Russian GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review
By Courtesy of Pirelli
September 29 2019
|Pirelli Russian GP Qualifying Review|
Charles Leclerc drove his
Ferrari to his fourth pole in a row, using the soft tyre throughout Q2 and
Q3. Mercedes, by contrast, was the only team to use the medium in Q2, and
both their cars will start the race on this compound tomorrow. Leclerc
starts ahead of Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, while the Ferrari of
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen were third and fourth fastest
respectively. Leclerc received the Pirelli Pole Position Award from Robert
Shwartzman: the Russian Formula 3 driver, attached to the Ferrari Driver
Academy, who claimed the inaugural FIA Formula 3 title this morning.
|KEEP AN EYE ON
Strategy. The beginnings of a big strategic battle were already seen in qualifying, with Mercedes adopting a very different approach to Ferrari. This means that they will both be using opposite tactics on race day.
Performance. The pace has often been slightly quicker than last year, despite a tyre selection that’s a step harder compared to 2018. This should allow the drivers to push hard throughout each stint, so expect a fast race tomorrow.
Pit stops. There’s low wear and degradation, so both the ‘undercut’ as seen in Singapore, as well as the ‘overcut’ – gaining an advantage by staying out longer than your rivals – are far less likely to be effective.
Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Each of these teams will be starting with a car at the back of the grid, after Alex Albon crashed in Q1 and Daniil Kvyat sat out qualifying. All the Honda-powered cars are also taking grid penalties: what can they do in the race?
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“There’s an intriguing strategic battle in store tomorrow, with Mercedes being the only team to select the medium tyre to set their fastest Q2 times. There was some overnight rain that reset the track for FP3 and qualifying, causing a bit of track evolution, but no further rain during the day. If the rain continues to hold off, we can expect a more stable track tomorrow, with a one-stopper being clearly the way forward. However, we’re likely to see many different permutations of one-stopper, using all three available compounds. Sochi is not the easiest of circuits to overtake on, so we can expect a big tactical fight in the pits and on the track tomorrow.”
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES DRIVER TIME COMPOUND Leclerc 1m32.733s SOFT C4 NEW Vettel 1m33.049s SOFT C4 NEW Hamilton 1m33.129s SOFT C4 NEW QUALIFYING TOP 10 DRIVER TIME COMPOUND Leclerc 1m31.628s SOFT C4 NEW Hamilton 1m32.030s SOFT C4 NEW Vettel 1m32.053s SOFT C4 NEW Verstappen 1m32.310s SOFT C4 NEW Bottas 1m32.632s SOFT C4 NEW Sainz 1m33.222s SOFT C4 NEW Hulkenberg 1m33.289s SOFT C4 NEW Norris 1m33.301s SOFT C4 NEW Grosjean 1m33.517s SOFT C4 NEW Ricciardo 1m33.661s SOFT C4 NEW MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS HARD C2 Raikkonen 17 MEDIUM C3 Kvyat 28 SOFT C4 Stroll 23 BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR COMPOUND DRIVER TIME HARD C2 Bottas 1m34.752s MEDIUM C3 Hamilton 1m33.134s SOFT C4 Leclerc 1m31.628s