McLaren has clarified the confusion regarding their Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix tyre choices for the weekend.
A report on a website during the weekend raised the topic regarding McLaren forgetting to submit their tyre choices for the Japanese GP at Suzuka to the FIA. The teams have to submit their choices 14 weeks in advance to the governing body.
The FIA then forwards the choices to Pirelli two weeks before the grand prix event, who then allocates and hands the compound to the teams at the start of the race weekend. For Japan, McLaren chose four sets of medium along with four supersoft and five soft.
When asked by FormulaRapida.net if the team forgot to submit the tyre choices, McLaren clarified that it did submit its choices to the FIA which was forwarded to Pirelli and there was no question of the manufacturer handing them the default number of sets.
“We submitted our tyre selection to the FIA on time and as per the normal procedure,” the team said. The Italian manufacturer also clarified to FormulaRapida.net that they are in no position to select or allocate any number of compounds for any team on the grid.
The British outfit came to the weekend with quite a different strategy as they didn’t run much of the supersoft tyre during the practice sessions – only Stoffel Vandoorne tried it, with the focus on the race mostly along with preparing themselves for 2019.
“Since Hungary, we have basically been using Friday sessions to do some tests to ensure that the car for next season works in the right way,” said Fernando Alonso. Since the focus is pretty much on 2019, the harder tyres gives them longer runs in the sessions.
McLaren’s qualifying pace hasn’t been hugely competitive but the race pace has remained the same so far which allows them to focus on the long runs on the more durable tyres. For the race in Japan, Alonso qualified 18th with Vandoorne in 19th.