Pirelli P Zero soft, medium combination nominated for 9th time in Brazil
Pirelli has nominated its most popular combination of Formula One tyres, the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft, for this year’s Brazilian grand prix. It is the ninth time this combination has been brought to a race weekend, and the short intense Interlagos lap will provide plenty of work for the tyres, and the drivers, to do. The track which proceeds in an unusual anti-clockwise direction, was relaid in 2014, changing its levels of abrasion, while the circuit also has a new pit complex. Pirelli expects a performance gap between the two compounds of around 0.9 seconds per lap.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “Interlagos is one of those historic venues that has helped to shape the history of Formula One, so it’s a pleasure to come here and experience once more the unique atmosphere and passion from the local fans, at the end of what is our first American triple header in Formula One, with races in the United States, Mexico and now Brazil. South America and Brazil in particular is one of Pirelli’s biggest global markets, so this is a particularly important race for us, as we are so widely represented here.
“The changes to the asphalt at Interlagos last year altered the pattern of tyre behaviour, so it will be interesting to see how that affects tyre usage this year. Traditionally, Interlagos is quite a high-energy circuit for tyres, so we would expect to see two or three pit stops for the majority of competitors. As always though, we will only have an accurate picture of the real situation after the opening free practice sessions on Friday.”
Tyre challenges in Brazil
The tyres face a number of challenges in Brazil, Pirelli states. The the circuit is rear-limited, with the right-rear tyre being the most stressed due to the anti-clockwise layout – which is also the case at the next and final venue on the calendar, in Abu Dhabi. Tyres are often subjected to combined forces at Interlagos: in other words lateral and longitudinal demands at the same time. This raises the temperature of the compound. Downforce levels are generally high, with aerodynamic and mechanical grip requirements roughly in equal proportion.
Last year’s heatwave meant that Interlagos had the hottest conditions of the season, and Nico Rosberg won the race for Mercedes using a three-stop strategy. He started on the soft tyre and then changed to the medium on laps seven, 26 and 50. The highest-placed two-stopper, Kimi Raikkonen, finished seventh.