Lewis Hamilton claimed an emphatic pole-position at the first-ever Qatar Grand Prix which is being held at the Losail International Circuit, much is still unknown though going into Sunday’s race.
There is a wide range of tyres being started on for the Grand Prix, with the top three all starting on the medium compound tyre, followed by a number of drivers starting on the soft, including fourth place starter Pierre Gasly. Pirelli have noticed incredible track evolution during the second day of Formula One action on the circuit, with times tumbling every session.
Pirelli are predicting that the 57-lap race will be a two-stopper, with the ideal strategy being to start on the mediums followed by a stint on the hards before a final stint on the mediums. With so little data though on how the circuit behaves, there is no definite answer as to what the best strategy will be for the race, leaving much for the teams to discuss as they edge closer to the race.
Pirelli’s Head of F1 and Car Racing Mario Isola is expecting to see a mix of strategies during the race, with still so much unknown about the venue.
“Track evolution remained high today, also with no support races on the schedule, which meant that we saw the fastest times right at the end of qualifying, and some medium tyre times in Q2 that were faster than the soft tyre times in Q1. With just short stints in qualifying, and FP3 this morning taking place in the heat of the day (with a focus on qualifying) the teams can only rely on FP2 for relevant long-run information, which is crucial when it comes to formulating the strategy.
“Under these challenging circumstances they will want to keep their options as open as possible, which is why the championship contenders chose to start on the medium tyre. However, as Q2 showed, it wasn’t easy to get through the session on the medium, so we’re set for an interesting mix of strategies tomorrow with many factors still relatively unknown.”