2016 Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying

LEWIS HAMILTON CLAIMS POLE ON P ZERO YELLOW SOFT

PERFORMANCE GAP OF MORE THAN A SECOND BETWEEN MEDIUM AND SOFT TYRE

MIXTURE OF TWO AND THREE STOP STRATEGIES EXPECTED

Montmelò, May 14, 2016 – Lewis Hamilton has claimed his third pole position of the season, on the circuit that places the most demands on the tyres seen so far this year. Hamilton set his time on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, which has been nominated together with the P Zero White medium and P Zero Orange hard this weekend. Only Force India used anything other than the soft tyre in qualifying, with Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez on the hard tyre at the start of Q1.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “There’s certainly been plenty to talk about from qualifying. Pole here was more than 2.6 seconds faster than last year, which confirms the pattern that we have seen in every session so far this year in Barcelona. That sets us up for an entertaining battle tomorrow, where strategy will definitely play an important part. We would expect most drivers to go for a two-stop strategy tomorrow although there will be some who are likely to try a three-stopper.”

How the tyres behaved today:
Hard: only used by Force India in qualifying but seen in free practice.
Medium: a strong race tyre, used by Mercedes for the majority of free practice.
Soft: the default choice for qualifying, with a notable performance advantage.

Race strategy: A three-stopper is theoretically the quickest way for the 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix, but that leaves drivers trying this strategy having to pass those who stopped only twice towards the end of the race. In practice, most drivers will go for the fastest two-stopper: start on soft, soft again on lap 20, then medium on lap 40. Those trying a three-stopper are likely to start on soft, stop for soft again on laps 16 and 33, then medium from lap 49.

FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP THREE TIMES

Rosberg 1m23.078s Soft new
Hamilton 1m23.204s Soft new
Vettel 1m23.225s Soft new

QUALIFYING TOP 10

Hamilton 1m22.000s Soft new
Rosberg 1m22.280s Soft new
Ricciardo 1m22.680s Soft new
Verstappen 1m23.087s Soft new
Raikkonen 1m23.113s Soft new
Vettel 1m23.334s Soft new
Bottas 1m23.522s Soft new
Sainz 1m23.643s Soft new
Perez 1m23.782s Soft new
Alonso  1m23.981s  Soft new

LONGEST STINT SO FAR

Hard Sainz 17 laps
Medium Wehrlein 23
Soft Rosberg 17

BEST TIME BY COMPOUND SO FAR

Hard Ricciardo 1m23.405s
Medium Vettel 1m24.187s
Soft Hamilton 1m22.000s