Spanish GP: Qualifying notes - Pirelli


Lewis Hamilton has claimed his third pole position of the season, on the circuit that places the most demands on the tyres seen so far this year. Hamilton set his time on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, which has been nominated together with the P Zero White medium and P Zero Orange hard this weekend. Only Force India used anything other than the soft tyre in qualifying, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez on the hard tyre at the start of Q1.

Paul Hembery: "There's certainly been plenty to talk about from qualifying. Pole here was more than 2.6 seconds faster than last year, which confirms the pattern that we have seen in every session so far this year in Barcelona. That sets us up for an entertaining battle tomorrow, where strategy will definitely play an important part. We would expect most drivers to go for a two-stop strategy tomorrow although there will be some who are likely to try a three-stopper."

How the tyres behaved today

Hard: only used by Force India in qualifying but seen in free practice.

Medium: a strong race tyre, used by Mercedes for the majority of free practice.

Soft: the default choice for qualifying, with a notable performance advantage.

Race strategy

A three-stopper is theoretically the quickest way for the 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix, but that leaves drivers trying this strategy having to pass those who stopped only twice towards the end of the race. In practice, most drivers will go for the fastest two-stopper: start on soft, soft again on lap 20, then medium on lap 40. Those trying a three-stopper are likely to start on soft, stop for soft again on laps 16 and 33, then medium from lap 49.

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Published: 14/05/2016
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