Ferrari driver, Sebastian Vettel, is set to enter this weekends Japanese Grand Prix with only two tire compounds available to him, the softs and hards.
Vettel used his one allocated set of medium tires in FP3 and will be unable to use them in the race. He was the only driver in the field of 22 to take just one set of medium tires into the Grand Prix weekend.
The decision to use the tires in FP3 will likely not affect Vettel’s strategy in a normal race as only 5 drivers used the medium compound last weekend in Malaysia. However, the choice could hurt Vettel if there is a late race safety car and/or red flag. If the whole field is forced to change tires into a stint that the softs just won’t handle, Vettel will be forced to change to the hards whilst those around him may switch onto a set of faster mediums.
The upside to the ultra-aggressive is Vettel will have a considerable amount of fresh hard and soft tires. With a 3 place grid penalty this weekend for the first corner incident in Malaysia, this will make Vettel’s strategy all-the-more important as he is likely to start lower down than usual.
Vettel would finish FP3 in 3rd place, 7 tenths off the pace of Nico Rosberg and his Mercedes in P1.