Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have explained why nobody used the medium tyre in Q2 for the Spanish Grand Prix.
Whilst it is common for Mercedes and Red Bull to utilise the medium during qualifying, both teams moved away from the usual tactics and decided to use the softs on this occasion. Hamilton – who took the 100th pole position of his career – has given insight into the reasons behind this.
“It’s 600m down to Turn One, so six metres difference between the tyres,” the Briton told RacingNews365.com and other select media.
“So, it’s less… there’s no advantage, especially if you do happen to get the medium in position and the car behind is on a soft, for example, and they box, they pull you in anyway, so you don’t have the benefit and you’ve just given up extra opportunities, so that’s generally why.”
Second-placed Verstappen also commented on the change of tactics.
“I think we could have easily qualified on it but I don’t think it was necessary to do so,” the Red Bull driver said of the medium tyre.
Meanwhile Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas – who will start the race from third on the grid – explained that the lack of overtaking opportunities at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya was an additional influencing factor in the tyre choice.
“I think here the track position is pretty important so just don’t want to lose any ground at the race start. I think that’s the main thing,” the Finn said.
Hamilton also explained why he opted to run a set of scrubbed soft tyres in Q2, meaning these will be the tyres that he starts the race on.
“There’s no real logic to it. It’s simply that I didn’t do a good enough job in Q1 on the medium tyre,” the seven-times world champion admitted.
“They said that I was on the edge, so I had to go out on the soft tyre which I wasn’t planning to do.
“I think we did an out lap and came in and then we started on a new tyre for the first run and then went onto the one lap scrubbed second tyre and it was quicker, so I just finished the lap and that’s the tyre I was on.
“So it’s basically got a lap more than everyone else.”