Tag Archives: Tyres

Pirelli officially unveil 2017 F1 tyres

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Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has officially unveiled its 2017 range in Abu Dhabi, with each compound being 25% wider than the current tyres.

With extensive testing has taken place at a range of circuits across the world, including the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain and Italy’s Mugello track.

Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have conducted testing of the wider compounds, using modified 2015 cars.

10 tests lasting 24 days in total have taken place so far in both wet and dry conditions, with a further test involving all three teams taking place after the Abu Dhabi GP.

The front tyre for 2017 will increase in width from 245 to 305mm, while the rear tyres will grow from 325mm to 405mm.

Pirelli feels positive about the data and information gathered from the tests for the development of its 2017 range.

However, the Italian manufacturer has admitted downforce levels and performance of the modified 2015 cars remain some way off what’s expected from the 2017 cars.

The full 2017 range of Pirelli tyres was officially unveiled in the Abu Dhabi GP paddock at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Pirelli announce tyres for Russian GP

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This morning Pirelli has announced its three tyre compound choices for the Russian Grand Prix, which is the fourth race of the 2016 season.

As with the opening three races of the season, the Italian manufacturer will bring medium, soft and super-soft tyres to the Sochi event on May 1. The newly tweaked rules for this year aim to give drivers greater choice over which tyres they have available for race weekends.

There are now 13 sets of tyres available to a driver over a weekend. Pirelli says one set each of medium and soft tyres must be put aside for the race, at least one of which must be used during the grand prix. One set of super-soft tyres will be assigned for Q3 only, with drivers who do not make it to the final session simply having that set transferred across for use in the race.

Of the remaining sets now available for drivers for the weekend, drivers and teams are free to decide which compound they use. The Russian Grand Prix has moved to the front end of the calendar this year after spending the first two years of its tenure in F1 being scheduled in October.

Pirelli announce tyres for Japan and Sochi

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Yesterday, tyre manufacturer Pirelli has announced their tyre choices for the forthcoming Grands prix in Japan and Russia.

Pirelli will take the two hardest compounds in their range – the white-marked medium and orange-banded hard – to Suzuka to deal with “high speeds, high abrasion and fast corners” such as 130R.

Pirelli added that the venue (Suzuka) “is one of the most demanding tracks of the year in terms of lateral energy”. The Japanese GP is followed by the inaugural race in Sochi where the mediums and yellow-marked soft tyres will be used.

In a statement to the media, Pirelli announced that the choice for Sochi is more complex due to the fact that they haven’t raced on the circuit before. The statement said the following:-

‘The choice for the brand-new Sochi circuit in Russia is much more complex, as there has not yet been any representative running on the track. However, using simulation data, Pirelli engineers have calculated that the most suitable choice should be P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft, a combination that is capable of covering a wide range of conditions.’

As Pirelli have stated in their statement, it is clear that it is much more complex for them to see which tyre compound to bring to the Sochi race after not having the data needed to make the choice due to the fact that they haven’t raced there before. But they have managed through simulation data to make a choice they feel is okay heading into the Grand Prix and appear to be happy with the tyre compounds they have chosen for Japan and more importantly Sochi.

But question is: have Pirelli made the right choices for both circuits? Only time will tell.

Sutil: 2014 Pirelli tyres are more consistent

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Yesterday in an interview with ESPN, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil has praised Pirelli and the changes that they have made to their tyres for this season. Sutil has stated that the 2014 Pirelli tyres not only react better on circuit but that their drop in performance is less than last year’s tyre compounds and structures.

2013 saw Pirelli dealing with a lot of criticism throughout the season (especially after the British Grand Prix) as their tyres suffered high degradation and too many blowouts. The tyre manufacturer made changes during last season and solved the blowout issues by reverting back to the 2012 tyre specification with the 2013 tyre compounds.

But it would seem that Pirelli have made more alterations during the off-season in order to ensure that this does not happen again. In his interview with ESPN, Sutil stated the following about the 2014 Pirelli tyres:-

“They are reacting a lot better and more consistently than they were last season. There’s not such a drop in performance, or at least what I can see at the moment. All the laps you do are closer together but they are really hard, construction is of course stiffer than last year, so the tyre is holding on better.

“The most important thing is the tyre is consistent because losing three or four seconds a lap last season just because of the tyres too much.”

It is nice to see that Sutil believes that the Pirelli have taken the right direction with developing the 2014 tyres so far. It would seem to me that Pirelli have learnt their lessons from last season and have taken on board the changes that they needed to make for this season. And it does seem to be a step in the right direction for them as well.

Pirelli have already gained some much needed data from the two pre-season tests already and have stated over the past few weeks that they are more than prepared to change the tyres if the teams need them to which is very encouraging news. However, they would need to make sure if any changes are made to the 2014 tyres during the season take every team into consideration in order to stop a repeat of the previous season.

But the signs so far are looking promising for the tyre manufacturer despite the teams and the drivers currently getting to grips with the new technical regulations that has been introduced in the sport for this year. I think that the tyres will also play an important role for this season and if the teams can use their tyres effectively to their advantage alongside reliability of their cars and power units, we will see which driver and team have got the best out of their 2014 packages over a given Grand Prix weekend.

But Pirelli need to make ensure that old issues do not resurface and they have produced tyres that will provide us with the racing that we crave but also peace of mind and providing teams and drivers with the element of safety. And at the moment, the signs are looking very promising for the tyre manufacturer.

Will Pirelli add more spice with their 2014 tyres and compounds to a Formula One season that is the most, open and challenging in recent years? I believe that they will. The season opener in Melbourne cannot come quickly enough!

Hembrey: 2014 Pirelli tyres more durable and less marbles

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In an interview with the media early this morning, Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembrey has revealed that the 2014 tyres will be more durable and will cause less marbles. All the Formula One teams spent four days putting in the laps at the Sakhir circuit in much warmer conditions than the previous outing in Jerez.

With most of the teams having ironed out some of their reliability gremlins, there was more run and therefore more data coming through for Pirelli and their tyres. From the runs the data showed is that the new tyres for this year are more durable which will lead to less marbles and Pirelli must be hoping fewer complaints.

Hembrey said the following:-

‘The teams were able to learn more about tyres over the four days in Bahrain than they could in Jerez two weeks ago, thanks to increased running time and optimal weather conditions.  Although the teams are still at a comparatively early point on the development curve with their new cars, testing data so far indicates that the 2014 tyres are more consistent and durable than their predecessors. As a result, we are also seeing fewer ‘marbles’ on the circuit: one of our objectives at the start of this season.’

Despite all the problems with the Pirelli tyres last season, I do believe that the tyre manufacturer has learnt its lessons from last year within the sport (where they suffered four significant tyre blowouts throughout the British Grand Prix). The signs so far are looking promising for the tyre manufacturer despite the teams and the drivers currently getting to grips with the new technical regulations that have been introduced in the sport for this year.

In the same interview, Hembery also expects the massive time difference between compounds to decrease later this week and continue to do so as the teams adjust to the new rubber. Hembrey said the following to the media:-

‘Teams are likely to improve their performance and understanding of the car-tyre package still further in the test to come, which means that the lap time differences we have been seeing between the compounds are likely to come down: especially when the teams discover more downforce as the season goes on.

‘We’ve collected plenty of useful data from this test, but of course we are still ready and able to change the specification of the tyres for the start of the season if this is shown to be necessary.’

Hembrey has a valid point. Throughout the 2014 season, all the teams and their drivers will be making sure that they take every opportunity available to them in order to get the best out of their packages. At this current time, the 2014 Pirelli tyres seem to be sounding and performing in the right direction.

As I have stated in previous Jones on F1 posts regarding Pirelli, I do  feel that this year alongside the new regulation changes that the tyres will also play an important factor. This season will no doubt be more demanding, challenging and more open to possibilities than in previous seasons.

This year Pirelli need to make sure that old issues do not resurface and they have produced tyres that will provide us with the racing that we crave but also peace of mind and providing teams and drivers with the element of safety. And at the moment, the signs are looking very promising for the tyre manufacturer.

Pirelli already stating that they are more than willing to change the tyres in order to reflect the needs of the teams and drivers is an encouraging sign. However, they would need to make sure if any changes are made to the 2014 tyres during the season take every team into consideration in order to stop a repeat of the previous season.

But the data that Pirelli have collected so far will l only give the tyre manufacturer the data that they need in order to keep progressing with the 2014 tyres and their compound structures. Do I think it is a good idea that Pirelli have had a successful running so far this year? Yes, I really do as it shows that they have learnt their lessons from the previous season.

Do I feel that Pirelli will get the data at Bahrain this week that they need to keep on developing for the most exciting and uncertain season opening Grand Prix in recent years? I absolutely believe they will. The sooner Pirelli get to Bahrain for the final test, the better for them.