Pirelli predicts difficult Q2 for harder tyres

23-11-2018 19:30
by Bobby Vincent
Pirelli predicts difficult Q2 for harder tyres

There has been a "surpising" gap between the Hypersoft and the Ultrasoft tyre compound according to Pirelli, and this will make it more unlikely for the top teams to get through Q2 on Saturday.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have had the speed advantage over the rest of the field this season, and this has meant they'd be able to pick the most durable tyre compound to progress from Q2.

Pirelli's head or racing Mario Isola believes that such a plan won't work in Abu Dhabi because of the "surprising" gap between the two compounds.

"The biggest surprise is that the Hypersoft is a lot quicker," Isola explained to Autosport. "We were estimating a delta lap time of 0.9-1 second, which is in line with last year - and last year we tested the older range here in Abu Dhabi.

"It actually seems it is a bit more, and in the range of 1.3 - 1.4 seconds. It means that for qualifying, it is very difficult to have somebody trying to go through Q2 with the Ultrasoft.

"While it is true that the top six (drivers) are very close, it is also true that 1.3 seconds is a lot so I think nobody is going to take the risk to qualifying with the Ultrasoft."

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