McLaren loads up on softs in China F1 tyre picks
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has unveiled teams' tyre selections for the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, with McLaren banking on the softest available tyre.
McLaren drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris will each have nine sets of the C4 compound, the softest available in Shanghai.
The rest of the field has opted for either eight or seven sets of the red-walled soft tyre.
Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who finished 1-2 in the first two races of the 2019 campaign, will both have eight sets of the C4s available, although Hamilton will have one more set of the C3 mediums and one fewer set of the C2 hards than his Finnish teammate.
Bahrain GP standout Charles Leclerc will likewise have one more set of mediums and one fewer set of hards than his teammate Sebastian Vettel - but both Ferrari drivers will make do with only seven sets of the soft tyre.
For the second race weekend running, Max Verstappen will have one more set of softs than his Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly.
The C2-C4 range, which was likewise chosen for the Melbourne opener, makes a return in Shanghai after Pirelli brought tyres a step harder for Bahrain.
“In China it’s difficult to predict, because sometimes the weather is good, sometimes the weather is very cold,” said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.
“It’s a track where if it is cold for sure we have graining on the front left tyre, because of the very long corners on the right.
“With better conditions the graining is much reduced, so the wear life and degradation is changing massively.
“We have the C2, C3, C4 - it’s an average choice because we have to cover both the possibility that you have warm weather or cold weather.
“It’s a sort of compromise, but I believe it’s the right choice for China.”
Selected sets per driver
Photo by: Pirelli
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