Pirelli: Bahrain GP Preview

Bahrain features a twilight start and a finish under lights. Teams have now experienced the new tyre regulations, so may have more ideas as to how to get the best out of them. The three nominated compounds (medium, soft and supersoft) are the same as those for Australia.

THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW:

  • The 18:00 start time means that track temperatures fall dramatically as the race goes on.
  • The granite-based asphalt is rough and abrasive, which increases tyre wear.
  • Sand can often blow onto the surface from the surrounding desert, affecting grip.
  • There are a number of slow corners where good traction is crucial, so the track is rear-limited.
  • At the same time, there are four fast straights, so a versatile compromise set-up is required.
  • Safety cars rarely affect strategy: there have only been two in the 12-year history of the race.

THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:

  • White medium: a low working range compound that is one of the most versatile in the range.
  • Yellow soft: a high working range compound with the accent on performance.
  • Red supersoft: a low working range compound that is rapid but with a limited overall life.

HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:

  • Winner: Hamilton (two stops: started on soft, changed to soft on lap 15, medium on lap 33).
  • Best-placed alternative strategy: Raikkonen, second (also stopping twice, but starting on soft, changing to medium on lap 17, then soft on lap 40).        
  • There were a mixture of two and three-stoppers. Vettel was fifth, with an unscheduled three-stopper (final stop to replace a nosecone and take on new tyres)    

SELECTED SETS PER DRIVER:

The FIA has communicated to Pirelli each team’s tyre choices for the forthcoming Bahrain Grand Prix.

BY COURTESY OF PIRELLI