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Tyre chaos in China?

If the three compound tyre format of Formula One continues like it has over the opening two races then the Chinese Grand Prix could prove interesting.

One of a few things you will get everyone agreeing with in the paddock in 2016 is the benefit of having three Pirelli compound tyres to choose from.

The addition of an extra compound, along with the process of drivers privately selecting their tyre choices ahead of each race has provided some interesting tyre strategy scenarios in both Australia and Bahrain.

The impact that the current elimination style qualifying format also has had on selections is still up for debate and the impact of that will be seen for the first time in China with Formula One reverting back to the old system used in previous years.

Hopefully it will not have too much of an impact on the race as the race strategies for China look very intriguing.

The Mercedes pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have once again gone for slightly different selections, with Hamilton opting for one extra set of medium compound tyres and Rosberg going for an extra set of softs.

At Ferrari Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have made the same selection, which comparing to Mercedes gives them another set of supersoft tyres.

Williams have gone even more aggressive with both Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa having another set more of supersofts than Ferrari.

That selection leaves Massa with just one set of mediums, in comparison to Hamilton's four sets.

Further down the grid and the difference in strategy continues, Romain Grosjean of Haas like Massa has just one set of mediums, whilst the Sauber pair of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr have five sets of that compound.

The drivers who get through to Q3 are all likely to have set their fastest times in Q2 on a set of super-soft tyres, that compound is unlikely to last long with a full race amount of fuel onboard and thus Mercedes executive director (technical) Paddy Lowe believes the race will see some very early pit-stops.

'The Shanghai circuit places an entirely different duty on tyres relative to Melbourne and Bahrain, However, we have the same three compounds available [super-soft, soft & medium], so it will be interesting to see how the competitive order plays out. he told formula1.com.

'It's the first time we'll see the supersoft compound used at this track, thanks to the new regulations, and that will likely create a more extreme example of what we saw in Bahrain, where the best qualifying tyre is unlikely to be a great race tyre.

'Every team is bound to want to qualify on the supersoft - but if it grains in the race, we could see cars stopping in the first five laps. There will be plenty of analysis to do on Friday and we could see some interesting calls on qualifying and race strategy.'








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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday April 12 2016

Time: 11:00AM

 

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