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Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says the the high levels of tyre degradation witnessed during Friday practice at Sepang were 'within our anticipated parameters', arguing that the situation is not as serious as some teams have suggested.
A selection of drivers have recently spoken out about the challenging nature of the manufacturer's new tyre compounds, with degradation significantly increased compared to the latter half of the 2012 campaign. However, Hembery has reiterated that this was always going to be the case with a push towards one lap performance.
"The teams experienced high ambient temperatures for the first time this year with our tyres, which was extremely useful as these are also the conditions that we would anticipate for the rest of the weekend," said Hembery. "That includes the high risk of rain showers, as we saw halfway through FP2. As the circuit dried, this allowed the teams to assess the crossover points between the intermediates and the slicks.
"As we expected, we saw quite a high wear rate today, due to the more extreme nature of our 2013 tyres - which put the accent firmly on performance - as well as the high temperatures and abrasive track surface. Nonetheless, degradation stayed within our anticipated parameters."
Hembery went on to discuss the significant differences in degradation throughout the field, with certain outfits able to extract more than 21 laps out of the Hard compound tyre, while others have been struggling to reach a total of 15.
"We have also seen differences in the way that individual teams use the compounds, with the hard compound lasting 15 laps for some teams and 21 laps or more for others," Hembery said of the current situation. "We’ll be looking at all the data tonight to establish a more precise picture for qualifying and the race."
Sunday afternoon's Malaysian Grand Prix consists of 56 laps, with both the Prime and Option compounds, the Hard and Medium tyre in this instance, needing to be used.
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