Monday, 23 March 2015

Pirelli Malaysian Grand Prix Preview

(Pirelli Motorsport Media)

Pirelli will bring the Orange walled Hard and White walled Medium compound tyre for high temperature conditions of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang circuit in Kuala Lumpur.

Degradation will be a key factor this weekend with the high track temperatures and this means that we can expect to see the possibility of 2-3 stop strategies by the team’s this weekend. The Italian manufacturer expects there to be a performance gap of 1 to 1.2 seconds between the Hard and Medium compound tyre.

The Medium and Hard compound tyre won’t appear again until the European leg of the season as Pirelli will bring the Yellow walled Soft and White walled Medium compound tyres for the Chinese Grand Prix and the Bahrain night race.

Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery stated:

The Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago confirmed what we saw in testing: lap times that are two seconds or more faster this year compared to last year, in every session. 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. For all these reasons, we have chosen the two hardest tyres in our range this weekend: P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium, as has always been the case in Malaysia since we returned to Formula One in 2011. 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.

© Ben Johnston 2015

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