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Pirelli’s 2012-specification tyres delivered on their promise to provide a greater variety of race strategies by decreasing the performance gaps between the compounds this year. The new versions of the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero White medium were nominated for the Australian Grand Prix, but the drivers had very little dry running with them before the start, as Friday’s free practice sessions in Albert Park were characterised by rain.

The top finishers adopted a two-stop strategy for the race, as was the case last year, but with the pace of the medium and the soft compound only differing by around 0.5 seconds per lap, the way in which they used the tyres was different – with some drivers favouring two stints on the soft tyre and others preferring two stints on the medium.

One of the turning points of the race was a safety car on lap 36, which bunched up the field and allowed Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel to claim second place by passing McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton in the pits.

At the restart, race leader Jenson Button demonstrated the rapid warm-up time of the medium compound even in the cool conditions of the afternoon by pulling out a second within the first sector, to eventually claim his third victory in Australia. Vettel, who finished runner-up, had adopted a completely different strategy by using the soft tyre during his medium stint. Last year, Vettel’s winning margin was 22 seconds; this year Button won by just over two seconds.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “The Australian Grand Prix certainly lived up to expectations, and we fulfilled our objective of providing scope for more strategies by reducing the performance gaps between the compounds and extending the window of peak performance. An interesting element was that there were many pit stops that were not for wear level but instead for degradation, confirming what we wanted to achieve strategy-wise. We also saw more use of the medium tyre than the soft tyre, contrary to last year. Despite this range of strategies there were some very tight battles all the way down the field right up to a dramatic final lap, with one driver crashing out and eighth, ninth and 10th places crossing the finish line practically together! The wear and degradation of the tyres was around 0.1 seconds per lap on the soft tyre – with the frontrunners choosing to pit twice, despite the rapid pace at the front of the field. Many congratulations to Jenson Button and McLaren for a stylish victory and also to Mark Webber, who scores his best-ever finish on home territory.”

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The Formula 1 World Championship is warming up its engines at Jerez, Spain, where the teams are taking part in a test session from 7-10 February, trying out the new Pirelli tyres. Each car will have available to it the soft, medium and hard variants, as well as wet weather and slick tyres.

In the improbable eventuality of rain at Jerez over the next few days, drivers will also be able to count on the return of the historic Cinturato.

The teams have available to them a maximum of 100 sets of tyres for the tests and can, as part of that quantity, choose which tread compounds to adopt during the four days.

This will be the session when drivers will try out the ‘squarer’ profiles which, as announced in Abu Dhabi, will ensure extremely high performance and last longer but without renouncing spectacle. The Jerez circuit has many variants, especially ample fast and slow corners, enabling the teams to sample their tyres in the various driving conditions.

The new Pirelli P Zero Silver, the first road car tyre derived from Formula 1 technology, will be presented at Jerez simultaneously.

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• Total number of tyres provided for the season (dry and wets): Race tyres: 24,000 dry tyres; 4,600 wet tyres plus an additional 6,000 for the tests
• Total numbers of tyres used: Dry tyres: 21,100; wet tyres: 2,900
• Total kilogrammes of rubber deposited on track in 2011: 10,200
• Number of tyres recycled during 2011: All, i.e. 28,600 race tyres plus 6,000 test tyres
• Average life span of a dry compound this season: 120 km

Tracks and Races

• Tracks which puts the most energy into a tyre per km (lateral, braking, traction, etc.): Barcelona and Suzuka
• Track which puts the least energy into a tyre per km (lateral, braking, traction, etc.): Monza
• Longest continuous energy input into a tyre: Istanbul (Turn 8 )
• Track with the ‘easiest’ corners in terms of tyres: Montréal
• Longest race of the year: Montréal with 4hrs 04min 39.537s
• Shortest races of the year: Monza with 1hrs 20min 46.272s
• Pole position lap records broken: 11
• Race lap records broken: 2
• Most laps led on Pirelli tyres: 739 (Sebastian Vettel)
• Highest speed reached by a P Zero F1 tyre: 349.2 kph (Sergio Perez in Monza Qualifying)
Pit stops

• Total number of pit stops for the year: 1111 (really! – of which 22 were a Drive Through and 4 a stop-go penalty)
• Total average number of stops per race: 58.4, i.e. 2.25 per driver
• Most pit stops in a race: Hungary (88 – of which 3 were a Drive Through)
• Least pit stops in a race: Italy (35)
• Fastest pit stop time: 2.82 seconds (Mercedes GP, Chinese Grand Prix)


• Number of overtaking manoeuvres (most in World Championship history): 1120 (after Abu Dhabi)
• Most overtaking manoeuvres in a dry race (= most ever): 126 at the 2011 Turkish Grand Prix
• Most overtaking manoeuvres in a wet race (= most ever): 125 at the 2011 Canadian Grand Prix

Other interesting numbers

• Total number of F1 drivers to have driven on P Zero compounds: 57 (including third drivers and young drivers)
• Oldest driver to have driven a P Zero F1 tyre: Martin Brundle (51 years old)
• Youngest driver to have driven a P Zero F1 tyre: Kevin Ceccon (18 years old)
• Total kilometres driven by all the P Zero compounds in 2011: 307,657 km (races and tests)
• Coldest track/ground temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: German Grand Prix at 13 degrees Celsius; coldest overall: Valencia winter testing at 6 degrees
• Hottest track/ground temperatures Pirelli P Zero tyres have run: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at 43 degrees Celsius; hottest overall: Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test 49 degrees Celsius
• Total weight of tyres each fitter handles during a season: 16,389 kgs
• Average time taken for a Pirelli fitter to fit an F1 tyre from scratch: 2m30s
• Time taken for Sebastian Vettel to fit an F1 tyre from scratch: 5m13s

Pirelli F1 and its people

• Total number of Pirelli people travelling to a race: 52
• Total number of nationalities within the Pirelli F1 team: 10
• Total number of languages within the Pirelli F1 team: 14
• Number of hours that Paul Hembery has been interviewed at GP events: 61 hrs, 25 min
• Total number of goals scored by Paul’s favourite football team, Bristol City, during the season: 18
Pirelli’s F1 Trucks & Hospitality

• Total amount of trucks at European races: 12
• Total kilometers travelled by Pirelli’s trucks in 2011: 925,326
• Number of hours needed to put up and take down Pirelli’s hospitality unit in Europe: 10 hours to put up; 8 hours to take down
• Number of people required to put up and take down Pirelli’s hospitality unit in Europe: 6
• Numbers of meals served at the Pirelli F1 hospitality (incl tests): 28,612
• Number of cups of espresso served by Pirelli hospitality during the season (incl tests): 43,250
• Kilogrammes of pasta cooked by Pirelli’s chef during the season (incl tests): 1,220 (all types combined!)
Pirelli in Formula One overall (since 1950)

• Races started: 222
• Wins: 63
• Pole positions: 66
• Podium places: 196
• Fastest laps: 70

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