Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

Pirelli F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

09.04.2018: Shanghai: An unusual tyre nomination, mixed track layout, unpredictable weather, and varied strategies

Shanghai: An unusual tyre nomination, mixed track layout, unpredictable weather, and varied strategies



The season’s third  race presents the  first  nomination of  the  year with a gap between the selected compounds  – medium, soft and ultrasoft  – and in China there’s always a  chance  of  the  Cinturato  wet  weather  tyres  appearing as  well. 



The Shanghai circuit  offers a  roughly  equal  mix  of straights  and  corners, with  the  corners themselves additionally offering  a  wide  range  of  speeds  and  radii. It’s one of the races where strategy has often made a particular difference in the past.



THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW



-  Turns  1  and  13 are  the most  demanding  corners  for tyres. Turn  1  is  a  decreasing  radius cornerleading straight into Turn 2, while the long. Turn 13 is taken at high speed .


- There’s a very long straight that can have the effect of cooling the tyres, meaning that drivers  need to pay attention to the braking area: this is also a key opportunity for  overtaking.


-  The circuit isn’t used much during  the year , which can make it quite ‘green’ and slippery.


-  The 2017 strategy was  influenced by rain and safety  cars . Lewis  Hamilton won  with a two - stopper, starting on the intermediate and then completing two stints on the soft.


-  It’s quite a  fast  and  flowing  circuit,  with  lateral  forces  (cornering)  more  predominant  than longitudinal forces (acceleration and braking).


- In cold weather, some graining has been observed in the past: especially in free practice.


-  The surface is quite smooth, making it easier to find a consistent set up: the main challenge  is to identify the best compromise between downforce and drag to find the right wing level.




MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF CAR RACING “



The new wider range of 2018 P Zero compounds have allowed us to come up with some nominations this year where there is a gap in the tyres selected: in the case of China, alongside the medium, we jump from soft to ultrasoft, leaving out the supersoft.


There’s quite a big gap from medium to the softer compounds, which are quite close together (with the exception of the hypersoft). So, by missing out the supersoft in China, we end up with three choices that are quite evenly spaced out, which in turn opens up several different possibilities for strategy.


These strategy calculations have of course already begun, with teams selecting different quantities of the ultrasoft heading into the race, and we could also see some different approaches to qualifying as well.



With China being an unpredictable race anyway, thanks to a number of different overtaking opportunities and notoriously variable weather, this tyre nomination introduces another parameter, which should hopefully contribute to an even better spectacle .”




WHAT’S NEW?



-  The  P  Zero  Purple  ultrasoft  makes  its  Chinese  debut,  while  the  supersoft  that was nominated last year is absent.

-  China is slightly later on the calendar, swapping places with Bahrain for 2018 .


-  Formula 1  Pirelli Hot Laps  continue in Shanghai , with Mercedes - AMG joining the  programme



Anthony Peacock - photo Pirelli

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/pirelli-f1-chinese-gp-preview---174774.html

09.04.2018 / MaP

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