By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli has admitted that the Malaysian Grand Prix could be the toughest challenge for its new Formula One tyres.
Last weekend the Italian tyres manufacturer made an impressive debut as the new sole supplier of tyres for the sport during the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Despite months of criticism and speculation about the apparent fast degradation of the tyres, the drivers and teams were generally pleased with the performance of the new rubber.
However, looking ahead to next Sunday’s race, Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery told Finland’s Turun Sanomat: “The nature of the Sepang circuit and the more than 50 degrees of track temperature will probably be the most aggressive combination for our tyres.”
He added: “Of course, any rain could change the situation, but it is probable that under normal circumstances the Malaysian Grand Prix will see an average of four stops (per driver).”