It was a glaring omission from an illustrious who’s who of the tyre world – the Pirelli P Zero was nowhere to be seen amongst the list of finalists for the Auto Bild summer 2020 tyre test. Its combined result in the preliminary round’s wet and dry braking tests only sufficed for 25th place from 50 tyres, a result that Auto Bild called “disappointing”. Pirelli isn’t leaving this stain on the P Zero’s reputation unanswered.
Pirelli has presented the tyre that will equip the new Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo from the 2020 season onwards in all four Ferrari Challenge championships. The tyre is the Pirelli P Zero DHA, the product of some seven months of close collaboration between Pirelli and Ferrari engineers. The P Zero DHA is available in size 275/675-19 at the front and 315/705-19 at the rear.
BMW Group has approved the Pirelli P Zero as an original equipment tyre for the BMW M8. The Pirelli tyre has been homologated for the M8 in size 275/35 ZR 20 (102Y) XL (front axle) and 285/35 ZR 20 (104Y) XL (rear axle).
Pirelli may be synonymous with traditional ideas of high performance, but in 2019 the tyre manufacturer is increasingly adapting what this segment of the market can mean. Earlier in 2019, Pirelli reported that tyres made according to the company’s Green Performance strategy had risen from 20 per cent a decade ago to 29.8 per cent in 2018 – not only that, but Green Performance tyres accounted for 57.5 per cent of Pirelli’s High Value product sales. Now the manufacturer is embracing another “electrifying” direction in which to develop its high performance tyres in 2019.
Silverstone will host the 3 Hours of Silverstone this weekend, round two of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, exclusively supplied by Pirelli. This follows the opening round of the Blancpain GT World Challenge Europe, which took place 160km down the road at Brands Hatch last weekend. The Lamborghini Super Trofeo will feature too, and the entire grid will also run on Pirelli rubber.
Pirelli travels to Albert Parks’ “slightly unusual” street circuit for the Formula 1 2019 season curtain-raiser in Melbourne, Australia this weekend. The exclusive tyre supplier nominated its C2, C3, and C4 compounds as the hard, medium, and soft tyres, saying that the track has a more flowing rhythm that also takes in some reasonably quick corners than stop-and-go street circuits, like Monaco or Singapore.
Pirelli’s ninth consecutive season as the exclusive tyre supplier to Formula 1 sees the manufacturer make several changes to its tyre range. This isn’t new – Pirelli has changed its tyres somewhat every season – but the changes to this year’s compounds, making their debut on the 2019 cars in Barcelona this week, offer a few more fundamental differences than we have recently come to expect.
Pirelli has confirmed that all five of its slick P Zero Formula 1 compounds will be seen in testing this year. Only three colours will be used on the slick tyres’ sidewalls to help spectators distinguish between the compounds this season – white plus Pirelli’s corporate yellow and red, in order of increasing softness. At each grand prix, the hardest compound tyre will have white sidewalls, the medium yellow, and the softest red.
Pirelli is involved in 10 major championships at the forefront of American motorsport. It commits 40 personnel to a variety of races and rallies every weekend, supplying tens of thousands of tyres. The scale of Pirelli’s competition involvement this year in North America shows, the company states, that motorsport on the continent has never been more relevant. This is because motorsport represents a part of the Italian company’s research and development for ultra-high performance tyres – an “open-air testing laboratory,” in its words – pushing the extremes of performance on track to create products for the road.
Pirelli has opened a fourth branch of its tyre boutique retail concept P Zero World on a third continent. The store follows previous openings in Los Angeles, Munich and Monte-Carlo. More than 60 supercars belonging to local collectors formed a parade through the city to mark the Dubai opening. The following day more than 200 cars took to the track at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi for the P Zero Experience: Pirelli’s track day event.
The Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) and Pirelli have announced a new original equipment agreement at Autosport International. Pirelli’s head of car racing, Mario Isola, Pirelli UK motorsport manager Jonathan Wells, and BAC co-founders Neill and Ian Briggs jointly introduced the arrangement, which means the British manufacturer’s Mono will run on the P Zero Trofeo R.
Pirelli is bringing a splash of colour to the Ferrari Challenge. The safety car used in the single-marque championship will be fitted with P Zero Color Edition tyres, with a different colour used for each country where a round takes place.
Pirelli has continued its late-season trend of introducing softer Formula One compounds than in 2016 with its selection for the Japanese grand prix at Suzuka. Mario Isola, head of car racing, says that “this is particularly pertinent” at Suzuka, “as it’s one of the most challenging tracks for tyres of the entire year, with a very big emphasis on lateral loads that can cause thermal degradation if the tyres are not properly managed.
The winners of this year’s British GT Championship titles in both the GT3 and GT4 classes will be decided in a two-hour race at Donington Park on Sunday, where all entrants will be equipped with Pirelli tyres. The track, which also hosts the World Superbike Championship, supplied by Pirelli, is only a 14-mile drive from the manufacturer’s Burton-upon-Trent facility, making it something of a home track.