The sport's sole tyre supplier Pirelli released each team’s tyre choices for the forthcoming Russian Grand Prix which takes place in Sochi between 28 and 30 September.
The Milan-based company chose the trio of soft-ultrasoft-hypersoft for the 5.848km-long track. This selection looks interesting as it features a jump, neglecting the supersoft compound. A similiar brave choice was applied by Pirelli earlier this year in China, Hockenheim and Hungaroring, albeit with different compounds.
The Sochi Autodrom proved to be very kind on tyres over the last couple years since its inception. The hypersoft compund stands out with its wear and grip as its creates the biggest gap between two adjacent compounds. It has showed quite high wear, but a brilliant one-lap perfroanace on the track it has been used so far.
Most of the team sordered eight or nince sets from the hypersoft. With ten sets for each of its drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz, Renault is seemingly the most greedy team. On the other end of the spectrum is Mercedes which only chose seven, the least sets from the softest compound. The Anglo-German team applies a similar tyre tactics as seen in Singapore a fortnight ago.
With ordering only one set of ultrasofts, Nico Hülkenberg stands out in the field. This compound is a mandatory one for the race and is expected to be a good race tyre. The German might miss useful tyre-performance data as he won't have any set for the free practice sessions to test the behaviour of that compound.
Interestingly, the two Ferrari-drivers differ in their tyre selection. Sebastian Vettel ordered nine sets of hypers while his team-mate Kimi Räikkönen picked only eights sets, so he has access to one more set of softs. However, the difference is expected to even out after the practice session as previous patterns have showed.