Pirelli: One-stop strategy expected for the Abu Dhabi GP

Webber’s 1m39.957s pole lap, the 13th of his career and his second of this season, means that he equals the pole position record for an Australian, established by Jack Brabham.

Pirelli: One-stop strategy expected for the Abu Dhabi GP

Yas Marina – Red Bull’s Mark Webber will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position after qualifying fastest on the P Zero Yellow soft compound, which has been nominated together with the P Zero White medium this weekend.

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, Mark Webber, Red Bull Racing and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP

Photo by: XPB Images

Qualifying was held as usual in the afternoon and evening, with Q1 starting in daylight and Q3 finishing in darkness, under the lights. Webber’s 1m39.957s pole lap, the 13th of his career and his second of this season, means that he equals the pole position record for an Australian, established by Jack Brabham. With Sebastian Vettel qualifying second, this was the fourth Red Bull one-two of the season.

With up to a second and a half lap time difference between the two compounds, strategy was an important consideration right from the start of Q1. The majority of the drivers started on the medium compound, but both Red Bull drivers were straight out on the soft tyres, and did not use the medium at all during qualifying.

This then prompted the rest of the field to switch to the soft compound for the rest of Q1, with Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton going quickest in the closing seconds.

The top 16 drivers, who went through to Q2, were covered by just six-tenths of a second. They all used soft tyres throughout the session, at the end of which Mercedes was again quickest: this time with Nico Rosberg leading Hamilton.

The final top 10 all started Q3 on soft tyres. Webber set his pole lap right at the end of the session, with track temperature stabilising at 34 degrees. His time was more than half a second faster than last year’s pole from Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull also finished one-two in the final free practice session, during which all the drivers used both tyre compounds. Vettel led Webber, concluding the session with a qualifying simulation.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Two key factors shaped the strategy during qualifying: the big lap time difference between the two compounds and the high degree of track evolution, which meant that the fastest times were usually set at the end of each session once the most rubber had been laid down on the surface. As an extra factor, track temperature was consistently falling with the sun going down during qualifying, which adds another challenge from a tyre engineering perspective.

We’re expecting a one-stop race tomorrow for most drivers, but some may try something different. With the wear and degradation rates that we can see so far, the options are open. While the soft tyre has a significant performance advantage, it’s also capable of consistent performance over a longer run. We’ve got the same tyre nomination as India but the situation at this race is a lot less clear-cut, which means that strategy can make a real difference tomorrow.”

The Pirelli mystery strategy predictor:

One stop is theoretically the quickest approach to the 56-lap Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, irrespective of starting on the soft or the medium compound. So, if starting on the soft, we would expect drivers to change to the medium on lap 12 and then go to the end. Or if starting on the medium, change to the soft on lap 43 and then go to the end.

The optimal two-stop strategy is: start on the soft, change to the medium on lap nine, and a final stint on the medium from lap 32.

Pirelli Motorsport

shares
comments
Abu Dhabi GP - Fourth row for Massa, sixth for Alonso

Previous article

Abu Dhabi GP - Fourth row for Massa, sixth for Alonso

Next article

Disappointing qualifying for McLaren at Abu Dhabi

Disappointing qualifying for McLaren at Abu Dhabi
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Prime

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers Prime

How F1’s pole winner approach undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Turkish Grand Prix driver ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory Prime

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for Turkey glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Prime

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021