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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024

Pirelli starting from 'scratch' for Chinese Grand Prix

This weekend's Chinese Grand Prix is the first since 2019, with F1's last visit to China having been the sport's 1000th race.

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Pirelli has conceded that they are starting from “scratch“ at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, as it will be the first time the 18-inch tyres have been used at the Shanghai International Circuit.

This is, of course, because the Chinese GP has been cancelled the last five years due to the Coronavirus pandemic, with China having taken one of the strongest approaches to the outbreak.

As a result, this weekend will be the sport's first time racing in Shanghai with the current era of F1 cars. The circuit itself has seen minimal use since 2019, meaning high-track evolution is expected.

However, the biggest concern is the condition of the track surface, which is partly why Pirelli has opted for its middle range of tyres for the event.

In China this weekend, the C4, C3 and C2 compounds will be in operation, whilst each driver will only receive 12 sets instead of 13 as it is the first time this season that the sprint format will be used.

Interestingly, this is the same range that was used in 2019, although back then 13-inch tyres were used. It will be a weekend of discovery for the drivers and the teams, but also for Pirelli.

Pirelli has also noted that “April in Shanghai can see a marked change in temperatures with variations of around 10 °C, which adds another variable to the puzzle that the teams and drivers must piece together.

“Usually, the Chinese Grand Prix is a two-stop race, partly because there are several places where overtaking is possible, such as braking into turn 14 and then on the main straight and braking into turn 6. Just as it was in Suzuka, the undercut is usually very effective in Shanghai.”

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