Pirelli are predicting that for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix at the Sochi circuit that most drivers will opt for a one stop strategy.
All of the drivers who made it into Q3 for the top ten shoot-out with the exception of reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton who did not go out completed their fastest qualifying times on brand new sets of the Super Soft tyre.
Nico Rosberg’s pole time was a 1m 35.417s which was just a under a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time in the FP3 this morning which was set on brand new Super Soft tyres which shows the track evolution between the two sessions as more rubber gets laid down the track gets faster.
When it came to stint lengths on Saturday, Manor Racing’s Pascal Wehrlein completed more consecutive laps on the Medium compound tyre than anyone else with the German completing seven laps in total on the hardest compound available this weekend.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr completed the most consecutive laps on the Soft compound tyre with the Spaniard completing 24 laps while Manor Racing’s Rio Haryanto completed 23 laps on the Super Soft tyre. Speaking following Saturday’s track action, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery commented by saying:
Russia is by no means a typical track as it features low grip that keeps wear and degradation at very low levels and also enables long stints. For this reason we saw drivers complete multi-lap runs during qualifying, with consistent performance from the tyres. We expect a one-stop strategy to be the preferred choice for most contenders tomorrow, and it’s unlikely that the medium tyre will be used.