Mercedes expects "extreme" Chinese GP tyre strategies

Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe is expecting the supersoft tyres to create extreme strategies in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

Teams will be using the supersoft tyre for the first time at the Shanghai circuit, which had previously featured the soft compound as the softest tyre option before this year's race.

With drivers expected to use the red-marked rubber for qualifying, the top eight will start the race with that compound, and Lowe believes that could lead to pitstops within the first five laps of the race.

"The Shanghai circuit places an entirely different duty on tyres relative to Melbourne and Bahrain," said Lowe in a team preview.

"However, we have the same three compounds available, so it will be interesting to see how the competitive order plays out.

"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."

Lowe says the varying weather conditions at the Chinese circuit will also throw in more unpredictability this weekend.

"What makes this all the more difficult for the teams is the unpredictability of the conditions," he added. "It can be quite warm in Shanghai - but it can also be as cool as Belgium.

"That variability can make life tricky in terms of both set-up and strategy work, so it's always a challenging weekend.

"We like going to Shanghai, however. It's traditionally one of our stronger circuits, with four poles and three wins from the last four races."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Chinese GP
Track Shanghai International Circuit
Teams Mercedes
Article type Breaking news