Pirelli boss Paul Hembery is worried the 2.2 kilometres long straights at this weekend’s European Grand Prix in Baku could cause a standing wave trouble that can become a threat to a complete tyre failure in extreme circumstances.
The estimated average lap speed of 211kph (131.1mph) shows a lap time of around 1’42.37. This would resulted slowest flying lap of the current F1 calendar, but faster than Circuit of the Americas.
2.2 kilometres long straights, expected to have a high top speed, with cars reaching 340kph as they pass the pits and reach the braking zone for turn one on Neftchiler Avenue. This would be the sixth-highest on the current F1 circuit.
“Long straights can create standing wave issues,” Hembery told Motorsport.com.
“It seems to be a circuit that shouldn’t be too dramatic, but it has that straight, so we have to be very careful on that in terms of what’s going on with the standing wave management.
“If you go to a new circuit, it can throw up some surprises. The tendency to new circuits in recent years is smooth surfaces with very low levels of wear, but there is quite an aggressive straight and standing wave is something we have to manage, so there is an aspect of tyre integrity that we have to monitor well.”
Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Three tyre compounds will race with Baku, P Zero White medium – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints), P Zero Yellow soft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and initial portion of qualifying), P Zero Red supersoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations).