After a moist qualifying session there’s a model new pole sitter at Silverstone nevertheless it appears like being a removed from simple race, so let’s check out the completely different strategic choices accessible to the groups and drivers for the British Grand Prix…
What’s the quickest technique?
In a break from the norm, it’s not a one-stop technique that’s the quickest strategy to the end at Silverstone, with the two-stopper a greater choice accessible to the groups.
That’s as a result of degradation and tyre put on ranges are excessive as a result of nature of the circuit, which options a number of lengthy, high-speed corners that put lots of stress via the Pirellis.
While the probably choice is for all drivers to begin the race on the medium compound tyre, the quickest path to the tip is a barely uncommon one. That’s as a result of it options two opening stints on the identical compound, with groups hoping to achieve a pit window between Laps 22 and 28 to then make a cease for mediums as soon as once more.
Usually, the popular transfer is to a different compound to be able to fulfill the need to run two various kinds of tyre as early as doable (and we’ll discover that choice afterward) however the medium is one of the best race tyre after which the tender is an effective choice late within the race. Using the tender earlier – when the automobile is on greater gas – is deemed a threat as a result of it comes with an elevated probability of graining as a result of decrease grip ranges after Saturday’s rain.
So after going medium-medium, the ultimate stint would happen on the softs and be round 16 laps lengthy, when the tyre must be extra protected in opposition to graining by the lighter gas load and the monitor will probably be rubbered in as a lot as doable.
While it’s quickest, it does go in opposition to what many groups are inclined to favor, and is an aggressive technique, so gained’t essentially be risked by many.
How a few completely different choice for the highest ten?
The two-stopper utilizing two units of medium tyres solely works for groups which have two units of mediums accessible to them of their allocations, and McLaren are one of many groups that don’t have that. So Lando Norris will probably be pressured to make use of all three compounds if he desires to two-stop.
To pull that off, the probably route is to begin on the medium, swap to arduous tyres any time between Lap 16 and 23 after which run till close to Lap 35. From there, the softs can be utilized for the ultimate stint similar to the the quickest technique.
There can also be the choice of attempting to make a one-stop work, staring on the mediums and reaching no less than Lap 25 earlier than switching to the hards and managing them to the tip of the race.
The difficulty with this technique will not be solely tempo – with the arduous tyre probably as much as half a second per lap slower than the medium – but in addition put on, which is why that first stint wants extending, as a result of whereas the arduous tyre won’t degrade an excessive amount of, it’ll put on down over quite a few laps.
Those who additionally go for that one-stopper would at all times have the choice of becoming a set of softs late on if the degradation or put on ranges proved to be too excessive and have been costing them important lap time.
What are the choices for the underside half of the sector?
There’s one other variation on the two-stopper that groups can take a look at, with everybody besides AlphaTauri (who, like McLaren, solely have one set of mediums and one set of hards left) in a position to begin on the mediums however then swap to the arduous tyre for a brief center stint.
The purpose they might select that is if they’re anxious in regards to the graining on the tender compound, and need to keep away from it. In that case, they might look to hold out a primary stint of round 18 laps – however probably longer – earlier than switching to arduous tyres for a second part of the race that might be as brief as 10 laps.
That brief stint could be to restrict the quantity of lap time misplaced on that tyre, earlier than then returning to the medium for the ultimate run to the flag. This may show to be a most popular technique for a lot of within the prime ten, too, as a result of it’s a extra conservative method that additionally supplies flexibility within the center stint.
Wait, however what’s the climate doing?
It wouldn’t be the British Grand Prix with out some rain in some unspecified time in the future within the weekend, and this 12 months isn’t any completely different. Saturday’s qualifying session solely noticed intermediate tyres used, and the grip stage lowered.
There’s additionally an honest probability of rain firstly of the race and all through the primary half – that might imply there’s a bathe that groups need to cope with, or they might be confronted with a moist monitor from the beginning.
In the latter case, if there’s a drying monitor then the crossover level turns into a vital issue. That’s the second at which groups need to swap from intermediates to slicks, and getting this unsuitable by only one lap can lose you an enormous chunk of time in comparison with anybody who calls it proper.
The excellent news for the groups is that the moist climate operating they acquired throughout FP1 allowed them to work out the crossover level, and it’s wish to be across the 1m38s mark. So if the monitor is moist however the rain has stopped, as soon as lap occasions drop beneath 1m40s get able to see motion within the pit lane as everybody will need to be first onto the slicks, however no one will need to be too early.
Even if it’s dry, comparatively low temperatures as soon as once more – no greater than 20C – will imply the tougher tyre compound is hard to warm-up and get into its ultimate working window, so that might additionally push groups in direction of attempting to finish as a lot of the race on mediums as doable.
There are additionally some fairly sturdy gusts of wind forecast which, as we noticed in Barcelona, can result in errors that may shake-up the operating order. As is commonly the case with the British climate, this one is trying removed from simple.