Drivers to race on new soft tyres in Brazil

2011 Brazilian Grand Prix

Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2011

Renault, Abu Dhabi, 2011

The new soft tyre tested in Abu Dhabi last week will be raced in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The new compound will take the place of the current soft tyre, which will be offered alongside the regular medium tyre.

Pirelli will also bring a “considerably softer” hard tyre for teams to test during practice.

Each driver will have two sets of the experimental hard tyre, which has already been evaluated by Lucas di Grassi at Jerez and Barcelona earlier this year.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Preparations for the 2012 season are well underway, so it will be really interesting to hear the thoughts of the drivers about the new hard and soft tyres that we will be trying out in Brazil.

“We’ve already collected plenty of information on the new soft tyre from the young driver test, so it will be useful to compare that to real race data.

“It?s important not to get too distracted by the names of the tyres though: what we?re calling a ‘soft’ for now could end up as a medium for next year, as that?s what the testing process is all about.

“In general, the tyres are going to be less conservative next year as the second half of this season has shown how well the teams have understood our product, allowing us to make some reasonably aggressive choices such as supersoft and soft for Korea.

“We?re delighted to be ending the season in Brazil: not only is it a legendary circuit with an amazing atmosphere but it is also a key market for Pirelli.”

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38 comments on Drivers to race on new soft tyres in Brazil

  1. cmckinleyF1 (@cmckinleyf1) said on 21st November 2011, 13:38

    Very interesting, good that they’ve acknowledged how the teams have got on top of the tyre wear and they’re going to try and be more aggressive to counter that next season

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 21st November 2011, 13:43

    What a great year Pirelli have had. Seeing Hempbrey at every race has really shown their unwavering appetite for producing a great spectacle. Constantly evolving tyres is needed for a constantly evolving sport.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st November 2011, 13:44

    “We’re delighted to be ending the season in Brazil: not only is it a legendary circuit with an amazing atmosphere but it is also a key market for Pirelli.”

    That really shows how genuinly fitting Pirelli and F1 are!

    Good job guys.

  4. Mr draw said on 21st November 2011, 13:46

    Great! Softer tyres for 2012!

  5. Picture is captioned ‘2009’.

  6. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 21st November 2011, 14:31

    So, what does this new soft compound mean? Is it softer and wears more than the previous one? Maybe a three stopper race in prospect?

  7. I wish all we had was Dry, intermediate and wet. This whole strategy within a strategy within a strategy really just overcomplicates things.

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 21st November 2011, 15:05

      I’m not sure about that.

      The two different compounds creates variation in speeds. It also gives other guys at the back a chance to make their way through the field, even if it’s just temporary (see Kovalainen running 10th). It’s also good for a lower team’s profile (ie. sponsorship).

      No one’s stopping a backend car running for alot of the race on the harder tyre to make a name for themselves, albeit prematurely :)

    • beneboy (@beneboy) said on 22nd November 2011, 14:06

      I’d have to agree @infy; the multiple compound set up we have now is just another artifical aspect of modern F1 that’s intended to create interest in the tyre supplier and to make up for the fact that aerodynamics have ruined F1 as a spectator sport.

      In my opinion we should either have a good old fashioned tyre war with multiple manufacturers supplying tyres to different teams or a single dry tyre that’s used by everyone (plus an intermediate and a wet).

  8. I am still opposed to the idea of making the tyres last less laps. Although it adds uncertainty to the mix, I think it ruins the origins and initial purpose of motorsport racing,- i.e. going flat out until the chequered flag. Oh well, I know I’m in the minority on this

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 21st November 2011, 15:28

      No, I do see what you mean.

      But I guess it’s finding a balance between a tyre that goes off after 4 laps, and a tyre that lasts the duration (Bridgestone).

    • Ilanin (@ilanin) said on 21st November 2011, 17:44

      At more or less no point during the time there has been a Formula One World Championship have drivers been able to go flat out until the chequered flag. I don’t know much about pre-war racing, but I’d imagine those cars usually needed even more nursing to the end than those of the 1950s did. Racing cars are built for speed, not reliability, so they have a habit of breaking when pushed hard (which of course they always are), so there’s one reason drivers have never been able to go flat out to the flag. Secondly, as Martin Brundle frequently ends up explaining, to load a modern-day F1 car down with enough fuel to go flat-out to the flag would actually make it slower, since being able to keep the engine maxed out wouldn’t compensate for the car being that much heavier. It’s a similar idea with the tyres, of course – a tyre that didn’t degrade noticeably between the start and the finish would also give much less grip than one that does. Could Pirelli make something that would be overall faster than the current rubber? Probably. Would it be more authentic? I don’t think so. Managing the limitations of your equipment has been a part of F1 as long as there’s been an F1 for it to be a part of.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd November 2011, 8:30

      it ruins the origins and initial purpose of motorsport racing,- i.e. going flat out until the chequered flag.

      I don’t agree that is the original purpose of motor racing.

      I would call it something very similar but significantly different: Completing the race distance in the least time possible.

      This is not the same as going flat-out all the way. This means making sure you don’t drive too quickly for the car, and breaking it, or too quickly for your own abilities, and crashing.

      Being able to do that is as important a part of being a racing driver as overtaking or turning a quick qualifying lap.

      • @ilanin and @keithcollantine I see your points, particularly yours Keith.

        I would call it something very similar but significantly different: Completing the race distance in the least time possible.

        This is not the same as going flat-out all the way. This means making sure you don’t drive too quickly for the car, and breaking it, or too quickly for your own abilities, and crashing.

        This is a great point.

        I still disagree with the whole Pirelli development scheme. It’s just too forced really, how many times has a compound been altered this season? I just think it makes the racing even more artificial.

        Picture this;

        Vettel, Alonso, Button, Hamilton all within 2 seconds of eachother on the penultimate lap of the last race of the season to decide the WDC. It’s unbelievably tense, the driving top class, oh wait hamiltons, alonsos, and vettels tyres go off and start losing a second a lap. race ruined in my opinion.
        And I don’t think this is too far off the mark, heck if Monaco wasn’t awful for overtaking, Vettel would surely have been passed.

        I think “managing the limitations of your equipment” is fine, but when your equipment is made to specifically break down after 10-15 laps it’s just silly.

        I’m sure many wouldn’t agree with me about the tyres. But there’s an easy way to remedy this, and the DRS situation… bring back pre-2009 rules. easy.

  9. UKFan (@) said on 21st November 2011, 18:04

  10. David-A (@david-a) said on 21st November 2011, 19:35

    Is DRS going to be dropped next year, or are they sticking with it?

  11. TED BELL said on 21st November 2011, 23:10

    Can’t ever recall a tire manufacturer present so many variations on the tires they offer.

    I would imagine that the teams are about completely mad from the frequency of these changes and how the cars must be altered to cope with and maximize the tire potential. I have been a critic of Pirelli this season mostly for Q3 lack of attempts by teams who save tires. I read last week that this will adjusted for 2012 and I believe that this can only be good for F1 in the future.

    Also simplify the names of the tires and quit renaming them every bloody race. How about “super soft, soft , medium and hard. Yes it is what they call them but each race the tire becomes something different than what it was at the previous race and that confuses fans.

    Pirelli I comend you for the effort to provide tires that F1 was seeking. In the end I think you got the job done but overall something was missed. I rate your success at 7 out of 10.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd November 2011, 8:33

      Can’t ever recall a tire manufacturer present so many variations on the tires they offer.

      I’m guessing you’re a fairly new F1 fan, then! You only have to go back to the days of the tyre war, just five years ago, when Bridgestone and Michelin were frequently updating and revising their tyres.

      Naturally with only a single tyre supplier there’s less incentive to do that, so I say kudos to Pirelli for taking this step in the name of improving the racing in F1.

      • TED BELL said on 22nd November 2011, 16:53

        Perhaps this reflects the instant access to information today and because of that, we the fans are privy to details that once were not part of the media attention. How the telling of the tale of F1 is presented today is much different than it was 30 to 40 years ago.

        When I first followed Grand Prix racing there was one race televised per season, Monaco , and the most current and up to date race to race info came from Speed Sport and News, one to two weeks late. The other option was Road and Track magazine albeit 2 to 3 months after events happened.

        It took Mario Andretti and the Lotus 78 and 79 to start the juices of the American media flowing. Things changed at that time and today I am amazed at how much people know and how fast info is accessed.

        As for the Michelin- Bridgestone wars I don’t recall them telling the media about every change form race to race like Pirelli is doing. Why would they ?? Seems like keeping your known advantage in your hip pocket would make more sense in the tactics of competition.

        Again my real complaint about Pirelli is the limited numbers of tires available in qualifying and its affect on teams who chose to not even try to advance in Q3.

        F1 is considered to be better for what Pirelli has brought to the table, now F1 should revise the tire limits rule and give the teams as many as needed.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd November 2011, 16:58

          F1 should revise the tyre limits rule and give the teams as many as needed.

          Far easier said than done. What you’re talking about would result in a massive increase in costs, which Pirelli would pass on to the teams, and which the teams don’t want to pay. That’s why the limits are there in the first place.

          • TED BELL said on 22nd November 2011, 21:28

            I appreciate your feedback but question that another set of softs, which more than likely would be the tire of choice in Q3, would result in massive cost increases. In a worst case senario Pirelli would need to bring a maximum of 24 sets of softs and in all likely hood only ten sets would actually be needed if that many at all. One bad approach to a corner would ruin a set anyway, why not option one more set of tires for each team per race and those unused be saved for the next event. I realize my example is somewhat simplified but as for massive costs I challenge that.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 22nd November 2011, 21:35

            In a worst case senario Pirelli would need to bring a maximum of 24 sets of softs and in all likely hood only ten sets would actually be needed if that many at all.

            But that’s exactly the problem: you’re telling them to bring 24 extra sets to each race in the full knowledge that they’ll have to throw away 14 sets – more than half (once tyres are mounted on rims they can’t be re-used).

          • Paulocreed said on 23rd November 2011, 17:51

            I believe someone mentioned this before, but would it not be financially easier to just have one set of dry tires rather than two, aside from the intermediate and wet tire compounds.

            With the tyre compounds changing or getting softer, would the now soft tires be the new medium and so on?

            I also feel another part of the problem with financial impact is that the rules/regulations keep getting changed much too frequent, making some R&D having to be scrapped due to new rules.

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 23rd November 2011, 18:11

            would it not be financially easier to just have one set of dry tires rather than two

            The reason they bring two different dry compounds is because they can’t be sure what wear rates will be like during the race. They have to make arrangements to supply the tyres well in advance of the race, they don’t know exactly what the weather will be like, and so they need to bring more than one compound.

            To take an extreme example, at India they brought the hard tyre because they knew so little about the track, they decided to bring their most conservative tyres.

  12. JPedroCQF1 (@joao-pedro-cq) said on 21st November 2011, 23:12

    Pirelli have done such a great job this year. Actually, I think that I never liked so much a Formula 1 tyre supplier. Their agressive approach to the development of the tyres just attracts me to them.

  13. KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 21st November 2011, 23:14

    I’m excited by this, but I can’t help think it might ruin the championship battle going on this year. The midfield teams are still very close, and if one team can ‘luck’ into a good strategy by suiting these new tyres, then I think it would cause a bit of dispute amongst said midfielders.

    Of course though, it’d be great to see what Pirelli have in mind to carry on from one of the most interesting tyre setups we’ve ever seen in F1.

  14. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 21st November 2011, 23:24

    I was really disappointed with the way the races had been going of late, with two-stop races and little to no scope for contrary strategies, so I’m glad the tyres will be more aggressive next year.

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