15
June
2015
|
11:30
Europe/Amsterdam

Austrian Grand Prix Preview: Red Bull Ring, June 18-21, 2015

SOFT AND SUPERSOFT FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE RACE: RED BULL RING OFFERS LOW GRIP, TEAMS RUN HIGH DOWNFORCE

TYRE DEMANDS ON THE AUSTRIAN CIRCUIT ARE CONTAINED: A TWO-STOPPER WAS WINNING 2014 STRATEGY IN HOT CONDITIONS

SMALL PERFORMANCE GAP BETWEEN THE TWO COMPOUNDS SHOULD LEAD TO STRATEGY VARIATIONS

For the third race in succession, the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft tyres have been nominated. The demands on the tyres are relatively low, with two straights and reasonably slow corners. The Austrian Grand Prix reappeared on the Formula One calendar for the first time in 11 seasons last year, meaning that the teams will now be able to use the data from 2014 when it comes to formulating the optimal strategy. After the Austrian Grand Prix, the final two-day in-season test of the year will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Austria ends the run of soft and supersoft nominations that we see towards the middle of the season, on quite a diverse variety of tracks. The tyre strategy will depend on some extent to the weather: if it is warm we are more likely to see two stops, whereas if it’s cool the balance might shift towards a one-stopper. Rain is also a distinct possibility in Styria at this time of year, as we saw during free practice last season, so the teams will basically have to be prepared for everything. This year, the drivers head to the Red Bull Ring with real data about the track for the first time, which will help them find the most efficient way to use the tyres. Obviously our aim is always to have between two and three stops at every race, so this is something that we will monitor carefully in future when it comes to nominations: we do have the possibility to make some minor changes if required. We’re only expecting a small time gap between the two compounds in Austria, so this opens up a number of different possibilities as to how to run the race strategy.” The biggest challenges for the tyres: The surface at the Red Bull Ring is low grip and low abrasion, with the track getting progressively quicker as the weekend goes on. Even though the asphalt is new, the track is quite bumpy in places, which makes it difficult to find consistent grip. Gaining traction out of the corners is a particularly important aspect of the Red Bull Ring, as there are a number of slow corners leading onto faster straights. A neat approach to finding the apex, in order to get onto the power afterwards as quickly as possible without spinning the wheels, is vital to maximise tyre life. The supersoft tyre is a low working range compound, capable of achieving optimal performance even at low temperatures. The soft tyre is a high working range compound, suitable for higher temperatures and more strenuous track conditions. Both warm and cool conditions are possible in Austria. The Spielberg circuit runs in a clockwise direction, but there are two very significant corners (turns 5 and 6) that place considerable stress on the tyres on the right-hand side of the car. Last year’s strategy and how the race was won: Most drivers did a two-stopper last year, although three managed a one-stop. Race winner Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) started on the supersoft, changed to the soft on lap 11, then to the soft again on lap 40. His strategy allowed him to win even though he started from third on the grid. Expected performance gap between the two compounds: 0.7 - 0.9 seconds per lap. The Pirelli team choose their race numbers: #9, Luigi de Candia (Information Technology) “I don’t think I have much in common with Marcus Ericsson, but I would still choose number 9. It’s the number I played football with when I was younger, and I’ve always liked it ever since.” Who we’re following on Twitter this week: @ayrtonsenna. The three-time champion has been gone for more than 20 years – but he still has an official Twitter account. As well as news about the Ayrton Senna foundation, this is a remarkable online resource for Senna videos and photographs: many of which are extremely rare. The tyre choices so far this year:

  P Zero Red P Zero Yellow P Zero White P Zero Orange
Australia   Soft Medium  
Malaysia     Medium Hard
China   Soft Medium  
Bahrain   Soft Medium  
Spain     Medium Hard
Monaco Supersoft Soft    
Canada Supersoft Soft    
Austria Supersoft Soft