Eifel GP: Pirelli Qualifying Review


By Courtesy of Pirelli
October 12 2020

 
 Pirelli Eifel GP Qualifying Review
 
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POSSIBLE RACE STRATEGIES:
The most likely strategy for the 60-lap Eifel Grand Prix is a two-stopper, but with the track not having been used for Formula 1 since 2013 and with no running yesterday, strategy is something of a question mark for all the teams. Adding to the tactical complexity is the fact that tomorrow could be wet – and it will certainly be cold – making it even harder to accurately predict tyre behaviour.
The theoretically quickest way will be to start on the P Zero Red soft, then on lap 19 switch to the P Zero Yellow medium for 22 laps, and finally do a 19-lap stint on the soft again. As usual, this combination of compounds can be used in any order.
Second-fastest is another two-stopper: one 18-lap stint on the soft plus two 21-lap stints on the medium.
Slower is a one-stopper, going from medium to P Zero White hard after 29 laps (or the exact opposite, running 31 laps on the hard before going to medium). The data suggests that a one-stop strategy using medium and soft is not possible.

FOCUS ON:
* Weather. Track temperatures were the coldest seen all year during a race weekend, with 10 degrees ambient and 17 degrees of track temperature at the end of qualifying. Even cooler conditions are likely tomorrow, and there is a high risk of rain as well. Getting the tyres up to temperature (particularly the fronts) and keeping them there will be crucial: especially if there is a safety car.
* Track evolution. This was influenced by the track not having been used yesterday and no rubber laid down, with conditions still ‘green’ and slippery.
* Experience. Formula 1 hasn't raced at the Nürburgring since 2013 and there was no running on Friday, so the teams and drivers headed into qualifying and the race with much less experience and information than they would normally have.
* Strategy. The lack of information will have a big impact on strategy. The race strategies are much less clear cut than usual, as it’s really not clear which strategy is most advantageous in real world conditions.
* Speed. The evolution of the cars and tyres since the last time F1 went to the Nürburgring meant that the all-time track record, set by Michael Schumacher back in 2004 (1m28.351s) was already broken by most of the field in FP3.

 

MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
“Finally we saw some action at the Nürburgring, with the drivers heading into qualifying with just one hour of preparation. As a result, there are a number of question marks heading into tomorrow’s grand prix, as Formula 1 hasn't raced here since 2013 and the teams have very little data to go on. As well as strategy, one of those question marks surrounds the weather, which is set to be even colder and possibly wet tomorrow. If it stays dry all the top 10 on the grid will start on the soft tyre, which removes one variable, but what happens after that very much remains to be seen. In these extremely cold temperatures, we saw some light graining in the morning as expected but as more rubber was laid down on the track and the cars adapted their set-up, the situation improved. Looking after the tyres tomorrow will still be crucial, in what should be quite an unpredictable grand prix with uncertain weather.”

 
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
DRIVER		TIME	COMPOUND
Bottas		1m26.225s	SOFT C4 NEW
Hamilton	1m26.361s	SOFT C4 NEW
Leclerc		1m26.681s	SOFT C4 NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10
DRIVER		TIME		COMPOUND
Bottas		1m25.269s	SOFT C4 NEW
Hamilton	1m25.525s	SOFT C4 NEW
Verstappen	1m25.562s	SOFT C4 NEW
Leclerc		1m26.035s	SOFT C4 NEW
Albon		1m26.047s	SOFT C4 NEW
Ricciardo	1m26.223s	SOFT C4 NEW
Ocon		1m26.242s	SOFT C4 NEW
Norris		1m26.458s	SOFT C4 NEW
Pérez		1m26.704s	SOFT C4 NEW
Sainz		1m26.709s	SOFT C4 NEW

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
COMPOUND	DRIVER		TIME
HARD C2		Magnussen	1m34.492s
MEDIUM C3	Hamilton	1m26.183s
SOFT C4		Bottas		1m25.269s
 
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