Pirelli says that the fastest way to complete Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix is by running a one-stop race, which will be made easier by starting on the yellow-walled soft compound.
Pirelli's longer lasting tyres in 2018 have seen teams being able to manage their tyres and extend their stints long into the race. Most of the races throughout the season have seen one-stop races emerge as the winning strategy.
The Italian marque has brought the medium, soft and super soft compounds to Suzuka for the weekend. It says that a soft/medium approach will be the optimum strategy, making the switch on lap 25 of the race, while a medium/soft would work just as well.
At the front of the grid, both Mercedes will start the race on the soft tyre from the front row. This will allow them to run deeper into the race, unlike Ferrari who must start on the red-walled super soft compound as it is the tyre they used to set their fastest laps on in Q2.
Teams starting on the super soft tyre may be able to make it on a one-stop by switching onto the mediums, but they will have a bigger task of saving their tyres to make sure they go the required distance.
Alternatively, drivers starting on the super soft compound could push harder and make it on a two-stop super soft/soft/soft strategy. However this is deemed to be slower. Everyone bar Mercedes and Charles Leclerc starting inside the top ten will start the race on the super soft compound.
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing
Would you like to stay up to date with the latest Lewis Hamilton and Formula 1 news from GPtoday? Activate free push notifications and be the first to know!