SportF1Imola F1 race strategy: pit stops, tires and more

Imola F1 race strategy: pit stops, tires and more

This weekend Formula 1 contests its first sprint event of the season, and this format is a challenge for the teams by nature. With only one practice session on Friday before the cars enter the parc fermé and no changes can be made, there are several unknowns. And after a sprint race where the tires were key (Charles Leclerc suffered graining on his soft tires and that allowed Max Verstappen to overtake him and win), the strategy will be decisive this Sunday.

Only three drivers contested the sprint race on medium tires (Kevin Magnussen, Nicholas Latifi and Mick Schumacher), with the rest completing the 21 laps on soft.

For this F1 weekend at Imola, Pirelli chose the C2, C3 and C4 compounds , the middle part of its range (which would be the medium, soft and supersoft of its collection), and the teams are free to use both types. they want in the main race.

The best strategy for the F1 race at Imola, how many stops or pitstops is better to do? What tires work best for the 2022 F1 Emilia Romagna GP?

First of all, it must be clarified that these are the Pirelli data after analyzing the sessions already held at the Emilia Romagna GP, and that they are made considering that the race will be dry. If it rains, something that is far from ruled out this Sunday in Imola , the forecasts will be of little use.

Pirelli admits that it has less data than usual on dry tyres, so its prediction is not as reliable as it used to be. Still, for a dry Imola race, he considers a single stop to be the quickest strategy, as it is not an easy circuit to overtake and because around 28 seconds are lost at each pit stop, more than anywhere else. calendar track.

Pirelli recommends starting with medium, which would give many options for the second stint, since the hard one can be used in the second round if a change is made soon and even, if the medium lasts a long time, a final stint can be made more short with soft

Those who start with soft, will have to stop at some point to probably put on hard, and what will a Lewis Hamilton do, for example, who starts behind, 14th?

The strategy of going to two stops is slower, but possible. In that case, Pirelli recommends starting with softs, stopping between laps 12 and 27 to put mediums, and stopping between laps 35 and 40 to put other mediums until the end.

However, they are aware that everything will depend on the weather, which will affect how much the tires wear and how much the degradation is, and that it can cause stops.

In short, the best pitstop strategies for the 2022 F1 Emilia Romagna GP

Number of stops What tire to go with? When to stop? Second stop?
One stop Medium (yellow)

Return between 22 and 29

(make hard )


One stop soft (red)

Return between 13 and 18

(make hard )


two stops
soft (red)

Return between 12 and 17

(put media )

lap between 35 and 40

(put media )

Pirelli estimated that the difference between the compounds for the Imola race compared to the soft tires (C4, red) is as follows:

  • Medium tires (C3, yellow) +0.4s, that is, four tenths slower than the soft ones
  • Hard tires (C2, white) +1.4s, i.e. one second and four tenths slower than soft
  • And therefore the medium ones are a second faster than the hard ones.

With which tires does each driver start the F1 race at Imola?

If you don’t already know, in 2022 F1 has eliminated the Q2 rule, and therefore the drivers are not obliged to start the race with the tire they used to get to Q3 of qualifying, but they can decide to start with whatever.

Therefore, until the teams remove the blankets when the cars are already on the grid, shortly before the start of the Imola race, we will not know which tires each driver starts with.

Beyond each strategy, we must not forget that in Imola there may be a red flag (there were up to five in qualifying) or a safety car (we saw it in the sprint race), which could alter the plans of the teams. And watch out, because it can rain and change everything…

How many tires does each driver have left for the F1 race at Imola?

After the two free practice sessions, qualifying and the sprint race (FP1 and qualy were in the rain) these are the tire compounds that each driver still has used and new for Sunday’s race at Imola.

Keep in mind that for Sunday’s race on sprint weekends, teams must use the two sets of tires they have left after those used in the rest of the sessions. And these are:



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