The dust has barely settled on Sepang following last weekends Malaysian Grand Prix and Pirelli tyres are already gearing up for next Sunday’s race in China.
Shanghai is designed to test the limits of a modern Formula One car, particularly when it comes to traction and braking, where the tyres are under most stress.
And with rain not an uncommon occurrence in China, this third race of the season could be where the intermediate and wet PZero tyres make their competition debut.
Otherwise, it will be the hard and the soft tyres that once again take centre stage, as they did in Australia and Malaysia.
Paul Hembery, director of motorsport for the Italian tyres manufacturer, said: “So far I’m very pleased with the way that our tyres have helped the show, but I’m always impressed by the way that the teams and drivers learn so quickly: I’m sure they will be finding different solutions to make the tyres last longer all the time. So far we have accurately predicted two pit stops in Australia and three in Malaysia but we’ll have to wait until we see the data after Friday free practice before having a completely clear idea of what to expect in China.
“Unlike Malaysia, where we provided the teams with an experimental tyre for free practice, we will give each team one extra set of the usual hard tyres for Friday’s first free practice session just as we did in Australia. We saw then that it worked well, allowing the teams to maximise their track time and prepare as thoroughly as possible for the race, so we’d like to give them the same opportunity again.
“The first two races have been absolutely thrilling; I’m hoping that we’ll see the same again in China!”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team