Instead, I did a little research on tyre allocation. Tyres aren't usually the thing to get the heart pumping when you think of motor racing. But this year, how teams handle the tyres is dictating what they do from Saturday afternoon right through untill Champagne showers on Sundays. So this is how the tyres are handed out. Over a weekend each driver will be allocated 11 sets of dry tyres. 6 hard or prime tyres and 5 soft or option tyres. Why they don't just call them hard or soft tyres, I don't know. They will also be given 4 sets of intermediates and 3 sets of wet tyres. This explains why teams don't bother to practice on Fridays if rain is possible all weekend. The intermediates and wets are easy. The teams are given them on Friday and they can use them when they want. The dry tyres on the other hand are given out like spare change.
On Friday morning teams get 3 sets of dry tyres. Two primes and one set of options. After first practice they have to return one of the sets of prime tyres. Usually teams will spend all of practice 1 on primes and wait untill the track is warmer and more rubber down late in practice 2 before putting on the softer options and trying out their quallifying setups. After Practice 2 on Friday teams have to return the 2 sets of dry tyres.
On Saturday every driver is given 4 sets of primes and 4 sets of options. They can use whatever they want for third practice but they have to return one set of primes and one set of options before quallifying. So clearly teams are going to practice on one set of each and then give them back. Maybe they will scrub some of their prime tyres, but this season it looks like everyone is trying to keep their options squeaky clean for Sunday. Once quallifying starts, all of the teams have the tyres that they can use for the rest of the weekend. 3 sets of primes, options and wets and 4 sets of intermediates. Generally, teams will be as conservative as they can with the option tyres in quallifying in order to keep them in shape for the race.
There you go. That is how the tyres are allocated. It's not very exciting stuff, I agree. But this year, knowing who has what tyres left tucked up in warming blankets seems to be more important than knowing how quickly they can drive on Saturdays.