Tyres, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Big variation in team’s tyre choices for Spanish Grand Prix

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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Formula One teams’ tyre selections for the Spanish Grand Prix reveals a wide variation in approaches to the race weekend.

World championship leader Lewis Hamilton and team mate Valtteri Bottas have chosen the smallest number of sets of the softest available tyres, the super-soft. The Mercedes pair have selected five sets each while their Ferrari rivals will had an additional two sets each.

Williams has by far the most aggressive selection with 10 sets of super-softs for Sergey Sirotkin and nine for Lance Stroll.

The race at the Circuit de Catalunya will be the first time this year teams get to race on tyres they selected after testing their new cars.

2018 Spanish Grand Prix tyre selections

DriverTeamTyres
Lewis HamiltonMercedesMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Valtteri BottasMercedesMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Sebastian VettelFerrariMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Kimi RaikkonenFerrariMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Daniel RicciardoRed BullMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Max VerstappenRed BullMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Sergio PerezForce IndiaMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Esteban OconForce IndiaMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Lance StrollWilliamsMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Sergey SirotkinWilliamsMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Carlos Sainz JnrRenaultMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Nico HulkenbergRenaultMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Pierre GaslyToro RossoMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Brendon HartleyToro RossoMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Romain GrosjeanHaasMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Kevin MagnussenHaasMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Marcus EricssonSauberMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre
Charles LeclercSauberMedium tyreMedium tyreMedium tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyreSuper soft tyre

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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Posted on Categories 2018 F1 season, 2018 Spanish Grand Prix, F1 news

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  • 19 comments on “Big variation in team’s tyre choices for Spanish Grand Prix”

    1. hopefully this means we will get some variations in strategy again. the last couple of races have been great for allowing different tyre choices (although both largely as a result of safety cars and top drivers being out of position). oddly, this can only really happen because of the huge gap between the Big 3 and the midfield i.e. not qualifying on options in Q2 in baku.

    2. FlatSix (@)
      1st May 2018, 15:28

      Well, considering Pirelli was so kind to cater for Mercedes,…

      1. What does this even mean ?! It’s the same for everyone @flatsix

          1. @phylyp, what is funny about this is that Pirelli have made exactly the same change at multiple different venues for at least the past six years – we know they were doing it back in 2012 – but curiously nobody seems to have claimed that Pirelli was trying to favour a particular team when they’ve made those same changes over the past six years.

            Similarly, if we were to take the logic that @flatsix has taken, then you could equally conclude that Pirelli’s tyre selection choices during the 2017 season arguably tended to favour Ferrari over Mercedes – I note that he didn’t complain about those decisions last year though.

            1. I agree, anon. I’m pretty sure Pirelli is making this change for technical reasons, not because Mercedes asked. There’s little reason to favour one of the top F1 teams over another.

              Of course, with such a change, different teams might benefit to different extents (or even lose out), so it becomes easy rumour fodder to spin a particular narrative.

            2. I remember people saying that the changes in tyres were made to appease RB not so long ago.

              Never understood why they did these changes mid-season, but I don’t understand Pirrelli in many regards…

        1. As were the wind condintions in Baku. *ba dum tss*

          I think @flatsix is referring to a modification of the tyre construction introduced by Pirelli for certain tracks, including Barcelona, which might be related to excessive rear axle graining on the Mercedes during testing.
          But still, it’s the same for everyone, and apart from a cheap jab against Mercedes, I have no idea where he’s going with his comment. Sometimes an ellipsis can stand for “I have no idea how to continue”.

      2. Given that this change is going to have the effect of reducing tire temperature because there is less rubber, and given that Mercedes have been suffering in cooler conditions with tire warm-up, i’d say this change could affect them negatively, more so than anyone else.

        But whatever makes you feel better.

      3. FlatSix (@)
        2nd May 2018, 14:52

        @keithcollantine I don’t know why but I didn’t get any of the above mentions in my ‘inbox’.

        @phylyp, @johnmilk and I guess Anon; I actually did complain last year as I don’t support any mid-season changes whatsoever. That being said, there are interviews from no less than three different teams saying the change was not needed. A change like this has to be approved by a 70% majority, which cannot be achieved if already three teams don’t agree. So the tactic of Pirelli suddenly is claiming it’s for safety, even after three teams already said it was of no concern.

        Now, I’m no fan of conspiracy theories and tin foil “hattery”, but I do find this rather unfair, as I often do find most mid-season changes.

        1. @flatsix – I fully agree with you about mid-season changes that end up moving the goalposts, particularly without any publicly available indication that there is a real safety concern. In that respect, I’m happy that the FIA have deferred further action on blown exhausts to 2019.

          Something that has occurred to me just now is that Pirelli were notorious in recent years for blaming nearly every blowout on debris, so for them to now suddenly raise a safety concern is intriguing, but it still raises the question of motivation – why would the sole supplier want to benefit one team over the rest of the field.

    3. Question ….
      What are the two tyres that the rules require the teams to run during the race.?
      If one of the types they MUST run is the Soft, then Williams could be setting themselves up for a problem. Flat spot, debris in qualifying or an off-spec example and they would be without a set of required rubber.

      1. They need to use 2 different tyres, the team can decide what of them they want to use.

      2. In any case, seeing that they haven’t made Q3 this year, that is a lot of SS they are unlikely to use.

    4. They have to keep one set of medium and soft available for the Q+race. Basically they can’t run with soft tyres in free practice at all.

    5. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      2nd May 2018, 13:33

      SuperSofts in Barcelona… I foresee many pitstops.
      Should be interesting to see what the teams do strategy-wise.

      1. digitalrurouni
        2nd May 2018, 15:03

        I believe the track has been resurfaced so considerably less abrasive than before. So I don’t foresee much tire wear.

    6. When did the teams have to nominate their tyre compounds for the Spanish GP? Was it before or after the pre-season testing? I’m wondering just how much knowledge they had when making that decision – if it was after the testing then they’d have the best information for this circuit.

      1. ADUB SMALLBLOCK
        2nd May 2018, 21:47

        Yes, this is the first race that the teams had testing data available to help in their tire choices.

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