Mario Isola expects another unpredictable Singapore Grand Prix this weekend, with the Pirelli boss believing the team that gets the best idea of how to use their tyres will have the advantage.
Isola, the Head of Car Racing of
Formula 1’s sole tyre manufacturer, says teams will need to pay close attention to the data they get during the night-time sessions around the Marina Bay Street Circuit, as they will be much more representative to the conditions they will face during the race.
This means the opening session on Friday, as well as Saturday’s opening session, will not be as useful as Friday evening’s session or qualifying, and Isola feels getting the usage of the tyres right will be crucial.
“Singapore is always one of the most exciting and unpredictable races of the year, in which pit stop strategy often plays a crucial role in the outcome: also because of the near certainty of a safety car at some point during the arduous two hours,” said Isola.
“Having said that, pole position has historically had a strong influence on the race win at Marina Bay, so qualifying will be crucial as well. In order to prepare, teams will have to pay particularly close attention to the free practice data as track temperature at night will evolve in quite a different way than it does at a conventional daytime race.
“Understanding this will be key to getting a good handle on wear and degradation rates, and so implementing an effective tyre strategy.”
Tyre Choices for Singapore
Pirelli has brought the three softest compounds available to Singapore, with the Purple-banded Ultrasoft being the tyre of choice for everyone in the paddock.
Thirteen drivers have chosen to bring ten sets of the Ultrasoft, including both Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing drivers, but the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team racers, Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have only nine sets, as do the two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers and Pascal Wehrlein at the Sauber F1 Team.
Only the Haas F1 Team have gone a different way with the Ultrasofts, with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen only having eight sets available.
Only three drivers, Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Wehrlein, have opted for more than one set of the Yellow-banded Soft compound, with each choosing two, while the rest of the field’s tyre choices are made up by the Red-banded Supersoft tyre.