Shanghai is designed to test the limits of a modern Formula One car, particularly when it comes to traction and braking, where the tires are under most stress.
Temperatures in China are expected to be considerably lower than they were in Malaysia, with much less humidity. Added to the smoother surface found in Shanghai, in theory there should be much less degradation. Rain is not an uncommon occurrence in China, so after a dry Malaysia, this could be where the intermediate and wet P Zero tires finally make their competition debut. Otherwise, it will be the hard and the soft tires that once again take center stage, which were also nominated for Australia and Malaysia this year. The soft tire in particular should be well-suited to the 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile) track, but China is a race that is always hard to predict. Since the Chinese Grand Prix was first held in 2004, there has been a different winner every year: a sign of the diverse characteristics and complex variables that characterize the race.
"So far I'm very pleased with the way that our tires have helped the show, but I'm always impressed by the way that the teams and drivers learn so quickly: I'm sure they will be finding different solutions to make the tires last longer all the time," said Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery. "So far we have accurately predicted two pit stops in Australia and three in Malaysia but we'll have to wait until we see the data after Friday free practice before having a completely clear idea of what to expect in China.
Unlike Malaysia, where we provided the teams with an experimental tire for free practice, we will give each team one extra set of the usual hard tires for Friday's first free practice session - just as we did in Australia. We saw then that it worked well, allowing the teams to maximize their track time and prepare as thoroughly as possible for the race, so we'd like to give them the same opportunity again. The first two races have been absolutely thrilling; I'm hoping that we'll see the same again in China!"