Williams drivers George Russell and Robert Kubica will have plenty of medium compounds during the Singapore Grand Prix while Red Bull opted for the most aggressive tyre selection among the top teams.
Pirelli will supply teams with the C5, C4 and C3 compounds, the three softest ones of its 2019 tyre range. It is no surprise considering the layout of the Marina Bay Street Circuit. The narrow, twisty track featuring a total of 23 corners, requires perfect mechanical grip.
The circuit itself is low-grip and slippery; evolving considerably as more rubber gets laid down. Average speeds are contained, so degradation is not usually an issue provided that wheelspin – which can lead to overheating and blistering – is controlled out of the slower corners. The softest compounds are usually well suited for this race, and the fact that the high temperatures tend to fall as the race goes on can put an interesting spin on strategy.
When assessing the different tyre selections, it is usually worth checking how many soft sets the different drivers picked for the given race weekend. Nine sets of C5 soft compound is the common choice for Singapore. Only Mercedes and Williams ordered less than that with the Grove-based outfit only selecting seven sets. Red Bull, Renault and Racing Point will all have ten sets of C5 available at the Marina Bay circuit, making them the most aggressive outfits in terms of tyre choice for the forthcoming weekend.
When it comes to the medium compound, Williams stands out with four for Russell and five for Kubica. It means that the British squad will have plenty of opportunity to assess the behaviour of the C4 compound which could become the most favoured race tyre on Sunday.
The fact that most of the drivers opted for a very high number of soft tyres is inspired by the characteristics of the Marina Bay Street Circuit. Despite to the high speeds attained on the track’s three major full-throttle sections, overtaking has proved rather difficult since the venue made it debut in Formula One in 2008. This usually forced drivers to favour the demands of the qualifying runs while setting up the car during the free practice sessions, meaning that drivers have to fine-tune the setups on the qualifying tyre, C5 compound.