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Japanese GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review

By Courtesy of Pirelli
October 7 2017

 
 Pirelli Japanese GP Qualifying Review
 
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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton demolished the Suzuka all time lap record to claim pole position on the supersoft tyre.

Hamilton and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel were the only two drivers to get through Q1 on the soft tyres only while their team mates, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, adopted an alternative strategy for Q2. Both set their fastest Q2 times on the soft tyre, which they will begin the race on tomorrow. However, Bottas and Raikkonen are among several drivers to have collected grid penalties, so they will start further back tomorrow.

With today’s dry weather expected to remain tomorrow, two pit stops should be the optimal strategy. However, there is always the possibility of a safety car to disrupt the strategy in Suzuka, with red flags seen in free practice as well as during Q1.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“Hamilton’s remarkable lap, which obliterates the previous all-time Suzuka record, has underlined the pace of the latest-generation Formula 1 car and tyres, even though preparation for the race has been interrupted by weather and red flags up until now. Pole this year was in fact 3.3 seconds faster than 2016, with the tyres performing perfectly. We would expect two pit stops for most drivers in the race tomorrow, as this is one of the circuits that takes the most energy out of the tyres of the entire year. Already we’ve seen some tactics in qualifying, with two of the drivers carrying grid penalties opting to start on the soft tyres. This should allow them to gain track position by running a longer first stint than their direct rivals. Last weekend in Malaysia proved that, with the right strategy, it’s still possible to get a good result even starting from the back.”

HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
SUPER SOFT - All the drivers in the top 10 grid positions will start on this tyre, except for Bottas.
SOFT - Bottas and Raikkonen were the only drivers to use this tyre in Q2.
MEDIUM - Seen only at the beginning of FP3 today for installation laps.

 
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Bottas 		1m29.055s SOFT NEW
Hamilton 	1m29.069s SOFT NEW
Vettel 		1m29.379s SUPERSOFT USED

QUALIFYING TOP 10
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Hamilton 	1m27.319s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 		1m27.651s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 		1m27.791s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 	1m28.306s SUPERSOFT NEW
Verstappen 	1m28.332s SUPERSOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m28.498s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ocon 		1m29.111s SUPERSOFT NEW
Perez 		1m29.260s SUPERSOFT NEW
Massa 		1m29.480s SUPERSOFT NEW
Alonso 		1m30.687s SUPERSOFT NEW

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 			    LAPS
MEDIUM 		Alonso, Grosjean, Magnussen 3
SOFT 		Perez 			    18
SUPERSOFT 	Raikkonen 		    19
WET 		Hamilton, Stroll 	    4

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  TIME
MEDIUM 		- 	  -
SOFT 		Bottas 	  1m28.543s
SUPERSOFT 	Hamilton  1m27.319s
WET 		Hamilton  1m48.719s
 
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