Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2019

Mercedes take most conservative Belgian GP tyre selection

2019 Belgian Grand Prix

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Mercedes have chosen two fewer sets of the softest tyres available for the Belgian Grand Prix than their closest rivals have done.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will each have eight sets of the soft compounds tyres for the first race after Formula 1’s summer break. Their rivals at Ferrari and Red Bull will have two more, while the Mercedes pair have twice as many sets of the medium compound tyre.

Lando Norris is the only other driver in the field to have matched the Mercedes’ drivers selections.

There is little variation in the tyre selections among the field for the Spa-Francorchamps race. The only driver to have chosen more than the single mandatory set of the hard compound tyre is George Russell, who will have two sets.

2019 Belgian Grand Prix tyre selections

Driver Team Hard (C1) Medium (C2) Soft (C3)
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1 4 8
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1 4 8
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1 2 10
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1 2 10
Max Verstappen Red Bull 1 2 10
Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1 2 10
Daniel Riccairdo Renault 1 2 10
Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1 2 10
Kevin Magnussen Haas 1 2 10
Romain Grosjean Haas 1 2 10
Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren 1 3 9
Lando Norris McLaren 1 4 8
Sergio Perez Racing Point 1 3 9
Lance Stroll Racing Point 1 3 9
Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1 3 9
Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1 3 9
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1 3 9
Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 1 3 9
George Russell Williams 2 2 9
Robert Kubica Williams 1 3 9

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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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14 comments on “Mercedes take most conservative Belgian GP tyre selection”

  1. There is little variation in the tyre selections among the field

    Not only is there little variation in the field, but it seems like most teams have eschewed getting one more of a compound for one of their drivers (e.g. 2 sets for one driver, 1 set for the other), so they can just test out that tyre, gather data and still have a fresh set for both drivers come race day.

    McLaren and Williams are the only ones who’ve done this, on opposite ends of the compound spectrum.

  2. that’s not a conservative tyre choice, that is the right tyre choice

    1. Depends a lot on weather, if its hot then Mercs have probably the best selection to adjust them to 2 stop race. If its cold and 1 stop strategy then it wont make much of a difference.

  3. What a waste, all these sets of soft tyres only to prepare and use for the qualifying (top teams) or to get rid of them during the race asap (other teams).

    1. It’s not a waste, @matthijs.
      (if dry) they will race most on the Soft and find a convenient time to move to the Mediums (or reverse).
      Last year most drivers only used the Softs (C3) and an even softer (Super Soft) tyre and could easily run half the race with either of them.

      1. @coldfly I mean it’s more a waste economically or ecologically. Almost all soft tyre sets are discarded after a handful of laps.

        1. @matthijs – The tyres are recycled, so the ecological impact is minimized. Economically – yes there is an expense, but this is F1! The pinnacle of ̶m̶o̶t̶o̶r̶s̶p̶o̶r̶t̶ profligate spending! :)

          Tire research and development is done at company headquarters in Milan, Italy. Final tire construction in done in Izmit, Turkey. Recycling is done in England.

          After the race, whether the tires are used or not, they are sent back to the U.K. for recycling.

          Source: https://www.thestar.com/autos/2019/06/21/pirelli-uses-formula-one-racing-as-road-tire-laboratory.html

          1. @phylyp Didn’t know they were recycled, thanks for the info.

  4. Only George Russell has chosen an extra hard tyre, and almost half of the grid has only chosen an extra medium. I’d say Pirelli should’ve gone a step softer in their tyre allocation.

    1. @warheart The tyre selection is havily biased to qualifying performance, so the vast majority of tyres are always the softest available.

      1. @warheart is referring to the compound range Pirelli will bring to the track. C1 to C3 is the hardest possible pre-selection, corresponding to Hard-Medium-Soft in last year’s nomenclature. Which is odd, because I believe they had the Ultrasoft (C4) in their selection at least once a few years ago. The fact that most teams have selected almost exclusively the softest available compound seems to confirm that Pirelli may have gone a step too hard for the teams’ liking.

  5. Their aint that many slow corners that you need the soft tyre get through quickly (may be 3 or 4)

    1. The tyres are more important than the car. It csm make or brake the race. I think it’s not racing. It is…Wacky racing. As much as I hate Bernie, I think he was doing a better job to steer the circus.

    2. But there’s a ton of medium to high speed corners where softer tyres equal considerably higher cornering speeds.

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