Lowe claims tyre selection will be important


As tyre selection at the Australian Grand Prix proved to be a major factor for Mercedes claiming a one-two finish, Paddy Lowe feels it will be the more or less the same ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

In fact, the Silver Arrows Technical Director said that tyre selection will be a bigger factor at the Bahrain International Circuit than it was in Melbourne because of the ever-changing conditions the track is burdened with.

Compared to their closest rival this season Ferrari, Mercedes have opted to give Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg twelve sets of softs and only two sets of mediums. While the Scuderia selected three sets of mediums each for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

"Bahrain is quite a different track to Melbourne, so it will be interesting to see how we fare," Lowe told f1i.com.

"One thing you can normally guarantee is that it will be dry. Unlike the rain-hit Melbourne weekend, this will provide plenty of opportunity for track time.

"Thanks to their evening timings, qualifying and the race in Bahrain see much cooler track temperatures than the mid-afternoon FP1 / FP3 sessions – making the latter somewhat unrepresentative. This potentially makes tyre selection even more of a factor.

"We know already that there is a marked difference between the allocations selected by competing teams for this race, so we could see a few surprises.

"A big positive from Melbourne was seeing how well the new tyre rules delivered in terms of strategy variation – and we expect to see more of the same here.

"We've seen close battles throughout the field in both years of twilight racing in Bahrain, so we look forward to hopefully providing another spectacular evening for the fans."