Pirelli targeting even more entertainment with 2012 tyres 25 Jan 2012
Ahead of their second season as Formula Ones sole supplier, Pirelli have presented the new tyres that will be used in 2012. The key characteristics of the new rubber - developed together with the teams in response to the latest aerodynamic regulations - are squarer profiles, increased grip, and softer, more competitive compounds with consistent degradation.
Pirelli say their objective is to ensure entertaining races that remain unpredictable all the way to the chequered flag, with two to three pit stops per race, a strong emphasis on team strategies, and a less marked performance gap between compounds.
After the positive experience of last year, the teams asked us to continue providing tyres with the characteristics that contributed to spectacular races in 2011, said Pirelli President and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera, speaking at a special press launch in Abu Dhabi.
And this is what we have done, optimising the compounds and profiles to guarantee even better and more stable performance, combined with the deliberate degradation that characterised the P Zero range from 2011. Were expecting unpredictable races, with a wide range of strategies and a number of pit stops: all factors that both competitors and spectators greatly enjoyed last year.
The development work on the new compounds took place throughout the 2011 season, thanks to the impressive learning curve and reaction times from our engineers, who are ready to continue those evolutions during the season ahead.
From a spectators perspective, for 2012 Pirelli have made the coloured markings on the tyres sidewalls bigger and more easily recognisable, while the Cinturato name, which Pirelli raced and won with in the 1950s, will be used to denote the full wet and intermediate tyres.
As in 2011, Pirelli will supply teams with four slick tyre compounds - supersoft, soft, medium and hard - along with two types of wet weather tyre as prescribed by FIA regulations. 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.
The evolution of the Pirelli tyres for 2012 has also taken into account the regulation changes introduced by the FIA regarding 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 extreme performance.
The performance gap between the different compounds has changed as well, and 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.
The compounds for the new season synthesise and build on the evolutions already carried out by Pirellis engineers on the 2011 tyres. These have been formulated by Pirellis Research and Development division in Milan, using the information obtained when experimental tyres were tested during free practice at Grands Prix in Malaysia, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Abu Dhabi and Brazil last year, as well as the young driver test at Abu Dhabi in November.
Pirellis new Formula One tyres will make their debut at Jerez on February 7, at the first official test of the 2012 season.
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