Active in over 250 racing competitions around the world, Pirelli’s longstanding history in the world of motorsport continues for the 2013 season. The company introduced the latest evolution of its Formula One tires – the third in a three-year sponsorship – alongside the new 17-inch tire for Superbikes at its global headquarters in Milan late January. Admist the historic Bicocca district of Milan, Pirelli’s Chairman and CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera, Cheif Technical Officer Maurizio Boiocchi, Motorsport Director (car) Paul Hembery and Motorsport Director (bike) Giorgio Barbier were on hand to unveil Pirelli’s 2013 motorsport programs and strategies at the annual international press launch.
Pirelli’s innovation and advancement continues in every motorsport category, and remains developed in accordance with various governing bodies and respective teams. Over 200 different types of tires will be designed and produced throughout the year and approximately 720,000 utilized in competition. Every weekend alone nearly 100 teams compete on Pirelli tires, and many of these teams are supported by Pirelli through special development programs where Pirelli engineers and technicians are on hand to provide support, analysis and collect date for future research and development. Pirelli’s commitment to being the leading motorsport tire company in the world resonates in the company’s mantra: “We Sell What We Race.”
The entire range of Formula One tires undergoes a revolution this year. The P Zero slick tires and wet Cinturato tires feature new structures and softer compounds. The objective is to increase thermal degradation and ensure at least two pit stops for every grand prix, increasing overtaking opportunities and so helping to provide an even better show. All of the slick tires have improved performance and are faster by up to 0.5 seconds per lap. The performance gap between the different compounds is also at least half a second, in order to enhance race strategy and differences in speeds during each race. The most visible change is to the hard compound P Zero, which as well as having a wider working range this year, changes color and is now distinguished by orange markings on the sidewall.
The constant process of intense work and innovation carried out by Pirelli for Superbikes, which began in 2004, continues this season for the 10th consecutive year: the longest single-tire supply agreement in the history of motorsport. Last year, Pirelli developed and took to the track a total of 26 products for Superbikes. For 2013, the most far-reaching innovation from Pirelli for Superbikes is the move from 16.5 to 17-inch tires, which has a profound effect on the overall performance of each bike. The new tires were tried out by the riders for the first time during tests at the Aragon circuit in Spain last July. During this test, an improvement in times of up to 1.5 seconds per lap was recorded.
BRAZILIAN STOCK CAR
Pirelli makes a spectacular return to top-level motorsport in Brazil this year. After a five-year absence, the Italian firm will once more be the exclusive supplier to the Brazilian Stock Car Championship: the most popular motorsport series in the country. The stock car tires will be made utilizing the same factory and production processes as used in Formula One, at Pirelli’s cutting-edge motorsport facility in Izmit, Turkey (see separate article).
For more on the international press conference and Pirelli’s motorsport involvement, click here.