Silver Pirelli lettering on dry-weather tyres

Pirelli shrug off criticism of hard tyre

2011 Spanish Grand PrixPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Pirelli has responded to criticism of the new hard tyre it has supplied for the Spanish Grand Prix, saying it is performing “as we expected”.

Motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “One of the main objectives that we have outlined for the new PZero silver tyre is to provide a bigger contrast to our existing PZero yellow soft tyre and the initial information that we have from the free practice sessions seems to confirm that this is the case, as we expected.”

He said the tyre would last longer during the race, increasing the range of strategic options open to teams:

“We?re getting about 10 laps more out of the new harder tyre compared to the previous version and while this obviously comes at the expense of some performance, which will not be to the liking of all the teams, it emphasizes the crossover point between the hard and the soft tyres.

“The bigger step provides the teams with more opportunities to maximise their strategies, but we have seen so far this year that strategy does not just come into place on race day but also from Saturday, so it?s going to be very interesting to see which tactics the teams adopt tomorrow based on what they have learned today.

“We?re expecting warm and dry weather conditions once more, so this should provide a level playing field that is free of any complications.”

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33 comments on “Pirelli shrug off criticism of hard tyre”

  1. Good on them. They brought exactly the tire they were asked to bring.

    1. Exactly. As the harder tyres have a clear performance differential from the soft tyre, it should add an extra dimension to race strategy

    2. Pirelli proposed to make fast degrading tires.

      1. They’ve done that, and drivers complained. Now they’ve introduced a hard tire, and drivers complained.

        They sound a bit like F1 Fanatics, don’t they?

      2. Douglas62500
        21st May 2011, 8:58

        That probably explains why I miss the Bridgestones so much. As a technological testbed it’s sad to see technology going backwards for more “excitement” ……

    3. Agreed. They’re doing an incredible job.

      1. Yeah, I agree. And we did see in FP1, that the harder tyre really shows its worth in a long run, where it enables people to actually get faster with burning off fuel a bit.

        That might give some interesting options for the race to really make less stops work.

  2. Hard tyres are supposed to be slower but last longer so why the moaning?

    1. Many of the drivers were saying they were slower but actually less durable than the old hard tyres.

    2. They’re so slow it would be better to do an extra stint on soft tyres.

      1. But the softs trail off pretty fast (the 2 second difference will be gone in some 8-10 laps), while these new hard tyres can last some 10 laps longer.
        Depending on what car, it might be viable to do a 2 stopper with 2x hards and 1 x softs.

    3. I’m guessing they’re not much fun to drive with if you want to go fast. 4 seconds a lap (I think) slower than last year in practice 1 says it all really.

      Bridgestone made a tyre that was fast and durable (too durable of course), so it can be done.

  3. 10 laps more – 2 seconds per lap slower = 20 seconds in 10 laps. More time than a stop takes. In the same time a driver can do a run on hard tyres, a driver can make two runs on soft tyres and come out in front.

    1. How much time for a pitstop in Spain? I thought the pitlane there is quite long and longer than the one in Turkey, which would mean more than 20 seconds for a pitstop.

    2. The dropoff would probably be less on these hard tyres. So the difference won’t be 2 seconds a lap over the entire stint.

      1. The drop off is 0 .2s per lap for the softs and 0.1s per lap for the hards. Meaning after 10 laps, the softs are still a second faster than the hards. Things only get interesting after the next 5 laps. But then, who does 20 laps on the softs.

  4. Adrian Morse
    20th May 2011, 19:08

    As if you would want to do 10 more laps if the tyre is 2 seconds a lap slower.

    There is something about Pirelli this year that just brings out my grumpy side. What extra strategical dimension are they talking about? That you want to avoid using that tyre altogether?

    I’m also not a fan of having to use the same tyres for Saturday and Sunday, and then basically not having enough of them. Suppose this Saturday you need a set of softs for Q1, Q2, and Q3, and you flatspot the tyres in your Q3 run. Then, especially with the hard tyres being so rubbish, your Sunday is strategically bust. Not a lot fun for the driver – or his fans.

    At this point, I am sure that there are some who would like to point out to me that “it’s the same for everyone”, but to me that’s not enough of an argument. Any rule is the same for everybody, whether it’s good, bad, or ugly.

    I would much rather have two (for instance) new sets of tyres available for Sunday, so Saturday would be more about going as quickly as possible, rather than about saving tyres. Also, such a rule wouldn’t be more expensive for the slower teams, as you don’t need that many tyres if you’re stuck in Q1…

    1. Totally agree.

    2. Saturday would be more about going as quickly as possible

      That’s what I say every time. Nowadays drivers don’t drive to the limit but reflect on Sunday’s strategy. Some drivers therefore sacrifice their qualifying for the race. Pole positions is not a win but it is still important.

    3. Agreed. I remember that during the tyre war years Bridgestone and Michelin had to bring 14 sets of tyres per driver per weekend. Why can’t the teams/FIA tell Pirelli to bring mores sets.

      Or if that isn’t possible, leave all 11 sets that each driver is allotted available throughout the weekend. That way drivers can save tyres from practice for use during qualifying or the race.

    4. I don’t know how much times i will say it but the whole problem is that annoying rule about forcing teams to use both compounds and it should be canceled.

      Many say with the Bridgestones there was no strategy but that was only because of that rule.

      I just don’t get why an FIA that is so desperate to bring multiple strategies on the races has such a stupid rule that limits available strategies.

      The rule should be canceled and Pirelli should bring at every race three tyres. The soft, a medium that is 1 second slower and last 7-8 laps longer and a hard with the same speed as this one but with even less degrade lasting about 20 laps longer and making some teams think of maybe using no pit stop with it, but being on the limit.

  5. Pirelli, you are a breath of fresh air to formula 1. Keep up the good work!

    It’s not quite as simple as 2 seconds per lap slower either. Initially when new that will be the case, but because the tyre is more consistent than the soft as the soft tyre wears the pace between them will be closer. So it’s not like after 10 laps you’ll have lost 20 seconds on the hards, because after 10 laps the softs will be past their best. The goalposts are always moving.

    Keith I should be able to help with the blogs again tomorrow as my wrist seems to be better (at least to the point where I can type again!). Although I have to have an X-Ray in the morning so as long as nothing is broken we’re good to go!

    1. Excellent point…Totally agree. Pirelli have excelled themselves in my opinion, they have done exactly what has been asked of them, definately think we’ll see some very different stratagies, should be good!

    2. That is a valid point, and I guess that if we, for simplicity, assume a linear drop-off for both compounds: softs degrade by .2 second/lap; hard by half that, ie. .1s/lap, then 10 laps of the hard loses 15 seconds, which is sort of in the window of being less than most pitstops, making it interesting again.

  6. Pirelli have done it again, creating a tire that upsets the arrogant drivers and ignorant teams, leaving everyone off balance culminating with spectacular races.

    Actually, they should create a new tire for every race, thus avoiding the situation where everyone settles for the ultimate strategy. That way the teams and drivers will always be scrambling, trying to figure out what to do, allowing the smartest, most adaptable drivers and engineers to win, which is what F1 is all about.

  7. 10 laps longer and 2 seconds slower per lap? Probably even more as you put on new soft tires on the stop and lower fuel load.. So, 2 seconds per lap over 24 laps is 48 seconds. That’s 2 stops. I’m not so sure it’s a viable option to doing 2 stints on softs instead of one stint on that tyre. IF that is the case.

    1. It depends on the degrade rate. If it’s only one second slower after 10 laps which how about as much it should be according to the Pirelli guys, then things aren’t as simple.

      If we make the calculations then 10 laps against the soft will lose about 14.5 seconds.

  8. This just adds more of the ‘musical chairs’ effect. The order changes like crazy all through the race, but in the end they still finish pretty much in the same order as they were driving after the first lap.

    It’s “entertainment”, but it’s pretty much fake.

    1. You could argue that every bit of an F1 car is “fake”. At least when compared to a road car.

      What I wouldn’t want to see is a car like the Red Bull qualifying on soft tyres and then disappearing into the distance after turn one of the first lap on a set of tyres that were then to last a race distance.

      Practice sessions would also be geared towards long runs on the hard tyre and qualifying runs on the soft tyre. You would pretty much know who was going to do well in the race even before it’s begun.

  9. I don’t understand why the teams are crying? They won’t tell Pirelli which tyre to bring? they need to work with them whatever is thrown at them, that’s the challenge.

    1. Like every other challenge, they work around it and eventually stop complaining. F1 teams hate changes which they can’t control.

  10. Sergio Perez
    21st May 2011, 6:27

    This is a very interesting subject. I have contradicting feelings about this. I like the fact that this brings in a bigger strategic element to the race. 2 seconds may seem much but when you consider other factors like traffic, weather and even circuit design- Monaco for example- this seems like a very interestig ingredient. However, On te other hand, I feel this somehow takes away from the “talent” side of the sport- Overtaking for example just seems that much less exciting because of different strategies- I just can’t feel that excited about overtaking this year like I was last year- remember the excellent overtaking moves of Kobayashi in Japan, or the fight between Hamilton and Button, Webber and Vettel? Those felt “real”. This year, tyres, DRS just made F1 a master strategist’s game, but lost some of its “true” sport side. I’m not sure if I like what I’m seeing…

  11. looking after tyres should never be the most important thing in f1.i wanna see drivers pushing hard,not holding back.and i wanna see drivers working alot harder to overtake,not just driving past whoevers infront because their tyres are dead,and because they are not allowed to defend their lead.
    f1 is going the wrong way.

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