Pirelli Predicts 4-Pitstop Race in Malaysia

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery admitted that the upcoming Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit will become a true test for the Italian tire maker in evaluating the effectiveness of their 2011-spec compounds.

After Sergio Perez shocked the paddock with his one-pitstop race strategy in Australia, things will undoubtedly take a serious turn two weekends from now, since track temperatures in Malaysia are far greater than that the F1 cars have experienced at Albert Park. That being said, Hembery predicted an average 4-pitstop race strategy should be expected at Sepang next Sunday.

The nature of the Sepang circuit and the more than 50 degrees of track temperature will probably be the most aggressive combination for our tires,” said the Pirelli boss, according to Finland's Turun Sanomat. Like in Australia, Pirelli will bring its hard and soft compounds in Malaysia, counting as the prime and option tires, respectively.

Of course, any rain could change the situation, but it is probable that under normal circumstances the Malaysian grand prix will see an average of four stops (per driver),” added Hembery.

Rain has been a constant presence in the Malaysian Grand Prix in the last couple of years, either in the days prior to the event or during the racing weekend. In 2009, the poor weather conditions and the late starting hour of the Sunday race worked together perfectly to produce the first shortened F1 race in the recent history of the sport, with each driver in the Top 8 being awarded half the points they were entitled to.
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