Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says a hot Chinese Grand Prix would be "very difficult" for the tyres this weekend.
The Malaysian Grand Prix is traditionally very hot and as a result the hardest two tyre compounds were selected by Pirelli at Sepang, with most teams still requiring three stops. However, while the Shanghai circuit is also a test for the tyres the expected lower temperatures has led to Pirelli opting for the medium and soft compounds.
The current forecast is for a cool weekend, but Hembery admits the tyre manufacturer has taken a risk if there was to be any hot running.
“The weather tends to be quite unpredictable in China, although generally we can expect to see temperatures that are significantly cooler than those we experienced in Malaysia," Hembery said. "Last year we had reasonably stable weather conditions in China whereas in previous years it has been more up and down – so this throws in a very interesting variable.
"The front-left tyre is the most stressed in Shanghai, while the traction demands of the circuit also give a lot of work to the rear tyres. Although we haven’t actually yet seen a very hot Chinese Grand Prix during our time in Formula One, if you look at the weather history there is potential for this to happen as well.
"This would make things very difficult for the tyres – Shanghai is a big, open circuit and if you add in heat, it creates a lot of energy – but we’ve seen from Malaysia that these tyres will rise to the challenge. As Shanghai is a large circuit there’s plenty of opportunity for overtaking and big on-track battles. Strategy-wise, we’d normally expect a two-stop race.”
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