Pirelli: No mystery to 2012 tyres but teams are struggling to get them to work with cars

Pirelli insists that there is no mystery to its 2012 tyres - and that teams fully understand exactly what they need to do to get the most out of the rubber

Pirelli: No mystery to 2012 tyres but teams are struggling to get them to work with cars

However, the Italian company believes the big fluctuations in form, and various struggles that some teams are having, are the result of those outfits not knowing how to get their cars working with the rubber.

Amid an ongoing focus on the impact Pirelli is having on the racing this year, with five different winners in the first five races, its motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "I would say all the teams understand the tyres - what they don't understand is how to make the interaction between the car and the tyres do what they want. That is the real challenge.

"They know exactly what is going on with the tyre. You talk to some of the tyre experts at teams that, on the outside, appear to be suffering, and the tyre guys explains exactly what it is doing.

"It is not the tyre - it is the interaction between car and tyre to get the tyre in to the window that maximises the performance. I am not trying to shift responsibility: but it is that."

"The biggest issue teams have faced this year is getting their tyres into the right operating window - so they are not too hot that they overheat and degrade, and not too cold that they do not deliver the necessary grip."

Although that operating window is not any narrower this year than it was last year, the 2012 tyres do operate at higher temperatures. That factor, allied to the fact that tyres are having less energy put through them this year because of the move away from blown diffusers, could explain why there have been so many struggles.

"It has moved," said Hembery of the temperature range. "It isn't particularly higher, it has moved higher. But it varies, and it depends what tyre you are talking about.

"There is also the fact that we see the cars oversteering a lot more this year, and if you are oversteering you are sliding, and that can overheat your tyres. That wasn't evident last year because a lot of the cars were very stuck to the ground in simplistic terms, with very little movement on the rear."

shares
comments
Six of the best: AUTOSPORT answers your Monaco questions

Previous article

Six of the best: AUTOSPORT answers your Monaco questions

Next article

Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry says the team is closing the gap to the top

Ferrari's technical director Pat Fry says the team is closing the gap to the top
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
Why sustainability is being mandated by F1 Plus

Why sustainability is being mandated by F1

Continuing to be socially acceptable as public views shift globally is vitally important to the future of motor racing, says PAT SYMONDS - especially in Formula 1, the championship that represents the technological peak

Formula 1
May 8, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen Plus

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull's title credentials, and heap pressure on Verstappen

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one big encouraging sign for Red Bull. The trouble is, it looks like making good on that gain will require its superstar driver to avoid repeating a mistake made today that left him well down the FP2 order

Formula 1
May 7, 2021