Pirelli Anticipate ‘closely-fought’ Chinese Grand Prix

Pirelli are expecting a closely fought Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow after a qualifying session which showed that their tyres were behaving consistently over a stint.

The Italian tyre company predict that most front-runners will use a two-stop strategy tomorrow, although some may opt for three stops.

The lap time differences between the hard and soft tyres had been shown to be around a second and a half, in favour of the softer Option compound. There is seen to be little difference in the degradation of the two types. The soft tyres should last around 13-14 laps on race day, whilst the hard compound should manage 19-20.

“It's been another very exciting and eventful session, which has underlined not only the performance but also the consistency of our tyres,” said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director, speaking after qualifying. “A number of drivers were able to set their fastest times on used soft tyres, proving that the drop-off is manageable enough to provide a good spread of performance over a stint. All the leading teams have shown themselves to be very competitive, so the indications are that we're going to have a very closely-fought race tomorrow.”