Formula One’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli indicated that the one-stop strategy will be the favourite approach for today’s 71-lap Styrian Grand Prix,
Following today’s bad weather that saw torrential rain delay the qualifying session, sunny and warm weather is expected to return to Spielberg on Sunday. However, according to the forecast, the temperatures will not rise above 22 Celcius degrees, meaning that the Styrian Grand Prix will be staged in slightly cooler weather than last weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix.
The small difference in temperatures is believed to slightly change teams’ approach to the 71-lap race on Sunday. As qualifying was wet, the drivers have a free choice of slick tyres to start the race on tomorrow.
According to Pirelli’s calculations, the theoretically quickest way tomorrow is to start on the soft tyre for 28 to 33 laps and then complete the race on the hard compound.
The second-quickest strategy is to start on the medium tyre for 30 to 35 laps, then switch to the soft until the end. This strategy could be reversed as well, starting instead on the soft and finishing on the medium for the final stint. Almost as quick is a one-stopper with a start on the medium tyre for 24 to 30 laps, then hard to the finish.
Finally, a two-stopper is definitely slower: two stints on the soft tyre for 24 to 26 laps each, then medium to the end.
Pirelli’s recommendation is interesting as the Milan-based company indicated ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix that the soft-hard and medium-hard one-stop strategies are equally fast while the slightly cooler temperatures expected for tomorrow could favour the soft-hard strategy over the medium-hard option.
Following the first appearance of Pirelli’s wet-weather tyres in 2020, the Italian company’s Head of car racing, Mario Isola said that it was fascinating to see how quickly teams and drivers could adapt to the very challenging conditions.
“It wasn’t an easy qualifying session for the drivers, with no FP3 and their first experience of these 2020 cars on wet tyres in qualifying, leading to some interesting surprises on the grid. In these unpredictable and extreme conditions, the teams and drivers had to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances.”
With qualifying being wet, the usual rule that the top 10 have to start the race on their Q2 tyre doesn’t apply – so everyone has a free choice tomorrow, which should open up a few different possibilities for strategy,” the Italian concluded.