By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli was delighted with the performance of its tyres during a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix, where its rubber played a key role in deciding which drivers made it onto the winners podium.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli, said: “The races just seem to keep on getting better and better this year!
“I think nobody watching really knew how it was going to finish until the very end, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve when we started our Formula One project.”
McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton took first place, with the Red Bull racers Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber taking second and third respectively.
Hembery added: “We saw an interesting split of strategies, with McLaren managing to make three stops work for Hamilton but Red Bull coming very close to winning with just two.
“Compared to Malaysia we experienced a lot less degradation, with some drivers managing to get 20 laps or more out of the hard tyre. We didn’t experience an excessive amount of the toffee-like ‘marbles’ out on track and it was clear that this race was won and lost on tyre strategy.
“The end result was that all the leading runners were very close together at the finish, and the people who had looked after their tyres best took the top results.
“It’s hard to imagine how we can top this at the next grand prix in Turkey, but we’re certainly going to try to have something just as good.”
The Chinese Grand Prix went down to a thrilling battle between Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton over the last six laps, decided by tyre strategy. Hamilton passed Vettel f