Pirelli: One or two stops likely due to minimum degradation

Pirelli technicians at work in Montreal

Pirelli technicians at work in Montreal

Despite the heavy traction and braking demands of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Canada, the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres that have been nominated for this weekend show limited wear and very little degradation. On the supersoft, there was a very small amount of graining. Between one and two pit stops are likely under normal race circumstances.

However, Canada is frequently one of the most unpredictable races of the year, with historically more than a 50% chance of a safety car at some point in proceedings.

A two-stop strategy proved to be the winning choice last year, although in 2013 the medium and supersoft compounds were nominated.

Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso was quickest in the morning session, which was held in cool but dry conditions. In the afternoon, which was hotter, the fastest time was set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Only the soft tyre was used during FP1, with the teams moving onto the supersoft in the warmer conditions of the afternoon, which will be representative of qualifying and the race. So far, there is approximately a 0.6 to 0.8-second difference between the two compounds per lap.

As usual, the teams completed both short and then long runs, assessing their pace with different tyres on varying fuel loads. This information will be used to form the basis of the race strategy: although all tactics will need to be flexible to take into account changing opportunities.

Paul Hembery: “Everything went according to plan today, and the warmer weather we experienced this afternoon looks set to remain for the rest of the weekend or possibly become hotter. We obviously need to look at the data tonight, but the indications we are seeing so far suggest that wear and degradation are extremely contained. In terms of wear, the soft tyre could go for 70 laps here and the supersoft for 25. As for degradation, it is negligible for the soft tyre and less than 0.1 seconds per lap for the supersoft. As a result, we would expect to see between one and two pit stops. If temperatures get hotter that pattern could alter, but we are not expecting any significant differences.”