Pirelli have released tyre compound selections from drivers for the Chinese Grand Prix later this month and revealed an aggressive choice from Mclaren drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
Mclaren, along with Williams and Haas have elected to take 7 sets of the Super Soft compound to Shanghai, suggesting a likely 3 stop strategy for these teams. Shanghai traditionally plays host to one of the cooler races of the season with teams often struggling with tyre temperature. Soft compound tyres will serve to counter act this issue, although the higher wear rate of the tyres may minimise any total race performance gain.
The Haas F1 team demonstrated in Bahrain at the weekend how a strategy focusing on soft tyre performance can work in the favour of the driver and deliver high quality on track entertainment for fans. We should expect a similar performance from both Mclaren, Williams and the American team in China.
2016 will be the first year in which Pirelli bring the super soft compound to China. It is noteworthy that all teams appear to focus on the softest compound available under the new tyre regulations. With softer compound tyres available we can expect to see lap records being challenged during qualifying as we saw in Bahrain.
Should Alonso be unable to participate in the Chinese Grand Prix Stoffel Vandoorne will again step in, he will be supplied with the tyre compound selection Fernando Alonso and the team made earlier in the year.