Pirelli has launched its new tyre compounds for 2012 F1 season. The Italian tyre manufacturer satisfied with their reappear to Formula 1 in 2011 season and they are done a successful F1 season in last year.
(Official – Pirelli )New for 2012: more competitive compounds and ‘squarer’ tyres
Just as was the case last year, Pirelli will supply the teams with four slick tyre compounds – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – along with two types of wet weather tyre as prescribed by the FIA rules (see separate article). All the P Zero slick tyres will feature a brand new profile compared to 2011 and three of them (the soft, medium and hard) will also have new compounds. The new compounds are softer, with increased grip, better performance, a longer performance peak, but an unaltered overall lifespan. Of the wet weather tyres, only the full wet – the Cinturato Blue – has changed, while the intermediate tyre, the Cinturato Green, is unaltered (see separate article).
Also unchanged from last year are some fundamental characteristics that all six Pirelli tyres have in common: safety, reliability, structural integrity, driving precision, and fast yet distinctly different degradation curves among the assorted compounds. Pirelli’s research and development methodology is the same as well. The design and testing of the 2012 tyres has benefitted from an on-going dialogue with teams and drivers, who contributed to the development of the new P Zero and Cinturato tyres over the last season. The results of on-track tests have been integrated with the data from simulation, which is able to recreate and predict tyre behaviour and performance in all the circuit and weather conditions of the 20 tracks that make up the Formula One calendar.
The evolution of the Pirelli tyres for 2012 has also taken into account the regulation changes introduced by the FIA regarding blown exhausts. This new measure, which should result in a reduction of aerodynamic downforce acting on each tyre, requires a wider and more even contact patch. This objective has been met by having a less rounded shoulder on each tyre and using softer compounds, which produce better grip and more extreme performance. The performance gap has changed as well between the different compounds, which all now perform better. During the 2011 season, there was a difference of between 1.2 and 1.8 seconds per lap among the different compounds. This year, the objective is to reduce that to less than a second: between six and eight tenths.
The compounds for the new season synthesise and build on the evolutions already carried out by Pirelli’s engineers on the 2011 tyres. These have been formulated by Pirelli’s Research and Development division in Milan, using the information obtained when experimental tyres were tested during free practice at grands prix in Sepang, Montreal, Silverstone, Nurburgring, Abu Dhabi and Interlagos last year, as well as the young driver test at Abu Dhabi in November. These tests used a total of 6,000 tyres, which covered around 11,000 kilometres. On top of that, Pirelli carried out five private tests in Istanbul, Barcelona (twice), Jerez and Monza, driving for 9,000 kilometres.
Pirelli’s new Formula One tyres will make their debut at Jerez on 7 February, at the first official test of the 2012 season.