F1: European GP – Tyres, Marbles and Strategies – CRITICAL
Pirelli is bringing to Valencia its PZero Soft (Yellow) and Medium (White) compound slicks. The heat and conditions may be too extreme for the super softs. Track temperatures are expected to be very hot and 50 degrees track temperatures are possible if not likely.
During the latest @ASKPAUL video session, Pirelli’s Paul Hembery addressed a question regarding the durability of this season’s Pirelli tyres. The question was asked by one, as to whether Pirelli is considering increasing the durability of the tyres for next season. Paul answered the question by saying that the opposite might actually be true as we have seen some compounds last close to 60 laps. This has likely decreased the number of pit stops. Therefore it is quite possible, that tyres in 2013, might actually last a shorter distance.
In Canada, Pirelli brought the soft and super soft compounds which performed arguably well. Alonso and Vettel tried to make it to the end of the race on a one stopper, but Vettel changed strategy after his tyres hit the infamous “Drop Zone”. Alonso and Ferrari stuck to their guns and paid the price.
One thing I did notice walking the circuit after the race in Canada was that there were much fewer marbles than there were in 2010. I’m wondering if this is a trend that might continue in Valencia. The circuit there is considered to be slick and in extreme heat conditions, I’m curious to see how the soft and medium compounds behave.
Back to strategies quickly. It is widely expected that the key to this race is going to be Qualifying. Due to this circuit’s inhospitable overtaking nature, a good qualifying could dictate the race. However, if a good qualifying effort comes at the price of an extra set of soft compound tyres being used, it might spell disaster in the strategy department. A three stop race strategy might be best overall, however, some teams might be forced to do a two stopper. Some might try to pull off a two stop race but with Canada fresh in everyone’s minds, memories of Alonso being chewed up and spit out by seconds per lap may deter the strategy.
Author: Ernie Black
From → Formula One