Hamilton: Soft tyre not right for Shanghai
12 April 2013 – Lewis Hamilton says Pirelli’s Soft compound "doesn’t feel like the right tyre" to be using for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai, with the field struggling to make the rubber last longer than one flying lap during second free practice.
The Mercedes driver, who backed up pace-setting team-mate Nico Rosberg in the first session, complained of severe degradation over his team radio and suggested that Pirelli's allocation, which includes the Medium tyre, has been slightly too agressive.
"The Soft is hardcore," Hamilton told reporters at Shanghai after the second free practice session. "I don’t know why, but it doesn’t feel like the right tyre for this circuit. I did a couple of laps and the tyres just disintegrated. It was quite unusual. Otherwise, the track is great fun to drive and hopefully will give us lots of opportunities for overtaking in the race."
Hamilton drew confidence from what has been a positive start to the weekend and is adamant that more pace could have been extracted if he had enjoyed a traffic-free run.
"I think mine and Nico’s pace was quite competitive today," explained Hamilton, who finished seventh quickest in the afternoon's second practice session. "I think Nico got a lap in, but I got a bit of traffic with [Nico] Hülkenberg on my lap. I think we would have been quite high up today. Around 10 or 15 minutes later everyone went a bit quicker.
"I think we are there or thereabouts, but who knows. Tomorrow we will find out."