Pirelli promises Korean GP tyre choice will give teams a challenge

Formula 1 teams will face a major challenge with tyre strategies in Korea, reckons Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery, as he revealed that his company had taken a bold approach to the final races of the 2011 season

Pirelli promises Korean GP tyre choice will give teams a challenge

Tyre graining was an issue for Bridgestone at last year's inaugural Korean Grand Prix, though the Sunday rain meant there was no chance to see how the problem might have played out in the race.

Despite this, Pirelli has selected its soft and super soft compounds for its first Korean GP, and Hembery admitted that with the championship decided, Pirelli had made a conscious decision to give the teams a challenge

"We are not making it easy for them in any way or form, and they are right at the limit," he told AUTOSPORT. "And that is the only way they can do it, because if you give them too much margin they will fly off in the distance and go back to norm.

"So, that is what we are trying to understand for next year. We are trying to see where we are. If this race had happened after race two or three, then you would definitely be here with the hard and medium, you wouldn't possibly come here as we did. But we felt that we wanted to understand the limits really.

"There were a few people in my team who would probably not have taken the choice that we did, and Korea is a very aggressive choice, super soft and soft, but what we find with those guys is that they need challenges."

Hembery admitted that the Korea tyre choice was likely to provoke plenty of discussion during the weekend, but thinks the teams will ultimately find solutions.

"They will moan but they adapt to it," he said. "They have all got the same to deal with, and it gives them an extra challenge or from a strategy or statistics point of view.

"A lot of them enjoy it and if you talk to some of the engineers they really get excited by it because they have a lot to think about and work about, and some like a pain in the arse and something extra to worry about but the public seem to like it a lot, which is the main thing for everybody.

"As long as they all start the same it is a challenge for drivers and engineers. I don't feel it falsifies it because everybody has got the same. It is how they manage what they've got."

Hembery expects four-stop strategies to be a possibility in Korea.

"We had rain last year and there was a lot of graining of the tyres, which suggest that it needs some grip from the compound - so that is the plan," he said. "We might be on a four stop in Korea."

He added that Pirelli's choice for India was also likely to make teams work hard.

"The championship has been won now, so we wanted to experiment a bit. Same in India," Hembery said.

"We are doing hard and soft there, the hard generally won't have a place for next year but you need something for a back-up for the circuit.

"The actual surface and layout suggests it could be a tough circuit, but we are giving them a lot of soft tyres to work with on the Friday so there will be some extra sets as well so they have running time and also we hope that will help rubber the track in a bit and clear it up."

shares
comments
Mercedes hopes for early boost from new technical signings

Previous article

Mercedes hopes for early boost from new technical signings

Next article

'Soul searching' helped Renault return to the top with Red Bull, says boss

'Soul searching' helped Renault return to the top with Red Bull, says boss
Load comments
Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour Plus

Why polarising Mosley’s legacy amounts to far more than tabloid rumour

The newspapers, naturally, lingered over Max Mosley’s tainted family history and niche sexual practices. But this is to trivialise the legacy of a big beast of motor racing politics. STUART CODLING weighs the life of a man whose work for safety on both road and track has saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but whose penchant for cruelty remains problematic and polarising

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture Plus

Why pragmatic Perez isn't fazed by no-nonsense Red Bull F1 culture

Sergio Perez has spent most of his career labouring in Formula 1’s midfield, wondering whether he’d ever get another shot at the big time. Red Bull has handed him that chance and, although life at the top is tough, the Baku winner is doing all the right things to get on terms with Max Verstappen, says BEN ANDERSON

Formula 1
Jun 11, 2021
What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight Plus

What the data tells us about the F1 2021 title fight

Formula 1 has been tracking car performance using timing loops mounted every 200m around each circuit – to the extent that it was able to anticipate Ferrari’s 'surprise’ pole in Monaco. PAT SYMONDS explains what this means for this season and beyond

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with Plus

The weighty issue F1 needs to find a balance with

OPINION: After consecutive street races with contrasting highlights, one theme stood out which has become a prevalent issue with modern Formula 1 cars. But is there a way to solve it or, at least, reach a happy middle ground to help all parties?

Formula 1
Jun 10, 2021
The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku Plus

The changes behind a ‘feel-good’ F1 result in Baku

OPINION: The Azerbaijan Grand Prix had elements that make Formula 1 really exciting – unpredictability and shock results. This resulted in heartbreak for several of the championship’s regular contenders and joy for others who rarely reach the ultimate limelight. And one of those on the Baku podium is riding a wave of form he’s keen to continue

Formula 1
Jun 9, 2021
The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds Plus

The human cost to replacing Formula 1's cancelled rounds

OPINION: With the global pandemic still lingering, Singapore's grand prix has been cancelled for 2021, with more looking likely to follow. Although Formula 1 has TV deals and profits to chase, retaining a 23-race calendar could be most harmful to those who sacrifice the most for the championship

Formula 1
Jun 8, 2021
Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Azerbaijan Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An eventful weekend in Baku full of incident and drama lent the race result an unusual feel, as three drivers scored their first podiums of the year. But it wasn't the eventual race winner who scored top marks in our driver ratings

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021
How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP Plus

How three drivers 'won' the Azerbaijan GP

Formula 1's return to Baku after a year away had thrown up an eventful qualifying marred by four red flags, but the race appeared to be running to a familiar Red Bull vs Mercedes template entering the closing stages. That is, until a dramatic conclusion where victory was snatched away from two drivers, before landing in the lap of Sergio Perez

Formula 1
Jun 7, 2021