By Alex Kapadia
The Indian Grand Prix looks set to deliver an ‘action-packed race” at a crucial point in the championship, according to Pirelli tyres.
Formula One returns to India for only the second time this weekend, and the Italian tyres manufacturer will take the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero Yellow soft compounds.
However, these tyres are softer compared to their equivalents last year, and with a better knowledge of the Buddh circuit plus some real data, Pirelli can afford to be less conservative this time – which should lead to even closer racing.
Compared to the last grand prix in Korea, where Pirelli brought its two softest compounds, India places heavy demands on the tyres.
This is due to a number of factors, starting off with the high ambient temperatures in excess of 30 degrees centigrade.
The track layout also takes in several fast corners that put plenty of lateral energy through the tyres and as the circuit is not used extensively during the course of the year, a high degree of track evolution is expected over the weekend. A dirty track causes excessive wheelspin as the cars struggle for grip: this also increases tyre wear.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, said: “There was an amazing atmosphere and an extremely warm welcome at the Indian Grand Prix for us last year, so we’re all looking forward to going back.
“This year we know a little more about the track so we’ve made a less conservative choice, with the hard and the soft tyres striking exactly the right balance between performance and durability.
“The circuit layout is one of the toughest that our tyres will face throughout the second half of the season and it’s also the last time that we will see the hard and soft combination this year, which was previously used in Barcelona, Britain and Japan – which gives you some idea about the demands of this circuit.
“The Buddh circuit has been specifically designed to encourage overtaking, which is also one of the objectives behind the design philosophy of our tyres, so we should be set for an action-packed race at a crucial point in the championship.”