The majority of the field, not least Hamilton, suffered faultily with rapidly-increasing tyre wear whilst using the green-striped Super Soft mix on Friday and – with more rain forecast overnight – the track is expected to be even less grippy on Sunday race.
“It’s a quicker tyre,” Whitmarsh told the BBC after qualifying. “I think also it’s going to be an interesting race here – I expect we’ll see more stops than normally this year.
“There’s more chances of Safety Cars here, too, so we hope for an early Safety Car but either way I think this is the quickest way is to start, on Options. The likelihood of a lot of cars having to do a short stint on the softer tyres is very high.”