Chinese GP: Preview - Pirelli


This year's Chinese Grand Prix will be a momentous occasion as Formula 1 celebrates 1000 races, with Pirelli having been present at 364 of them.

The hard tyre choice will be the C2, the medium C3 and the soft C4: right in the middle of Pirelli's range of five compounds. These are well suited to the varying demands of the enormous Shanghai International Circuit, which is well known for producing some interesting races where tyre strategy is key.

The wide track is renowned for its long straights and corners: the straights can cool down the front tyres in particularly, causing a risk of front locking.

Weather is always a big question mark: cool temperatures are common, which increases the possibility of graining – especially in free practice.

There was a wide variety of different strategies in China last year: Daniel Ricciardo won for Red Bull with two stops, although the race was affected by a safety car.

The track has a medium abrasive surface and is quite demanding on tyres, with the front-left tyre working hardest.

Lateral forces (cornering) are quite balanced with longitudinal forces (acceleration and braking) in China. Turns 1 and 13 are the most demanding corners.

All the drivers from the top three teams have made different tyre selection from their teammates in China, underlying the wide range of possible strategies.

Mario Isola: "Last year, China was the first grand prix where there was a ‘jump' in the tyre nominations, contributing to an exciting race with an emphasis on strategy. Our C2, C3 and C4 hard, medium and soft nominations this time are roughly equivalent to the medium, soft and ultrasoft compounds we had in China last year. We are hoping that this choice it will result in the same sort of entertaining action and a good mix of strategies. Shanghai is quite a complete track that contains a bit of everything, so it makes a solid all-round test of car and tyre performance. With plenty of overtaking opportunities as well, and the celebrations for the 1000th grand prix, it should be a very memorable weekend."

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Published: 08/04/2019
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