Pirelli has opted to go a step softer at the Russian Grand Prix than last year by selecting the Supersoft and Soft compounds for Sochi.
At the Russian Grand Prix's debut on the F1 calendar 12 months ago the tyre manufacturer went for a conservative approach due to the lack of raw data to predict how the compounds would behave on the abrasive surface. With a full race weekend under its belt and additional data collected Pirelli is confident the softest options available will produce a two and three pit-stop race.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director, says the new surface at Sochi is smooth and with a high number of medium-speed corners tyre degradation is expect to be very low, as witnessed last year.
“There were a number of question marks that we faced coming to the Sochi circuit for the first time last year – as is inevitably the case with any new circuit – but we have since been able to collect extra data that means we have more information for 2015,” Hembery said. “As a result, we have gone a step softer with the tyre nomination this year to help us get back into the two to three pit stop window, which is what we desire for every race.”
At the first Russian Grand Prix Nico Rosberg was able to switch to the mediums on the opening lap after horribly flat-spotting his tyres and was able to survive on the same set until the chequered flag, setting his fastest lap time on the penultimate lap of the race.
The Supersoft and Soft tyre selection has been used at four other races this season; Monaco, Canada, Austria and Singapore.