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2013 Italian Grand Prix – Practice Sessions

PIRELLI’S COMPOUNDS ADAPT WELL TO THE HEAT OF MONZA

Monza, September 6, 2013 – The teams used the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tyres for free practice at Monza today: the ‘temple of speed’ close to Pirelli’s headquarters in Milan. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of the day towards the end of the afternoon session, with a benchmark of 1m24.453s on the medium tyre. This was nearly one second faster than the equivalent session last year when Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set a fastest time of 1m25.290s.

Conditions were hot and dry today, which is expected to be the case for the rest of the weekend. The drivers used only the hard tyre during the first 90-minute session this morning, before trying out the medium tyre as well in the more representative qualifying and race conditions in the afternoon. With many teams bringing a specific aerodynamic package for Monza, the teams concentrated on optimising the set-up to the tyres, as well as carrying out qualifying and race simulations with different fuel loads.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “The performance of the tyres was completely in line with our expectations today on what is one of the most challenging and atmospheric circuits that we visit all year, although we are obviously only at the very beginning of the weekend and there is a lot of data left to analyse. From what we can see so far, degradation and wear are at the levels we anticipated, with a performance gap of around a second between the two compounds – although this will come down as the circuit evolves. We’ll be looking carefully at all the data tonight, but so far we are on course for two pit stops for most drivers, with some cars perhaps trying a one-stopper. Monza has a number of different characteristics that sets it apart from most of the other circuits we visit this year, principally its sustained high speed, and this means that the set-up and subsequent effect on tyre usage is a key area. Consequently, the work carried out during free practice normally has a very important bearing on the race. This element of the grand prix, together with the characteristics of our tyres, allows several opportunities for strategy, which only adds to the spectacle offered by this famous and very popular circuit. Once more we’ve received a tremendous welcome and fantastic support from all the fans and we’re very appreciative of that.”

FP1: FP2:
1. Hamilton 1m25.565s Hard Used 1. Vettel 1m24.453s Medium New
2. Alonso 1m25.600s Hard Used 2. Webber 1m25.076s Medium New
3. Rosberg 1m25.704s Hard Used 3. Raikkonen 1m25.116s Medium New

Tyre statistics of the day:

Medium Hard Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 2,357 5,300 N/A N/A
sets used overall ** 22 44 N/A N/A
highest number of laps ** 30 29 N/A N/A

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

May the Force be with you:

Max. g-force braking (longitudinal force): -4.77 @ T1
Max. g-force cornering (lateral force): 4.35 @ T10

Pirelli facts of the day:

Pirelli has been based in Milan, around half an hour from Monza, ever since Giovanni Battista Pirelli founded the company in 1872 – but the Italian tyre maker’s head office moved to its present site, in the Bicocca district of Milan, in 1907. The company’s buildings were housed within the ‘Pirelli Citadel’ off Viale Sarca, shaped like an ancient fortress. By the end of the 1930s, the factory had reached its peak in size and by 1950 there were more than 12,000 employees. It was a real village, which even had its own railway line to transport products between the warehouses. These days, Pirelli (the fifth-largest tyre manufacturer in the world) employs over 37,000 people in more than 160 countries.

The thermal camera images that were shown during free practice on television today provide interesting data on the temperatures that the tyres go through at this high-speed track. When the tyres come out of the blankets, their temperature is around 80-90 degrees Celsius. During a lap, the tyres will heat up to a surface temperature of around 130 degrees out of La Roggia whereas it will go down to as low as 80 degrees before entering La Roggia. The second highest sector in regards to temperature is the long and fast Parabolica (125 degrees), followed by Ascari (120 degrees).
Under heavy braking or lock-ups, the temperatures can reach higher but this won’t last longer than a few seconds.