By Alex Kapadia
Formula One teams will be using the Pirelli hard and medium tyres for the British Grand Prix this weekend, but despite the conservative combination multiple pit-stops are predicted.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for the Italian tyre manufacturer, foresees potential three and four stop strategies depending on the weather.
Silverstone is one of the oldest and fastest circuits on the Formula One calendar, and the rapid circuit layout means that plenty of energy is put through the tyres, with a consequent effect on wear and degradation.
In the past, teams have used strategy to their advantage on this track, resulting in some close finishes even with different tactics being employed.
Hembery explained: “Silverstone, with its very high average speeds and flowing series of corners, presents an extreme contrast to Canada three weeks ago – which was much more stop and start.
“Like Canada, it’s a circuit that takes a lot out of the tyres, but for very different reasons. We’ve brought the two hardest compounds to the British Grand Prix because of that, with a new bonding process connecting the tread to the steel belt, which is designed to eliminate the isolated delamination issues to reach a unanimous agreement about this: however, we do still have that possibility on stand-by should it be required in future.”
He aded: “Of course another important factor at Silverstone is the notoriously variable British weather: it would be no big surprise to see the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet brought into play at some point.
“For that reason, it’s quite hard to predict the number of pit stops on race day. Last year we saw a two-stop strategy in dry conditions after two wet days but this year the compounds are softer, so if it stays dry we could have between three and four stops. We should be in a position to make a more precise forecast after free practice.”