Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery believes that the one second time difference between the medium and supersoft tyre compounds will give teams plenty of scope to use some interesting strategies if the race runs in dry conditions. Despite earlier reports that the Korea International Circuit could be a hit by a tropical storm on Sunday morning, weather experts believe that the worst of the weather is set to steer west of the circuit’s location.
However, it could still create a wet race on Sunday afternoon. Drivers were met with green track conditions during Friday practice but didn’t encounter too many problems with tyre graining or wear.
Discussing the practice sessions he said: “The teams have quite a lot of data on the medium and supersoft already from Singapore, but this circuit is a completely different proposition. The lateral energy loadings in particular are much higher, which makes the process of reading the wear and degradation rates accurately on differing fuel loads absolutely essential when it comes to formulating a strategy.”
He added: “The track was very ‘green’ at the start of free practice this morning but this is what we expected and it got quicker as more rubber was laid down. Despite the slippery surface the teams didn’t encounter much graining and there were no big surprises generally speaking, which allowed everybody to get on with their programmes as anticipated.”
He believes that the time difference of one second between the two compounds will open up scope for strategy if conditions remain dry: “We’re seeing a time difference of about a second between the two compounds at the moment, although we would expect this to come down a bit tomorrow. So there is plenty of scope to formulate some interesting strategies, but the big question mark will be surrounding the weather and safety cars. Some uncertain weather is expected over the remainder of the weekend and Korea also has quite a high safety car probability, which can obviously change the complexion of the race.”
Image courtesy of Pirelli Media