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F1 – Korean Grand Prix: Soft tyres show good resilience

Sport Published the 18/10/2011 by Jack

Claiming another victory in Korea, Sebastian Vettel continues his rise to the top. Besides his tremendous driving talent, the young champion also owes his success to a bold tyre strategy. As for Pirelli, they are unable to hide their satisfaction: Most drivers only came in for two pit stops to change their tyres.

Fitting tyres at the stand at the 2011 Korean Grand Prix Copyright © : Pirelli

Rain dominated the practice sessions for the Korean Grand Prix, leaving drivers only one hour Saturday morning to test the Pirelli tyres on a dry track. Not enough time for a thorough test with a variety of fuel loads.

Red Bull opted for a bold strategy right from the start: They decided to use super-soft tyres during the qualifying sessions and leave the soft tyres for the race. A good move, since Sebastian Vettel finished 12 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Contrary to what was initially predicted, drivers made fewer pit stops. Most drivers only pitted twice to change tyres. This was the case for Vettel, who used super-soft tyres for the first two stints and made a strong finish in the final stint with soft tyres.

The Pirelli team is pleased with the result: The soft and super-soft tyres stood up well. As such, Pirelli’s Motorsport director Paul Hembery proves that pre-race speculations were unfounded.