Mercedes director expecting 'extreme' strategies in Shanghai


Mercedes technical chief Paddy Lowe believes drivers could be expected to pit inside the first five laps of Sunday's Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. 

F1 tyre-supplier Pirelli has retained the choice of medium, soft and super-soft compounds for China, which is the same it has offered for the first two races of the season in Australia and Bahrain.

However, Lowe believes the nature of the Shanghai International Circuit means teams will be forced to take on more "extreme" strategies.

"The Shanghai circuit places an entirely different duty on tyres relative to Melbourne and Bahrain," Lowe said.

"However, we have the same three compounds available, so it will be interesting to see how the competitive order plays out.

"It's the first time we'll see the super-soft compound used at this track, thanks to the new regulations, and that will likely create a more extreme example of what we saw in Bahrain, where the best qualifying tyre is unlikely to be a great race tyre.

"Every team is bound to want to qualify on the super-soft, but if it grains in the race, we could see cars stopping in the first five laps."

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, who secured his first ever F1 win in China, has won both races of the 2016 season and leads the drivers' standings by 17 points over team-mate and defending champion Lewis Hamilton.