(Pirelli Motorsport Media)
Formula One hit the streets of Singapore for today's qualifying session ahead of tomorrow's race, the 14th round of the 2014 Formula One world championship. The opening qualifying session saw all of the drivers set their fastest times on the red marked P-Zero Super soft tyre which saw Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen lead the way in the session.
In the second session all drivers used the Super Soft tyre with Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Rcciardo,Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso all opting to do just the one flying lap on the red tyre. This meant that the driver's had an extra set of tyre's for the final Q3 session.
As part of the regulations this season all of the top ten drivers in Q3 are given an extra set of tyres that they have to hand back at the end of qualifying.
All of the drivers in the top ten today completed their fastest times on brand new sets of the Pirelli Super soft tyre. The teams have also set aside the yellow marked Soft tyre tomorrow's race which could potentially see the teams pick a three stop strategy for the race.
The Singapore Grand Prix takes place over 61 laps and statistically has the highest probability of a safety car.
The Italian company suggest that the best way to run the race is to start on Super Soft tyre make their first stop lap 20 for another set of the Super Soft tyre before stopping again for a set of the Super Soft rubber on lap 36. Pirelli then state that switching to the yellow marked Soft tyre on lap 51.
For a two stop strategy a driver would start the race on the red Super Soft tyre before taking on another set of the Super Soft tyre on lap 22 and then finishing the race on a set of the yellow walled oft tyre from lap 44.
Speaking about today's running, Pirelli Motorsport director Paul Hembery stated:
'We saw the closest qualifying session of the year, and a lot of that was down to the two-second gap between the compounds, which has actually come down a bit compared to free practice yesterday.
Because of that time difference, there was a strategic element right from the start of qualifying, with all the drivers having to use the supersoft even in Q1. The battle for pole was extremely exciting, with a number of drivers in contention for the top spot, which is great for the sport.
We’re expecting a three-stopper to be the quickest strategy, but with the time gap between the compounds slightly reduced now, all it takes is the right pace management or a safety car at the right time to make a two-stopper work.'
© Ben Johnston 2014