Hembery has predicted that the race will feature a mix of two or three stop strategies, but believes a number of factors – including temperatures and the likelihood of a safety car period – could shake up the end result.
Speaking in a statement released by Pirelli after qualifying he said: “Tomorrow we would expect between two to three stops, but a lot will depend on outside factors such as temperature and safety cars. Because of all the opportunities for strategy, this race looks to be wide open.”
He noted thermal degradation as the main challenge for teams and drivers during the 61-lap race: “While it’s not a particularly hard track in terms of wear, thermal degradation can be quite high and the fact that there are no long straights and the highest number of corners of any circuit of the year, does challenge the tyres. The heavy braking that is another characteristic of this track also increases the heat going through the tyres.”
Pirelli believe that a three-stop strategy is the fastest, if the race remains straightforward. However, they believe the majority of teams will go for a two-stopper due to the expected traffic problems and track conditions.
Sebastian Vettel took pole position for the Singapore Grand Prix, edging out Nico Rosberg by just 0.091 seconds. Nine of the 10 drivers that made it through to Q3 set their fastest time on the super-soft, with Esteban Gutierrez failing to set a time and hence giving him free choice of compounds for the race.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic