Tyres, Albert Park, 2019

McLaren pick softest tyre selection for China

2019 Chinese Grand Prix

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McLaren has chosen the softest selection of tyres for next week’s Chinese Grand Prix.

As in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix teams had the choice of C2 (hard), C3 (medium) and C4 (soft) tyre compounds.

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz Jnr will each have nine sets of the soft tyres, at least one more than any other driver in the field.

Ferrari is among the teams which have chosen the fewest sets of soft tyres, with seven for each of their drivers. It has chosen more sets of the medium tyre for its drivers than championship leaders Mercedes.

Red Bull, who struggled on the C3 compound in Bahrain where it was the medium tyre, have chosen four sets of it for Pierre Gasly and three for Max Verstappen.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix tyre selections

DriverTeamHard (C2)Medium (C3)Soft (C4)
Lewis HamiltonMercedes148
Valtteri BottasMercedes238
Sebastian VettelFerrari247
Charles LeclercFerrari157
Max VerstappenRed Bull238
Pierre GaslyRed Bull247
Daniel RiccairdoRenault148
Nico HulkenbergRenault238
Kevin MagnussenHaas238
Romain GrosjeanHaas148
Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren229
Lando NorrisMcLaren229
Sergio PerezRacing Point238
Lance StrollRacing Point238
Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo238
Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo328
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso238
Alexander AlbonToro Rosso238
George RussellWilliams157
Robert KubicaWilliams247

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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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4 comments on “McLaren pick softest tyre selection for China”

  1. Looks likely to be a two-stop aswell… great!

  2. When were these choices made? Any chance Red Bull are already assuming Gasly won’t make it to Q3, and therefore would be better equipped with another set of Mediums over Verstappen?

    1. When were these choices made?

      8 weeks ahead of the event for European races, 14 weeks for flyaway races. Looks like this tyre selection was made in 2018.

      Any chance Red Bull are already assuming Gasly won’t make it to Q3, and therefore would be better equipped with another set of Mediums over Verstappen?

      Regardless of whether Red Bull were expecting him to struggle in qualifying, I’d say there is no chance of that. Firstly, it makes very little sense to give a driver you’re expecting to struggle in qualifying fewer sets of the softest compound. In fact, it’s the opposite that makes sense: If you’re expecting your driver to be easily quick enough to reach Q3, a single set of tyres for Q2 may be enough, and you can opt for another set of medium tyres instead, to have more options in the race.
      However, if you expect your driver to be eliminated in Q2, there is no point in giving him a single set of tyres for that session, as he’s more likely to need at least a second attempt to achieve the best grid position he can.
      Secondly, the fact that Red Bull have a slightly different tyre selection for each of their drivers is hardly unusual: 7 teams out of 10 use the same approach, the only exceptions being McLaren, Racing Point, and Toro Rosso. The only thing this difference indicates, is the fact that these teams are planning to let their drivers run slightly different programmes in Free Practice to compare how the tyres perform.
      The only unusual aspect in Red Bull’s tyre selection is the fact that this difference affects the softest compounds instead of the hardest. This might indicate that Red Bull think that the C4 compound could be a viable option after the opening stint in the race. But that’s rather speculative.

  3. Strange selecting 2 hard compounds. Unless where teams have done that, they’ll use one driver to run them in FP2 and see what they’re like, just in case they’re needed on race day.

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