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The week 14 to 18 February was a positive one for the principal international markets (Milan +1.6%, London +0.3%, Frankfurt +0.8%, Paris +1.4%) reflecting less purchases at the end of the period due to the Chinese Central Bank’s tighter money policies (increase in the required bank reserve rate by 0.5%).
The Auto and Parts sector saw profit taking (the European reference index -4.2% ). Pirelli ends the week at € 6 (-1.8%) with an average trading volume of 3.6 million per day.
Pirelli will continue its preparations the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship season during a four-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain this week.
All 12 teams contesting this year’s championship will take part in the test, which marks the final opportunity for on-track running in Europe ahead of the first Grand Prix of the season next month.
Pirelli will bring a modified version of the supersoft and soft compound PZero tyre, as well as the medium and hard compounds. The modifications have been incorporated following feedback from the teams and from the extensive data accrued by Pirelli’s engineers. This will be the final opportunity that the teams have to sample all four dry tyres from the Pirelli range – supersoft, soft, medium and hard – as for the race only the compounds that have been selected as the prime and the option will be provided.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “Barcelona is a track that both ourselves and all the teams are very familiar with, so I’m sure we will come back with plenty of information. Once more, the track characteristics are quite different to the two circuits that we have tested at before, which enables the teams to experience the behaviour of our tyres under a wide range of circumstances: something that will be crucial to formulating race strategies as the year goes on.”
Following an extensive campaign of private testing – which took in more than 18,000 kilometres in Europe and the Middle East – plus three group tests to date, Pirelli has nominated the hard and soft dry tyre compounds for the first rounds of the 2011 Formula One World Championship: Australia, Malaysia and China.
The hard tyre will be the prime tyre, whereas the soft will be the option. This decision has been made in accordance with the track characteristics in the Middle and Far East, which offer high grip and a wide variety of speeds and corners, as well as ambient and track temperatures that are likely to be high.
The hard tyre offers an excellent balance between performance and durability in the tough conditions of the first flyaway races. However, the soft tyre will give extra speed at the expense of resistance, which will make for some fascinating strategies as the teams compete with their new cars for the first time. Pirelli’s aim is to have two pit stops at every race, helping to increase the spectacle.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “The valuable data that we’ve collected from both official and private testing has shown us that our nomination of hard and soft tyres is the best way forward for both the drivers and the spectators, so we look forward now to a successful Grand Prix debut and a great show in the Middle and Far East over the next races.