Jenson Button is expecting an ‘exciting’ tyre conundrum at this weekends German Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion thinks that Bridgestone’s decision to bring the extreme super-soft and hard tyres to the Hockenheim circuit means tyre strategy will play a key role in the race.
It is the first time the Japanese tyre manufacturer has selected the super-soft and hard tyres – the two extremes from its suite of four compounds – which is likely to produce a larger than normal difference in both grip and durability.
Complicating the picture further is the fact that rain is forecast for much of practice, which would leave the teams short of information on how the tyres perform on long runs and could increase tyre graining problems if the track surface has been washed clean of rubber.
Button reckons tyre management will be the biggest challenge throughout the weekend, but welcomes the extra strategic dimension it will bring – and thinks it might play to McLaren’s strengths given that the MP4-25 is relatively gentle on its tyres.
He said: “I’m not saying it’s a bad thing because I don’t think it is; I think it makes it exciting.
“I think we look after tyres reasonably well, but it would be nice to get some running on the tyres before qualifying.
“I’ve heard that the super-soft is very soft for here and the hard is very hard for here, so it will be interesting to see which one we run in qualifying.
“Obviously the super-soft is a quicker tyre – if you can get it to last for a lap.
“It will be fun. I think you’ll see some interesting strategies like we saw in Canada, people trying different things, because if the super-soft grains as much as we think it will, how many laps are you going to do on it in the race?
“It might end up being a two-stop race. I think it will add to the excitement and it’s good for us.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team