Whereas a most distance of 18 laps for every set of tyres seems fairly easy, it’s removed from it.
It’s actually not a case of stopping on laps 18, 36 and 54 and operating till the chequered flag. Issues are extra difficult than that, firstly by the actual fact groups is not going to need to head into the pits when everybody else does, as that opens the danger of site visitors chaos. Will probably be higher to stagger pitstops.
However of extra significance is a scarcity of tyre choices.
With Qatar being a dash race weekend, with two qualifying periods, groups have burned by means of extra units of softs than they maybe do on an everyday weekend.
Which means they’ve locked themselves into a reasonably restricted variety of hards and mediums for the grand prix.
Plus, with the comfortable tyre having gave the impression to be a poor tyre for race situations within the dash on Saturday, it’s unlikely that it’ll play a lot of an element – until required for a brief stint late on.
As a substitute, F1 groups are going to must depend on the medium and the arduous, however only a few drivers have been left with sufficient new units for the race.
Picture by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images
For the remainder, and critically all of the frontrunners, they solely have one set of recent hards and one set of recent mediums, with the rest getting used mediums.
Essential then to understanding how the race performs out might be simply how a lot mileage every set of those used tyres has executed.
The 18-lap marker is the full distance that every tyre set has executed, excluding in- and out-laps.
The FIA notes declared: “Laps to the grid, formation laps and laps following the chequered flag for the Dash and Race is not going to be counted.
“For the used units efficient variety of laps thought-about from earlier periods would be the complete quantity, diminished by 2 laps.”
So, if a driver has executed 4 laps on a set of mediums, then he’ll solely be allowed to run it for 14 laps within the race earlier than having to cease.
It means these drivers who’ve used units which have accomplished simply set up laps, or only a flying lap in qualifying, are in significantly better form in with the ability to run longer than these whose mediums have been taken barely additional already.
The FIA and Pirelli issued a chart on Sunday afternoon detailing the utmost tyre stints for the person units of every driver.
Qatar GP tyres
Picture by: Pirelli
Some, like Max Verstappen, look to be in first rate form – together with his new and used units of mediums and hards being good for 70 laps – which supplies him some strategic flexibility.
Others, nonetheless, are fairly marginal. Lewis Hamilton has simply 59 laps of arduous/medium tyre availability for the 57-lap race – if he takes every set to the utmost. It doesn’t depart him with a lot room for manoeuvre if he would not need to eat into his new softs late on.
However whereas the tyre technique problems are going to make for a tough race, group figures had been certain that the FIA and Pirelli have executed the precise factor.
Aston Martin’s Tom McCullough stated mandating a most stint size was the most effective strategy, relatively than leaving groups as much as their very own units.
“We’re all efficiency junkies, aren’t we?” he stated. “So, depart it in our fingers and we’ll push the bounds arduous.
“The FIA and Pirelli’s duty is security, is not it? So, with the knowledge we have gathered to this point, it’s proper to be on the protected facet and to restrict the quantity of laps.”
McLaren boss Andrea Stella reckoned that worrying about making issues arduous for groups ought to by no means be a consideration relating to security.
“We have to go by precedence, and the primary precedence is security,” he stated.
“So long as that’s preserved, all the remainder is a little bit of adaptation and suppleness, which we welcome as racers.”