PIRELLI CHINA GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
Round three of 21
Shanghai, 14-17 April 2016
Milan, April 11th, 2016 – The imposing Shanghai circuit is wide, fast and flowing, with plenty of overtaking opportunities that frequently make for entertaining races. For the third time this year, the P Zero White medium, P Zero Yellow soft, and P Zero Red supersoft compounds have been nominated.
THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW:
- Weather conditions are nearly always unpredictable, which have a big effect on tyre behaviour.
- As a result, graining is sometimes an issue when it’s cool: especially in the early sessions.
- Around 80% of the lap is spent cornering, meaning that lateral loads are a crucial factor.
- The track is front limited, because of all the turns and high-energy corners.
- The crucial corners are Turn 1, which is almost a full circle, and Turn 13, which is banked.
- Drivers also have to avoid wheelspin out of the corners, in order to minimise rear degradation.
THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:
- White medium: a low working range compound that is one of the most versatile in the range.
- Yellow soft: a high working range compound with the accent on performance.
- Red supersoft: a low working range compound that is rapid but with a limited overall life.
HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:
- Winner: Hamilton (two stops: started on soft, changed to soft on lap 14, medium on lap 33).
- Best-placed alternative strategy: Massa, fifth (also stopping twice, but starting on soft, changing to medium on lap 13, then medium again on lap 34).
- Most drivers stopped twice, but a few drivers also tried a three-stopper. The race strategy was affected by a late safety car, which extended tyre life.
PAUL HEMBERY, PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR:
- “China is a very different type of circuit to the two that we’ve visited up to now this year, yet the tyre nomination is the same, which underlines the adaptability of our product under a wide range of circumstances. Shanghai is also likely to be quite a cool race, although the nature of the place means that anything is possible, so teams will have to keep an open mind on strategy and carefully correlate the data captured in practice to the eventual race conditions. The three compounds selected have led to a number of different tactical permutations up to now, and we expect an ample variety of strategies once more in China.”
- Fresh articles on www.pirelli.com about the racing scene, culture and history in China.
- Qualifying: the former system will now return. This will not affect tyre allocations.
- Different thinking from teams on tyre selection: Haas, McLaren and Williams have made the most aggressive choice by taking a maximum seven sets of supersoft.
- For the first time, Pirelli will be the title sponsor of the Chinese Grand Prix. The second Pirelli-sponsored event this year will be the Spanish Grand Prix from May 12-15.
OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE CAUGHT OUR EYE RECENTLY:
- Stoffel Vandoorne: in Bahrain an assured grand prix debut that also proves the effectiveness of GP2 when it comes to teaching drivers about tyre management.
- The launch of the new P Zero road car tyre in Estoril, last used for a grand prix 20 years ago.
- Talk of a possible return to Las Vegas. The Caesar’s Palace Grand Prix was previously run in 1981 and 1982, being the championship decider in both cases.
THE COMPOUND NOMINATIONS SO FAR: