Pirelli on course to meet 2012 objectives 13 Feb 2012
Pirelli believe their 2012 tyres should perform as planned this season in terms of performance and degradation after the teams covered almost 15,000 testing kilometres on them in Spain last week.
Weve had a very positive reaction from the drivers and teams so far, who have reported more grip at the rear, fewer marbles and a reduced lap time difference between the compounds as well as faster overall performance - which is precisely what we wanted, said Pirellis motorsport director Paul Hembery following the four-day Jerez test.
Pirelli supplied 1,176 tyres for the session, which saw 11 teams and 23 drivers in action, and although Hembery conceded that the cool conditions and the teams varied programmes meant it was too early for any hard and fast lessons, he insisted the initial results were pleasing.
Were happy with the level of degradation and we had no issues, as was the case for all of last year, he added. But as the temperatures in Jerez were very low and the teams have also concentrated on other areas than tyres, its too early to draw any detailed conclusions.
Well see more tyre development work at the next test in Barcelona, as together with the teams, we fully understand the implications of the latest rules. However, with all three of our available slick tyres having set a fastest time, its a clear sign that we are on course to meet our objectives.
During comparison runs between Pirellis new medium and new hard tyres on day one, there was a difference of between 0.4 and 0.5s per lap. Last season the difference was typically closer to a second. This change should help the Italian company achieve their 2012 aim of ensuring entertaining and unpredictable races, with a strong emphasis on team strategies.
Lotuss Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on the opening day at Jerez with a time of 1m19.670s on Pirellis medium tyre. Michael Schumacher dropped that to 1m18.561s on day two with hard tyres on Mercedes 2011 car. Team mate Nico Rosberg - also in the 2011 car - then used soft rubber to set the weeks fastest time, a 1m17.631s, on day three.
The test ended with Ferraris Fernando Alonso going fastest on the final day with a time of 1m18.877s, again using the soft tyre. The best lap of the week from a 2012 car was the 1m18.419s set by Lotuss Romain Grosjean on medium tyres on day three. Testing resumes in Barcelona on February 21-24.
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