Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand-Prix Friday practices

Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand-Prix Friday practices

13.04.2018: - All three compounds used during free practice in Shanghai: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes on the Ultrasoft tyre

- All three compounds used during free practice in Shanghai: Lewis Hamilton fastest for Mercedes on the Ultrasoft tyre

- Tyre performance as expected on a challenging circuit in cool conditions, with teams focussing on compound comparisions around

-0.7 seconds separate soft from ultrasoft at the first race of the season with a "step" between tyre nominations






Mercedes  driver  Lewis  Hamilton  topped  both free  practice sessions in China, using the soft tyre in the morning and then the ultrasoft to go fastest in the afternoon, with Ferrari also within a tenth of a second after FP2.


The  forecast  of  rain  did  not  materialise  until  right  at  the  end  of  the  session,  but temperatures  remained  cool  and  cloudy,  with  19  degrees  centigrade  ambient  and  21 degrees on track at the end of FP2.



Teams  concentrated  on  gathering  data  across  all  three  compounds  with  different  fuel loads in order to formulate their race strategies, with a dry race expected on Sunday.



A lot  of  the  work  consisted  of  direct  tyre  comparisons,  with  teams  assessing  the  overall performance of the ultrasoft compared to the medium and soft.



MARIO ISOLA -HEAD OF CAR RACING“


This is the first race of the season where we have a gap between the compounds, with our nominations being medium, soft and ultrasoft, missing out the supersoft. The thinking behind  this  strategy  was  to  have  a  fairly  even  time  gap  between  all  three  compounds available. 



This  has  proved to  be  the  case  so  far,  with  a  gap  of  about  0.9  seconds between  medium  and  soft,  and  a  slightly  smaller  one  between  the  soft  and  ultrasoft, leading to a total difference of around 1.6 seconds from medium to ultrasoft.



This should lead  to  some  interesting  strategies,  with  some  cars  seeming  to  be  more  at  home  on certain  compounds  than  others.



 A  lot  of  this  behaviour  is  of  course  influenced  by weather, and it looks like teams will have to adapt their cars and strategies to what are likely to be slightly warmer conditions in the race, which should play to the strengths of the harder compounds available, witha higher working range.

 

 

-ANthony Peacock, photo Pirelli

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13.04.2018 / MaP

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