Formula One’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli expectes the one-stop strategy to turn out to be the fastest approach to cover today’s 52-lap Briitish Grand Prix.
Pirelli has brought its three hardest compounds to Silverstone from its five-compound range. Although the C3 compound, the softest tyre available at the weekend showed rather high degradation on Friday, that has changed for Saturday with the temperatures decreasing by over ten degrees. As the weather is expected to remain sunny, but not too warm during today’s British Grand Prix, the Milan-based tyre supplier suggests a one-stop strategy for today.
The theoretically quickest strategy for the 52-lap British Grand Prix is a one-stopper, assuming that temperatures remain similar to today. The fastest way is to start on the soft tyre for 18 to 22 laps and then move onto the hard until the end.
Interestingly, according to Pirelli’s calculations, the second-fastest is a two-stopper, also starting on the soft. After 16 to 18 laps switch to the soft again for another 16 to 18 lap stint, before going onto the medium until the end. The hard tyre can be used as an alternative to the medium: either for the middle or the final stint.
Third-quickest is a different one-stopper: starting on the medium for 21 to 24 laps, then hard to the end. It’s not advisable to do a soft-medium one-stopper, as tyre wear then becomes too marginal.
Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola said that the much lower temperatures on Saturday meant that "the teams needed to confirm the data collected so far ahead of qualifying, which made FP3 in the morning particularly important. The key point of qualifying was the medium tyre, used by half the top 10 to get through Q2.”
The top four starters will begin the race on this compound, which isn’t the fastest way on paper, but does offer more options and a longer first stint on a circuit that’s renowned for taking a lot out of the tyres. The circuit got progressively faster throughout the qualifying session, with a new track record set twice in Q3,” the Italian said.