Verstappen explains why he didn't try contra-tyre strategy

Max Verstappen opted against a contra strategy in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix as he feels the soft tyre will hold up fine for the opening race stint.

Verstappen explains why he didn't try contra-tyre strategy

Verstappen took a surprise victory last weekend at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas after perfecting his tyre strategy.

Verstappen qualified on the hard tyre and was able to push for a long first stint, while both Hamilton and Bottas struggled after starting on mediums, with their hard stints then being blighted by blistering.

Tyre management is expected to be important once again in Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix due to high track temperatures, which neared 50ºC during qualifying.

But Red Bull opted to qualify Verstappen on the soft compound tyre, matching the Mercedes drivers' strategy as he took third place on the grid behind Hamilton and Bottas.

Asked by Motorsport.com why he opted against the contra strategy, Verstappen said the soft had been holding up well enough to complete the first stint of the race.

"I think the soft tyre is good enough to start the race on," Verstappen said. "Normally the softest compound is a bit more tricky, as it falls apart quite quickly.

"I think it's alright at the track here."

Read Also:

Verstappen joked after the session that it felt like he had a "subscription" to third place after struggling to fight with the Mercedes drivers right the way through the race weekend.

The Dutchman was more upbeat about his chances in the race, citing Red Bull's strong long run pace through Friday practice.

"I felt very happy in the long run yesterday, with the balance of the car and the rear, the tyres as well," Verstappen said.

"Tomorrow again is a new day. We'll have to try and show it again.

"Of course I hope that I can be close to them and put the pressure on."

Alexander Albon qualified sixth in the sister Red Bull car, and said that while the soft tyres were "not terrible" and showing no signs of blistering, he anticipated a slow start to the race as drivers tried to make a one-stop strategy work.

"In traffic at the start of the race, I think it's going to be pretty processional with guys trying to extend stints," Albon said.

"There's a good chance there's going to be split strategies tomorrow as well, one-stops and two-stops. I think it depends how good your tyres were on Friday as well. We'll have to see how it goes and adapt to everyone else.

"It's kind of just like in Silverstone, maybe where we missed out where we came out in traffic, you've got to find those spots to choose where you pit under.

"With these DRS trains, it's so hard to overtake once there's a group of cars in front."

 
shares
comments

Related video

Mercedes duo can't explain failure to improve in second Q3 run
Previous article

Mercedes duo can't explain failure to improve in second Q3 run

Next article

Wolff: Verstappen must be seen as favourite for race

Wolff: Verstappen must be seen as favourite for race
Load comments
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads Prime

Why de Vries' FP1 outing could add a new path to his current crossroads

A Formula 2 and Formula E champion, Nyck de Vries is currently considering where his future in motorsport lies. Continuing in WEC and Formula E is possible and he's also courted glances Stateside after impressing in an IndyCar test. But ahead of his Formula 1 FP1 debut with Williams, he could have another option if he impresses...

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history Prime

Why Leclerc's crash shouldn't put off F1 drivers tasting history

OPINION: For a demo run ahead of Monaco's Historique Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was blessed with the opportunity to drive Niki Lauda's former Ferrari 312B3 - but a brake failure at Rascasse suggested Leclerc's Monaco hoodoo transcended contemporary F1. Although an awkward incident, Leclerc deserves credit for embracing F1's history.

Formula 1
May 18, 2022
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

Formula 1
May 17, 2022
The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022