Who is using what at Bahrain – Tyre choices

Bahrain GP is just a few days away, and we wanted to refresh everyone’s memory on the tyre choice the teams have made for the season’s second race.

McLaren has made the most aggressive tyre choice with both the drivers opting for nine sets of the supersofts while its midfield rivals Renault, Haas and Force India have gone with eight sets of the red compound.

The tyre strategy of the top three teams is identical. Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull Racing and midfielders Williams, Toro Rosso and Sauber have all gone with seven sets of supersofts for each driver.

There are some small variations between the two Mercedes drivers. Lewis Hamilton has taken taking two sets of mediums and four softs. The Ferrari and Red Bull drivers have also followed a similar plan while Valtteri Bottas has chosen one medium and five softs.

Pirelli is providing the Medium tyre for the first time in 2018, at Bahrain. In Australia, the ‘soft’ was ironically the hardest compound used in the race.

The Italian tyre maker wants to ensure all their tyres variants can be raced on a given weekend.

Speaking with Motorsport, Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola said: “The race went as we expected, looking at the numbers we collected on Friday,”

“Obviously the expectations at the beginning were for a two-stop strategy, but then, in general, we saw that we had reduced degradation compared with the numbers that we had before the race.

“All the three compounds were race compounds, so we didn’t have one of them out of the game. We didn’t see graining, we didn’t see blistering, just a few cases but nothing that could impact the performance.”

Sakhir circuit is expected to be a tougher test for the tyres than the Barcelona and Melbourne according to Isola.

“Bahrain is different, it’s hotter, and it’s a lot more about traction, so usually we experience more degradation from the rear. That’s why we decided to use the medium, soft and supersoft.

“Last year with one step harder we had a mix between one and two stops, so this year with one step softer it should be again a mix between one and two, or more towards two stops.

“Obviously we have to consider a limitation for Bahrain, it’s rear degradation.”

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