Pirelli have predicted a mix of two and three stop strategies for this weekends Canadian Grand Prix, but they admit that a more realistic look at potential stop numbers can only really be seen after Friday practice.
Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director, is expecting an “unpredictable” race due to the high demands put through the tyres. He cited that for the “heavy braking and traction demands of the circuit.” Hembery added: “Coupled with a high degree of track evolution over the weekend, effective tyre management has always been a key to success in Montreal, right from when the circuit was inaugurated in the late 1970s.”
He also predicted the amount of stops per car during the race, but admitted that things could change: “We’d expect two to three pit stops per car, but we’ll only be able to make a precise forecast after Friday once we’ve seen some running out on track.”
Hembery also feels that weather could come into play, as it usually does in Canada. He said “It’s a circuit where weather conditions often play a key role: our very first Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 actually turned out to be the longest race in Formula One history because of heavy rain and a subsequent race stoppage.”
He then revealed the two differing strategies that teams could go for, the “sprint” to the flag with three stops or the “endurance” race by pitting fewer times. This will create “a number of different strategies” according to Hembery, like last year which saw Hamilton’s sprint strategy propel him victory.
Concluding his preview of the Canadian Grand Prix, he said “Often a flexible approach works best in Canada, so we can also expect many teams to be leaving their options open, allowing the drivers to really make the difference when it counts.”
Pirelli also expect a few pauses during the race due to safety car periods, revealing “Along with Singapore, Korea and Monaco, Canada has a very high safety car probability. This is one of the reasons why a flexible strategy often pays dividends there. A safety car can change the complexion of a race entirely – and while this wasn’t the case in Monaco two weeks ago, in Canada there are many more opportunities for overtaking.”
The Italian firm will bring the red-banded supersoft and the white medium compound to Canada along with two sets of “concept” tyres per car to be tested during Friday practice.
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media.