It seems that Mercedes is expecting to have a wild weekend when Formula 1 comes to Shanghai for this year’s Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix. In fact, they’re expecting to find themselves taking “extreme” race strategies.
Things can indeed go wild when Formula 1 comes to China this weekend. After all, it will be the first time Pirelli would be bringing it supersoft tires over to the Chinese circuit, one that is known to be significantly abrasive.
For this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, Pirelli has decided to bring along its supersoft, soft and medium tires.
“The Shanghai circuit places an entirely different duty on tyres relative to Melbourne and Bahrain. However, we have the same three compounds available, so it will be interesting to see how the competitive order plays out,” explained Mercedes Technical Executive Director Paddy Lowe.
Furthermore, the Mercedes boss believes that should anyone do qualifying laps using supersoft tires and the track is quite grainy, cars might end up stopping during the first five laps.
The Shanghai International Circuit has an incredible length of 5.451 km, where drivers will have to do 56 laps to complete a race distance of 305.066 km. There is also the weather to consider. Last year, drivers had a relatively hot race with track temperatures going from 46.6 to 40.3 degrees.
Meanwhile, Lowe said that weather in China can be unpredictable. He noted, “It can be quite warm in Shanghai – but it can also be as cool as Belgium.”
Meanwhile, this year’s Chinese Grand Prix will also be the first race for the season where the old qualifying format will be reintroduced. According to a report from motorsport.com, the return of the old qualifying format has finally been approved by the F1 Commission and the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council.