Pirelli Predicts 2-Pitstop Race in China

Following the historic race of Malaysia last weekend – the one that registered the highest number of pitstops per event in the entire history of the sport – Formula 1's sole tire supplier Pirelli predicts a return to normal race strategies for the Chinese Grand Prix.

After the first day of practice on the Shanghai circuit, Pirelli's head of motorsport Paul Hembery admitted that most drivers will stop by the pits an average two times on Sunday, but variations might occur depending on the driving style of each racer.

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,” said Hembery. “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.”

Talking to Autosport later on, the Pirelli official admitted that drivers like Sergio Perez, who managed to complete the Australian Grand Prix 3 weekends ago on a single pitstop strategy, could try a repeat in Shanghai, while faster cars could also go for a 3-stop scheme.

Perez I am sure is going to get me in trouble with Bernie [Ecclestone] again and do a one-stop or something crazy like that. Two stops is going to be the most likely strategy I've seen. The only question I have is that maybe the quicker teams can maybe afford to do a three-stop because of the performance advantage,” he added.

Additionally, Hembery referred once again to the tire marble issue that started to become a topic in Malaysia, confirming that the level of tire wear in China is much lower than last week, at Sepang.

We’ve also seen a lot fewer ‘marbles’ – deposits of rubber, with the shape and consistency of toffee, left by the tires 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,” he concluded.
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