By Alex Kapadia
Pirelli has announced it will be changing its tyres for the remainder of the 2013 Formula One season following heavy criticism from teams and drivers.
The new tyres will mix the “stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones”, according to the Italian tyre manufacturer.
The announcement follows the Spanish Grand Prix, which had four pit stops for almost every driver. The Pirelli P Zero range will change from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards.
Paul Hembery, motorsport director for Pirelli tyres, commented: “Our aim is to provide the teams with a new range which mixes the stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones.
“As a company, we have always moved quickly to make improvements where we see them to be necessary.
“After evaluating data from the first few races this year, we’ve decided to introduce a further evolution as it became clear at the Spanish Grand Prix that the number of pit stops was too high. The Spanish Grand Prix was won with four pit stops, which has only happened once before in our history. These changes will also mean that the tyres are not worked quite as hard, reducing the number of pit stops.
“With limited testing time, it’s clear now that our original 2013 tyre range was probably too performance-orientated for the current regulations. However, having identified this issue, we’re determined to rapidly resolve it.
“It’s worth underlining that the current regulations for winter tests limit the opportunity to test the tyres under the same conditions as the race season because of the lower temperature and restricted time.
“The Teams are of the same opinion as we are in wanting longer testing times and different locations for the next tests. We developed the 2013 tyres on the basis of careful simulations that were, however, not sufficient, taking into account the improved speed of cars (up to 3 seconds per lap).
“We’ve also taken this step to avoid the delaminations that were caused by track debris. It’s important to point out that these delaminations, which occur when the tread comes off, do not compromise the safety of the tyres as the core structure of the tyre is not affected in any way, helping drivers to complete the lap and to change the damaged tyres safely. These delaminations were due to damage from debris that overheated the tread.
“We’d like to thank all the teams for their continued and extremely valued support as we worked with them to identify the correct compromise between the pure speed that makes us the world leader in the Ultra High Performance sector and a global spectacle that is easy for Formula One fans to follow.”