Tyre rules are changing for 2010 to see top ten drivers having to start the race on the same tyres that they qualified on.
The new rule has been brought in as a strategic element to replace the refuelling strategy which will no longer be a part of F1.
Teams will need to decide whether to qualify on a soft tyre compound which usually gives them a better qualifying time but will mean they will probably have to pit earlier in the race because the tyres will wear out more quickly, or to qualify on the harder of the two compounds, sacrificing some qualifying pace for a longer first race stint. Given that the cars will also be at their most heavy at the start of the race thanks to full fuel tanks, drivers who opt for the softer tyre compound will need to keep an extra vigilant eye on their tyres.
At present, it is unclear what will happen if the track is wet on race day. It is believed that teams will be allowed to change onto more appropriate tyres – however this means that weather forecasting will also play a big role in qualifying tyre choice; If a team has chosen to qualify on the harder compound, if it then rains on race day, the long first-stint advantage may be lost.