The Spanish Grand Prix delivered a record-extending fifth one-two for Mercedes in 2019, as Ferrari once more failed to mount a serious challenge to the Silver Arrows.
Formula 1 paddock insider Mark Hughes answered a series of questions from the fans, among which one was related to Scuderia Ferrari’s tyre strategy at the Spanish Grand Prix, which took place last weekend at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. In the final stages of the race, the Safety Car came out after a clash between Lando Norris and Lance Stroll, a moment which could have lead to a possible opportunity for the Maranello team to salvage at least a podium finish. Scuderia Ferrari opted to keep German driver Sebastian Vettel on track, while Charles Leclerc was called for a pit stop, but finished the race with a used set of medium tyres, as the Italian side did not think that the soft compound would have worked better on the SF90 car. Mark Hughes explains why this was the case:
“Ferrari believed that on their car the medium was a better tyre than the soft. Mercedes had found the opposite on their car. It’s quite normal for different cars to have a different ‘best tyre’ as their aerodynamics and general dynamics work in quite different ways. Around Barcelona, for example, Ferrari were finding that the soft was getting too hot in sector three, a problem they didn’t have on the medium. Mercedes didn’t have that problem in sector three, so could take advantage of the soft’s greater grip.” – Formula 1 paddock insider Mark Hughes concluded.