After looking at the data collected by the teams over the two 90 minute practice sessions in China today, Pirelli are predicting that two pit stops per car are likely on race day.
Although the temperatures in Shanghai today were higher than usual at 27 degrees, it is much cooler than Malaysia was last weekend, and so tyre degradation is predicted to be lower here.
“We've been very encouraged by our first day of running in China, which like nearly every one of the circuits this year is entirely new to us,” commented Paul Hembery, Pirelli‘s Motorsport Director. “Although today has been warm, degradation is a lot less than we saw in Malaysia, so I'm expecting to have two pit stops per car on race day, similar to Australia.
“We've also seen a lot fewer 'marbles' – deposits of rubber, with the shape and consistency of toffee, left by the tyres on the track as they degrade – and that should be the case during the race too as we are expecting fewer pit stops in the normal course of events. In terms of wear rate, there's a good five to six lap difference between the soft and the hard, which opens up various different possibilities in terms of strategy.
“The weather seems uncertain tomorrow, which is sure to add another level of intrigue to what is already shaping up to be a thrilling weekend.”