2016 British Grand Prix, Qualifying
HAMILTON’S POLE TIME BREAKS THE ABSOLUTE RECORD
FOR THIS TRACK CONFIGURATION
COOL TEMPERATURES FOR QUALIFYING
AFTER A DAMP START TO THE DAY
TWO STOPS SET TO BE THE FAVOURED RACE STRATEGY
Silverstone, July 9, 2016 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has taken another pole position on home territory, using the soft tyre to set a time that was the fastest ever seen on the current 5.891-kilometre Silverstone configuration.
Conditions were cool and overcast for qualifying, with ambient and track temperatures that reached only 22 and 27 degrees centigrade. During free practice in the morning there was some light rain, with both Cinturato intermediates and full wets seen on a damp track, which eventually dried enough for slicks to be used.
The soft tyre was used right from the beginning of Q1 for nearly all the drivers: the softest compound available, seen for the first time at the high-energy Silverstone circuit.
A two-stop strategy is set to be the optimal choice for the race tomorrow if conditions remain dry – which is far from guaranteed, using the soft and the medium tyre. As is often the case, there are also other strategy permutations that could help to boost track position.
Hamilton already broke the absolute lap record at the end of Q2 on the soft tyre, which is the compound that the top 10 will all start with tomorrow. He wasn’t quite as quick in the final Q3 shoot-out, setting a pole time of 1m29.287, which was still a full three seconds faster than last year’s equivalent.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “A day of mixed conditions again, which is typical of Silverstone and could well be the case again tomorrow. This is why the data gathered in all these different conditions up to now is likely to be very useful. We’ve seen some absolutely stunning pace with the soft compound in particular, while the medium looks like it’s going to be the favoured race tyre, using a two-stop strategy.”
How the tyres behaved today:
Hard: only used in the first part of Q1 by Force India, not seen for the rest of qualifying.
Medium: Seen in FP3 and hardly at all in qualifying, but will be the favoured race tyre.
Soft: the most popular choice in qualifying used from start to finish by almost everybody.
Possible race strategies and maximum laps:
Pirelli recommends that the following numbers of laps are not exceeded on each compound:
Hard* = 26 laps
Medium = 28 laps
Soft = 15 laps
*The hard compound experienced some graining, which is why the useful life of this tyre is predicted to be less than that of the medium.
On this basis, the optimal pit-stop strategies predicted by Pirelli are as follows:
Two-stopper: two stints on soft of 12 laps each + one 28-lap stint on medium
Three-stopper: three stints on soft of 12 laps each + one 16-lap stint on medium
Two-stopper: one 12-lap stint on soft + one 14-lap stint on new soft + one 26-lap stint on hard
Two-stopper: one stint on soft of 12 laps + two 20-lap stints on medium
Different permutations of compound usage within each strategy are possible.
These indications do not represent or constitute a guaranteed minimum number of laps for each compound. It is the responsibility of each team to define its own race strategies based on its own wear data.
Free practice 3 – top three times
Qualifying top 10
Most laps by compound so far
Best time by compound so far