Pirelli: tyre degradation is not excessive
12 April 2013 – Pirelli has responded to the array of negative comments over its tyre compound allocation for this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit, insisting that degradation did not reach extreme levels during Friday practice.
Although many drivers struggled to make the softer of the two compounds survive in this afternoon's second 90 minute session, the Italian manufacturer's Motorsport Director, Paul Hembery, expects a maximum of three pit-stops on race day, setting a target of 10 to 11 laps per stint for the Option rubber and 18 laps for the Medium tyre.
Although degradation levels have been high, Hembery believes the situation will improve as the weekend progresses and the track surface generates more grip.
"We experienced some graining on the front left, particularly with the Soft tyre, which has resulted in higher levels of degradation than we would like although we are confident that this will come down as the weekend goes on," Hembery explained.
"The performance gap between the two tyre compounds is around 1.5 seconds, which is a little higher than we initially expected but it’s still early days here."