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VETTEL CLAIMS FIRST VICTORY IN SINGAPORE WITH PIRELLI

Red Bull Racing driver Sebastian Vettel has claimed his ninth victory of the year with Pirelli, but second place for McLaren’s Jenson Button, Vettel’s only potential challenger, means that the title fight will continue to the next round in Japan.

The Singapore Grand Prix – held at night with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees centigrade and humidity close to 80% – is one of the toughest races of the season, taking the longest time to complete and requiring the heaviest fuel load. This places huge demands on the tyres, particularly with constant impacts against the kerbing and 23 corners testing traction to the limit.

Vettel sealed his victory with a three-stop strategy, starting on the supersoft tyre before switching to the soft tyre twice for two longer stints in the middle of the race. The German, on course to become the youngest double world champion in Formula One history, ended the race on the supersoft tyre, managing his strategy perfectly to lead from start to finish.

Just after half-distance an accident brought out the safety car (which has appeared at every grand prix so far in Singapore) and eroded Vettel’s 22-second lead, delivering an extra aspect to the tyre strategy as most of the frontrunners pitted for fresh tyres.

The speed differential between the soft and the supersoft tyre, just over a second per lap, created plenty of overtaking opportunities throughout the race, with some spectacular moves from start to finish. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton dropped out of the lead battle following contact with Felipe Massa, but despite accident damage, a drive-through penalty and five visits to the pits, he used the speed of both the soft and the supersoft compounds to climb back up to fifth place at the finish.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “We’ve seen a truly spectacular race under the lights of Singapore, where tyre strategy was key. The heat, humidity and length of the race made it a tough event for our tyres, but both the compounds performed faultlessly over two hours. There were no particular issues and degradation was at a normal level given the characteristics of this race. This was one of the most complicated races strategy-wise of the entire year and we saw a wide variety of tactics being employed by all the teams. Once more we were treated to a grandstand finish, with Jenson Button chasing down Sebastian Vettel all the way to the chequered flag. The organisers have done another brilliant job here, making Singapore one of the highlights of the Formula One season.”

Categories: Formula 1 PZero Pirelli


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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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THRILLING BATTLES IN CHINA AS TYRE STRATEGY IS KEY

The Chinese Grand Prix went down to a thrilling battle between Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton over the last six laps, decided by tyre strategy. Hamilton passed Vettel for the lead with four laps to go, with the German driver then forced to defend from Jenson Button in the other McLaren and his Red Bull team mate Mark Webber.

Tyre strategy proved crucial to the outcome of the race, with the McLarens opting for a three-stop strategy while Red Bull selected two stops for Vettel and three stops for Mark Webber, who started from 18th on the grid after hitting problems on Saturday during free practice and qualifying.

Vettel was able to make his two-stop strategy work right up to the closing stages but he was completing a much longer stint on the hard tyres than his rivals, setting up a thrilling finish in which the top six were covered by just 15 seconds. There was plenty of overtaking in a lively race from start to finish, thanks to some thrilling battles featuring multiple world champions Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso, as well as some of the new and exciting talents to emerge in the sport such as Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi.

 “The races just seem to keep on getting better and better this year!”- commented Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery – “I think nobody watching really knew how it was going to finish until the very end, which is exactly what we wanted to achieve when we started our Formula One project. We saw an interesting split of strategies, with McLaren managing to make three stops work for Hamilton but Red Bull coming very close to winning with just two. The end result was that all the leading runners were very close together at the finish, and the people who had looked after their tyres best took the top results. It’s hard to imagine how we can top this at the next grand prix in Turkey, but we’re certainly going to try to have something just as good.”

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