By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli has created a ‘Formula One Team’ who will work exclusively on the development and production of tyres for what it describes as “the highest level of global motorsport.”
The Italian tyres manufacturer revealed that the team will be based at Pirelli’s Research Centre in Milan and the tyres will be produced at its Izmit factory in Turkey, which is where its other competition tyres are currently manufactured.
The team will be made up of engineers and researchers who have accumulated experience at the highest levels of motorsport: creating winning products for the world rally championship (WRC), Superbike, the Rolex Sports Car Series in North America and GT racing, as well as various one-make series.
In order to meet the F1 teams’ requirements in terms of reliability, safety and performance, Pirelli’s engineers are already working on simulation models and tyre compounds that will be most suited to the demands of F1 racing.
The company also notes that, in co-operation with the teams, it is also ready to develop technical evolutions to the current tyres for the future, “regarding in particular the wheel size.”
The announcement follows the confirmation from the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the teams, represented by the Formula One Teams Association, and Formula One’s organising body, represented by Formula One Management, that Pirelli will be the exclusive tyre supplier for Formula One teams between 2011-13, inclusive.
Pirelli are contracted to develop six different types of tyre for the whole season. Four of these will be slick tyres – with different compounds to suit various dry asphalt surfaces – and one will be a rain tyre, for heavy precipitation. Finally there will be an intermediate tyre, for damp conditions and light rain.