa Romeo’s Charles Leclerc ordered the highest amount from the mediums while Renault drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz selected the most ultrasofts, meaning that they might be the best prepared for the qualifying session after many runs on the softest compound available in Germany through the practice sessions.