TACTICAL QUALIFYING BETWEEN ALL THE FRONTRUNNERS IN COOL CONDITIONS AT BARCELONA. SOME OVERNIGHT RAIN IS NOW FORECAST
PREVIOUS BARCELONA LAP RECORD, SET ON HYPERSOFT IN PRE-SEASON TESTING, ALREADY BROKEN IN Q1: FASTEST-EVER SPEEDS SEEN IN SPAIN
TWO PIT STOPS THEORETICALLY QUICKEST BUT A ONE-STOPPER IS POSSIBLE TOO, WITH THE FRONTRUNNERS ALL STARTING ON THE SOFT
Alternative tactics were adopted by the majority of the field at the Spanish Grand Prix, with nearly all the frontrunners in the top 10 choosing to set their fastest times on the soft tyre in Q2, in order to start tomorrow’s race with this compound. The only exception was McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who will start on supersoft. Track conditions were cooler than they were yesterday, with 20 degrees centigrade ambient and 25 degrees of track temperature today. The weather forecast indicates a chance of rain showers tonight, which could alter the usual pattern of track evolution. The previous all-time current track record, set in pre-season testing on the hypersoft, was already broken in Q1 by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel: the new record now stands at 1m16.173s, Hamilton’s pole position time for Mercedes on supersoft. The soft was also seen extensively in Q3, with teams trying different approaches to unlock performance.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING “The top teams have chosen to start the race tomorrow on the soft tyre, which keeps their strategic options open. We also unusually saw plenty of strategic variance in Q3, with teams split between soft and supersoft tyres. Despite this, the times between all the top teams were actually quite close. Either one or two stops are possible for the race tomorrow, but this will obviously depend on degradation rates, which might be influenced by any rain that falls tonight. Whatever happens, there are already a number of interesting question marks that should hopefully add some additional tactical elements to a race that is generally quite dependent on qualifying position”.
HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
Sets fastest-ever lap here, but only one driver in the top 10 will start on it. Used both in Q2 and unusually in Q3.
. Seen only in Q1 but could be used by those targeting one stop in the race.
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
QUALIFYING TOP 10
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m17.281s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 1m17.294s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 1m17.550s SUPERSOFT NEW
DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m16.173s SUPERSOFT NEW
Bottas 1m16.213s SUPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 1m16.305s SOFT NEW
Raikkonen 1m16.612s SOFT NEW
Verstappen 1m16.816s SUPERSOFT NEW
Ricciardo 1m16.818s SOFT NEW
Magnussen 1m17.676s SUPERSOFT NEW
Alonso 1m17.721s SOFT NEW
Sainz 1m17.790s SUPERSOFT NEW
Grosjean 1m17.835s SUPERSOFT NEW
COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
MEDIUM Hulkenberg 31
SOFT Ericsson 31
Grosjean, Sirotkin, Verstappen, Vettel