By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli has announced details of the tyres it will be bringing to the Japanese, Korean and Indian grand prix.
In Japan, drivers will use the P Zero Silver hard tyres and P Zero Yellow soft tyre, delivering both performance and durability at the fast and challenging Suzuka circuit.
For Korea, the P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft has been nominated: a combination that also proved extremely effective on Pirelli’s debut last year in Mokpo.
And at the Indian Grand Prix, new to the calendar in 2011, the drivers will have the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft at their disposal, which should be well-suited to the hot weather in Delhi.
Japan contains a combination of high speed as well as slower and more technical corners, meaning that the tyres have to work effectively within a wide range of parameters and potential weather conditions. By combining the hard with the soft compound, every eventuality is catered for on a favourite circuit for all the drivers, on account of the high g forces experienced through flat-out corners such as 130R and Spoon.
Although temperatures in Korea can be high, the tight and twisty nature of the track, as well as the exceptionally low tyre degradation it presents, make it a good choice for the two softest tyres in Pirelli’s range. These provide plenty of mechanical grip but do not compromise on durability, as shown by the other races in which this combination has been used such as Monaco and Canada.
With India being new to the calendar last year, Pirelli’s engineers faced the challenge of accumulating as much simulated data as they could about the Buddh circuit. This year, the tyre nomination has been made with real data, and as a result the hard and the soft compounds have been selected to provide the best spectacle on one of the longest straights in Formula One, as well as some complex multi-apex corners that put plenty of energy through the tyres.
Each team will normally receive six sets of the harder compound and five sets of the softer compound for the race weekend, which can be used at any point from free practice one onwards. Pirelli will also bring its Cinturato Green intermediate tyre for damp track conditions (four sets per car) as well as the Cinturato Blue rain tyre (three sets per car) to each race.