By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli is taking its P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres to the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend.
The Shanghai circuit is well known for its smooth and sweeping track layout with moderate ambient and track temperatures, which makes it ideal territory for the tyres combination making its first appearance this season.
The flexibility of the medium and soft tyres also mean that several strategies are open to the teams, and in the past the top positions have been decided through the use of extremely wide-ranging race tactics.
Rain has been a notable feature of the first two races held so far this year and it is also not an uncommon occurrence in China, so the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet tyres are also likely to make another appearance.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for the Italian tyres manufacturer, commented: “China has often produced some of the best races of the year, where strategy has been at the forefront of the action.
“With all our compounds having got softer this year the degradation is deliberately more extreme leading to increased performance, but history has shown that it never takes too long for the teams and drivers to get on top of the tyres.
“Shanghai is less aggressive on the tyres than the last round in Malaysia but we would expect to see the majority of competitors go for three stops although some may try two.
“Last year we had a new winner with Mercedes and Nico Rosberg, who were able to get the most out of their tyres from the very beginning of the weekend in order to spring a surprise. That goes to show exactly what is possible with the correct tyre management at this point in the season.”
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