Pirelli won’t use hard tyres in Germany and Hungary

2011 F1 season

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Ferrari, Valencia, 2011

Pirelli will not bring their hard tyres to either the German or Hungarian Grands Prix.

However they will stick to their original plan of using hard and soft tyres for the British Grand Prix.

Ferrari struggled with the hard tyres at Barceona and Felipe Massa expressed concern that Pirelli might bring the medium and hard tyres to Silverstone.

Pirelli will bring the soft and medium tyres for the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring, where F1 last raced in 2009.

At the Hungarian Grand Prix teams will have the softest tyre compounds available: Pirelli’s soft and super-soft tyres.

This will mean the soft tyre has been used at the first 11 races of the year.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “For Silverstone, we are confirming the decision we took a few weeks ago, after once more consulting all the teams, and for the next two races we have arrived at what we feel to be the best solution based on the information that we have so far.

“As has been the case up to now this year, we think that there will be quite a wide variety of different strategies for the next three Grands Prix, but for all the races it’s reasonably hard to predict how many pit stops there will be: it ultimately depends on the strategy and strengths of each individual car and team.”

2011 F1 tyre allocations so far

Race Prime Option
Australian Grand PrixHardSoft
Malaysian Grand PrixHardSoft
Chinese Grand PrixHardSoft
Turkish Grand PrixHardSoft
Spanish Grand PrixHardSoft
Monaco Grand PrixSoftSuper soft
Canadian Grand PrixSoftSuper soft
European Grand PrixMediumSoft
British Grand PrixHardSoft
German Grand PrixMediumSoft
Hungarian Grand PrixSoftSuper-soft

2011 F1 season

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Image © Pirelli

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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31 comments on “Pirelli won’t use hard tyres in Germany and Hungary”

  1. Makes sense. Silverstone is mostly high-speed corners which will put a lot of load into the tyres. Nurburgring is more of a mix, whereas Hungary is mostly slow corners. Hope there’s a lot of natural degradation for that one!

    1. I really like how Pirelli seem to put a lot of effort into adapting to what works or doesn’t this year.

      And they talk about it to be in the headlines, good on them.

      1. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? They seem a proper part of the sport, it it for the right reasons for the sport and of course for themselves.

  2. Why do Perelli need to talk with the team,I think they should work independently & they get to chose what to bring & what not to,I think consulting may give one person a bit of a edge over the other.

    1. They can’t avoid talking to the teams, they are one of the teams’ suppliers after all. Better they do it openly, like they are at the moment, and keep everything as transparent as possible.

      I’m liking Pirelli’s attitude throughout the season so far. They are really putting a lot of effort into being an integral part of the races, rather than just a behind the scenes necessity like Bridgestone seemed to become after Michelin pulled out. Remember for example that they are pushing for a rule change that would make everyone at least give it a go in Q3 rather than just sit it out in an attempt to save a set of tyres for the race.

  3. I’d like to see them bring the Super-soft and Hard tyre to a race weekend. That would be interesting. Could have a rapid drive 3 or 4 stopping or there could be opportunity for someone to play the long game and 1 or 2 stop.

    1. Cluffy_Wedge
      29th June 2011, 16:08

      No. Didn’t you notice in Valencia, even with soft/medium, the quickest strategy was to do as little running as possible on the mediums? Webber lost 2nd largely because he did an extra lap or 2 on them.

      1. Yes, but with s-soft/hard there is a huge difference in compound, which I believe would allow for different strategies. The lieks of Sauber, possibly Button and the Renaults could probably manage the hard tyre better of a longer period of time

        1. Cluffy_Wedge
          29th June 2011, 17:25

          Which would provide no strategic benefit whatsoever because the difference would be 2-3 seconds a lap at the very least, meaning the supersofts would easily make up the time lost pitting and more.

        2. I agree with James. The European GP at Valencia was weak not just because of the track, in my opinion, but also because the two tyre compounds provided by Pirelli were closer than at any other race this year.

          At the start of the season it was noted that Pirelli were consciously bringing tyres two compounds apart, which worked well. (The super-soft/soft combination used in Monaco and Canada perhaps worked because of the extreme nature of the super-soft tyre).

          Drivers being on two significantly different compounds of tyre has been a factor in some of the great races 2011 has provided so far, both from a strategic point of view and because as a performance differentiator it facilitates overtaking.

          I just hope the German GP (forecast to use the same, fairly close, combination of medium/soft tyres) isn’t a replay of Valencia. Time will tell.

  4. *Dons tin helmet and braces for Ferrari conspiracy thread to start*

    1. Like I had already said. Pirelli favouring other teams in Silverstone and favouring Ferrari in Budapest.

      1. What’s the point in favouring anyone? Red Bull have 2011 all wrapped up it seems!

        1. Yeah..doesnt matter what tyre Pirelli bring, hell they could even bring bullock-cart wheels and that wont stop Vettel!

          Its basically curtains for Ferrari at Silverstone unless somebody in Maranello has some sort of brain wave. Alonso might get good runs at the Nurburgring and more realistically in Hungary.

  5. With less grip available to the teams with the new exhaust rule, I think a few teams might struggle with the hard tyre.

  6. Pirelli are also considering qualifying tyres for next season.


    It think that Pirelli have made a reasonable compromise between tyre longevity, the number of pit stops that might be necessary, and an element of strategy that will be required for good racing.

    Have they compromised anyones GP result before we get to Silverstone? Who knows?

    1. Have they compromised anyones GP result before we get to Silverstone? Who knows?

      No, the teams that haven’t got a car good enough to work on all the tyre compounds compromised their own race.

      Pirelli brings the same tyres for everyone so it’s up to the teams to make their car work on the tyres that are brought.

      Some teams will go better on Hard, others on Medium. Whichever tyres Pirelli bring will be of benefit to some teams and detriment to others, that’s not Pirelli’s fault.

  7. why don’t they just go with a hard and a soft for the whole season, and save themselves money and everyone else aggravation? oh, because that’s not how f1 operates :P

    1. The prime tyre is usually indicative of the cornering stresses that a tyre is likely to be subjected to at any given circuit. Silverstone puts quite a lot of lateral load into a tyre and so it demands the hard tyre to be used. Hungary has no fast corners to speak of and therefore does not demand a very hard tyre to cope with lateral loads. Germany is somewhere between the two.

    2. I think it’s a great PR effort from Pirelli. They are on the news every now and then, much more than Bridstone last on previous years.

  8. I don’t understand why Q3 runners must start on the tires they used. The 3 tier qualifying session has a disadvantage built into it in that if you ran Q2 and Q3 you would have naturally done more laps on your allotted tires than someone who was out in Q1. Why does the FIA not see this?

    If they revoked this rule, you would hopefully see more people have a go in Q3.

    1. Well you can use different tyres if you want between the qualifying sessions. For example, the RB7 can get away with running the prime tyre through Q1, saving the option for Q2 and Q3. They can use two sets of options if they want but of course they will have to use them in the race at some point too, perhaps hanging on to a fresh set if qualifying works out well for them.

      The Q3 rule going into the race I guess is to allow the pack behind them a chance to mix up the results a little, perhaps benefiting from one less pit-stop.

      1. As I understood it, the Q3 tyre rule was brought in to try and bring some variety to the strategies, in the hopes that some drivers would qualify on the prime tyre, sacrificing grid slot for being able to do one less stop. It just hasn’t worked out that way very often.

        I like Pirelli’s Qualifying tyre suggestion, as well as their suggestion of bringing 3 compounds to each race. Let’s take the chance to free up the tyre rules again:

        Give each driver 9 sets of tyres for use in practise and race, 2 each of 3 compounds. They must hand 3 sets of these back in at the end of P3, but they can choose what compounds to hand in (ie they can hand back 3 of the same compound if they want).

        In addition each driver 3 sets of “Quali” tyres, 1 set of which may be used in P3. These are not handed back until after Q3. These may not be used in the race, likewise race tyres may not be used in quali.

        During the race, drivers must pit at least once, but are free to choose what compound to run. This way you may get a driver choosing to 1 stop on the harder compound and another choosing to 3 stop on the softest compound.

        1. That sounds like a great idea.

  9. Shame for Mclaren, that medium tyre is scary for us!

  10. Saw this come up the other day: Pirelli are going to remain neutral in their tyre selections – they’re not going to pick tyres that suit individual teams over others. Apparently Ferrari have raised concerns over the harder compound, since the F150 doesn’t use them too well. And my answer to that is simple: tough. No team deserves special treatment in the tyre allocations, and looking at the points standings, if Pirelli were to start playing favourites to try and help someone catch Red Bull, McLaren would be the better choice because they have the better chance of catching up.

  11. I am so very sorry but I feel that I *need* to say it: I don’t like the direction F1 took in 2011. Way too much DRS, way too much KERS, way too much this-that tyre, way too much engine mapping/whatever. To me that rule that forces the driver to use TWO different compounds during is a race is just preposterous. The DRS, where the driver ahead has no way to defend his position, is ridiculous. This is NOT the F1 I want to see. If F1 accept the DRS, let the drivers use it whenever and wherever they want. F1 accept KERS? Let the drivers make the most of it. And let the drivers choose the tyre that will provide them with tbe best performance. Full stop. Too many “ifs” in a race now. They can use the DRS “if” they are inside de zone, and only “if” the driver is inside one second of difference. That, of course, “if” I don’t turn the TV off and go to play football with my children. Also, ban those go-kart tracks like Barcelona or Valencia.
    And please, don’t ask me if I prefer the dull F1 from two or three years ago. I don’t. I want a F1 that represents the ultimate in racing technology with the best drivers in the world.
    OK, we can continue to discuss the use of the hard or the medium tyre in Silverstone, now. Sorry for the rant.

    1. Jeffrey Powell
      1st July 2011, 21:22

      I think the biggest problem are these ‘snakes and ladders’ tyres but it would appear the majority are in favour of this type of entertainment. True racing is were the fastest drivers push as hard as possible and if the following driver starts to catch the guy in front he gets more than two laps at full chat before the tyres are rubbish.It is obvious that it is not possible to push that hard because the same tyres in qualyfing can only do one or two fast laps before the driver must slow or lose half the tyres minimal lifespan.Thus a real chase is not possible all the drivers are aware of this so tactics reign supreme. You will notice that,in a dry race, SV. does not pull out an enormous lead he maintains a moderate gap knowing that the following car if it starts to catch him will drop back after a couple of hard laps. We don’t even have the possibilty of a retirement to spice things up, the cars are running so far below their true potential they would be ok for Le Mans with the right bodywork.

  12. Are some people mistaking “the ultimate in racing technology” for meaning “should be faster than anything else on four wheels”.

    Sorry, back to tyres.

  13. If your refering to comments from Aldo, I think your missing the point.

    I think he is saying (and if so I agree) F1 has introduced to much fluff, too many artificial factors that take away from F1’s birthright of racing purity.
    ie, “Take your money and your brains and put them up against the world”

    Nascar says Standardization of Cars, and Race for the Chase. All machinactions to satisfy the tiny minds and attention spans of Americans (of which I am one).

    F1 says KERS and DRS and pointless tire rules.

    Sure, sometimes a team becomes dominant. Do they not deserve it? Should the others just sit and cry “unfair” because they didnt think of those factors of dominance? NO! They should work harder, and claw back power with their own efforts.

    Call me immoral, but I like the dirty tricks. I like rule bending, I LIKE a team/racer who will do ANYTHING to win. What we have now is a “PC, lowered bar, Im ok-your ok, shiny, happy, immasculated, unexcellent, half measure”.

    1. I think he is saying (and if so I agree) F1 has introduced to much fluff, too many artificial factors that take away from F1′s birthright of racing purity.

      That’s exactly what I was trying to say. Thanks for the clarity.

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