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Big three adopt similar tyre strategy for Bahrain

NEWS STORY
20/03/2019

For the last two years, Pirelli has taken the medium, soft and supersoft to Bahrain, however, with the changes to the compound identities this year, the Italian manufacturer is providing the C1, C2 and C3 which are actually at the harder end of the 2019 range.

With the race getting underway in the late afternoon and finishing in the evening, this means that track temperatures fall substantially as the race goes on, which in turn affects tyre behaviour. Traction is a major factor, so drivers have to manage their rear tyres in particular.

Renault and Toro Rosso take the full complement of ten sets of the soft (C3), while Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull - or at least Max Verstappen - like Haas, Racing Point and Alfa Romeo take nine sets of the red-banded rubber. Pierre Gasly takes 8 sets, as do McLaren and Williams.

While Robert Kubica takes 4 sets of the yellow-banded mediums, Daniel Ricciardo takes just one, with the majority of drivers opting for just one set of the hards (C1).

Last year's race was a one-stopper for all three podium finishers, race winner and pole-man, Sebastian Vettel starting on supersofts before switching to softs, while runner-up Valtteri Bottas switched from supersofts to mediums. Third-place Lewis Hamilton however, started on softs before switching to mediums.

The next five drivers over the line however, Gasly, Magnussen, Hulkenberg, Alonso and Vandoorne, were all on a two-stop strategy.

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