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Singapore GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review

By Courtesy of Pirelli
September 16 2018

 
 Pirelli Singapore GP Qualifying Review
 
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After Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen broke the track record in free practice yesterday with the P Zero Pink hypersoft, it was further lowered today by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, who set a brand new benchmark in qualifying on the Pink hypersoft tyre. His pole time was the biggest gap between a 2017 and a 2018 pole time seen so far this year.

With the Pink hypersoft being about a second and a half faster than the ultrasoft around the long lap, all the drivers eventually used it to set their fastest times in Q2, which determines the tyres they will start the race on. Nonetheless, some tried to get through Q2 on ultrasoft, while Mercedes was the only team to successfully get through Q1 on this compound.

The expected quite high levels of degradation on the hypersoft makes a two-stop strategy probable for those starting on the pink tyre. Conversely, there’s almost no degradation on the soft, making a one-stopper also feasible. However, the race strategy is likely to be influenced by Singapore’s 100% safety car record, which could present an opportune moment to change tyres without a significant time loss.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“Qualifying has set up an intriguing mix of tactical possibilities, influenced by the decision to bring the hypersoft to Singapore. Its unprecedented speed is clearly beyond question, but this has to be balanced against the degradation we have seen so far when it comes to formulating the strategy. For this reason, we have seen a few different ideas during qualifying, and it’s going to be fascinating to see which strategy turns out to be the best option. Adding another variable is the fact that the Singapore Grand Prix is a very long and eventful race that has historically always featured at least one safety car period. So the strategies will have to be flexible enough to rapidly capitalise on changing circumstances as they happen. All three compounds could definitely play a potential role in the strategy, with nearly zero degradation on the soft.”

HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
SOFT - Not a qualifying tyre but may have an important part to play in the race.
ULTRASOFT - An important strategic element, tried by some in Q2 already.
HYPERSOFT - Clearly faster than ultra, so the obvious quali tyre, but with a shorter life.

 
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER 		TIME      COMPOUND
Vettel 		1m38.054s HYPERSOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m38.416s HYPERSOFT NEW
Hamilton 	1m38.558s HYPERSOFT NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Hamilton 	1m36.015s HYPERSOFT NEW
Verstappen 	1m36.334s HYPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 		1m36.628s HYPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 		1m36.702s HYPERSOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m36.794s HYPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 	1m36.996s HYPERSOFT NEW
Perez 		1m37.985s HYPERSOFT NEW
Grosjean 	1m38.320s HYPERSOFT NEW
Ocon 		1m38.365s HYPERSOFT NEW
Hulkenberg 	1m38.588s HYPERSOFT NEW

MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  LAPS
SOFT 		Alonso 	  26
ULTRASOFT 	Hartley   28
HYPERSOFT 	Gasly 	  23

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	   TIME
SOFT 		Verstappen 1m40.826s
ULTRASOFT 	Vettel 	   1m38.854s
HYPERSOFT 	Hamilton   1m36.015s
 
Singapore
 

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