Pirelli expecting “reasonably high” tyre degradation at Bahrain
Pirelli are expecting “reasonably high” tyre degradation at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix around the Bahrain International Circuit, which has become renowned for its high amounts of traction and braking throughout a race weekend. To counteract the expected high tyre degradation, Pirelli has allocated the medium and hard tyres.
Last time out at the Chinese Grand Prix, Pirelli once again came under fire from various drivers including Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton. Throughout the race weekend, the soft tyre compound in particular created many headaches for the teams’ and drivers’, with some electing for minimal running during qualifying to preserve their tyres for the race. Unlike last season, Pirelli have allocated the medium and hard tyres for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Paul Hembery is expecting around three pit stops during the race, however that figure could fluctuate throughout the weekend.
“Bahrain was one of the very few circuits that was entirely new to us in competition last year, although we know it well from testing.” Explained Paul Hembrey, “It’s one of the most demanding tracks of the year for the tyres, mostly because of the high ambient and track temperatures. We expect about three stops per car, although we’ll have to wait to get some running in on Friday before we can look at the data and make a more accurate prediction. From what we saw last year though, there will be plenty of scope for different race strategies, which can even allow drivers who have not qualified as well as they hoped to recover during the Grand Prix.”
Last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix was won by Sebastian Vettel, who mastered a three-stop strategy whilst utilizing a mixture of used and new tyres. Only Paul di Resta managed to carry out a two-stop, after starting on a new set of soft tyres before switching to two new sets of medium tyres during the race. Pirelli’s tyres have been the name of the game so far this season, and will undoubtedly continue to be so during this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
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