Button predicts five-stop strategies
Jenson Button believes some drivers might have to make five pit stops during the Korean Grand Prix, as tyre degradation looks set to play a crucial role in Sunday's race.
Pirelli has brought its soft and super-soft compounds to Korea, which have only made appearances at tighter circuits such as Monaco and Singapore this year. In contrast, the Korean International Circuit has a mix of slow-speed and high-speed corners, with drivers experiencing up to 4.5G of lateral force in the sweeping corners in sector two.
On Monday Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "Korea presents the supersoft tyres in particular with their toughest test of the year, but with the championship decided this is a valuable opportunity for us to try out some alternative nominations in order to have some more information for next year. Because of the abrasive surface and comparatively high lateral loading in Korea we might expect a higher number of pit stops than usual from the drivers basing their strategies around the softer tyre."
With six sets of tyres available to drivers for qualifying and the race, five pit stops is the maximum number a driver can make and Button reckons its likely that some will hit that limit.
"It's going to be tough," he is quoted by Autosport. "The softs are pretty tough tyres to do a long run with anyway, so with the supersoft it is going to be interesting. You could see a lot of stops here. We can only have five stops, we can't have any more, but I think we might be using all of them.
"Qualifying is going to be interesting, as you don't want to flat-spot a tyre, because you are going to need them all maybe. And then we have India, which is a fast circuit like Suzuka and at the moment is 35 degrees, so it's going to be like Suzuka but even hotter, so even tougher on tyres. So we have a tough couple of races coming up. It's not just about sheer speed, it's whether you can look after the tyres or not."