Image Courtesy: Pirelli
Tyres, tyres, tyres - they certainly caused a headache for teams and drivers alike in 2012. Pirelli, F1's official tyre supplier, were asked to make tyres which degrade quickly to ''improve the show". This was based on the assumption that higher tyre degradation would lead to more pit stops and thus more exciting races. Pirelli were able to achieve success in this respect, however, teams found it very hard to understand these tyres. Moreover, these tyres showed a sudden and massive decline in performance. For instance, Raikkonen slipped from 2nd to 14th within a few laps during the latter part of the Chinese Grand Prix. But 2012 is over and the question is whether tyres will play the same role in Formula 1 in 2013 as they did in 2012?
F1's official tyre supplier Pirelli has announced the tyre compounds for next four races - China, Bahrain, Spain and Monaco. Pirelli uses same tyre compounds for China, Spain and Monaco while Bahrain which returns to calendar will feature soft and medium tyre.
“Our nominations this year are designed to push the envelope of performance, as can be seen from our latest choices,” explains Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
“Only the Super Soft tyre is the same compound as last year; the other compounds are softer and therefore faster, designed to encourage closer racing as well as a wider variety of strategies.”
Tyre compounds for next four races
China - Soft and Medium
Bahrain - Soft and Medium
Spain - Soft and Hard
Monaco - Super Soft and Soft
F1's official supplier Pirelli has announced that the it will use the Renault R30 for testing purposes this season. The Italian company previously used the three old Toyota TF109 for the same.
“It was clear from an early point that we needed a more modern solution for our test car, as while the Toyota TF109 has served us extremely well, it is now three years-old,” said Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.
"Technology as well as the regulations have moved on considerably since then, and the Toyota is no longer able to generate the same sort of forces that we need to simulate in order to meet the current requirements of Formula One.”
To ensure all teams are treated equally, Pirelli will have its own test team and would allow only one observer from each team to test sessions.
“At the top of our agenda is the need to treat the teams entirely equally, which is why the test team will be run independently and all the teams will be able to send an observer to the tests,” continued Hembery.
“Our new test car will be running to current fuel regulations, with no refuelling, so we will be able to simulate a full race distance and the change in balance with the car and tyres.
It is expected that Pirelli would have four to five test this season.
Having made a successful return to F1, Pirelli are riding their luck with the new 2012 Tyres which are believed to more powerful then its predecessors, With Tyre strategy playing an important role in 2011 where unpredictability was the key with more high number of overtaking and exciting races, The Company is hoping that the ordeal continues through the 2012 season as the Tyres has been developed considerably with the gap between each second is set to be around a second mark compared to 1.5 seconds between the two tyre compounds. The Supersoft has been left untouched while other 3 slicks has been changed as they are made softer and a bit more durable. The gap between tyre compounds is a bit closer as to ensure Teams don't stick with one particular tyre as in case of last year the softer tyre was widely preferred throughout by the Teams.
Pirelli has also changed the Tyre markings for 2012 slightly with the Inter will be marked as Green while the Full wets will be marked as Blue. The Harder slick will be marked with a dark silver. Also it is worth noting that the full wets won't using P-Zero name but rather they will be called as the Cinturato brand that the company made famous in 1950's
Pirelli have been using the Toyota TF109 for their Tyre development in 2010 and 2011 season. Now that the car is in Museum, they have been forced to look elsewhere. With the limited testing available, The Teams are reluctant by having a 2011 car to be run for the development programme as it would favour one particular team. Pirelli is now hoping for a mutual agreement between the Teams as the data gained from the testing would be shared with all the Teams. But if no solution is found, then Pirelli has indicated that it would have to buy out a 2011 spec car from a particular team as testing has to be done for the development of its Tyres.
Image Courtesy - Sutton Images
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery has revealed that Pirelli would be more aggressive this year as compared to 2011.
Pirelli tyres made 2011 one of the most exciting season in recent times; the quick wearing tyres meant teams had to make more number of pitstops.
"Well we made it a little bit easier for the teams by using a particular soft compound all through the season, so they always had a central product which allowed them to optimise either the chassis set-up or the driving style," Hembery said. "Another year we won't do that. We'll be mixing the compounds a lot more, the compounds will be more aggressive, performances will be more aggressive."