Max Verstappen says the call to start the 70th Anniversary GP on the hard tyre was an obvious choice as it was the same compound that worked for him last weekend.
The Red Bull driver was the only one to try to get through Q2 on the hard tyre, and will be the only top 10 runner who will start on it with his rivals all opting for the medium.
Last weekend at the British GP, Verstappen also used the C2 tyre in Q2 for the British GP, when it was the medium option, which was in line with his fellow frontrunners.
For the second Silverstone race, Pirelli has opted to go a step softer with the C2 compound becoming the hard option tyre.
Verstappen says he felt so comfortable on the C2 that he wanted to qualify on it, and thus be able to use it for the first stint of the race, while other top contenders went with the C3 medium.
“I felt strongly for that tyre because we’re already running softer compounds,” said Verstappen. “So we can’t use the hard we had last week, which I think was a pretty decent tyre.
“So I wanted to go for the hardest option we had this weekend, because basically, this week’s soft is just falling apart. So that that was not an option. You could see that for everyone.
“And then the medium, it was last week’s soft, which was also not an amazing tyre, the top runners didn’t want to qualify that already. So why would I qualify on it now, while the track is even warmer and stuff? So it was just a matter of making it through to Q2.”
He acknowledged that the downside will be having the less grippy tyre for the start than those around him: “Tomorrow, maybe the start is going to be a little bit more tricky, but we managed to hold on also last week with a few guys behind me on the softer compound. So I think it’s gonna be alright.”
Verstappen admitted that Red Bull could have managed qualifying better, and that he lost a shot at being closer to Mercedes and beating Nico Hulkenberg in the Racing Point to third place.
Having just run the hard in Q2 he then ran the medium tyre at the start of Q3 to get a banker lap in before switching to the soft for the crucial final runs.
“I was just not sure which tyre was going to be the fastest,” he said. “So we gave it a try on both. I think in hindsight, I didn’t drive a lot, I only did like four laps in qualifying, which is maybe not enough because we basically did a soft then a hard then a medium then a soft. I never really had a good reference.
“So I think procedure-wise, we didn’t do the best job there. So that’s something to learn from for next time. That’s why maybe also in Q3, we just couldn’t get it right, because the car was not that bad. I think.
“Realistically, I think if we would have had a little bit of a better preparation for Q3 with maybe just doing two softs, because I had the tyres, I think we could have been within seven-tenths of Mercedes. And that is not bad, because they give us quite a lot on the straights.”