Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton takes the pole with Pirelli ultrasoft tire and lowers lap record again in free practice

Two pit stops likely for the race tomorrow; a one stopper is also possible in the case of lower degradation

Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton lowered the lap record again today and took pole on the Pirelli ultrasoft tire, after topping all three practice sessions and breaking the track record yesterday as well.

Weather conditions today remained warm and dry, with ambient temperatures peaking at 95 degrees fahrenheit. Mercedes and Ferrari were the only teams to get through Qualifying 1 using the Pirelli supersoft tire only, with the ultrasoft tire then used by all drivers for the rest of qualifying – with just one exception.

Several drivers face grid penalties as the season closes, and this influenced tire strategy. Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg qualified in the top 10 in Qualifying 1 but did not elect to take part in Qualifying 2 to save tires for the race, as he has a big grid penalty already. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen is also affected by a grid penalty and was the only driver to run on supersoft tires in Qualifying 2 – he will start the race on these tires tomorrow.

MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF CAR RACING
“The tires behaved in line with expectations, following more consistent running in warmer conditions today after a disjointed day yesterday. Again, we’ve seen the lap record broken today, but long runs suggest that race pace among the frontrunners should be quite closely matched. We expect two pit stops to be the favored strategy for tomorrow’s race: however, this will very much depend on track temperatures and degradation rates. This circuit provides good overtaking opportunities, creating possibilities for teams to adopt different strategies if the race circumstances suit them. With some drivers starting out of position due to grid penalties, this means that there could be some intriguing tactics, as we already saw in qualifying.”

HOW THE TIRES BEHAVED TODAY

Used throughout the
majority of qualifying: the
top 10 drivers will start on
this tire.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappenwere
was the only driver to use
these in Qualifying 2.

A suitable tire choice for a
one-stop strategy.

FREE PRACTICE 3 – TOP 3 TIMES

DRIVER TIME TIRE COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m 34.478s ULTRASOFT NEW
Vettel 1m 34.570s ULTRASOFT NEW
Bottas 1m 34.692s ULTRASOFT NEW

QUALIFYING TOP 10

DRIVER TIME TIRE COMPOUND
Hamilton 1m 33.108s ULTRASOFT NEW
Vettel 1m 33.347s ULTRASOFT NEW
Bottas 1m 33.568s ULTRASOFT NEW
Ricciardo 1m 33.577s ULTRASOFT NEW
Raikkonen 1m 33.577s ULTRASOFT NEW
Verstappen 1m 33.658s ULTRASOFT NEW
Ocon 1m 34.647s ULTRASOFT NEW
Sainz 1m 34.852s ULTRASOFT NEW
Alonso 1m 35.007s ULTRASOFT NEW
Perez 1m 35.148s ULTRASOFT NEW

MOST LAPS BY TIRE COMPOUND SO FAR

TIRE COMPOUND DRIVER LAPS
SOFT Kvyat 21
SUPERSOFT Sainz 25
ULTRASOFT Hartley 20
INTERMEDIATE Sainz 9
WET Stroll 1

BEST TIME BY TIRE COMPOUND SO FAR

TIRE COMPOUND DRIVER TIME
SOFT Verstappen 1m 36.328s
SUPERSOFT Verstappen 1m 34.716s
ULTRASOFT Hamilton 1m 33.108s
INTERMEDIATE Massa 1m 47.692s

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For further information please contact
Roberto Boccafogli • +39 335 125 6694 • roberto.boccafogli@pirelli.com

Maria Stella Narciso • +39 338 942 3585 • mariastella.narciso@pirelli.com
Anthony Peacock • +44 7765 896 930 • anthony@mediaticaworld.com

Sara Vimercati • +39 366 620 9720 • sara.vimercati@pirelli.com

Pirelli Tire Press Office • +39 02 6442 4270 • pressoffice@pirelli.com

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