Pirelli F1 tyres show durability on Buddh circuit
Delhi’s new Buddh circuit evolved considerably during the weekend’s Formula One action, helping drivers to get progressively faster as the track cleaned and more rubber was laid down. The P Zero Yellow soft tyre and P Zero Silver hard tyre were nominated for the race, with the softer tyre proving to be around two seconds per lap faster than the harder compound. Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “Without knowing exactly how the circuit would be, we decided to bring the hard tyre to India, which was a deliberately conservative choice. This led to some very interesting strategies, with a few drivers running the hard compound at the very beginning of the race and others using it at the very end.
“The key element during the final phase of the race for the two frontrunners was understanding at which point a new set of hard tyres was quicker than a used set of softs. It was a tough race, but we saw very good durability from both compounds as well as excellent performance – with Vettel setting fastest lap of the race on the hard P Zero Silver tyre. We’ve also accumulated plenty of information which will be very useful when it comes to selecting our nominations for next year.”
Unsurprisingly, drivers tried to limit their running on hard tyres: Force India’s Paul di Resta, Lotus Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, and Sauber’s Sergio Perez were the only drivers to start the race on the harder tyre, but they swiftly moved onto the soft tyre within five laps. Lotus Renault’s Bruno Senna carried out the longest stint on the soft tyre during the race, lasting 34 laps, while Williams driver Rubens Barrichello completed the longest stint on the hard tyre, for exactly 34 laps as well. By winning his eleventh Grand Prix this year, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel is still on course to equal the record for the most number of wins in one season: 13, held by Michael Schumacher from 2004.
Vettel led from start to finish, using a two-stop strategy to win from McLaren’s Jenson Button – who made up two places from his grid position at the start of the race. The top six all used a two-stop strategy, with Lewis Hamilton the highest-placed three-stopper in seventh. Conditions were dry and warm throughout the race, which started with an ambient temperature of 31 degrees centigrade and a track temperature of 37 degrees, in hazy sunshine.