Lap Times to Fall, Pit Stops to Rise – McLaren’s Goss

Credit: McLaren Media Centre

Tim Goss, Technical Director at McLaren F1 Team, believes that we’ll see more two-stop races in the 2018 season, Due in part to cars receiving more grip from their tyres.

This insight comes after a season that saw just 533 pit stops across its 20 races – almost half of that of the previous season.

This amounts to just over 1.3 pit stops per car par race, meaning that should two-stop races be preferred as Goss is saying, we could see a big jump in numbers.

They’ve released compound choices for the early races, we’ve looked at that and I think our opinion is that there will be an increase in tyre grip.

That could be half a second to a second a lap, something like that, and there will be more bias to two-stop races than previously.

We still think it will be a mix of one- and two-stop races, but biased more to two-stop races, so I think moving sensibly in the right direction.

This year sees the introduction of the Hypersoft, the first new tyre compound since the Ultrasoft debuted in 2016 at Monaco.

The Hypersoft is a pink-walled tyre from Pirelli that promises more grip than the purple-walled Ultrasoft, though with higher degradation.

Teams were afforded a small amount of testing with the new tyre in Abu Dhabi last year, and first impressions from the McLaren team are that the Hypersoft could have a larger performance difference compared to the Ultrasoft than the Ultrasoft to the Supersoft.

We’ve got to learn about the tyres. We obviously tested them in Abu Dhabi so it’s one circuit in fairly hot conditions, we’ve got to learn more about those tyres at different circuits.

The gaps in terms of compound performance aren’t necessarily all even. There’s sort of a bit of a bigger gap there and then two tyres that are closer together, that’s certainly what we’ve found.

But I think generally Pirelli have done a great job at listening and moving in the right direction.