38,788 tyres and 120kg of parmesan cheese – Pirelli’s year in F1
This year’s Formula 1 season ended with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix late last month and preparations are already under way for 2018. Looking back over its year as exclusive tyre supplier to the championship, Pirelli has presented statistics from its 2017 season.
In total, Pirelli supplied 38,788 tyres, including 25,572 slick and 13,016 rain or intermediate tyres, for practice and racing at the 20 Grands Prix of 2017, 9.4 per cent fewer than it supplied a year earlier. From this total, 33,520 were supplied for race weekends and 5,268 for testing. Of the 33,520 tyres supplied for race weekends, only 12,920 were used, 11,532 slick and 1,388 rain or intermediate tyres.
Comparing this year’s overtaking statistics with those of 2016 goes some way towards explaining the grumbling heard during the season about the lack of excitement in F1. Overtaking manoeuvres were only a little over half as frequent as during the previous season. A total of 435 were performed in 2017, an average of 21.8 per race (the Russian Grand Prix featured just one single overtaking manoeuvre). We were treated to no less than 866 overtaking manoeuvres a year earlier, with an average of 41.2 occurring during every race. While overtaking reached a highpoint in 2016, this season’s figures are the lowest recorded since 2009.
Away from the track, Pirelli sent approximately 2,400 F1 tweets via its @PirelliSport Twitter account and the Pirelli Formula 1 Team published 210 press releases. Pirelli’s hospitality unit served 15,900 meals and its chef cooked 400 pizzas and 870 kilogrammes of pasta, with 120 kilogrammes of parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. All this was washed down by 14,400 litres of water and almost 30,200 coffees.
“From a record-breaking season, we have collected some record-breaking numbers,” comments Mario Isola, head of car racing at Pirelli. “Formula 1 introduced some radical new technical regulations this year, which resulted in the fastest cars ever seen in the history of the sport. So, our mission was to build the fastest-ever tyres, 25 per cent wider than their predecessors to cope with the massively increased cornering speeds and energy loads, which nonetheless allowed the drivers to push hard from the start to the finish of every stint. We developed these tyres throughout 2016, despite not even seeing a 2017 car until the first pre-season test at Barcelona. Over the course of this year, pole position was on average 2.450 seconds faster than in 2016, and the fastest race lap was on average 2.968 seconds quicker than last year. In spite of forces that were sometimes up to 35 to 40 per cent higher than 2016 through the quickest corners, our 2017 tyres achieved all the targets established at the beginning of the season, with an optimal level of reliability and consistency. Now we look forward to next season, with an even faster tyre introduced to the 2018 range and with every compound going a step softer, which should help contribute to even more speed and spectacle in the future.”
Further Pirelli F1 2017 statistics can be read here.