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BUTTON TAKES SECOND WIN ON PIRELLI P ZERO

McLaren’s Jenson Button has taken his second victory in mixed conditions at the Hungaroring, following his win under similar circumstances in Canada earlier this year. The Englishman was assured of victory in Hungary Grand Prix after his team mate Lewis Hamilton changed onto P Zero Blue intermediate tyres in the closing stages of the race only to find that the conditions were not wet enough, forcing him to revert to slicks in his fifth pit stop of the afternoon.

Button and Hamilton fought closely for a victory that centred around tyre strategy, with Hamilton having saved an extra set of P Zero Red supersoft tyres for the race during qualifying.

On lap 46, with light rain falling once more, Hamilton spun – allowing his team mate pass.

Hamilton’s fightback on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre to fourth place in damp conditions was a highlight of the race, despite a drive-through penalty that meant he visited the pits six times in total. Like Button, Sebastian Vettel stopped three times and ran a final 29-lap stint on the soft tyre to claim the runner-up spot, 3.5 seconds behind the winner, while Fernando Alonso stopped four times in the Ferrari to take third.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “It’s been another fascinating race in mixed conditions which has allowed Jenson Button to demonstrate his skills of mastering changing weather and the capabilities of our P Zero tyres, which demonstrated both performance and durability throughout the grand prix. Even when rain was falling at the end of the race, Button managed to secure enough grip from the P Zero Yellow soft tyres to make sure of a well-deserved victory. I’m particularly pleased because the Hungaroring is a place that has not always been renowned for overtaking in the past, but today we saw plenty of it, in a race that contained more twists and turns than the circuit itself!”

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2011 MONACO GRAND PRIX

Pirelli heads immediately from one of the quicker tracks seen on the calendar to the very slowest, but at the same time definitely the most glamorous: Monaco. The tight and twisty confines of the Principality are ideal territory for Pirelli’s PZero Red supersoft tyre, which makes its debut in Monaco. For the first time, by extension, it is also twinned with the PZero Yellow soft tyre – which becomes the ‘prime’ nomination after five grands prix as the ‘option’. The PZero Red supersoft is one of the most extreme tyres in Pirelli’s range. While not quite a qualifying tyre, it still provides the ultimate performance offered by any of the PZero line-up. One of its characteristics is the remarkably short warm-up time, meaning that all the performance is available right from the beginning, but its extremely soft compound consistency means that it has an anticipated range of fewer than 10 laps: even less at the beginning of a race when the cars are full of approximately 200 litres of fuel. With the Monaco street circuit characterised by few overtaking opportunities, qualifying is of crucial importance. However, with very little run-off, incidents and interruptions are common. Weather conditions can also vary, making Monaco one of the most unpredictable and exciting events of the year. In the past there have been a number of surprise winners, and the combination of tyres nominated by Pirelli this year give teams scope to improve their prospects through some creative strategies, as has already seen at the previous round in Barcelona.

“Monaco is a fantastic race – says Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director – that makes no sense on the one hand as it’s so different from everywhere else, but it’s still the jewel in the crown of the calendar on the other. We’re very excited to see our PZero Red supersoft tyres making their debut around the twisty streets this weekend, although this type of circuit will obviously be a completely new experience as we’ve only tested on permanent tracks. The supersoft rubber is designed to provide outstanding performance over a short period of time but this comes at the price of durability, so all the teams will have to consider their strategies carefully. Getting it right will make the difference between winning and losing. For longer runs, the PZero Yellow has already proven itself to be a reliable and popular product so far this year, contributing to extremely close racing while providing the drivers with all the confidence they need to push to the maximum. We said from the start that we wanted to give racing back to the racers, and we’re hoping very much that Monaco will be a classic example of this.”

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