Pirelli promises more aggressive 2012 tyres

Paul Hembery (GBR) Pirelli Motorsport Director. Formula One Testing, Pirelli Tyre Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Friday 19 November 2010.

Paul Hembery

Nov.26 (F1 Media) Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has promised its offerings for next season will make the competition more interesting.

Speaking in the FIA’s Friday press conference motorsport director Paul Hembery commented on the recent tests Pirelli have run, both during Friday practice at grands prix and also during the recent young drivers’ test at Yas Marina. The general outline from him was that the tyre compounds will all move down one level of durability but also that the time gaps between them will narrow.

“It’s a little bit confusing with the naming,” he said, “because, for example, the soft tyre you will have seen here [at Interlagos] is actually going to be the medium tyre next year. The [experimental] hard tyre we had a go with this morning [in practice], which showed a performance which was much closer to the medium compound which is what we were looking for.

The hard tyre that we had this year was far, far too conservative. It was creating a lot of problems. “Next year we are going towards softer compounds. We have too big a gap between some of our choices this year in terms of peak performance so we are trying to get that down below a second to try and encourage the strategy. Experience and hindsight are wonderful things and we can make maybe some more aggressive choices at some circuits.”

The decision to go softer will undoubtedly be welcomed by teams with cars that struggle to warm the harder tyres but Hembery dismissed the notion that there’s any favouritism involved. “When we go harder everyone says we are being conservative and the races are boring, so it is one of those no-win situations. We are doing it because we are trying to encourage more exciting racing and I think what we are doing is in the right direction to try to have the peak of performance much closer together between the tyres. The harder tyres to be more durable and the faster tyres to have a degradation so we will see a little bit more of that strategy we saw earlier in the season.”