Formula 1 official tyre supplier Pirelli believes that a two-stop strategy is optimal in order to tackle Sunday’s Mexican Grand Prix.
Pirelli has brought the Hypersoft, Ultrasoft and Supersoft compounds to the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with a race distance of 71 laps scheduled.
The Hypersoft compound has shown extremely high levels of degradation, with the top six drivers on the grid all opting to negotiate Q2 on the Ultrasofts, meaning they will start on that specification.
The Renault and Sauber drivers must start on Hypersofts but the remainder of the field have free choice from the three nominated compounds.
Pirelli believes that a nine-lap stint on Ultrasofts, followed by two 31-lap stints on Supersofts, is the quickest approach.
It added that another approach is to run the Hypersofts for just five laps before running two 33-lap stints on Supersofts.
A one-stopper has been deemed possible but “this needs plenty of tyre management”; such an approach would entail a 15-18 lap stint on Ultrasofts before taking on Supersofts.
“A wide mixture of strategies are available for the race, with a two-stopper fastest but a one-stopper just about possible too, if the Hypersoft is carefully managed,” said Pirelli chief Mario Isola.
“Nonetheless, with the variable conditions we have seen so far posing a few open questions, it could be helpful to keep the strategy plans flexible.”