Pirelli to take hardest F1 compounds to Spa, Monza
Pirelli has announced that it will take its P Zero Orange (hard) and White (medium) compound Formula One tyres to Spa and Monza this year, while the final street race in Singapore will see the use of the P Zero Red supersoft compound along with the White. If there a whiff of conservatism about Pirelli’s tyre choices for the two fastest tracks of the year, you wouldn’t necessarily blame the tyre supplier. Following the harshness and high profile of the criticism it has received in 2013 – building to the crescendo after the British grand prix – the latest announcement is perhaps an indication of a change in thinking; perhaps it would be good not to talk about degrading Pirelli tyres for a while. On the other hand, Pirelli reasons that at these most demanding of tracks, the harder compounds are simply best-equipped to deal with the conditions, and Pirelli has tended to steer clear of by default providing tyres two compound steps apart, as had become conventional in the recent past. Of course, Singapore will provide an opportunity to see if this idea provides more strategic choices for teams and drivers. Motorsport director Paul Hembery reiterated his view that the tyres selected would provide the “best opportunities for strategy” and be “the most effective race tyres.”
In Spa, the longest and one of the fastest circuits of the year, Pirelli expects a track layout that puts the highest vertical load on the front tyres all season, mainly due to Eau Rouge corner. This is why Pirelli views the two hardest tyres from Pirelli’s F1 range to be the most suitable.
At Pirelli’s home race at Monza high-speed straights take precedent over Spa’s characteristic fast corners. The tyre supplier says the tyres are subjected to very high longitudinal forces and blistering can be an issue due to the stress put on the tyres under braking. Therefore, Pirelli argues that the two hardest compounds are also the ideal choice at this race.
Singapore offers a totally different challenge to these great old European circuits. The P Zero White medium and P Zero Red supersoft (making its first appearance since Canada) will be used to generate traction and night-time grip on the tight and twisty corners, while the medium tyre adds extra durability into the strategy mix, Pirelli explains.
All the tyres will be in the same specification as used in Hungary: the 2012 construction matched to the 2013 compounds. The Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato blue full wet will also be brought to every race as usual.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “The second half of the season starts off with two of the fastest and most demanding races for tyres of the year, in Belgium and Italy. Singapore is a completely different challenge: the final street race of the season, which is ideal territory for the supersoft tyres. As always, our selections have concentrated on providing the best opportunities for strategy as well as the most effective race tyres.”
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