Pirelli’s tyres in the fast lane

January 30, 2012

ITALIAN tyre maker Pirelli is getting the 2012 Formula One season underway, its second as sole supplier, by presenting a new range of tyres for the 63rd FIA World Championship at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Developed by Pirelli in response to the latest aerodynamic regulations regarding blown exhausts, key characteristics of the tyres are squarer profiles, increased grip and compounds with consistent degradation. The coloured markings on the sidewalls now change to become bigger and more easily recognisable.

Just as was the case last year, Pirelli will supply the teams with four tyre compounds – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – along with two types of wet weather tyre as prescribed by the FIA rules. All the P Zero slick tyres will feature a brand new profile compared to 2011 and three of them (the soft, medium and hard) will also have new compounds.

The new compounds are softer, with increased grip, better performance, a longer performance peak, but an unaltered overall lifespan. Of the wet weather tyres, only the full wet – the Cinturato Blue – has changed, while the intermediate tyre, the Cinturato Green, is unaltered.

With regards blown exhausts, this new measure, which should result in a reduction of aerodynamic downforce acting on each tyre, requires a wider and more even contact patch. This objective has been met by having a less rounded shoulder on each tyre and using softer compounds, which produce better grip and more performance.

The performance gap has changed as well between the different compounds, which all now perform better. During the 2011 season, there was a difference of between 1.2 and 1.8 seconds per lap among the different compounds. This year, the objective is to reduce that to less than a second: between six and eight tenths.
Pirelli will supply a total of 45,000 tyres for the entirety of the 2012 F1, produced at its dedicated competition facility within its factory at Izmit, Turkey.(PRA)

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