Australian GP: Pirelli brings medium and super soft tyre compounds to Melbourne
By Berthold Bouman
Pirelli will bring the medium (white marked) and super soft (red marked) rubber compounds to Australia this weekend, the 2013 tyres are generally softer and faster than the 2012 compounds, and the Italian tyre manufacturer expects two to three pits stops per driver this season.
Paul Hembery: Performance gaps between compounds larger
Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery reckons teams haven’t seen the best of the new tyres yet due to the low temperatures during testing, “Cold weather conditions during pre-season testing meant that we weren’t able to showcase them to the best of their abilities, but we are expecting a different story in Albert Park, with two to three pit stops per car.”
About the new rubber compounds he remarked, “All the compounds and constructions have changed for 2013, and the drivers should notice a wider working range and a bigger window of peak performance. The performance gaps between the compounds are also larger, which means that teams have a greater opportunity to use strategy to their advantage by exploiting the consequent speed differentials.”
Pirelli ready for 2013 season – Photo: Infiniti
The Pirelli tyre from a circuit point of view:
• With all the compounds having become softer this year, the medium and the supersoft were chosen in Australia to give the teams a challenge in terms of tyre management and strategy, in accordance with Pirelli’s brief from the teams themselves and Formula One’s promoters.
• The P Zero White medium tyre is ideal for circuits with lower ambient temperatures and not particularly aggressive asphalt, such as Melbourne. Its durability characteristics are very similar to those of last year’s soft tyre, resulting in lap times that are around 0.8s quicker than the 2012-specification medium.
• The P Zero Red supersoft has been designed to come up to temperature quickly and it is ideal when it comes to delivering maximum performance instantly on a twisty and slow-speed circuit.
• Last year, the medium and soft compounds were chosen for the Australian Grand Prix, with the top seven drivers adopting a two-stop strategy.
Pirelli’s Technical tyre notes:
• Acceleration and braking are the keys to a good performance in Melbourne, with the longitudinal forces at work on the tyres being greater than the lateral forces. The improved combined traction of the P Zero tyres this year marks a significant step forward in this area.
• Melbourne has hosted a number of wet races in the past: last year’s Friday’s free practice sessions were held in wet weather. Pirelli is bringing a new-specification of Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet tyre to Australia, which has a redesigned construction to help improve traction and prevent snap oversteer.
• The left-rear tyre works hardest in Melbourne, with 10 right-hand corners and six left-hand corners.
• The 5.303-kilometre Albert Park circuit is not used outside of the Australian Grand Prix, which means that it is extremely ‘green’ and slippery on Friday in particular. But the faster warm-up time of Pirelli’s 2013 tyres should help drivers find grip more quickly.
Australia 3D Track Experience – Video: Pirelli