Arriving at Bovington Camp, a military base in Dorset, for the finale of the inaugural season of electric off-road series Extreme E, the lack of noise is the first indication that this is international motorsport done differently. When the nine fully electric 550bhp Odyssey 21 SUVs enter the arena, it is in large part to the sound of wet mud displaced by exclusive tyre supplier Continental’s Extreme E tyre, which is based on the German manufacturer’s CrossContact range. Primarily targeting a broadcast and internet audience, the teams, event staff, and small number of attendees on-site mingle under canvas, watching most of the action from the circuit unfold on big screens. During the races, teams complete the switch between the male and female drivers – another indicator of how Extreme E approaches motorsport differently – in front of this area.
Nico Rosberg has signed his name on the Continental dotted line and will henceforth act as a brand manager for the tyre maker. Announcing the arrangement, the former Formula One World Champion tweeted that he’s “proud to work with partners who put sustainability, technology and safety at the heart of what they do.”
Lewis Hamilton won the last grand prix run on the current Pirelli Formula One tyre range in Abu Dhabi, but was pipped to the drivers’ championship by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, who finished second, using identical two-stop strategies. The tyre supplier called the Yas Marina-hosted grand prix “the last race in the era of deliberately high tyre degradation”, with its latest, larger range of P Zero slicks and Cinturato wets unveiled in the emirate before the weekend’s racing began. The final development test for the 2017 will begin on Tuesday, 29 November, with Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari appearing on track together in modified 2015 mule cars.
The FIA has told Pirelli each team’s tyre choices for the season closing grand prix of Abu Dhabi on 25-27 November. Championship leader Nico Rosberg and second-placed Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who has a chance of pipping the German to victory, will both use the same selection: four sets of the P Zero Yellow soft, two of the Red supersoft, and seven of the Purple ultrasoft.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was victorious in Austria, winning the Austrian Grand Prix from pole position using a two-stop strategy. Teammate Nico Rosberg collided with Hamilton as the Briton passed him on the final lap of an action-packed grand prix, having used the timing of his pit stop tyre strategy to boost his position, “undercutting” a number of drivers including his team mate (who started from pole) to lead the race. Following contact with Hamilton, Rosberg’s car sustained front wing damage, leading to his fourth place finish. More worryingly for tyre supplier Pirelli was the blowout that ended Sebastian Vettel’s grand prix, the causes of which the manufacturer said it was investigating with the constructor, Ferrari.
Nico Rosberg piloted his Mercedes to a convincing win at the first grand prix in Azerbaijan. The championship leader started from pole and stopped just once, passing from supersoft to soft tyres, without ever losing the lead. While some cars were forced to stop twice due to the higher than expected temperatures, Pirelli said that tyre degradation was lower than expected. The top six finishers all started on the P Zero Red supersoft, stopping once to change to the P Zero Yellow soft tyre between laps 8 and 21. These soft tyre stints therefore lasted up to 43 laps, the number achieved by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Pirelli and Formula One’s raft of new tyre regulations appeared to have increased the options open to drivers during the opening grand prix of 2016. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg won the race in Melbourne, while eight of the 16 race finishers used all three available compounds following a red flag restart after 18 laps.
Nico Rosberg’s “considered approach to tyre management over the course of the whole weekend” was the key to his victory in the Brazilian grand prix, according to Pirelli motorsport director, Paul Hembery. His three-stop strategy, running one stint on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre followed by three remaining stints on the P Zero White […]
Nico Rosberg won the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years from pole with a two-stop strategy. Using soft-medium-medium Pirelli tyres, he beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton to secure a 10th one-two of the season for Mercedes. Rosberg also moved back to second in the driver points standings. Behind them, race strategies were affected by a safety car with just 20 laps to go. This effectively allowed a ‘free’ pit stop, which meant that those contemplating another stop could do so without a big penalty.
Pirelli has concluded its investigation into Sebastian Vettel’s tyre failure in the closing stages of the Belgian grand prix. The exclusive Formula One tyre supplier stated its technical analysis had found no structural problem with the tyres used at Spa, and the blowout that ended Vettel’s race came as the result of exceptional “combined effect of debris on the track and prolonged tyre usage on a circuit that is particularly demanding.”
An early safety car at the Austrian Grand Prix made one-stop the default strategy, though with a number of grid penalties in operation, many drivers were planning long stints from the start. Chief among these was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who ran for 50 laps on his original set of P Zero Yellow soft tyres, ending up in the points after starting 18th on the grid, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished fourth after completing 36 laps on the P Zero Red supersoft.
Pirelli said that its pre-season data has been backed up by lap times around two seconds quicker than 2014 at the season-opening Australian grand prix. Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton beat his Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg from pole, with both drivers utilising cool conditions and low degradation to perform very similar one-stop strategies.
Formula One has completed its pre-season testing schedule, with Pirelli’s P Zero and Cinturato tyres improving lap times by one-to-two seconds. The full range of P Zero slick compounds was tested at Barcelona, and while the Cinturato Blue full wet was unused, the Cinturato Green got some limited track time in brief rain showers. Pirelli Motorsport director Paul Hembery believes that most of the teams “are already well-prepared for the season ahead,” compared to 2014, with “significantly quicker” cars likely to become even faster in hotter track conditions when the season starts.
Once again, the Mercedes team closed out the top two steps of the podium at Interlagos, using three stops – as did almost every driver – to dominate in the penultimate race of 2014. The only surprise was that Nico Rosberg ended Lewis Hamilton’s five GP winning streak to make the Briton finish at least second to ensure championship victory in Abu Dhabi’s controversial double-points grand prix. Both Mercedes drivers started on the soft tyre to make good their front row grid advantage, before seeing out the race comfortably on the medium P Zeros. Tyre supplier, Pirelli correctly predicted this as the fastest strategy for the 71 lap race, and a high degree of tyre wear meant that all but Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who finished seventh, stopped three times
Interlagos, in the heart of Sao Paulo, is the second-shortest lap of the year after Monaco. Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli will provide medium and soft compound P Zero tyres to combat the challenges of its series of twists, turns and elevation changes. Long-range weather forecasts predict wet weather for at least part of the […]