Ferrari is approaching today’s first sprint qualifying event as if it was the opening stint of a longer race including tomorrow’s grand prix.
“One way to look at it is that if you consider that this is simply the first stint of the race,” said Mekies. “So the way we look at it here is that if you look at sprint qualifying first race and you imagine you have instead of a 300 kilometre race as we normally do, you have a 400 kilometre race, but after the first 100 kilometres it’s like if you have a red flag. Effectively, that’s what it is.
“So that’s a little bit the sort of approach or mode we are trying to get to when we look at the big picture. So it’s with that big picture in mind that we try to ponder our choices and say, look it’s 400 kilometres, there will be a red flag after 100 kilometres, how will we approach it and how much risk do you want to take in each phase of the race?”
Charles Leclerc will line up fourth on the grid for today’s sprint qualifying race, four places ahead of team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. All drivers in the race have a free choice of what tyre to start on and do not need to make a pit stop during the race.
“I don’t think the tyre choice is clear cut,” said Mekies. “I would be surprised if the whole field chooses to do the same thing.
“So there is still a fair bit of assessment on our side to decide where we want to go. Obviously some of it is already conditioned by tyre usage in FP1 some of it we will decide after the FP2 sessions. So it’s between running the soft or running the medium for the sprint qualifying.”
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