It is once again a varied tyre choice among the teams for the return of Formula 1 racing in France during June 22-24 weekend. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel heads to the French Grand Prix leading the drivers’ standings by one point from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Both have the same number of the purple-coloured ultrasoft tyres as well. In fact, both the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers have opted for nine sets each – which is same as for Sauber and Renault drivers along with McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
However, it is a mixed number of sets for the yellow-coloured soft and red-coloured supersoft compounds. The two championship front-runners have the same choice though, opting for three sets each of supersoft and one set of the soft tyres.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz and Sauber’s Charles Leclerc have the same choice as well. The rest of them, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Marcus Ericsson and Vandoorne have opted for two sets each of supersoft and soft compounds.
The biggest difference in strategy is from the Red Bull Racing drivers as they are the only ones to have opted for seven sets each of the ultrasoft tyres, with three sets each of the supersoft and soft compounds.
At the same time, Williams drivers have gone opposite to choose the maximum number of ultrasoft tyres at 10 each with Lance Stroll going for two sets of supersoft tyres and one of soft, whereas Sergey Sirotkin going opposite with two of soft and one supersoft.
Force India, Toro Rosso, Haas and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso have gone for eight sets of ultrasoft tyres with Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Alonso choosing three sets of soft and two of supersoft compounds.
Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen have opted for four sets of supersoft and one of soft tyres to Brendon Hartley and Romain Grosjean going for three sets of supersoft tyres and two of supersoft.
The teams get 13 set of tyres for the weekend, with one set of the softest compound to be kept for use in Q3. After the completion of qualifying, the Top 10 drivers will have to return that set, while the other drivers can keep it for the race.
For the races, each driver has to keep one set each of the two harder compounds available for the weekend, while the rest 10 sets they are free to choose from the three available compounds for the particular drive.
The tyres to be used in the French GP at Paul Ricard will be of thinner tread – same as used in the Spanish Grand Prix – as compared to the other races.