Pirelli have said that Sebastian Vettel could have won the Turkish Grand Prix with just three stops, rather than the four he used on his way to victory number three of the 2011 season.
All of the top five finishers of the race in Istanbul chose to complete four tyre stops during the fifteen lap race, largely owing to the exceptionally demanding Turn Eight, which makes the Turkish circuit one of the most severe tracks on the calendar in terms of tyre wear.
“We obviously develop tyres that have to suit 20 different circuits this year, and the demands of Turn Eight in particular mean that Istanbul Park is definitely at the upper limit of what we are working with in terms of tyre wear,” said Pirelli‘s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery. “So we're pleased that the tyres stood up to the challenge so well, giving the teams plenty of scope to utilise different strategies.
“We actually thought that Vettel could have won the race with three stops, but the comparatively short pit lane layout here in Istanbul meant that the performance advantage of an extra stop outweighed the 20 seconds or so spent in the pit lane. With the pace he had, Vettel could afford an extra stop, and that was clearly the decision taken by plenty of other teams as well.”
Pirelli have also announced the tyre compounds that they will be bringing to the races in Canada, Valencia, and the British Grand Prix. In Montreal the soft and supersoft tyres will be provided, at the European Grand Prix the medium and supersoft compounds make an appearance, and at Silverstone it will be the hard and soft compound.