Styrian GP: Qualifying team notes - Pirelli


Tomorrow should be dry with temperatures lower than last week's Austrian Grand Prix. The fastest strategy for the 71-lap race is still expected to be a one-stopper, but with a slightly different look to last Sunday: where the soft tyre in particular proved to be very competitive. So the theoretically quickest way tomorrow is to start on the soft tyre for 28 to 33 laps and then complete the race on the hard compound.

The second-quickest strategy is to start on the medium tyre for 30 to 35 laps, then switch to the soft until the end. This strategy could be reversed as well, starting instead on the soft and finishing on the medium for the final stint.

Almost as quick is a one-stopper with a start on the medium tyre for 24 to 30 laps, then hard to the finish.

Finally, a two-stopper is definitely slower: two stints on the soft tyre for 24 to 26 laps each, then medium to the end.

Wet weather cancelled FP3 and then delayed the start of qualifying, with the Cinturato Blue full wets used by all the drivers from start to finish. Tomorrow's dry race means that the drivers will also have to rely on the data accumulated during Friday to formulate the strategy, as well as last week's race.

The drivers have three sets of full wet tyres for the entire weekend, so they had to judge the strategy carefully: with some reserving a new set for the final run in Q3.

Many of the drivers completed long runs to take advantage of the rapidly-changing track conditions (with just 20 degrees of track temperature in Q3) and benefit from the consistency of the full wet tyre. Despite the difficulty of the conditions, there were very few mistakes seen.

As qualifying was wet, the drivers have a free choice of slick tyres to start the race on tomorrow.

Despite the torrential rain and low visibility, top speeds still peaked at nearly 300kph on the straight, with Hamilton's fastest lap averaging just under 200kph.

Mario Isola: "It wasn't an easy qualifying session for the drivers, with no FP3 and their first experience of these 2020 cars on wet tyres in qualifying, leading to some interesting surprises on the grid. In these unpredictable and extreme conditions, the teams and drivers had to adapt quickly to the changing circumstances. With qualifying being wet, the usual rule that the top 10 have to start the race on their Q2 tyre doesn't apply - so everyone has a free choice tomorrow, which should open up a few different possibilities for strategy.

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Published: 11/07/2020
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