Red Bull’s Alex Albon suspects some drivers may opt to qualify for Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Pirelli’s Medium compound after the high-degradation seen during Friday practice.

Despite three drivers suffering tyre failures in a dramatic final three laps in last weekend’s British Grand Prix, Pirelli has stuck with its original selections for the second round at Silverstone, moving a step softer to the C2, C3 and C4 compounds.

Several drivers complained about degradation on the softest C4 tyre throughout the two practice sessions on Friday, while Lewis Hamilton topped FP2 running on the Medium C3 compound, setting a time 0.176s faster than Valtteri Bottas’ Soft-shod effort.

“It’s not a great choice by Pirelli,” Albon said following Friday practice at Silverstone.

“The tyre isn’t quick, it’s too soft for this circuit. We will see what everyone else says but I think it was quicker today on the Mediums than it was on the Softs.

“We’ll see in qualifying as well, because I think some people might even try and qualify on the Mediums. I think almost everyone was quicker on the Mediums.

“If you look at the track evolution and were quicker on the Softs, you were only quicker by a tenth compared to your first run, so it definitely leans towards that way.

“The thing is, we don’t have enough Mediums and Hards for the weekend so you are a little bit stuck for strategy. I think tomorrow it will be quite important to choose the right tyre at the right moment in Q1, Q2, and Q3.”

Albon was sixth fastest in the morning session but could only manage the 11th-quickest time in FP2, half a second off the pace of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen.

“I’m still struggling a little bit with getting what I want from the car but it feels like progress because everybody seems pretty quick,” he explained.

“So we need to do some homework tonight and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Verstappen believes the degradation seen on Friday rules out any chance of a one-stop strategy. 

"The softer tyres had a lot more degradation today and I think it’s almost impossible to do a one stop now," he said. 

"I guess you will see a lot of two stop strategies in the race but I don’t expect the change in tyres to really set the order any differently.”

 

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