Pirelli says they have been “slightly more aggressive” with the selected tyre compounds for the Indian Grand Prix. They felt that bringing the hard and soft compound rubber to the past two races at the Buddh International Circuit was too conservative.
The Italian supplier’s motorsport director Paul Hembery is expecting closer racing and mixed up strategies with the tyre nominations for this weekend’s race: the white medium and yellow soft compound tyres.
This combination has only been used at three other races. Looking ahead to the race weekend Hembery said: “We’ve decided to go for the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres in India this year, which we think will be the best combination for the Buddh circuit and lead to closer racing. For the last two years running we’ve actually gone for the hard and soft compounds, which might have been slightly on the conservative side, so this year we’ve gone for a softer and slightly more aggressive choice.”
He added: “As a result, just like the last race in Japan, we’re not expecting to see a particularly big variation in lap times between the two compounds. Consequently, the strategy made a very big difference in Japan and this should be the same in India. We only had one pit stop per car in India last year, but this year we would expect two – which also provides the drivers and teams with more opportunities to make up places.”
The Brit also commented on the characteristics of the track and the impacts it has on the tyres: “With varying elevations and a wide variety of corners India provides the tyres with quite a test, as there are forces coming from all directions, so tyre management will once again prove to be important. As usual, it should be very warm in India, which increases thermal degradation as well. This looks set to be a decisive race for the championship so we hope that our tyre choice will help to make it a memorable contest with high-quality racing.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic