Minimum of 2 stops in Montreal Sunday UPDATE (GMM) Even if the forecast rain does not materialize, the Canadian grand prix looks set to be an interesting one. So far in 2010 with the refuelling ban, the tendency has been for teams to adopt similar one-stop strategies for all the cars.
But after a two-year absence from F1, the low-grip and cool Montreal surface on Friday was chewing up the tires as drivers practiced.
|Montreal track hard on tires|
"According to the current data, I think two stops will be the minimum," Bridgestone's head of tire development Hirohide Hamashima admitted.
Some drivers were complaining that the soft tires were lasting just a few laps on Friday, and even the 'prime' is quickly degrading and graining.
When asked if some drivers might buck the apparent necessity for multiple stops on Sunday, Renault's Robert Kubica told Turun Sanomat: "Actually I think two stops will barely be enough."
With drivers needing to begin racing on the tire with which they set their fastest qualifying time, it is conceivable that some will gamble on a quicker lap with the fragile soft tire.
Envisaging a mixed-up grid, Hamashima said: "Someone will take a risk and it might be a little bit of a different story to past races."
Lotus' Heikki Kovalainen smiled: "I think it will be an interesting weekend."06/11/10 Bridgestone's head of motorsport tire development Hirohide Hamashima predicts that no one will be able to make a one stop strategy work in Montreal for the F1 Canadian GP given the tire graining seen in Friday practice. Hamashima said lower than expected temperatures plus greater grip than before thanks to resurfacing had combined to cause a different form of graining to that usually seen.
The result was cars running up to 6s off the pace as their super soft tires wore out on Friday, and while many drivers have predicted things will be better by race day as the track rubbers in, Hamashima is not so sure.
"In 2008 the track improvement was quite dramatic, so in that case we could use the super soft, but current predictions say the temperature is not so high, so even with no rain before the weekend, I believe it would be very difficult," he said.
He predicted at least two stops for everyone, suggesting that even the harder tire would not last more than 25 laps.
"I think minimum two stops, according to the current data," said Hamashima.
"Maybe the top teams can use the super softs in qualifying one, then in qualifying two and three maybe they will use prime."
When asked if it was conceivable that anyone might gamble on the one-stop strategy that has become standard in 2010, Hamashima replied: "Currently impossible.
"Even for very slow people it would be very, very difficult."
He reckons a mixed up grid could be in prospect if anyone from the midfield decides to take a chance on the fragile super soft tire.
"Someone will take a risk with the option tire for qualifying, and it might be a little bit of a different story to past races," said Hamashima.
Q&A with Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tire Development
What was significant about today’s running?
“The dirty track surface here and the cooler than usual temperatures meant that graining was today’s talking point. The tires were not able to work to their full potential due to not reaching their best operating temperature. This meant the tires were sliding, causing transverse graining on front tires from braking and transverse graining on the rears from traction demands.
We expect that the track surface will continue to improve with more rubber laid, and the graining will diminish. Weather forecasts also predict warmer temperatures which will be beneficial too. However, there is rain included in these forecasts so there is potential for this to be a very interesting weekend in terms of maximizing tire performance potential.”
How do you expect this allocation to work over the weekend?
“More than any time so far this season, this is a very difficult question. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is always a difficult circuit to understand, even when weather conditions are favorable. We certainly would expect better performance from both compounds as the track surface gets more rubber laid on it and as the weather improves, but how the compounds will react relative to each other is a difficult question. Teams and drivers will have to work very hard this weekend.”