DANIEL RICCIARDO CLAIMS POLE POSITION ON HYPERSOFT 1.5 SECONDS FASTER THAN 2017 BENCHMARK
THE TOP SIX ON THE GRID WILL START ON ULTRASOFT AFTER SETTING FASTEST TIMES WITH THEM IN Q2
A TWO-STOPPER SET TO BE THE QUICKEST STRATEGY FOR THE RACE TOMORROW, WITH WARMER WEATHER EXPECTED
Red Bull Racing continued its clean sweep of the free practice sessions in Mexico by claiming pole in cool conditions on the hypersoft with Daniel Ricciardo. The top six on the grid set their fastest times in Q2 on ultrasoft, which will be their start tyres for tomorrow’s race. The ultrasoft benefits from greater durability compared to the hypersoft, which has shown extra pace but also high degradation, so should allow a longer first stint. However, tomorrow’s 71-lap race looks set to be held in very different conditions to today, with warmer weather expected. A two-stopper is theoretically the quickest strategy, but a one-stop is possible as well with a high degree of tyre management.
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING “With damp conditions earlier today, the circuit effectively reset itself, providing a new challenge. The key strategic element was the tyre choice for Q2, determining the start tyres for tomorrow. With no real advantage in starting on the hypersoft, given the expected levels of degradation, the top six drivers all qualified on the ultrasoft. A wide mixture of strategies are available for the race, with a two-stopper fastest but a onestopper just about possible too, if the hypersoft is carefully managed. Nonetheless, with the variable conditions we have seen so far posing a few open questions, it could be helpful to keep the strategy plans flexible. All three compounds have a role to play; it was interesting to see the supersoft even in Q2, as two drivers tried to see if they could qualify on it in the top 10.”
HOW THE TYRES BEHAVED TODAY
Used in Q2 by Force India and key to all the possible strategies. The choice for six drivers in Q2, just over 0.5s slower than hypersoft. The quickest but most degrading tyre here, needs to be managed in the race.
FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES
QUALIFYING TOP 10
MOST LAPS BY COMPOUND SO FAR
BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR
DRIVER TIME COMPOUND
Verstappen 1m16.284s HYPERSOFT NEW
Hamilton 1m16.538s HYPERSOFT NEW
Vettel 1m16.566s HYPERSOFT NEW
DRIVER TIME COMPOUND