F1: Malaysian Grand Prix tyres
The first Grand Prix of the season was a total success for Pirelli. However, the Malaysian Grand Prix was much more complicated as a result of rapid tyre-wear and a problem with rubber deposits on the race track. This made for a very busy race.
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With temperatures reaching more than 30°C and a humidity rate of 83%, the Pirelli tyres were faced with extreme conditions. This diminished their life expectancy and hence multiplied the number of pit stops. While certain drivers point out this new factor to take into account, the audience is the winner on the day with a much more exciting performance: lots of overtaking, honed strategies and more demanding driving.
Thus, from the stands we witnessed a non-stop ballet in the pits with a total of 59 tyre changes and constant changes in the overall classifications. Mark Webber went from 4th to 10th place and Nick Heifeld slid between 2nd and 9th place while Sébastien Vettel was alone at the lead.
From Pirelli’s point of view, the positive effects of such a situation are highlighted in race strategies.
Nevertheless, rapid wear on the tyres was not without consequence as, according to certain drivers, the tyres left a lot of rubber on the race track (marbles). There is nothing particularly unusual about this phenomenon in itself, but it would seem that it was mostly the amount of deposits that posed a problem. Pirelli remains open to comments from the teams, stating that a solution to the problem will be sought if necessary.
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