Pirelli expects a difficult weekend and a tactic of 2 pit stops

The Chinese Grand Prix has returned to the World Championship calendar after a five-year hiatus. The length of the Shanghai circuit is 5,451 km, there are 16 corners, many of which are very slow, for example sections from 1 to 3 or from 6 to 4. But there are also fast corners, such as 7 and 8, and two long straights, on which there are two DRS zones.

Data collected in the past by Pirelli tire specialists at this circuit, but also obtained from the simulator, indicate that the lateral and longitudinal loads to which the rubber is exposed there are approximately at an average level. At the same time, they mainly affect the outer sidewalls of the tires on the left side of the car – their wear is the most intense.

Pirelli brought medium hardness tires to Shanghai: compound C2 will be used as hard, C3 as medium and C4 as soft. Formally, the same choice was made in 2019, but at that time the situation was very different, as 13-inch tires were mounted on previous generation cars in Formula 1 at the time.

In fact, now everyone will have to start everything from scratch – drivers, teams and Pirelli alike, as the guidelines are still very conditional. Everything is further complicated by the fact that the Chinese Grand Prix is ​​the first of six stages of the season, the program of which includes a sprint. At the same time, the only training and qualifying for the sprint will take place on Friday, and on Saturday there will be a short race and qualifying for the Grand Prix, which starts on Sunday.

With this weekend schedule, the teams will have just one one-hour training session on Friday to find the optimal settings and to analyze the behavior of the tires on the track, whose surface is clearly not in the best condition. This is because the track has seen little use since 2019, meaning grip will increase rapidly as the asphalt begins to become covered with a layer of waste rubber.

In April it can be quite chilly in Shanghai, with temperature fluctuations of up to 10 degrees, which makes the work of teams and drivers even more difficult.

The Chinese Grand Prix usually takes place with two pit stops, partly because there are several points on the circuit where overtaking is very possible, for example the start-finish straight and the braking zones before the 6th corner, but also before the 14th. . That. Just like in Suzuka, the tactic of an earlier pit stop, the so-called ‘cutting’, is quite effective in Shanghai.

Source: F1 News

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