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Pirelli on course to meet 2012 objectives 13 Feb 2012

Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One Testing, Day 4, Jerez, Spain, Friday, 10 February 2012 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, 26 November 2011 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 leaves the pits.
Formula One Testing, Day 3, Jerez, Spain, Thursday, 9 February 2012 Pirelli Tyres.
Formula One Testing, Preparations, Jerez, Spain,  Monday, 6 February 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.

“We’ve 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 Pirelli’s 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.

“We’re 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, it’s too early to draw any detailed conclusions.

“We’ll 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, it’s a clear sign that we are on course to meet our objectives.”

During comparison runs between Pirelli’s 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.

Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on the opening day at Jerez with a time of 1m19.670s on Pirelli’s 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 week’s fastest time, a 1m17.631s, on day three.

The test ended with Ferrari’s 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 Lotus’s Romain Grosjean on medium tyres on day three. Testing resumes in Barcelona on February 21-24.

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