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Will Chinese GP be ‘less aggressive’ on tire use?

Apr 8, 2013, 8:26 PM EDT

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For the first time this season, Pirelli will be rolling out a tire combination of the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires for the Chinese Grand Prix.

“China has often produced some of the best races of the year, where strategy has been at the forefront of the action,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery. “With all our compounds having got softer this year, the degradation is deliberately more extreme leading to increased performance, but history has shown that it never takes too long for the teams and drivers to get on top of the tires.

“Shanghai is less aggressive on the tires than the last round in Malaysia, but we would expect to see the majority of competitors go for three stops — although some may try two.”

Indeed, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg utilized a two-stop strategy last year at Shanghai, in which he started on the soft tires and then ran his middle and closing stints on the mediums. The plan paid off with Rosberg bagging the first victory for a Mercedes Formula One team since the great Juan Manuel Fangio’s triumph at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix (Mercedes would withdraw from the sport after Fangio’s win and not return until the 2010 season).

Above, Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola shows us what to expect from the medium/soft combination at Shanghai. Don’t miss the UBS Chinese Grand Prix live this Sunday at 2:30 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports Network.

  1. apexassassin - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    Expect bad graining on Friday with the cooler temps.

    We’ll see how it goes on Sunday when it counts. Until then its just another ad for Pirelli who has thoroughly unimpressed with their contribution to F1 thusfar.. I fully expect to see giant chunks of rubber tearing off most of the teams and a single line processional race as the “clag” builds up off line.

  2. techmeister1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    There is nothing worng with the 2013 Pirelli tires IMO. We go through the same bitching every year until the engineers figure out their cars and tires. Any possible advantage a team can get by carping, they’ll take.

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