Pirelli surprised in 2017 by 'strange strategies'


Pirelli racing boss Paul Hembery admits that he has been surprised by the importance of this year despite a majority of one-stop races.

The anticipated longevity of Pirelli's 2017 tyre compounds fueled expectations that perhaps tyre strategy would play a minor role this year.

While most races this season have seen just a single tyre swap for each car, strategy and pit stop timing have still played a crucial role.

"We didn’t really envisage some of the strange scenarios that we have seen," Hembery said in an interview with Formula1.com.

"I do believe that the majority of the races will be one-stop races.

"Think of some of the surprising results we have seen despite that: Sauber doesn’t have the fastest car, but with clever strategy they bagged good points.

"So that element is still there. Maybe we will see a more aggressive approach in Silverstone - there we probably will see a two-stopper."

Hembery believes track configuration and lay-out has perhaps a more dominant role than the races themselves in how a specific strategy unfolds.

"I believe we confuse a lot of fans with ‘overcut’ and ‘undercut’. But in fact the tracks dictate what you do - if overtaking is possible or not.

"And, of course, the longevity of the tyres helps keep more windows open. I personally think that in Silverstone we will see where we are with the sport.

"You can overtake, you have big corners, the drivers will have to be very fit - so it could be a defining race this year."

Speaking about Mercedes'  difficulties in operating its tyres in the optimal temperature window, an issue which has dogged its drivers on a few occasion this year, Hembery believes the problem is specific to the German outfit's W08.

"It’s an engineering challenge," he insists.

"In all fairness they have said that to us - they said: ‘We know what we want to do, but we can’t do it.’ But it’s not like they are having a poor season, is it?

"They have already won races this season. And look at Montreal: Lewis put the car on pole position with a dream time - if that is struggling then everybody would like to struggle that way!

"We have two teams fighting each other hard and we had thought that Red Bull would be joining that group - but yes, they are chasing a moving target as Ferrari and Mercedes will not be standing still.

"The championship is alive and I think right now nobody could predict who is going to be world champion. That is fantastic!"


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