Tyres, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Mercedes make most conservative tyre choice for Singapore

2018 Singapore Grand Prix

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Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas have a more conservative choice of tyres for this weekend’s Formula 1 race in Singapore.

The sport’s official tyre supplier Pirelli has nominated the hyper-soft tyre for the third time this year. It is offered alongside the ultra-soft and, for the first time this season, the soft.

Each of the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers will have three sets of the latter, compared to just one for Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. The scuderia’s drivers have chosen nine sets each of the hyper-softs, compared to seven each for the Red Bull pair and just six sets per Mercedes driver – the fewest of any team.

Haas and Force India have joined Ferrari in stocking up on the hyper-softs. Hamilton won last year’s race, which started on a damp track, running a set of intermediates for the first 29 laps then switching to ultra-softs for another 29-lap run to the flag.

2018 Singapore Grand Prix tyre choices

DriverTeamTyres
Lewis HamiltonMercedesSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Valtteri BottasMercedesSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Sebastian VettelFerrariSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Daniel RicciardoRed BullSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Max VerstappenRed BullSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Sergio PerezForce IndiaSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Esteban OconForce IndiaSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Lance StrollWilliamsSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Sergey SirotkinWilliamsSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Carlos Sainz JnrRenaultSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Nico HulkenbergRenaultSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Pierre GaslyToro RossoSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Brendon HartleyToro RossoSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Romain GrosjeanHaasSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Kevin MagnussenHaasSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Fernando AlonsoMcLarenSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Marcus EricssonSauberSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre
Charles LeclercSauberSoft tyreSoft tyreSoft tyreUltra soft tyreUltra soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyreHyper soft tyre

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 11 comments on “Mercedes make most conservative tyre choice for Singapore”

    1. Interesting tyre choices from Mercedes. I’m guessing they’ll be using softs a lot in FP1 and Fp2, so I can understand why they’ve taken 3 sets…but I don’t see why Mercedes needed 4 ultrasoft compounds. They could have done with 3. Keep one for the race, one for Q1 and maybe one for Fp2. With an extra hypersoft they could have a buffer of one more run in either FP3, Q2 or Q3, or a fresh set of hypers for the race just in case.

      I have a feeling they’re looking at quali as damage limitation this weekend and are banking on race pace and strategy to get on the podium.

      1. @todfod

        I have a feeling they’re looking at quali as damage limitation this weekend and are banking on race pace and strategy to get on the podium.

        Although this looks like the primary reason behind their choice, it also makes me wonder if Mercedes still haven’t figured out the hypers yet. Perhaps they are not very confident with HS. They weren’t on top in Moncao and Canada–they didn’t look too comfortable.

        Use HS only in quali–this is singapore and thus a SC is more likely in the first lap–pit for softs and go long.

    2. I never understood teams/drivers picking only two or fewer sets of their ‘race compounds’ (Force India & Grosjean).
      They must have a good idea which tyres they will use during the race, and of each of those they should have at least 3 sets I’d say (1 race, 1 practice, 1 back-up).
      But what do I know.

      It makes sense for the three big teams to have more US to get them through Q1 and maybe have a go at Q2/start.

    3. IIRC there isn’t much of a performance delta between the soft, super-soft and ultra soft tyres so if Mercedes feel they can work the softs better than the other tyres it’s not a bad shout.

      Ferrari and Red Bull will be aiming for a hyper / ultra 1-stop strategy but there is potential for this to leave them a bit exposed at the end of the race, and given that Mercedes are unlikely to be able to directly challenge either team on the same strategy it makes sense for them to try something different.

      1. @sparkyamg I expect Mercedes to go US/S in the race, assuming it stays dry. However, we do have to factor in that the SC always seems to come out at this race, expect teams to do more than 1 stop if they can get in and out without losing positions.

      2. Surely Ferrari will have to 2 stop or tip toe on their tyres which will put them under a lot of pressure, this isn’t like Monaco where you can tottle around at half pace and not get overtaken. Ideally you want to be a US-S, but HS-US-US may be quicker in theory but given the tyre delta, I don’t think it will be enough of a difference to be able to overtake. But as soon as you’re banking on HS-US, you’re in trouble and Ferrari have gambled a lot. RB are in the best position in my eyes.

      3. The Soft is a rock compared to the Uber Soft and Hypo Soft.

    4. Why would anyone take more than one set of the hardest compound available to a low-deg circuit?

      1. Maybe ask Ferrari how that went in Monza?

      2. One to use in practice, another to use in the race.

        Didn’t that kind of thinking bite Ferrari in the bum at Monza?

    5. Just looked at weather report for the week and till monday its expected to rain at circuit and if its a wet race and qualifying then I have a suspicion that Hamilton will be dancing.

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