Category Archives: Pirelli F1 Tyres

China F1 GP – 2016 Haas F1 team feels the reality

Haas F1 Team didn’t score its third straight point-paying finish in the Chinese Grand Prix Sunday at the Shanghai International Circuit, but it did secure another “first” in its debut season. Haas F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Romain Grosjean both finished the race, something that hadn’t been done in the first two races of the 2016 FIA Formula One World Championship in Australia and Bahrain.

Gutiérrez finished 14th to lead the way for Haas F1 Team in Shanghai, while Grosjean finished 19th. Each driver completed 55 of the 56 laps available, lapped by the lights-out Nico Rosberg, who drove his Mercedes to a massive 37.776 second margin of victory over second-place Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari.


Gutiérrez’s solid run came via a three-stop strategy. The 24-year-old started the race in 18th place on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before switching on lap 35 to the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tire. Gutiérrez took another set of supersofts on lap 44 that carried him to the finish. It was his first full race distance of the 2016 season, as Gutiérrez suffered retirements in Australia and Bahrain.


After celebrating his 30th birthday earlier in the day, Grosjean started 14th and was on the same tire strategy as his teammate. That strategy, however, endured a hiccup when a first-turn skirmish on the opening lap sent Grosjean to the pits for a new front wing. A stack-up involving a number of cars saw the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson cut across the nose of Grosjean’s VF-16. Grosjean was forced to the pits for an unscheduled stop after only one lap, with valuable time needed to attach the new wing. Despite returning to the race in 21st, Grosjean employed the same tenaciousness that earned him back-to-back top-six finishes to open the season. He gained back two positions to cross the stripe in 19th when the checkered flag waved.


Despite not scoring any points in Shanghai, Haas F1 Team remains fifth in the constructor standings, 11 points behind fourth-place Williams and one point ahead of sixth-place Toro Rosso.


Rosberg’s victory kept him undefeated in 2016 and extended his win streak to six, dating back to last year’s Mexican Grand Prix. His triumph in Shanghai was his second at the 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn circuit, making him only the third driver to have multiple Chinese Grand Prix victories, joining his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso. Rosberg leads the championship standings by 36 points over Hamilton.



“It was a horrific race. The start was terrible when (Marcus) Ericsson turned into me and got my front wing. From there we had the safety car and I thought, ‘OK, we still have a chance to do something.’ But the balance in the car was nowhere near good. I don’t know what happened. Somehow, it’s positive that we had such a difficult race, because we can analyze what we did wrong, what we did right and what we could have done differently. From there, we can come back stronger. It’s a difficult one after the two first races. Not the birthday I was hoping for.”



“It was fun out there today and to finish the race was a big step. I think we can now build on this performance as we prepare for Russia. I really want to thank the guys because they’re doing a great job. The pit stops were fantastic, really consistent. Unfortunately, we didn’t have DRS (Drag Reduction System), so it was difficult to overtake, but overall it was a solid race. We now need to finish inside the points and that’s what we’ll be focusing on, so I’m really looking forward to the next one.”

“A difficult race for us, but we took two cars to the finish. The drivers did their jobs. Romain was unlucky at the start, losing part of his front wing. He had to come in for a wing change, which lost him track position and time. The car afterward was very difficult to drive. Good for Esteban finishing 14th. He finished his first race for Haas F1 Team. I think we learned a lot this weekend, and all that we’ve learned we’ll take to Russia and see what we can do there.”


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Filed under Drivers, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team, Pirelli F1 Tyres, Race, Technology

F1 returns to Mexico and what a welcome

Nico Rosberg has won the first Mexican Grand Prix in 23 years from pole, with a two-stop strategy. Using a soft-medium-medium strategy, he beat his team mate Lewis Hamilton to secure a 10th one-two of the season for Mercedes and move back to second in the driver points standings.



Behind them, the race strategies were affected by a safety car with just 20 laps to go. This effectively allowed a ‘free’ pit stop, which meant that those contemplating another stop could do so without a big penalty.

The exception was local hero Sergio Perez, driving for Force India, who stopped only once and finished in a points-scoring eighth: reinforcing his reputation for excellent tyre management. Perez was the only one-stopper in the race, with the vast majority of drivers stopping twice and a handful stopping three times: although none of the three-stoppers managed to score points.

An extra dimension to today’s race was added by the highest track temperatures seen all weekend, despite earlier predictions of rain. With 46 degrees of track temperature and an increasing amount of rubber on the new surface, the pattern of wear and degradation seen in practice and qualifying was altered. The extra traction also helped to increase the very high top speeds seen in the thin air of Mexico, with Sebastian Vettel recording 366kph on the straight. Williams driver Felipe Massa clocked 352kph on the straight even without DRS assistance.

As the race went on and the track evolved, the medium tyre in particular came into its own, with the fastest lap being set by Rosberg (lap 67) on this compound at a pace about one second off the pole position he had set on soft tyres.

All the drivers started on the soft tyre compound, apart from the two McLarens as well as Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who started on the medium compound.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “As expected we saw two stops for the majority of competitors, at what turned out to be quite a complicated race strategically because of a surface that kept on evolving, track temperatures a full 12 degrees higher than we experienced yesterday, and a safety car towards the end of the race. Formula One’s return to Mexico has been a spectacular success, with an amazing and vibrant atmosphere from start to finish. As Nigel Mansell said when he interviewed the drivers on the podium: Viva Mexico! It’s good to know that some things don’t change: when Mexico last returned to F1 in 1986 a Pirelli-equipped car won, thanks to Gerhard Berger and Benetton, and the fans are still brilliant.”

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Filed under 2015 F1 GP, Mexico F1, Pirelli F1 Tyres

F1- Silverstone, Friday wrapped up……

Silverstone is well known as one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, but the pace has got even quicker today – with the fastest time in FP1 from Nico Rosberg already beating the fastest lap of the whole weekend in 2014.

Rosberg went even faster in FP2, eventually setting a benchmark of 1m34.155s on the medium tyre – which is currently around 0.8-0.9 seconds faster than the hard tyre that is also nominated this weekend. This is a slightly smaller gap than originally anticipated, in track temperatures that peaked at 43 degrees centigrade. These conditions enable the P Zero Orange hard (which is a high working range compound) to work at its best.

The overall lap record for the current Silverstone configuration is 1m33.401s from 2013, set during the former engine regulations. There could now be a chance that this will be beaten during qualifying and the race, using the latest generation of Pirelli tyres.

As usual, the teams used free practice to assess tyre behaviour and degradation rates with different fuel loads. One particularly crucial factor will be track and air temperature, with the United Kingdom having recently experienced the hottest day ever in July. Track temperatures during the race are expected to be around 10 degrees cooler than they were today, which will obviously have a substantial effect on wear and degradation.

Silverstone’s weather is however notoriously unpredictable: yesterday there were some drops of rain in the afternoon – and further rain is expected tonight, with a chance that there could be showers on race day too. Cooler temperatures might tip the number of stops towards just one – especially as the pit stop time loss in quite high in Silverstone – but there is still plenty of data to analyse before FP3 gets underway tomorrow.

Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “These are the hottest track temperatures we have seen at a Silverstone GP weekend during the last five years, and it was that possibility which prompted our decision to bring the hardest tyres in the range to the track. Silverstone is among the top three most demanding circuits we visit all year in terms of lateral energy, so this obviously adds to the workload too.

The tyres have performed just as we expected them to so far, but it’s still not entirely clear whether or not we will be looking at one or two stops for most competitors on Sunday and the weather seems typically changeable, which will have a big effect on track evolution. Wear should not be an issue, but we are expecting some degree of degradation, which should encourage different strategies and also provide more overtaking opportunities.”

FP1: FP2:
1. Rosberg  1m34.274s  Hard new 1. Rosberg  1m34.155s  Medium new
2. Hamilton  1m34.344s  Hard new 2. Raikkonen  1m34.502s  Medium new
3. Verstappen  1m35.530s  Hard new  3. Vettel  1m34.522s  Medium new

Tyre statistics of the day:

Hard Medium Intermediate Wet
kms driven * 3864 1802
sets used overall ** 60 20
highest number of laps ** 24 29

* The above number gives the total amount of kilometres driven in FP1 and FP2 today, all drivers combined.
** Per compound, all drivers combined.

Pirelli fact of the day:

The very first international race at Silverstone took place in 1948, two years before the Formula One World Championship was created. Luigi Villoresi won the race in a Maserati 4CLT, 14 seconds ahead of the similar car of Alberto Ascari – making a Pirelli one-two. At the time, Silverstone was not a permanent circuit but instead an airfield on a one-year lease from the British Air Force to the Royal Automobile Club.

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F1 – Pirelli reduction in lap times for 2015

Analysis of the data from the Australian Grand Prix has shown that the cars were around two seconds quicker per lap during every session compared to 2014, a trend set to continue throughout the rest of this season. unnamed

During last year’s Australian Grand Prix, which was held in similar race conditions, the best time of the weekend was 1m29.375s (in FP3, soft tyre): a benchmark that already came close to being broken in FP1 this year, with the cars straight out of the box.
The quickest time of the weekend this year was 1m26.327s (in qualifying, soft tyre): a full three seconds faster than 2014 when the fastest time of the weekend was in FP3, due to a wet qualifying.

This year’s fastest race lap was 1m30.945s, set by Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton on the medium tyre. This was 1.5 seconds faster than the fastest race lap last year (1m32.478s) set by Nico Rosberg for Mercedes on the soft tyre.

With the gap between the soft and medium compounds in Australia this year reckoned to be around 1.4 seconds, it is easy to see the performance leap that has been made thanks to the latest engine evolutions and improved tyres.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery commented: “These figures underline what we expected to see following pre-season testing: a significant reduction in lap times, with cars that will only get faster as the year goes on. We could even see some new lap records on certain circuits. With this in mind, we have introduced evolutions to the rear structure of all our 2015 tyres this year, in order to give them greater capability in handling the extreme demands placed on them.”

FP1 01:31,840 MEDIUM 01:29,557 MEDIUM
FP2 01:29,625 SOFT 01:27,697 SOFT
FP3 01:29,375 SOFT 01:27,867 SOFT
Qualifyng 01:30,775 SOFT 01:26,327 SOFT
Race 01:32,478 SOFT 01:30,945 MEDIUM

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F1 – Germany, Quali super soft and super hot

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has claimed pole position for his home grand prix, in track temperatures that were just as hot as those seen yesterday. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were second and third on the grid for Williams.

Bottas and Hamilton were the only drivers to progress to Q2 without using the P Zero Red supersoft tyre, which all the other drivers – including Rosberg – used. From then on, all the drivers used the softest compound in the range for the rest of qualifying, which was around a second faster than the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, also nominated for Hockenheim.unnamed

The biggest talking point though remains the weather, with the current hot weather expected to be replaced by thundery rain showers tomorrow afternoon.

Rosberg was also quickest in the final free practice session this morning, going six-tenths of a second faster than his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who crashed due to a mechanical failure in Q1 but still managed to qualify in 16th position. Although he is out of position, this gives him a completely free choice of tyres for the race and the opportunity to use strategy to his advantage.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We saw a dramatic qualifying session with track temperature that was, if anything, even higher than it had been yesterday. As we expected, the supersoft was the tyre to qualify on, being about a second quicker than the soft. This obviously affected the qualifying strategy, with all the drivers apart from Bottas and Hamilton using the supersoft even in Q1. Teams are obviously thinking ahead to the race tomorrow, but with a possibility of heavy showers, it will be hard to make any firm predictions for a strategy. The teams that have managed to save tyres for the race may not be able to reap the benefit of them if the wet weather tyres are instead needed. And as the teams don’t really have any relevant wet weather data for Hockenheim, this would certainly be a very interesting turn of events.”

The Pirelli strategy predictor:

For the 67-lap German Grand Prix, a two-stop strategy is theoretically fastest, although there is not a big time difference to a three-stopper. Ultimately, the decision will come down to degradation and wear rate – which will also be influenced by track temperature – and external race circumstances, such as traffic. If it rains, the strategy will have to be reactive rather than premeditated. Our prediction for the quickest strategy is supersoft-supersoft-soft, stopping on laps 18 and 38. A three-stop sprint strategy could also work, but the two-stopper is more likely.

Fastest compounds in FP3:
Rosberg 1m17.779s Supersoft New
Hamilton 1m18.380s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m18.384s Supersoft New

Top 10 tyre use:
Rosberg 1m16.540s Supersoft New
Bottas 1m16.759s Supersoft New
Massa 1m17.078s Supersoft New
Magnussen 1m17.214s Supersoft New
Ricciardo 1m17.273s Supersoft New
Vettel 1m17.577s Supersoft New
Alonso 1m17.649s Supersoft New
Kvyat 1m17.965s Supersoft New
Hulkenberg 1m18.014s Supersoft New
Perez 1m18.035s Supersoft New

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Filed under F1 2014, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Mercedes Petronas F1 team, Nico Rosberg, Pirelli F1 Tyres

F1 – Return to Austria-Rosberg returns to winning

Race strategy proved key to victory for Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg at the Austrian Grand Prix, who started from third on the grid. The German started behind both Williams drivers, but by stopping before them and maximising the benefit of new tyres – a manoeuvre known as the ‘undercut’ – he was able to gain the lead after the first round of pit stops.j-l-idhrqt-pdijikjj-r

Rosberg’s team mate Lewis Hamilton used the same strategy even more effectively. Hamilton started on the P Zero Red supersoft and then completed two stints on the P Zero Yellow soft, to finish just 1.9 seconds behind his team mate despite starting from ninth on the grid. Both drivers fought closely to the end, with Valtteri Bottas clinching his debut podium, just eight seconds off the lead.

The Force India of Sergio Perez started from 15th on the grid on the soft tyres and went to lap 29 before completing one more stint on the soft and then the final stint on the rapid supersoft compound. This opposite tactic from most drivers elevated him to sixth at the finish.

Despite track temperatures in excess of 40 degrees centigrade, the two Marussia drivers – Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton – as well as Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi all finished the race with just one pit stop.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Tyre performance was very much in line with our expectations today, despite the warmer conditions. As a result of that, degradation was a little higher than we saw previously and it was a straightforward two-stop race, with a one-stopper becoming a little too ambitious for most teams. We saw an entertaining grand prix where tyre strategy was very important, and of course it’s always great to see a new face on the podium. Congratulations to Valtteri and Williams, as well as Mercedes, for a great performance all weekend.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First PER – 1m12.142s HAM – 1m12.217s N/A N/A
Second BUT – 1m12.858s BOT – 1m12.581s N/A N/A
Third MAL – 1m13.187s MAS – 1m12.586s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Supersoft 37 laps M Chilton
Soft 57 laps K Kobayashi


Our two-stop prediction was: start on supersoft, change to soft on lap 13 and soft again on lap 42. Rosberg stopped slightly earlier than our prediction, on laps 11 and 40, but followed the same strategy.

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Filed under f1, F1 cars 2014, Nico Rosberg, Pirelli F1 Tyres

F1 – Monaco. Rosberg retains the crown

Just as he did last year, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led every lap of the Monaco Grand Prix, starting from pole on the P Zero Red supersoft tyre before switching to the P Zero Yellow soft. Not only that, but Mercedes has continued its record of leading every single lap so far this season.

Rosberg was locked in an intense battle with his team Lewis Hamilton from start to finish, with management of tyres and fuel proving to be a key factor, as there was such a small performance gap between them.

Nico Rosberg wins in Monaco- Image Steve Etherington ©

Nico Rosberg wins in Monaco- Image Steve Etherington ©

Both drivers made their sole pit stop on lap 25, with Rosberg pitting just in front of Hamilton as Mercedes, along with most teams, took advantage of a safety car period. The top six all stopped just once, with the highest placed two-stopper being Lotus F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean in eight.

Most drivers started on the supersoft, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg the highest-placed driver to start on the soft. He used a one-stop strategy to climb six places from 11th to fifth.

Another innovative strategy was adopted by Williams and Felipe Massa, who ran with the supersoft tyre for 45 laps at the beginning of the race, before switching to the soft for a shorter final stint. This strategy enabled him to climb from 16th on the grid to seventh at the finish. Grosjean also completed more than 50 laps on a single set of supersofts, from lap 24 to the end.

After the Monaco Grand Prix, Pirelli will give reigning GP2 champion Fabio Leimer the chance to drive a Formula One car, as part of his prize for winning the title last year. The Swiss driver will take the wheel of a 2012 car supplied by the Lotus F1 Team at Paul Ricard in France on Tuesday.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “Monaco is synonymous with unpredictability, and once more we saw plenty of action, safety cars and racing incidents. Tyre wear and degradation was not an issue, as we saw from the very long stints completed by some drivers even on the supersoft, and the fact that most drivers completed just one stop. The tyres on Grosjean’s car, for example, still had 20% of their rubber left despite having completed more than 50 laps. Track temperatures were cooler than they had been for qualifying, but the pace was still such that the top four lapped the rest of the field, with an extremely close fight between the top three. Although we’re running a more durable tyre this year, performance is not generally compromised. As single tyre supplier, the tyres are what the first and the last car on the grid: all the rest is in the hands of the teams. Congratulations also to Marussia, who have scored their well-deserved first points in Formula One on our tyres.”

Fastest times of the day by compound:
Supersoft Soft Intermediate Wet
First RAI – 1m18.479s RIC – 1m19.252s N/A N/A
Second ROS – 1m20.082s HAM – 1m19.361s N/A N/A
Third HAM – 1m20.321s ROS – 1m19.425s N/A N/A

Longest stint of the race:
Supersoft GRO 54 laps
Soft RIC, HAM, BUT, ALO, ROS 52 laps


The teams had very little dry running on the supersoft, which made it hard to predict a strategy. But we expected those who started on the supersoft to switch to the soft on lap 30. In the end, their strategy was forced by the appearance of the safety car, with both cars stopping on lap 26.

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Filed under F1 cars 2014, Formula 1 Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Petronas F1 team, Monaco F1 GP, Nico Rosberg, Pirelli F1 Tyres