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Pirelli tyres will be ‘great fun to race with’ 14 Feb 2011

Pirelli tyres.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain,  Sunday, 13 February 2011 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4/26.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain,  Sunday, 13 February 2011 Hand on a Pirelli tyre.
Formula One Testing, Day 2, Jerez, Spain,  Friday, 11 February 2011 Mercedes GP MGP W02 detail.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain,  Sunday, 13 February 2011

After completing another faultless four days of testing at Jerez, 2011’s new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli remain confident that the performance and durability variations in their dry compounds will make for exciting racing this season.

All 12 teams again had the chance to sample the full range of Pirelli rubber in Spain, though the layout of the Jerez circuit meant the super-soft compound saw very little action. A different driver and car combination set the fastest time each day, with times on average three seconds faster than those set by Pirelli during private tests last September.

“From what we learned from those so far, we believe that we’re still on course to see two pit stops per race, which obviously might be one stop on some circuits and three stops on others, depending on the individual cars and track characteristics,” explained Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery.

Many teams experienced fairly rapid degradation on the softer compounds, with lap times dropping off quite significantly after the first lap or two on fresh rubber. However, this is as Pirelli intended, the aim being to increase the importance of tyre management and strategy, in turn contributing to closer competition.

“A number of drivers have mentioned to me that our tyres are going to be great fun to race with, which is exactly what we are aiming for,” added Hembery.

One of those drivers was McLaren’s Jenson Button, who commented: “There are big differences across the compound range; not only in terms of lap time, but also with degradation and durability. It’s going to be fun for racing, I think, and it’s what everyone wanted. The TV viewers will certainly know the differences between the tyres.”

All 12 teams now head to Barcelona for the final European group test of the season, which will take place on the Circuit de Catalunya from February 18-21. It is a venue the teams are extremely familiar with, being a favoured test track and also home to the Spanish Grand Prix. Pirelli will bring a modified version of the super soft and soft tyres, in response to earlier feedback from the teams.

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