Daniel Ricciardo expects next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix to be particularly tough on tires as he looks to build on an impressive start to the new Formula 1 season.
Ricciardo sits third in the drivers’ championship after finishing fourth in both Australia and Bahrain, with Red Bull appearing to comfortably be the third-fastest team early on in 2016.
Looking ahead to next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, Ricciardo spoke of the challenges posed by the Shanghai International Circuit with a particular focus on tires.
“The straight at the Shanghai International Circuit is super long which makes it pretty different compared to other tracks,” Ricciardo said.
“Coming off that straight, you then have to brake for one of the tightest corners on the calendar – you go from one of the highest speeds to the lowest.
“Turns 1, 2 and 3 are like one big corner, really long and uphill, and this makes it really tough on the front left tire.
“It’s one of the toughest circuits for that which can be interesting.”
This year, tire usage and choice has been particularly important following Pirelli’s decision to introduce a third compound for each race weekend.
In both Australia and Bahrain, drivers ran with a variety of strategies, spicing up the racing at the front of the field.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was able to score points for the American team in its debut race thanks to an inspired strategy that saw him run long on the medium tire.
However, when teams tried to emulate this in Bahrain, they found that the track conditions were not as favorable, handing the advantage to the soft and medium runners.
You can see the tire selections that all of the drivers have made here.
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on April 17.