Harder Tyre To Bring Maximum From Drivers

Every season has had a main story, whether it be through technical regulations or driver and team performance. Last year’s was the exhaust-blown diffuser which proved advantageous in Red Bull’s double championship win, and this year is about the tyres. Since Pirelli’s comeback to the sport in 2011, the four rolling wheels on an F1 car have gone from being part of a reason for success to a deciding factor towards race victory.

The different tyre compounds, of which there are a total of six, range from hard to super soft in the dry tyres. The tyre manufacturer brings two compounds of dry tyre to each race weekend, along with the one-compund intermediate and wet weather tyres incase of rain. Different track surfaces require different levels of durability. Places such as Monaco, the slowest circuit of the season, use the super soft tyre as due to the slow speed of the circuit, there is less pressure placed on the tyre and so it will last longer than the same compund at a higher-speed track. Monza in Italy is an example of the other end of the scale and the hard compound is used to cope with the loads going through the tyre through turns of 200mph+ speeds.

Spa’s Eau Rouge corner is one of the most demanding of the year on tyres

For the next race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, Pirelli are being the hard and medium dry tyres. This is a decision which Pirelli motorsport director believes will enable the drivers to not have to worry about managing the tyres which at other tracks, have needed to be looked after carefully.

“From a tyre perspective, it’s certainly one of the most demanding circuits that we face all year, because of the high speeds and extreme forces involved, which are often acting on the tyres in more than one dimension,” he said.

“The nomination of the hard and the medium tyres will allow drivers to push hard from start to finish, which is what Spa was designed for.”

The first half of 2012 saw unpredictability on a scale not seen before in the sport, with seven different drivers winning the first seven races, a first in Formula One. Hembery hopes that the rest of the season can be just as exciting as the championship moves to round 12 of 20 at Spa.

“The first half of the season began with the most close and competitive start to a year ever seen in Formula 1’s history, so I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of 2012 pans out, and which teams have made which steps forward over the summer break,” he said.

“Currently the grid is so closely-matched – particularly in the midfield – that it’s impossible to predict.”


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