Pirelli Motorsport director Paul Hembery has said that he expects to see more pitstops during the second round of the F1 season this weekend in Malaysia.
The anticipated degradation failed to materialise in Melbourne during the season opener as most of the field were able to complete the race using two pitstops, with Sergio Perez even managing to make it to the finish having pitted only once.
Speaking ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, Hembery said he felt that tyre wear would be a bigger issue in the heat anticipated at Sepang and that three or four stops would probably be the norm.
"We were absolutely thrilled by our grand prix debut in Australia, but we're aware that Malaysia should be a very different proposition, with higher temperatures and increased degradation,” he said. “We said all along that we would be seeing two to three pit stops in Australia, but in Malaysia I think that figure is likely to increase to three to four. They say that it's never a question of if it rains at Sepang but when, so the performance of our wet tyres could be crucial this weekend and we're certainly looking forward to seeing them out on track.
“We never believe in standing still at Pirelli, which is why the teams will have two extra sets of slick tyres available to them during Friday's free practice sessions for evaluation purposes. With testing not allowed during the season, this gives us a valuable opportunity to gather more data and feedback, while it also gives the teams an interesting taste of what could be coming in the future."
The extra slick tyres being made available on the Friday are part of Pirelli's plan to use the opening day of practice to help development new technology for the future.