Pirelli expects two-stoppers at Sepang

Date published: March 24 2015

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery believes two-stop strategies will be the order of the day in Malaysia, but that number could rise depending on the conditions.

The 2015 season opener at Albert Park in Melbourne was a one-stop affair with only Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson stopping more than once.

However, things will be a bit more complicated at Sepang this weekend due to the hot and humid conditions and Pirelli has taken their white-marked medium and orange-branded hard tyres to the Asian country.

"We should see a return to at least two stops per car in Malaysia – perhaps more if the weather gets in the way ­ after an early Safety Car meant that unusually most drivers stopped only once in Australia," Hembery said.

"Wear and degradation is traditionally very high in Sepang, so managing the tyres and the strategy carefully will be key to success."

He added: "The Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago confirmed what we saw in testing: lap times that are two seconds or more faster this year compared to last year, in every session.

"This exponentially increases the workload on the tyres: something that will be particularly in evidence at Sepang, which has some of the most abrasive asphalt we race on all year and a number of fast corners that take a lot of energy out of the tyres, as well as high ambient temperatures."