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F1: Rubbers On Track?

by on February 13, 2012

F1: Rubbers On Track?

So was Pirelli successful in delivering a product that met their expectations?

When I asked if the new tyres were performing as expected..”Early Days”  was Paul Hembery’s response.  I suspect that answer had a bit of a grin behind it.  Many drivers seem to like these new tyres. 

Many miles were run with the new rubber, 14,949 kms was the number that is floating about.  The beauty of it is, that all three compounds saw track time and all of which seemed to perform rather well.

It was understood that Pirelli would try to shrink the gap between compounds while improving the overall performance. Thus far, all indications are that the Italian tyre manufacturer did exactly what they set out to do. 

It seems the new compounds offer more grip, shrink the gap between them, marble less and are generally faster than the tyres used in 2011.  Objectives met? It would appear so.  Paul Hembrey’s words, “Early Days”, keep ringing in my head, and serve as a reminder that we are just getting our appetite’s wet. 

While the tests at Jerez offer a quick insight into this season’s tyre performance, testing conditions are limited.  What will these tyres be like in the extreme heat of Malaysia, Abu Dhabi or even Melbourne in a few weeks’ time?  How will the loss of downforce translate into tyre wear on longer stints?  How drastic will the performance drop-off be?  So many questions yet to be answered.

One thing is certain.  All tyres are the same for every team, so at the end of the day, it will be those teams and drivers that can get the most heat into the tyres, and take care of them best that will best exploit their performance. 

Still though…early days…


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From → Formula One

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