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McLaren's Goss forecasting two-stop races in 2018

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McLaren technical director Tim Goss believes Pirelli's softer tyre range will result mainly in two-stop strategies for teams this season.

Formula 1's exclusive tyre manufacturer has extended its range of tyres for 2018, adding a new superhard option at one end of the spectrum, and a hypersoft at the other.

But Pirelli has also gone one step softer overall with its compounds. A shift which should lead to another reduction in lap times this year, but also a move away from last season's frequent one-stop strategies.

"They’ve released compound choices for the early races, we’ve looked at that and I think our opinion is that there will be an increase in tyre grip," said Goss.

"That could be half a second to a second a lap, something like that, and there will be more bias to two-stop races than previously.

"We still think it will be a mix of one- and two-stop races, but biased more to two-stop races, so I think moving sensibly in the right direction."

While teams sampled Pirelli's selection of new rubber at the post-season test at Yas Marina late last year, Goss insists there's still be a lot to learn about the new rubber.

"We’ve got to learn about the tyres. We obviously tested them in Abu Dhabi so it’s one circuit in fairly hot conditions, we’ve got to learn more about those tyres at different circuits," added the McLaren engineer.

"The gaps in terms of compound performance aren’t necessarily all even. There’s sort of a bit of a bigger gap there and then two tyres that are closer together, that’s certainly what we’ve found.

"But I think generally Pirelli have done a great job at listening and moving in the right direction."

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