Pirelli: Teams will decide over changed compound
17 July 2012 – Last time out at Silverstone, heavy rain meant that Pirelli was unable to test the modified Hard compound tyre which it has developed. It now intends to do so during Friday practice for the German Grand Prix, but insists that the teams and not the tyre supplier will decide whether or not to use the product in actual races.
So far this season, results have been turned upside-down as teams and drivers struggle to get to grips with the modified compounds. The crucial aspect is operating windows, with drivers needing to maintain tyre temperatures inside a small range; should they drop below this, grip will be lost instantly, whereas pushing too hard and going above it will destroy the tyres.
“The new Hard tyre is not a big evolution, but it has a slightly wider working range which should make it easier for the teams to get the tyres up to temperature and maintain them in the correct operating window,” explains Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery.
“We’re running them in Friday free practice only as, with the championship so finely balanced, we feel that it would be unfair to suddenly alter one of the fundamental parameters that the teams have made a lot of effort to understand and get the most out of.”
Hembery insists that Pirelli will digest the teams’ collective feelings in detail.
“We enjoy a very productive dialogue with them and we will always take into account the wishes of the majority,” he continues. “It’s certainly going to be interesting, hearing what they have to say about the new tyre and seeing if their impressions match up to the conclusions that we have drawn from our private testing.
“Coming to a circuit that is new to us always holds a different challenge, as we don’t have any of our own previous data to compare it with, but the progress that has been made with simulation is incredible; these days you can learn so much about how a tyre will behave on a circuit without even going there.”
For racing this weekend, the yellow-marked Soft and white-marked Medium compounds are on offer. Alongside Pirelli, DRS and KERS will also be run at Hockenheim for the first time, as the German Grand Prix was staged at the Nürburgring last year.