Hembery: We will be more aggressive going into 2012

Paul Hembery

Paul Hembery satisfied with Pirelli's return to F1 and looking forward to the future

Jan.17 (PVM) Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery is satisfied that his company delivered on the mandate given to his organisation to spice up the sport with creative use of tyre technology and plans to be more aggressive going into 2012.

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix - Sunday Sepang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 10th April 2011 Pirelli Team photo World Copyright: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic ref: Digital Image GU5G6417

Pirelli team photo

Hembery told Sky Sports, “We were asked to bring something a bit different to the sport for 2011. We were given the challenge of creating tyres that degraded, tyres that had a high wear rate, so that we could force some pit-stops. We feel that at the end of the season we had delivered very much that.”

“It’s funny because at the start of the season we were being criticised for being maybe too aggressive and at the end for being too conservative. In reality, a lot of that was to do with drivers and the teams getting used to the tyres and modifying the set-up to maximise what we gave them,” reflected the Pirelli director of motorsport.

Looking to this season Hembery said, “Going forward we have to be a little bit more aggressive going into 2012, we’ve changed three of the compounds we used last season, the soft, medium and the hard, and the peak performance between them will actually be a lot closer, which will lead onto improved strategy. That’s the plan anyway. We don’t know of course what the cars will be like; we’ll find that out in a few days time when we start up in Spain with our winter test programme.”

2011 tyre selection

2011 Pirelli F1 tyre range

“The cars should have had a bit of a change with the blown diffusers going away and in-corner speed should be lower, but you never know. These guys that design these cars are the best in the world, they come up with some amazing ideas and maybe that’s not going to be true and we find that the cars are very similar to 2011. But our intention of course is to try and replicate what we did, try to make it quite aggressive and do our bit to make the racing quite exciting,” predicts Hembery.

One of the early characteristics of the Pirelli tyres was the amount of marbles they generated as they wore down. This was addressed to a certain degree as the season progressed.

Hembery explained, “We did make some changes to make a slight improvement to that. You always get marbles, little bits of hot, molten rubber. What usually happens is that it builds up on the outside of the corners – where you have the rubber wear built-up under braking and it gets thrown off the tyre as you go around the corner.”

Marbles on the tyre of the Renault R24. Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, 9 May 2004.


“We had at some races, Malaysia was probably the worst example, where rubber was building up on the straight part heading into the corner, that’s something that we’ve tried to make an improvement on, but that’s very hard to simulate when we’ve only got one test car going on its own so you don’t really create enough laps to evaluate that.”

“We’ll try to do something, but unfortunately if you want tyres that wear, the rubber’s got to go somewhere and all you can do is try to change the mechanism of that wear to make the bits that come off the tyres slightly smaller so that they don’t create such an effect. We will keep working on that, I’m not going to say we have a solution because we won’t know until we go racing again, but at the end of the day, we had the most overtaking in the history of the sport last year,” concluded Hembery.

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