Pirelli unhappy with old test car
22 August 2012 – F1 tyre supplier Pirelli admits that it would prefer to test with an up-to-date car, as opposed to the Renault chassis it is currently using. In 2010, the R30 car in question was raced by Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov with a recognisable yellow livery.
Tyre operating temperatures have been the story of the year, with teams struggling to find the correct window in which to use their rubber. This has resulted in several dramatic changes to the order during races and therefore numerous unexpected results. In the opinion of Paul Hembery, this is due to testing with an old car.
“The same tyres behave very different when using a car from 2010,” the Pirelli Motorsport Director explains to Brazilian publication Total Race. “The aerodynamic balance of the car is very different and that acts on the tyres. This year the teams have suffered problems, especially with the front tyres, but there has also been overheating with the rears.
“We did not encounter these problems when testing because the car is two years old - but that is the only car we can use. It was a huge challenge to get hold of that car. I would obviously prefer one of the current test cars, but that is not going to happen. Teams need about 18 months to fully develop a car, so even using one from last year is not possible. Developing the different compounds needs to be very precise and it is very difficult to get everything right when we are not testing with a suitable car.”
Pirelli became the sole F1 tyre supplier in 2011, taking over from Bridgestone which had decided to leave the series. Between 2001 and 2006, Bridgestone had been involved in a tyre war with Michelin – a format Pirelli has cleared stated it would not support.