Although I really enjoyed the GP of China I still have a bit of a bad feeling about it. I felt the excitement came more from tire strategy (or the lack of it) than skill.
We all talk about DRS and how easy it must be overtaking with that button. But to me it looked even easier for fresh tires vs. old tires.
But what I’m wondering is, will this effect last?
The Pirelli’s have clearly surprised a few stratigists on the pit wall. But what will happen if everybody understands these tires after say 5 more races. Will we still see different strategies or will they all have the same?
Presumably they’ll start to get the hang of it and design their cars to be easier on their tyres over time. But I doubt there is that much they can do about it. So, I’m guessing, some races will be more predictable where most cars use the same strategy, and others will be a bit more chaotic and varied
I think it will calm down but most drivers will be pitting at least twice on average which will still throw a spanner into the works for alot of the strategists on the pit wall.
One of the benefits (from a spectator P.O.V) of the Pirelli’s is not so much the degradation itself but how abruptly they drop off. That’s what’s giving the teams something to scratch their head over. They don’t have time to mull it over for a few laps. In, out and hope for the best!
I think that the teams will eventually work out optimun strategy for the races, though hopefully not till next year when they’ll be going back to circuits for the 2nd time with pirellis, and even then it may not be the same as the tyres may be developed between seasons.
I think what will keep tyres strategy interesting during races will be teams being temted into tryng to gain a speed advantage on the undercut, pitting earlier and getting faster tyres, but then sometimes running out of rubber and dropping off the cliff at the end of the race and being caught by cars who pitted later.
Also if Pirelli can keep supplying tyres that mean 2 or 3 stop races can be equally quick, as we almost seen in china, then teams and drivers can choose a strategy to work for them (for example webber 3 stopping, vettel 2) and that will help keep the racing good to. This should still be possible in the future as it looks like the tyres can go fast for a few laps then lose grip, or slower for a longer distance before they lose grip, and i dont think theres a lot the teams can do to work around that basic principle and get super fast, super durable life out of the tyres.