Williams F1
Abu Dhabi GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review
By Courtesy of Pirelli
November 25 2018

 
 Pirelli Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying Review
 
Pole Winner
 

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole position using the P Zero Pink hypersoft tyres on their final qualifying appearance, with a time that was a second and a half faster than last year’s pole: a new track record.

Qualifying was close from start to finish, with the Q2 session dominated by tyre tactics. Eight drivers went out on the ultrasoft tyres, around a second slower than the hypersoft. However, only five of them set their fastest times on the ultrasoft – including Hamilton – and they will be the top five on the grid, ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The most likely strategy tomorrow is one pit stop, but this also depends on the degradation rate of the hypersoft, for those starting on this compound. With Yas Marina being a difficult track to overtake on, race strategy could make a decisive difference.

Track temperatures fell progressively during the evening qualifying session, as is usual at Abu Dhabi, with the fastest times coming right at the end.

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The Q2 session was particularly relevant, with a lot of drivers starting their runs on the ultrasoft, but not all of them managing to set their fastest times with this compound. As a result, we’ll have an interesting situation at the race start tomorrow with the Mercedes of Hamilton leading a top five on ultrasoft, ahead of the rest of the top 10 on hypersoft. It will be interesting to see how their strategies diverge. One-stop should be fastest, but it will also depend on the degradation rate of the hypersoft on heavy fuel at the start of the race. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was the only driver to use two sets of ultrasoft in Q2, which could indicate a strategy that keeps a new hypersoft for the second stint. The drivers will have to manage falling track temperatures throughout the race, which will have an effect on how they can manage the tyres. Generally speaking, they will be able to push harder on them in the later stages.”

HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
SUPERSOFT - Not seen in qualifying but expect to see it as part of a one-stopper.
ULTRASOFT - Many drivers tried to set their fastest times on this in Q2, not all succeeded.
HYPERSOFT - Around one second faster than the ultrasoft, used to set a new track record.

 
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Vettel 		1m07.948s SUPERSOFT NEW
Hamilton 	1m08.165s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 		1m08.465s SUPERSOFT NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10
DRIVER 		TIME 	  COMPOUND
Hamilton 	1m07.281s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 		1m07.374s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 		1m07.441s SUPERSOFT NEW
Raikkonen 	1m07.456s SUPERSOFT NEW
Verstappen 	1m07.778s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 	1m07.780s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ericsson 	1m08.296s SUPERSOFT NEW
Leclerc 	1m08.492s SUPERSOFT USED
Grosjean 	1m08.517s SUPERSOFT USED
Gasly 		1m09.029s SUPERSOFT USED


MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  LAPS
SUPERSOFT 	Magnussen 28
SOFT 		Sainz 	  35
MEDIUM 		Raikkonen 25

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND 	DRIVER 	  TIME
SUPERSOFT 	Hamilton  1m07.281s
SOFT 		Vettel 	  1m07.776s
MEDIUM 		Bottas 	  1m09.668s
 
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