1. No Free Tyre Choice in Qualifying
“Usually we get 13 sets of tyres for a weekend, made up of eight soft tyres, three medium, and two hards,” explains Joseph McMillan, Senior Race Strategy Engineer at the Team. “For the alternative tyre allocation weekends, that is reduced to 11 sets. We will be given four sets of the soft and medium compound, and three of the hard tyre.”
On the face of it then, not a huge change. There’s one more twist though. In qualifying, the compound used for each segment is determined in the regulations: hard for Q1, medium for Q2, and soft for Q3.
“It will definitely add to the challenge,” Joseph says. “When it comes to qualifying, we are usually focused on how we get the best out of the soft tyre on a single lap. That includes assessing what the optimum tyre preparation is, what the best out lap profile looks like, among other things. We now must think about that for three different compounds,” he continues.
Qualifying on the hard tyre is something we rarely, if ever, see. Pirelli have addressed this, as Joseph explains: “They’ve brought the softest compounds possible. Last year, we saw the C2, C3, and C4 tyres here but this year, we will use the C3, C4, and C5. So although it’s the hard tyre, that corresponds to last year’s medium and that will help.”