Tag Archives: tyres

Pirelli unveil softer tyre compounds and new colour coding for 2012

Pirelli have introduced 4 new tyre compositions

Pirelli have introduced 4 new tyre compositions

Following the first look at the Caterham CT01, Pirelli have also revealed the rubber that all 12 F1 teams will be running on this season.

The Italian manufacturer has constructed brand-new soft, medium and hard compound tyres, with the super-soft formula being carried on from last year. There is also a new extreme wet tyre to be used.

The new tyres will be of a softer composition compared to last year.

The colour coding for the dry tyres remains roughly the same, except the hard tyre is now a much lighter silver colour, and it is expected to be almost invisible at high speed.

The intermediate tyre is now coloured green, while the new extreme wet compound is blue.

All 6 variants of tyre contain slightly wider contact patch than 2011, to counteract the loss of downforce from the banning of off-throttle diffusers. Pirelli explained that they have incorporated less of a rounded shoulder on the rubber to improve grip.

They also noted that they intend to reduce the performance gap between the options and primes on race weekends, from 1.2-1.8 seconds last year to around 0.6-0.8 in 2012.

Pirelli to drop hard tyre for rest of 2011

Pirelli's hard tyre will soon be replaced

Pirelli's hard tyre will soon be replaced

Pirelli has stated that it is unlikely to use the hard compound tyre again in 2011.

After announcing tyre compounds for the next 3 races (a mix of super-soft, soft and medium), it was becoming increasingly likely that the unpopular compound would not be used again.

Today, Pirelli’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery has explained that the medium as effectively replaced the harder tyre:

"I don't think we'll see the hard compound again. I think it's probably too hard and 
that the medium is proving sufficiently robust for the aggressive circuits we've 
still got to come. So don't think we'll be going the hard route."

This will prove beneficial to Fernando Alonso’s title hopes, as his Ferrari team has struggled massively on the harder compound this season, with particular problems bringing the rubber up to temperature.

Hembery also revealed that the hard tyre probably will not make an appearance in 2012, with the medium taking up that role:

"Probably next season the medium will become the hard. We'll probably slot something 
in between the current softs and mediums - We want to keep about one second between 
each. The super soft and soft gap is about right to be honest, because you've got a 1s 
speed advantage but you've got a clear degradation and limitation on use. If we could 
replicate that now with a new medium and a new hard then I think we'll be well placed."

Longer lasting medium tyre to be tested in Canada

Pirelli's medium tyre will be tested in Canada and debuted in Valencia

Pirelli's medium tyre will be tested in Canada and debuted in Valencia

Pirelli’s revised medium compound tyre will be available for testing by the teams in Canada next weekend.

Friday Practice sessions 1 and 2 will see the first running of the medium tyre in 2011 (in an official session). This compound was originally tested in Valencia in February testing, but was dropped after complaints of heavy wear after a few laps.

In the actual race in Canada, Pirelli will bring the soft and super-softs. Valencia will see the debut of the medium tyre, alongside the super-soft. Britain will see the hard tyre used in Spain return, as well as the soft compound.

The objective of this new medium tyre is to keep the same performance as the original mediums, but with a longer life.

Compounds used so far in 2011 race-by race:

Option Prime
Australia Soft Hard
Malaysia Soft Hard
China Soft Hard
Turkey Soft Hard
Spain Soft Hard
Monaco Super-soft Soft
Valencia Super-soft Medium
Great Britain Soft Hard

Pirelli announce tyre compounds for Turkey, Spain and Monaco

Pirelli will bring soft and hard tyres to Spain and Turkey

Pirelli will bring soft and hard tyres to Spain and Turkey

Pirelli have announced their choice of tyre compounds to bring to the Turkish, Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix.

The hard and soft tyres will be continued to be used for Turkey and Spain, the same compounds that have been used all so far this season. It is also the same choice that Bridgestone made last year.

The Monaco Grand Prix, meanwhile, will see the introduction of the super-soft tyre, accompanied by the soft tyre.

This means that the medium tyre will be the only tyre that hasn’t been used yet this season.

Also bear in mind that from the Turkish Grand Prix onwards, Pirelli will be using a new system to differentiate the softer tyre from the harder tyre, although their system has not been announced yet.

Di Resta leads complaints over Pirelli “rubber bullets”

This year, heavily degrading Pirelli tyres have brought an extra spice to Formula 1. However, Force India driver Paul di Resta has pointed out that “marbles” – pieces of discarded rubber – were striking him throughout the entire weekend.

These “marbles” are littered off the racing line, as a by-product of tyre wear. In the past, this was not such a major concern, but with the heavily wearing Pirelli tyres, these marbles have been dubbed by some as “rubber bullets”, as they are picked up and flicked at the driver.

Di Resta claims that this was a problem all race weekend:

"There are a lot of marbles out there, maybe too many. Come the end of the race, it 
gets difficult to overtake.

The other big thing is that they kept coming up and hitting me in the hands. In the 
middle of a fast corner, these lumps of rubber would be smacking into my hands as I 
turned the wheel.

Rubber is not the softest material and if it got you in the right place, it could 
hurt. It happened quite a few times over the weekend and as you go into the corner, 
the rubber runs across the tyre and flicks up."

The amount of discarded rubber off the racing line is so copious this year that it is clearly visible for TV viewers in the second half of the race.

Pirelli’s director of motorsport, Paul Hembery, has defended his company’s approach, saying:

"I have not had those comments from the top three but if it’s an issue, we will have 
to confront it. There was a lot of overtaking though. We will have to analyse all the 
overtaking manoeuvres but the marbles have to go somewhere and that is a difficulty 
for us."

 

Pirelli anticipating 4-stop strategies for Malaysia

The tyres are expected to degrade much faster next weekend

The tyres are expected to degrade much faster next weekend

After a mix of mostly 2 and 3-stop tyre strategies in the Australian Grand Prix, Pirelli have claimed that they believe some drivers will need to make up to 4 stops in Malaysia next weekend.

The cool temperatures in Melbourne reduced tyre wear, which led to Sergio Perez and Jarno Trulli needing only one stop. However, the unavoidable searing heat of Sepang is sure to put extra pressure on the Pirelli rubber.

Motorsport director at Pirelli Paul Hembery said:

"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. 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.

Malaysia will also see the introduction of a new version of the harder tyre, which will be given to the teams to test on Friday. Because of the steep learning curve everyone needs with the new rubber, two extra sets of slicks will also be supplied on Friday.

As with Melbourne, the soft (yellow markings) and the hard (silver) will be used next weekend.

Pirelli announce official tyre compound colour coding

Colour markings for Pirelli's 2011 tyres

Colour markings for Pirelli's 2011 tyres

Contrary to earlier reports in the year, Pirelli have announced a different colour coding system for their tyres this year.

As expected, the “Pirelli P Zero” markings will carry the colour coding, to inform the TV audience which driver is using what compound. The colour markings are as follows:

Dry tyres

Super soft =Red

Soft = Yellow

Medium = White

Hard = Silver

Wet tyres

Intermediates = Light blue

Extreme wets = Orange

To avoid confusion, I’ve deleted the article from a few months back, which claimed different colours were being used.

Overall it looks like a good system, but there may eventually be a problem distinguishing between the medium (white) and hard (silver) compounds. As the photo shows, there isn’t too much between them, and at 200mph it could be very difficult for the viewers as well.

However, it is unlikely that both the medium and hard tyres will be brought to the same race. Pirelli are bringing the soft and hard tyres (as they can only bring 2 dry coumpounds per race weekend) to the first three races.

Ferrari top both days of Pirelli tests

Two days of testing on the 2011 Pirelli tyres concluded a few days ago, with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso each topping one day each. While the tyres were slower than this year’s Bridgetones, most of the paddock appear to be happy with the new rubber.

Day 1

Sebastian Vettel suffered a tyre failure in the evening

Sebastian Vettel suffered a tyre failure in the evening

Only one car ran from each team on these two days. Neither Lewis Hamilton or Jenson Buttom took any part, as Gary Paffett was driving the McLaren. Adrian Sutil, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Paul di Resta all shared the Force India.

On the first day, Felipe Massa was fastest with a 1.40.170, two seconds off Daniel Ricciardo’s time during the young driver test. Sebastian Vettel was 2nd, 4 tenths off the Ferrari. Gary Paffett was 3rd, Kamui Kobayashi 4th, Robert Kubica 5th, and Rubens Barrichello 6th.

Paul di Resta was 7th, but had only run during the second half of the session. Adrian Sutil initially had the car, but an exhaust problem forced him into the pits. He was only 10th.

Nico Rosberg and Jaime Alguersuari were 8th and 9th. Timo Glock was 10th, Heikki Kovalainen 11th, and Pastor Maldonado last, 1.1 seconds behind the Lotus.

Vettel’s day was ended abruptly, after a puncture in the evening. Pirelli have already suffered cuts to their rear tyres, but believe that debris caused the failure.

Times from Day 1:

Driver Car Time
1 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’40.170s
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.500s
3 Gary Paffett McLaren 1’40.874s
4 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’40.950s
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.032s
6 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’41.425s
7 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.615s
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.778s
9 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1’42.019s
10 Adrian Sutil Force India 1’42.859s
11 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.124s
12 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1’44.686s
13 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1’45.728s

Day 2

Fernando Alonso topped Day 2

Fernando Alonso topped Day 2

Fernando Alonso was quicker on the second day, but was 4 tenths off Massa’s time the day before. Michael Schumacher was 2nd, and Vettel 3rd.

Rubens Barrichello was 4th, Robert Kubica 5th, Gary Paffett 6th, and shared the car with Oliver Turvey, who was 7th. Paul di Resta was 8th, and shared the Force India with Liuzzi, who was 11th.

Kamui Kobayashi and Sebastien Buemi filled the top 10. Sergio Perez was 12th, Jarno Trulli 13th. Pastor Maldonado was 14th, but caused a red flag after a spin. Timo Glock was several hundreths off Maldonado.

Times from Day 2:

Driver Team Best lap
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.529s
2 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’40.685s
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1’40.825s
4 Rubens Barrichello Williams 1’41.294s
5 Robert Kubica Renault 1’41.614s
6 Gary Paffett McLaren 1’41.622s
7 Oliver Turvey McLaren 1’41.740s
8 Paul di Resta Force India 1’41.869s
9 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1’42.110s
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1’42.145s
11 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1’42.416s
12 Sergio Perez Sauber 1’42.777s
13 Jarno Trulli Lotus 1’44.521s
14 Pastor Maldonado HRT 1’44.768s
15 Timo Glock Virgin 1’44.783s

Pirelli have declared the test a success, although they now have 11,000 km of data to filter through. Aside from Vettel’s tyre problems, the rubber stood up well, and the switch from Bridgestones to Pirellis shouldn’t be too difficult for the teams.

With this being the final session of 2010, the F1 engines will be switched off until the 1st February 2011, when testing resumes at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia.

Grosjean to replace Heidfeld at Pirelli

Nick Heidfeld, at the recent test for Pirelli in Jerez, will be replaced by Romain Grosjean

Nick Heidfeld, at the recent test for Pirelli in Jerez, will be replaced by Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean will take over tyre testing duties at the Pirelli squad, as next year’s Formula 1 tyre suppliers claim they don’t want to unfairly hand an advantage to teams interested in Nick Heidfeld, who has gained significant experience from testing these tyres already.

Heidfeld was announced as Pedro de la Rosa’s successor at the Sauber team on Tuesday, and many rumours claimed this was because of his testing with Pirelli. Paul Hembery, motorsport director of Pirelli, explains that they wan to avoid “favouring any individual team”:

"We’d like to thank Nick for his very valuable contribution to 
our tyre development programme and we wish him all the best for 
the future.

In order to avoid favouring any individual team, we have jointly 
decided to release Nick from his contract and now we have chosen 
Romain to test for us in Monza. He’s packed a lot of experience 
into a short space of time, including all our GP3 tyre 
development, so I’m sure he’ll be able to give us some very
useful feedback.

The tests here at Jerez have gone extremely well and we 
completed all the work that we planned over the two days. 
Now we move onto Monza, where our task will be to finalise 
the construction before we focus further on compounds."

Romain Grosjean took over from Nelson Piquet Jr after the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix, but, like Piquet, failed to score a single point throughout his racing time that season. Despite the fact that he only had a few races’ experience in F1, and at times was only 0.3 seconds off Fernando Alonso, he was dropped from the team for 2010.

It’s good to see Grosjean get the opportunity to return, as he never got a fair chance at Renault last year.

First pictures of Heidfeld’s test with Pirelli tyres

Yesterday Nick Heidfeld began a 4-day test at the Mugello circuit to test out the Pirelli tyres that they will be using for the 2011 Formula 1 season. He was driving a Toyota TF109, which had been painted all-white, seeing as Toyota don’t seem to own the car any more.

If it wasn’t for a fault with the blog, I would have been the first blog or website to have it up. Here are the first pictures of the test at Mugello:

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

Nick Heidfeld testing Pirelli F1 tyres in a Toyota TF109

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