Pirelli’s Paul Hembery was pleased to announce despite all the tyre controvery, that the Chinese Grand Prix had played out near perfectly to Pirelli’s race prediction. Underlying the fact that the Italian tyre company are providing a service directly to the letter of their brief in Formula One.
“Strategy played a key role in today’s race, with the medium tyre proving particularly effective at the beginning of the grand prix on full fuel”, explained Pirelli’s Paul Hembery. “This initially rewarded the drivers who started on the medium tyre”.
Pirelli were pushing the virtues of the medium compound in light of the high soft tyre degradation, although the weaker compound was manageable when not pushed in racing conditions.
“It was degradation, rather than actual wear, that dictated strategy but we saw consistent lap times from the medium compound, even on a long run of 15 laps or more. Once more we saw a very wide variety of race strategies”, said Hembery.
The fastest time on the soft tyre belonged to Fernando Alonso (with a 1.39:506), followed by Raikkonen (on 1.39:955) and Hamilton (with a 1.39:981). Interestingly the quickest medium tyre lap time belonged to Sebastian Vettel (on 1.36:808) with his late soft run on light fuel, but the most realistic heavy-fuel soft tyre times were that of Button and Bottas (on 1.38:058 and 1.38:200 respectively).
Button completed the longest stint on the mediums with 26 laps, while Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Maldonado, Massa, Perez, Button and Chilton were the longest runners on the soft compound with 7 laps a piece.
The winning strategy from Alonso was starting on the soft, changing to the medium on lap 6, medium again from lap 23 and 41. This strategy mirrored that of Pirelli’s race prediction of mediums from lap 6-9, 22-26 and 39 to 43.
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic