Championship leaders Ferrari has chosen to take an attacking strategy into Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, following back-to-back victories at the Australian and Bahrain Grands Prix.
It has stocked up on eight sets of Pirelli Ultrasoft tyres for both of their drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. The duo will also have three sets of the yellow-walled Soft tyre compound and two of the Medium compound, the hardest tyre compound of the weekend.
Meanwhile, Mercedes have decided to split strategies with their two talents looking to a more conservative approach. Lewis Hamilton will take only one set of the white-walled Medium compound and six sets of the Soft compound tyre. His teammate Valtteri Bottas will take one set less of the Soft compound in favour of another Medium set of rubber.
On the other side of Ferrari, Red Bull Racing has taken another approach balancing out on the Ultrasoft and Soft tyre compounds as well as taking two Medium tyre sets for both of their drivers in Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
Further down the pitlane, Force India’s Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon will plan for plenty of long runs over the weekend as they seek to return to the top of the midfield. They have suited up with three sets of Medium tyres and six stacks of the purple-walled Ultrasofts for each driver.
Williams, Toro Rosso Honda, Haas F1 and Alfa Romeo Sauber have all also taken split strategies similar to Mercedes’ approach for the weekend with differences in the amount of Medium and Soft tyres.
For the first time ever since Pirelli introduced three tyre compounds to race weekends last year, Pirelli has decided to skip a tyre compound in the chain of rubber replacing the red-walled Supersofts for the Ultrasoft tyres.
The Chinese Grand Prix is the third round of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship and the second leg to the first double-header of the year after this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix. The Shanghai International Circuit is notably tough on the left-hand tyres thanks to 270° high-speed right-hand corners at Turns 1-2 and Turns 12-13.
Images via Pirelli Media and Scuderia Ferrari