Formula One is back on familiar territory this weekend as it heads to Barcelona for the Spanish Grand Prix. One of the most challenging circuits of the year, it also played host to two of the 2015 pre-season tests, but with warmer weather to contend with this time it will place even greater demands on the tyres.
Controlling wear and degradation is the biggest challenge, plus the high-energy corners coupled with the roughest asphalt seen all year, makes makes the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium the ideal choice for race.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, explained: “Spain is obviously one of the more familiar venues that we go to, as there has already been plenty of data gathered during testing.
“One of the things we have noticed so far is that this year Barcelona will once again be a front-limited circuit, from a tyre perspective. Last year, the increase in traction and torque from the cars meant that for the first time the race became a rear-limited event, with the useful life of the rear tyres dictating the pit stop strategy.
“Thanks to the improvements we made to the rear tyre construction for this year, we’re back to Barcelona being a front-limited circuit again. However, we do not expect this to mean that there will necessarily be more pit stops this year: last year the majority of competitors used a two-stop strategy and that will probably be the case again.
“The biggest unknown factor will be the weather: in the past we have seen some very hot weather in Barcelona, but it isn’t always guaranteed. The start of the European season traditionally means that many teams bring important upgrades, and it will be very interesting to see how these interact with our 2015 tyres.”
Denna Bowman, Head Office