Ultrasoft could open up strategy variations in Singapore – Pirelli

Paul Hembery - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

This weekend’s Singapore Grand Prix will see the latest outing for the new-for-2016 Ultrasoft tyre, and Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery feels it will add an extra dimension to the strategy on race day.

Last year, Sebastian Vettel utilised the Supersoft and Soft Pirelli compounds to take victory at the Marina Bay circuit, but Hembery feels the Ultrasoft will make lap times faster than in 2015, and increase the grip levels, especially over the all-important one lap during qualifying.

Hembery also believes the almost guaranteed introduction of the safety car – it has been seen in every Singapore Grand Prix to date – could open the doors to some creative strategy calls this weekend, especially as he expects it to be an extremely close race up and down the field.

“Singapore is probably the most spectacular circuit that we visit all season,” said Hembery, “and this year we hope to make it even more special with the arrival of our rapid Ultrasoft compound, in order to maximise the speed and grip available at the Marina Bay track.

“This is one of the most unpredictable races of the year – it’s the only track with a 100% safety car record – so all the complex variables inevitably throw up opportunities for teams to do something creative with strategy.

“In terms of competition, it looks set to be one of the closest races we will see all year, where tyre management will make a big difference.”