Pirelli ready for start of ‘revolutionary’ new era in Formula One
Pirelli’s three nominated tyre compounds will deal with new Formula One rules it states are among the most revolutionary in recent history when the 2017 season starts in Melbourne, Australia on 24-26 March. The tyres, which are 25 per cent wider, are expected to support cars that are around five seconds faster than in 2015, and have been designed with a new philosophy: the era of “planned degradation” is over, and the tyres will run with fewer temperature peaks. This should allow the drivers to push hard during every stint, Pirelli states.
Melbourne’s semi-permanent track will see the three softest Pirelli compounds – P Zero Purple ultrasoft, Red supersoft, and Yellow soft – designed to offer the best grip on the smooth asphalt. The track promotes hard acceleration and braking, with longitudinal forces greater than lateral, Pirelli adds. The slow corners place the emphasis on mechanical grip and high downforce, and the collection of turns means the left rear tyre is worked hardest.
Mario Isola, head of car racing, states: “The teams completed 7,427 laps of Barcelona during pre-season testing, using all the compounds but concentrating on the medium and soft tyres, which were the ones best suited to Montmeló. In Melbourne, it’s going to be interesting to collect more data on the ultrasoft and supersoft compounds, which we’ve not been able to fully assess up to now.”
For the first five grands prix, from Australia to Spain, teams will have identical tyre allocations: seven sets of the softest compound available, four sets of the middle compound, and two of the hardest compound. From the sixth grand prix in Monaco, normal rules apply: teams will select 10 sets of the 13 available. Pirelli will communicate the selections on the Tuesday, 10 days before the race.