January 22nd (F1plus Team).- Once again, Pirelli is set to make life harder but definitely more interesting on drivers, engineers, principals and all of us who followed Formula 1.
The Italian manufacturer presented its 2013 Formula 1 tyre range on Wednesday in a pre-season press conference in its Milan headquarters.
At the event, Pirelli explained that the new construction process is aimed at producing 'at least two pit stops per race' while generating positive performance gain of about half a second between each compound compared to last year.
Undoubtedly, teams will be forced to understand and learn as fast as possible in order get the most out the tyres and the best possible performance. This could re-create the un-common results we saw last year with seven winners in seven races, something that Pirelli finds unlike to happen again.
"We don't envisage that happening because the cars are so much more closely related to the previous year's cars. Taking that out of the equation will certainly assist the teams, but they will have to get used to a little bit more degradation than they were at the end of last year." Paul Hembrey, Pirelli’s Motorsport Director said.
"It was a very significant change to the cars last year that meant the teams were struggling to get a good temperature balance from the front to the rear of the car." He added.
It’s also fair to remember that last year few rules changes had also direct impact on performance -as the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers - and for few teams it was harder to find optimum performance (Red Bull for example)
Once again, The Italian manufactures real objective is to spark more spectacular racing, by for example forcing team to go for a two-stop strategy or more in all races.
"We felt towards the end of the season that we'd maybe been slightly conservative with our choices, but we make our choices a few months out because the tyres are shipped in advance to the long-haul races at the end of the year. Once we made the decision we didn't really feel we could, with the championship still to play for, move from what we'd taken as a decision.
The company said that its P Zero range was 'completely revolutionized' with the new rubber being softer in a bid to increase overall performance as well as thermal degradation. The company has also introduced a new, orange-banded Hard tyre, based on the performance of last year's Medium compound
"We would hope that we have an interesting start to the year again as the teams understand the challenge that we've given them and then evolve, as we've seen over the last two seasons, towards a point where they've understood the application of the new compounds and a different structure. Then it moves into a different phase where maybe we need to be a little bit more aggressive [with our compound choices] towards the end of the year."