PIRELLI’S 2012 TYRES MAKE THEIR DEBUT
Pirelli’s 2012 tyres will make their debut at the young driver test in Abu Dhabi from 15-17 November.
The three-day test is designed for teams to try out new drivers, who have completed no more than two grands prix previously and are in a possession of an International A licence, but it is also an excellent opportunity for Pirelli to try out some of the 2012 range of tyres, with in-season testing currently banned for this year.
The tyre design has changed slightly for next year: the latest evolutions of the P Zero tyres feature new profiles for the front and rear, and a selection of totally new compounds with only the supersoft compound unaltered. The 2012 tyres have a squarer profile, designed to distribute wear more evenly across the footprint, while the softer compounds have been adjusted to reduce the risk of blistering.
This new range of tyres is designed to bring the relative performance of the compounds closer together, thereby making strategy even more important next year. The new tyres are also designed to increase performance, making the 2012 tyres some of the most extreme that Pirelli has ever produced. The combined kilometres of running that the young drivers will complete from Tuesday to Thursday this week will be extremely useful when it comes to providing Pirelli’s engineers with real data.
According to the current FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) agreement, the teams have 100 sets of tyres each to use for testing during the year. Most of these sets have already been used during the four pre-season tests, but on average teams have 10-15 sets left each. On top of that, the teams will receive eight extra sets of tyres, made up of the current range of compounds as well as some soft compound development tyres.
Based on the data that is gathered, the experimental compounds will then be adjusted in time for the next scheduled Formula One test – the first of the 2012 season – which is due to be carried out at Jerez from February 7-9.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said:
“Now that the season is virtually over, we’re already well underway with our preparations for 2012. We ran some experimental tyres on Friday in Abu Dhabi, and we’ll also be running some new tyres in Brazil. Together with the information we accumulate during the young driver test, we’re gathering plenty of data in preparation for next year, where we will see a reduction in lap times between the compounds to hopefully make racing even closer. Although the young drivers don’t have the same experience as the regular drivers, this three-day test will be a good education for them. It’s also very important in terms of information-gathering, for both ourselves and the teams, as we aim to make the tyres an even more prominent feature of the action in 2012.”
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