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Pirelli: Barcelona degradation levels 'not typical' 25 Feb 2013

Worn Pirelli tyres.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Jerez, Spain, Tuesday, 5 February 2013 Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director with FanVision.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Korean Grand Prix, Practice, Korea International Circuit, Yeongam, South Korea, Friday, 12 October 2012

Pirelli are confident that drivers will not experience the unusually high levels of tyre degradation seen in last week’s Barcelona testing at next month’s opening round of the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship in Australia.

Degradation at the Circuit de Catalunya was such that it prompted speculation that March’s Melbourne race could see twice as many pit stops as in 2012. However, Pirelli insisted that testing conditions in Spain were not representative of what can be expected at Grands Prix this season.

“The teams experienced quite high degradation in Barcelona, and that was really down to the weather,” said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director. “The conditions we had in Barcelona are far from typical of the rest of the season, with much cooler ambient and track temperatures than we would normally race in, and even some rain on the final day. This put the tyres outside of their usual working ranges, which led to problems such as graining.

“The conditions were particularly unsuited to the supersoft tyre, due to the circuit layout and the roughness of the surface in addition to the cold temperatures. Coupled with the fact that teams are still making big set-up adjustments to their new cars and trying out our complete range of our tyres to optimise the package, we saw levels of degradation that are not typical.

“Once we get to Melbourne the tyres should be much more within their intended working range, which will eliminate the unusual amount of degradation that some teams have experienced.”

The teams have one last opportunity to optimise their cars to Pirelli’s 2013 tyres when the final pre-season test - again in Barcelona - begins later this week, running from February 28 to March 3.

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