By Alex Kapadia
Tyres strategy will play a key role in determining the outcome of the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend, according to Pirelli.
The Shanghai circuit is one of the most technically demanding races of the season and last year the top three finishers all used different strategies at a race that was not decided until the final lap.
This year Pirelli having closed up the performance gaps between the compounds, which means the emphasis on strategy will now be even stronger.
Pirelli is bringing its P Zero White medium compound and P Zero Yellow soft compound tyres to China, a circuit is well known for its fast and sweeping corners, as well as some long straights and heavy braking areas.
All these factors make tyre strategy extremely important, with a three-stop strategy having provided the pure speed needed to win the race last year.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “China proved to be one of the most fascinating races in our first year, with tyre strategy at the heart of it, so we have a tough act to follow.
“However, the philosophy we have adopted this year actually extends the window of peak
performance on the slick tyres, which means that the drivers should be able to race harder and closer.
“Although ambient temperatures can be quite low in China, tyre degradation is traditionally high due to the unique track layout. So although we have the same nomination as we saw in Australia – medium and soft – our P Zeros will face a quite different challenge next week in Shanghai.”