Interlagos - 27 Nov 2011 7:19 UTC
The new Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft compound seen in competition for the first time today at the Brazilian Grand Prix will be combined with a new profile for 2012 to form the basis of next year’s medium tires, now that the current season is over. All of the slick tires apart from the supersoft compound will be brand new next year, making their debut at the first official test of 2012 next February in Spain.
With the anticipated threat of rain abated, Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber claimed his first win of Pirelli’s remarkable debut season at the final grand prix today – using the new P Zero Yellow soft tires and the P Zero White medium tires.
Webber took the lead on lap 29 after his team mate Sebastian Vettel lost time with a gearbox problem after having led from pole. Webber adopted a three-stop strategy, using three sets of soft tires and one set of medium tires to win the race by 16.9 seconds over his team mate. Today’s was Webber’s seventh career victory, securing the driver third place in the final championship standings.
A few isolated raindrops fell on the Interlagos paddock about an hour before the race started, but the grand prix got underway in dry conditions and temperatures of around 75° Fahrenheit. All 24 cars started on the P Zero Yellow soft tires, giving them greater flexibility in their strategies in case of rain – which never materialized.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was the first driver to switch to the medium tire on lap 31, and utilized a different strategy to his team mate Lewis Hamilton. The top four runners all adopted a three-stop strategy, with Ferrari driver Felipe Massa the highest-placed two-stopper in fifth, having run two stints on the soft tire and one final stint on the medium.
Button was the only driver to use the P Zero White medium for two stints, making his last stop on lap 52. The Englishman was able to push hard during his final stint, as he chased a top-three finish, which he claimed with nine laps to go: his eighth podium in nine races that cemented his runner-up place in the drivers’ championship.
The fastest lap of the race was also set on the P Zero White medium tire, by Mark Webber on the very final lap. It was Webber’s eighth fastest lap this year on Pirelli tires.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “This didn’t turn out to be the race that most people expected with the predicted rain holding off. At the last race of the season there were a few mechanical issues for some cars, but our tires were completely reliable – as they have been all year, with no structural failures – and we achieved our objective of having a performance gap of less than a second between the compounds, which should be the case next year as well. It’s been a season that has – if anything – exceeded our expectations – where we’ve seen the most overtaking in the history of the Formula One World Championship – and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of our team in Milan, Didcot and Izmit for their extraordinary work this season. They should all be proud of their achievements. I’d also like to thank all the teams and drivers for their unstinting support, advice and partnership.”
Pirelli Tire North America designs, develops, manufactures and markets tires for passenger vehicles in both the original equipment and replacement markets as well as markets and distributes tires for motorcycles and motorsports. Located in Rome, Georgia, Pirelli’s Modular Integrated Robotized System (MIRS) employs state-of-the-art technology to manufacture tires for both export and domestic markets. For more information please visit www.us.pirelli.com.