2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix – Qualifying Tyre Analysis

Formula 1 2022: Saudi Arabian Gp
Formula 1 2022: Saudi Arabian Gp

2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix – Qualifying Tyre Analysis: Red Bull’s Sergio Perez claimed the first pole of his Formula 1 career on the ultra-rapid Jeddah street circuit, using the P Zero Red soft C4 tyres from start to finish of qualifying, along with most of the rest of the field. He used four sets of softs to go through qualifying, which was interrupted by red flags in both Q1 and Q2, with the second incident (involving Haas driver Mick Schumacher) causing a lengthy stoppage of around an hour.

The qualifying session got away under the lights at 8pm local time and eventually finished two hours later, with ambient temperatures of 25 degrees centigrade and 30 degrees on track at the start, dropping by few degrees at the finish. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc went quickest in the FP3 session that took place three hours earlier in track temperatures that were around 12 degrees warmer, with all the drivers focussing on the soft in preparation for qualifying, and to save some medium and hard sets for the race.

The track evolution seen yesterday continued throughout the day, and the gusting winds also persisted. The Q1 session, during which only Mercedes used the P Zero Yellow medium tyres (for their first runs) was interrupted by a red flag, with the softs used from then on by all the drivers – with the exception again being George Russell and Mercedes on the medium in Q2 before the second red flag.

The track evolution seen yesterday continued throughout the day, and the gusting winds also persisted. Mercedes was the only team to use the medium during qualifying, with both cars running it at the start of Q1 and George Russell running it also at the start of Q2.

Perez received his first-ever Pole Position Award from celebrated chef Gordon Ramsay, a well-known Formula 1 and car fan, who has fronted several shows on cooking and restaurants. Ramsay was one of the first celebrity chefs to open restaurants in the Middle East, mainly in hotels, but has his roots in Scotland, where he trained to be a professional footballer before being injured. Perez now becomes the very first Mexican driver to claim a pole position in Formula 1.

2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix – Possible Race Strategies

On paper a one-stop strategy should be fastest for the 50-lap race tomorrow, focussing on the hard and the medium compounds, with the top 10 qualifiers no longer tied to their fastest Q2 tyres to start on. But a lot will depend on degradation levels. If they are high, then a two-stopper is also a good option, being almost as quick as a one-stopper.

In this case, the medium looks like the preferred tyre to begin the grand prix, followed by a central stint on the hard and a final run on the medium. But there is also the possibility to use all three compounds, maybe keeping the soft for the final stint.

As seen in qualifying and the Formula 2 sessions, there’s a high probability of red flags, safety cars and other delays, which can completely disrupt the strategy. So while there is a theoretically optimal strategy calculation to work from, in reality the teams will have to just think on their feet and adapt to the race circumstances, which can change very quickly.

Mario Isola – Pirelli Motorsport Director

“Pole was just seven-tenths off last year’s best time here in Jeddah, which is a great achievement in only the second race for these brand new cars. The teams focused on the soft compound from free practice this morning in preparation for using it in qualifying this evening. This also means that the majority of drivers have kept two sets of medium and one set of hard, which probably indicates that they will prefer to use these two compounds. But all the runs today, both in free practice and qualifying, were relatively short, so it’s hard to know exactly how the levels of graining have evolved. As a result, the strategy is open tomorrow between a one-stopper and a two-stopper, depending on the actual levels of degradation experienced during the race, which of course depends on a number of different factors. Our best wishes to Mick Schumacher for a speedy recovery after the accident he sustained during qualifying: it’s good to see that the new generation of cars are fast as well as safe.”

2022 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix – Qualifying Tyre Analysis

02 Sa Quali En 1


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