Pirelli predicts at least two stops in Malaysia

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery is predicting this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix will be at least a two-stop race.

The Italian company has chosen the same compounds as last year for the Sepang event: medium and hard.

Although Pirelli used the soft and medium compounds in Australia, most drivers stopped just once during the race.

But Hembery does not expect that to be the norm, and he reckons the abrasive Sepang Tarmac will mean two or more stops this time out.

"The Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago confirmed what we saw in testing: laptimes that are two seconds or more faster this year compared to last year, in every session," said Hembery.

"This exponentially increases the workload on the tyres: something that will be particularly in evidence at Sepang, which has some of the most abrasive asphalt we race on all year and a number of fast corners that take a lot of energy out of the tyres, as well as high ambient temperatures.

"We should see a return to at least two stops per car in Malaysia – perhaps more if the weather gets in the way – after an early safety car meant that unusually most drivers stopped only once in Australia.

"Wear and degradation is traditionally very high in Sepang, so managing the tyres and the strategy carefully will be key to success."

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg used a three-stop strategy to dominate last year's Malaysian Grand Prix.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton , Nico Rosberg
Article type Breaking news
Tags hembery, pirelli