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Assless Rubber Chaps Not Required – Which Rubber in Spa?

by on August 28, 2012

I should clarify, I’m talking about the rubber compounds Pirelli will be bringing to Spa for the Belgian GP, not which rubber suits or novelty items one might have picked up in Amsterdam while strolling the red light district with Max Mosley.

So, no “assless rubber chaps” and then, just some sticky Pirelli’s built for speed and durability.  It just so happens that Pirelli man Paul Hembery has decided that the demanding circuit of Spa Francorchamps will have the Pirelli PZero medium and hard compound tyres.

Pirelli took into account the cooler temperatures in Belgium  in addition to the somewhat rougher tarmac.  Then they cracked open the think tank and added the high speeds and serious cornering forces.  All told, the sum of which would probably  cause the softer compounds to blister and shred, as though being driven on my grandmother’s 65 year old cheese grater.   I suppose that made the decision a wee bit easier.

To be honest, in a season when the tyres have been such an influential factor in race outcomes, this decision by Pirelli can be quite critical in the championship race.  The primary reason is precisely because the tyres should be less critical in the result…as a result.

I am going to suggest that Friday might be a tad wet, with the forecast calling for 75% probability of precipitation, which means, come Saturday and Sunday, teams might end up with an extra set of tyres.  Highly speculative, I know, however, I’m putting my faith in the weather forecasters to have gotten that right.  This means the effect that the strategy on who uses which compound best could be minimized, if the results in lap times can afford an additional stop.

One additional factor that I feel deserves mention.  Some drivers have been vocal about the Pirelli performance and durability.  The complaint is that drivers need to manage tyres instead of being able to race flat-out and not worry about the sudden drop off and degradation.  This compound selection should allow these drivers to do exactly what they’ve been asking for (to a degree, I would imagine).

So while not as exciting as a rubber filled party with Max Mosley, Pirelli’s choice might make for an exciting weekend ahead at one of the most characteristic and fan favorite circuits on the F1 calendar.
Author: Ernie Black
Twitter: @Goggs_on_F1


From → Formula One

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