New Pirelli medium tyre much stronger says Perez

2011 F1 testing

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Sergio Perez, Sauber, Jerez, 2011

Sergio Perez says Pirelli’s new medium tyre compound is much stronger and lasts longer than the one used in Valencia last week.

Speaking to F1 Fanatic Perez said: “They changed it – it’s a completely different tyre.

“There’s a big difference. [With] the medium tyre from Valencia the degradation was two laps, here it can last a lot more.”

In Valencia some drivers were surprised by how quickly the Pirelli tyres wore out. Lewis Hamilton said “the degradation is massive on these tyres”.

Perez supports the idea of Pirelli supplying tyres that degrade quickly to improve the competition.

He said: “I think it would be good if they do a tyre that has degradation and the teams and the drivers have to work a lot during the race for strategy. They will make it more interesting,.

“But anyway the tyre’s changing so we have to get on with what we are getting.”

Perez completed 94 laps yesterday and was second fastest despite stopping on track in the morning, bringing the red flag out.

Although he described the fault as an unidentified “technical problem” a team source confirmed Sauber had allowed the car to run out of fuel.

This is common practice during testing to establish how low on fuel a car can run.

Perez says his confidence is growing every time he gets behind the wheel:

“It’s been a good two-and-a-half days, with Valencia.

“It’s getting better every time, I’m getting more comfortable every time I jump into the car.”

He’s also accumulated more practice with the KERS and adjustable rear wing:

“We’ve tried pretty much everything.

“It’s very hard to get used to it but once you do it’s completely fine.

“The most important thing is to get it right and get used to it and to do it constantly. Once you do it constantly I don’t see a problem.”

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    24 comments on “New Pirelli medium tyre much stronger says Perez”

    1. I expect a lot of good things from Pirelli. It looks as if they had all sorts of different versions of compounds at the ready, or they’re very fast developers.

      I hope these new versions will create a lot of positive response from all the drivers.

      As noted before, Pirelli are in the difficult position that their tyres have to degradate in order to have good racing, but this can backfire on the perception of their brand.

      I like them already, for taking this massive gamble to provide lesser lasting tyres.

    2. I agree, I think Canada last year was awesome so if they can replicate even 10% of that degradation on these smooth new tracks then we’re in for a year full of excitement and hopefully a few random results.

      For example – I’d love to see Team Lotus win in Malaysia just to take the wind out of Renault’s sails for a bit :D

      1. That would a nice nose tweak at Bahar.

    3. Hope they get the tyres right, with enough of a difference to make the sofst faster and able to get a gap for an extra stop if you do 2 stints on softs, if everything works out, and the harder tyre lasting long enough to have good chance of getting the guys on softs, but making it last all race a tough call.

      1. The regulations make it virtually impossible for strategy differences to exist.

        The top 10 drivers have to start the race on the same tyres they set their fastest lap on.

        Red Bull tried something different in Canada in that respect and got slaughtered. They won’t make that mistake again.

        So they all have to start their first stint on the soft tyres.

        Then they HAVE to do another stint on the harder tyre because they need to use both compounds.

        So only if they need to do a third stint could they possible choose which tyres to use in that extra stint.

        There are no fuel stops, so making more stops is utterly useless.

        Which means that all teams will do the same and try to run as few stops as possible. Which means driving carefully, no overtaking, no undue wearing of the tyres.

        It’s simply insane that “they” expect strategy to come in to play when in fact the rules are designed as such that they stifle any possibilty of teams determining their own strategy.

        1. Your spot on and that leaves only lower midfield and back markers to play with their tyre choices for the start. It’s all a bit warped isn’t it.

        2. Well said Patrick, I have never understood the supposed benefits of the top 10 tyre rule. There is also one basic factor that should force the rule to be banned; you should not be punished for qualifying at the front of the grid!

        3. Completely wrong I’m afraid. You are assuming that all the cars and drivers will use the tyres in the same way. You are also assuming that the tyres will behave in the same way.

          This was easy to do with Bridgestones very conservative tyres on which you could do a whole race distance, at decent race pace, even on the super-soft tyres.

          The Pirelli tyres will not allow anything like decent race pace to be possible after the tyre has degraded sufficiently. This will happen at different degrees of severity on different cars with different drivers because the tyres are more prone to abuse from both areas.

          1. Completely wrong I’m afraid. You are assuming that all the cars and drivers will use the tyres in the same way.

            What Patrick was saying is that the (top ten from quali) drivers are forced by the combination of the top ten tyre rule and the mandatory compound use rule to use the tyres in a certain order, this is not an assumption. Hopefully with the new tyres the drivers will have a choice of a second stop with a free choice of tyre, but overall they are still limited in their options.

            The Pirelli tyres will not allow anything like decent race pace to be possible after the tyre has degraded sufficiently. This will happen at different degrees of severity on different cars with different drivers

            I agree, and it does open up another interesting aspect to strategy (one stop versus 2 stops perhaps). The only problem is, while this is good to help open up strategy, the rules mentioned above are still in place restricting strategy.

            To me it is completely illogical to have Pirelli make tyres better suited for different race strategies, when there are rules that hinder race strategy in place. We need to get rid of the rules!

    4. Hopefully greater degredation in races won’t damage the brand’s perception. I’d hope that most people that watch F1 know that racing tyres are nothing like road tyres – it should be obvious that you don’t have to replace your car’s tyres every 100 miles or so! As nIck Wirth said, Pirelli have listened to what people, (including the fans) wanted, and this should be applauded. I just hope that it does have the intended effect of producing better racing.

      Incidentally, I’ve seen some test results and heard some anecdotes that suggests that Pirelli’s road tyres actually ARE inferior to some of their competitors’. Not that that has anything to do with their F1 tyres, I’m sure they’ve done a good job.

      1. I heard something to the contrary. For their roadcars, Ferrari switched from Pirelli to Bridgestone, following F1.
        But the Stig apprantly found them inferior to the Pirellis: watch from 7.14 (or the whole thing if you want to see driving a Ferrari 430)

        1. Maybe it depends on the model of tyre. Pirelli came bottom in an Auto Express test a couple of years ago, and a mate who used to work for Vauxhall said that the Pirelli tyres used were much worse that the Continental alternatives when fitted to the same model.

          As I say though, that has nothing to do with F1 tyres. I was also thinking that in the long term the Indy 2005 debacle hasn’t hurt Michelin (at least not that I’m aware of), so really being in F1 should do nothing other than enhance Pirelli’s image.

    5. That’s what Sam Micheal said : People wanted Canada, here you go with the new Pirellis. Don’t blame the manufacturer, it’s what people want. They just need to make the balance between consistent performance and quicker degradation without posing a threat to teams’ strategies. I hope that this season will be “vintage”, again per S. Michael, AFAIR.

      1. The sad thing is, the idea that fast wearing tyres produce races like Canada is of course an illusion.

        Canada was all about strategy blunders made by Red Bull and Mercedes. They really would not have made those mistakes again.

        1. It may have been a blunder for Red Bull and Mercedes but all the teams had a lot more pit stops than normal due to tyre degradation and that made it exciting

        2. Why did Red Bull make those “strategy blunders” ?

          Fast wearing tyres will do so to much more varying degrees than hard tyres will.

          If you had a good or bad handling car in 2010, you could be reasonably sure that your strategy would be to pit once, just like everyone else.

          Not any more.

          Some car/driver combinations may have to pit 2 times, 3 times, or even 4 or 5 times, depending upon driving style plus car setup and design.

        3. More pits stops, more degradation. These are recipes for errors. Errors, make for excitement.

    6. I think what we need first of all is to remove the completely stupid rule of forcing a driver to put two compounds. Then we need three massively different types of tyres. One that is very fast and degrades as fast(4-5 pit stops), one that is relative slow and has average degrade(3-2 pit stops) and one that is very slow but can probably last the whole race depending on how well you manage it and the track(1 pit stop at most).

      All three should be available to the teams instead of only two choices. their are a few details about how fast one tyre would be from another etc but i don’t want to make the post an essay.

      Then you can sit and enjoy a fun race. For me it’s so simple and i just don’t understand how all those minds in the F1 world have a hard time seeing this.

    7. Much stronger, OK, as long as it isn’t stronger than the Bridgestone.

    8. Jenson Button’s view on the tyres, today.

      “And we’ve tried the different Pirelli tyres – there are big differences across the compound range; not only in terms of lap time, but also with degradation and durability.

      It’s going to be fun for racing, I think, and it’s what everyone wanted. The TV viewers will certainly know the differences between the tyres.”

    9. Another great insight into testing! Surprised they wouldn’t be penalised for purposefully red-flagging a session though.

      1. Teams did it last year (especially Ferrari I think) and weren’t punished, so they can’t really punish Sauber for that. It does seem a bit selfish though.

        1. Selfish in that it ruins other driver’s runs.

    10. i think cars with excellent mechanical grip will have an advantage this year to get most out of the tire & teams like Force India might struggle to get the best out of their cars.

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