Ferrari most aggressive with Azerbaijan GP tyre choice

Ferrari has made the most aggressive tyre choice for Formula 1's Azerbaijan Grand Prix with an ultrasoft selection matched only by the Saubers and McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne

Ferrari most aggressive with Azerbaijan GP tyre choice

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will take 10 sets of the softest-compound Pirelli tyres, while Mercedes, Force India, Haas and Fernando Alonso have gone for nine sets.

Red Bull, Williams and Toro Rosso have only opted for eight, with Renault on its own by choosing only seven.

The selections for Baku indicate an unusual amount of variety that is also reflected in the number of sets of the supersoft, the middle of the three compounds.

Kimi Raikkonen has only one set for the weekend, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have two, while Valtteri Bottas and the Red Bull drivers have three.

Renault is again offset from the rest of the top runners on four.

The race will be a step into the unknown for Pirelli and the teams, as the move from late June to April is likely to mean lower temperatures than experienced in the first two events at the track.

"Baku is a bit strange," Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola told Autosport. "Because it's a street circuit, but with a very high speed straight.

"You have some sectors that are very, very fast, but also you have some parts of the track under the sun, and some parts in shadow.

"So, you have parts of the track with a certain temperature, and parts of the track with a different temperature.

"Last year it was in June, so it will clearly be different."

Isola expects the softer of the three tyres will be able to do more laps than in China.

"I believe the ultrasoft in Baku is a less aggressive choice compared to Shanghai - the severity of the circuit is lower, and also the tarmac roughness," he said.

"I believe the delta between the compounds will be in the range of half a second."

Isola believes that the Shanghai race was further proof that Pirelli has got its sums right in 2019.

Race winner Daniel Ricciardo unusually used all three compounds on his way to victory.

"We saw the top teams qualifying on a different compound in Q2, to try to start the race on it," he said.

"They made different tactics, and that's good. Obviously, the safety car changed the strategies, but Red Bull made a very good move, fitting the soft for the last 26 laps, and they were very fast at end.

"I was happy to see that Ricciardo won using all the three compounds.

"It's good that everybody was able to choose any of the three compounds."

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Author Adam Cooper
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