Pirelli fully ready for Austin debut 19 Oct 2012
Formula One tyre suppliers Pirelli say they are well prepared for next months 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix thanks to simulation work with data obtained from a visit to Austins all-new Circuit of The Americas (COTA) during its construction. The Texas venue will be officially opened this weekend.
Last season, practically every circuit was new to Pirelli but this year there are only two: Hockenheim in Germany and COTA. Bahrain was also a new experience for Pirelli in competition, but the Italian firm had tested there in the past with plenty of information to fall back on.
Theres no doubt that preparing for a circuit that is completely new is more difficult than going to one of the established venues, said Paul Hembery, Pirellis motorsport director. However, we now feel fully ready for this magnificent track, where we will bring the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero White medium tyres.
COTA is the most complex new track of the year for Pirelli, as it has never been raced on before. Understanding the nature of a new surface is always complicated, particularly when there is no previous data, which is why two Pirelli engineers inspected the circuit while it was being built over the summer, looking at the track surface and layout in detail.
They used sophisticated laser measuring equipment to assess the abrasiveness of the circuit by examining closely the spacing and shape of the stones that make up the aggregate. Several readings were taken from the machine, in order to ensure an accurate representation. Using these readings, a virtual representation of the track from the tyres point of view can be created on computer.
Together with some asphalt samples from the new venue, this allowed Pirelli to calculate the likely wear rate and the effect of the asphalt and ambient temperatures on the tyres at different points on the circuit.
The technology and know-how that we have at our disposal means that we can forecast some very accurate predictions without actually having raced at a circuit these days, thanks to the preparation work from our engineers, added Hembery.
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