Williams driver Valtteri Bottas reached a speed of nearly 200mph during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on the back straight of the Shanghai circuit last week.
He did this using the Pirelli Cinturato Green intermediate tyre, in conditions so wet that visibility was minimal because of the spray coming from the surrounding cars. Naturally, he was on wide Formula One tyres, which makes the avoidance of aquaplaning a real challenge, unlike road cars, and yet it was not even a tyre meant for the wettest conditions.
With a tread depth of just 2.5mm, the intermediate tyre is capable of evacuating 25 litres of water a second per tyre – in total 100 litres – at full speed, as Bottas found out. This allows optimal contact to be maintained between the tyre and the track. For full wet conditions, the Pirelli Cinturato Blue is also available, which evacuates 65 litres of water per second per tyre.
What is interesting is that this technology is carried through to Pirelli’s road car tyres as well. The Cinturato P7 Blue road tyre, which was designed to enhance wet weather performance, was specifically created using the lessons learned from the extreme wet weather performance of the Cinturato Formula One tyres.
As a result, it has reduced wet braking distances by 9% compared to direct rivals. The Pirelli Cinturato P7 Blue was also the very first tyre to be awarded an ‘AA’ score by the new European tyre label, which grades all new tyres on performance.
Denna Bowman, Head Office