The Korean Grand Prix will present F1 drivers and their tyres with a rather unusual challenge this weekend.
The Yeongam circuit was new to the Formula One calendar last year and has not been used since, which means the surface will be very slippery, according to Pirelli tyres.
The tyre company explained: “One of the main tyre issues on a slippery track, particularly at the start of a race weekend, can be graining. This phenomenon has been an issue at Korea in the past, although Pirelli’s P Zero compounds have so far shown themselves to be quite resistant to graining.
“Graining happens when the rubber slides against the track while cornering, rather than obtaining grip. The sideways abrasion against the track surface creates grainy peaks on the tread pattern like waves, reducing the total grip available. The peaks are eventually worn away, leaving a dimple-like effect on the tyre that is easily recognizable.
“There can be a number of different reasons for graining. An unbalanced set-up can produce excess understeer and the consequent sliding is one common reason for graining the front tyres.
“Graining can also happen when the tyres are worked hard before they are fully up to temperature. If they are not operating at the correct temperature (in the region of 90 degrees centigrade) the grip is reduced as the rubber is not as sticky. This causes the car to slide and the surface of the tread to grain.”