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Strategy for Singapore: Teams expect three stops, PIrelli two stops

Strategy for Singapore
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S ebastian Vettel dominated the first day of training, as he did in the did all of last season. And in Valencia this year. Fastest in the morning, fastest in the afternoon. 'Somehow this racetrack is similar to Valencia. Only the straights are longer there. But the corners are similar. In any case, we haven't changed the car and are suddenly back at the front.' Which shows how dependent even top pilots like Vettel are on their sports equipment. Red Bull briefly tested a longer nose, but according to the drivers it was 'not a bringer'.

McLaren sees itself ahead of Red Bull in the race

McLaren saw the Red Bull - Demonstration serene. 'Our endurance runs are better,' calculated a McLaren engineer. 'But we absolutely have to get a car on the front row. That could be difficult because Alonso also looks strong in the Ferrari.'

The Spaniard did not manage to preserve his tires for all three sectors. 'You lost in the third sector. We have to reconsider the tire preparation,' reported team boss Stefano Domenicali. At Ferrari, too, the loss of grip on the super-soft tires was high. '0.2 seconds per lap,' said McLaren sporting director Sam Michael. 'That could lead to a three-stop race.'

The unknown about the game is how much the track improves. The more rubber on the road, the less the tires suffer. 'The grip is already amazing', praised Nico H├╝lkenberg, who was satisfied with seventh place for the first day. Teammate Paul di Resta even ranks one place ahead of the German. The Force India are quick on a lap, but are concerned about high wear on the rear axle.

Updates from Mercedes, Sauber and HRT are not yet showing any success

The three teams that came to Singapore with higher levels of development are studying data. None has improved significantly. On the contrary. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished eighth and eleven in the converted Mercedes. 'It didn't go as well as the test at Magny-Cours. We still have to analyze that,' summed up Norbert Haug. The Mercedes noticed the opposite phenomenon to most other teams. Haug: 'We haven't really got the tires working yet.'

The cleanliness was also worseclassified as usual. Despite the new engine cover, new exhaust and modified rear wing. 'We are not satisfied with the result at the moment and believe that this is route-specific. If you want to move forward, you have to try something, but that obviously does not lead to the goal on this particular route,' criticized Peter Sauber. Like Mercedes, he hopes that the result will be reversed in the race. If you don't get the tires to work in time, you will protect them in continuous operation. That could be a wild card in the race.

HRT at the end of the field were also disappointed. The new sub-floor did not produce the expected result. 'Singapore is not the ideal track to try out. There are too many bumps,' fears Pedro de la Rosa. 'I didn't notice any difference between the old and the new version.'

Pirelli worries about soft tires

Timo Glock, on the other hand, was happy. The Marussia rider was consistently ahead of the Caterham riders and was amazed: 'Except for the front wheel carriers, we haven't changed much. It's probably because our aerodynamic upgrade from Spa works better on this track because it actually creates a lot of downforce I don't know if Caterham had any problems today, but I hope they had a normal day. Then it could be the most interesting race of the year for me. '

At Pirelli they weren't quite there satisfied with the free practice. 'The difference between the two compounds is relatively high at 1.5 seconds per lap. The soft tire is simply not ideal for this route. You can already see the wheels spinning a lot on the TV pictures. You would like to have two super softs here ', analyzed Pirelli sports director Paul Hembery.

With the long pit lane and the lower speed limit, the teams naturally want to plan as few pit stops as possible. 'The supersofts get three tenths slower every lap. The harder softs lose one to one and a half tenths,' explains Hembery. 'So the key is to keep the supersofts alive.' Hembery is more likely to have two than three stops. 'But there are many differences between teams and even within teams. That will be interesting.'


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