Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“From what we can see initially, the time difference between the two tyre compounds is in the region of 0.3-0.5s, and this only emphasises how close the times were in the first two sessions. As usual, free practice is all about the teams collecting data relating to the performance of their car-tyre package compared to that of their rivals, under every set of circumstances possible. It’s very hard to overtake in Valencia, so effective strategy will be key and the sessions this morning were vital to gathering the information to base this on. We’re expecting both weather and track conditions to change over the course of the weekend, as the circuit is constantly evolving.
However, conditions this afternoon were a bit more representative, so maybe this was a better reflection of what we will see in the grand prix. Valencia is the most demanding street circuit of the year in terms of energy through the tyre, so the drivers will have to look after the soft compound in particular. This has shown a lot of speed so far, but as there is not an enormous performance gap between the compounds many teams could choose to base their race strategy on the medium.”