No hard tyres for next three races

2011 F1 season

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Toro Rosso, Nurburgring, 2011

Pirelli will not bring its hard tyre for any of the next three races on the calendar.

F1’s tyre supplier will bring the soft and medium tyre for both the Belgian and Italian Grands Prix.

At Singapore, Pirelli will bring the two softest tyres it has: the soft and super-soft.

The full tyre allocation announced for 2011 so far is as follows:

Race Prime Option
Australian Grand Prix Hard Soft
Malaysian Grand Prix Hard Soft
Chinese Grand Prix Hard Soft
Turkish Grand Prix Hard Soft
Spanish Grand Prix Hard Soft
Monaco Grand Prix Soft Super soft
Canadian Grand Prix Soft Super soft
European Grand Prix Medium Soft
British Grand Prix Hard Soft
German Grand Prix Medium Soft
Hungarian Grand Prix Soft Super soft
Belgian Grand Prix Medium Soft
Italian Grand Prix Medium Soft
Singapore Grand Prix Soft Super soft

Pirelli introduced a new version of their hard tyre at the Spanish Grand Prix, but has only used it at that race and the British Grand Prix so far.

The allocation will continue Pirelli’s practice of bringing the soft tyre to every round of the season.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We’ve got three of the most thrilling races on the entire calendar coming up, and we believe that we’ve arrived at some tyre nominations that are very well-suited to the characteristics of these very different but equally exciting circuits.

“Of course there will always be some unknown factors – such as the weather – but the choices we have made are designed to help teams maximise both their performance and their race strategy.”

Last year Bridgestone brought hard and soft tyres to Belgium and Italy, and medium and super soft to Singapore.

2011 F1 season

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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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43 comments on “No hard tyres for next three races”

  1. Has the requirement to have a step-gap (i.e. soft/hard or supersoft/medium) disappeared? Haven’t seen much of those step-skipping choices as of late

    1. Well let’s remember the Medium is more like the old (pre-Spain) Hard tyre. So actually my list below will be a little inaccurate, now I think about it! Will be surprised not to see the (super-)Hard at Suzuka though.

    2. i don’t think that is needed anymore. unlike previous season tires, this year tire performance goes off depending on track conditions, car set-up & driver’s technique. minus DRS, the racing has been good, thanks to tires & in some case weather conditions.

    3. I was just thinking that. It would be interesting to see how the teams cope now if that happens.

      1. Dear Pirelli,

        Please bring “more” tires to every Grand Prix so that our drivers will be able to actually get out onto the track and do more than a lap or two because of having to save the tires for Sunday. We like how the performance of the tires varies but now feel that limiting the number being used per weekend is foolish and limits how much a fan gets for the dollar he pays to attend. Some people actually think how you are going about this is making racing better. Real fans would rather see a driver get more out of a car instead of watching a driver have to do less.
        Please consider making changes for next season.

        1. Not Pirelli’s fault. It’s laid down in the regulations.

          1. Plus F1 is a strategy-heavy sport. Just another, exciting dimension.

          2. I completely agree with what you have said but still feel that anytime a driver is forced to sit out time on the track due to something that prevents the driver from being able to compete during any part of a race weekend should be examined and changed. Yes it is exciting to see any driver go out and take a shot at a single lap in qualifying at the very last moment possible. I question if this is the best that F1 can offer. Leave the tire compounds as they are just give the teams more sets of tires to be used as they are needed.

  2. No surprises really. I would guess Soft and Hard for the races after these, except for Abu Dhabi

    1. I’d’ve expected hard at Spa – I think this shows how the teams have improved their tyre use since the start of the year.

      1. It is a bit worrying that there is a chance that the championship is being manipulated through tyre selection.

        I hope this is not the case.

        1. Huh? Why do you say that?

          1. Well it is well known that Ferrari are terrible on hard tyres and that RedBull are not so good on the softs. Therefore it is entirely plausible that the Championship could be meddled with by altering the tyre choices to favour one car over another. As Keith pointed out you would normally expect Spa to have a hard tyre choice and also as others have pointed out there was supposed to be two step differences between tyres but that is no longer the case.

            I am not saying that this is the reason for the choices, I am merely pointing out that it is possible.

          2. There were rumours about this before because Ferrari didn’t want the hard tyres for Silverstone and a lot was made of Pirelli being an Italian company.

            I understand that you aren’t doing so, just in general I find those accusations of unprofessionalism by a neutral party to be a tad distasteful.

          3. I’m sure if Red Bull felt disadvantaged they’d jump up and down before we would.

        2. Good heavens Lee, you can’t possibly believe that Bernie Ecclestone, a pillar of the community would try to influence the outcome of the championship, never, I am shocked that anyone could think such a thing.

        3. To be honest, if they wanted to manipulate the championship in Ferrari’s favour, they would maintain the Silverstone exhaust blowing restrictions.

          I agree hard tyres aren’t Ferrari’s strength, but I dont think Pirrelli are changing the tyre selection to favour Ferrari.

      2. Perhaps they feared low temperatures at Spa?

      3. Could this be some sort of reverence to Ferrari? As I mentioned in Twitter, this announcement bodes well for them.

        A while ago I was speculating that the tire supplier, in this case Pirelli, can have a leading role in deciding the fate of the races – they can select whatever compound they want, if, let’s say, want to hurt or help this or that team.
        I doubt that this is really the case, of course, Pirelli are not in the business to make Red Bull’s or Mclaren’s life harder, but still, it’s a very important component.

        Lucky, due to their nature, the tires works in conjunction with the weather, too.

        1. I know what you mean, but I don’t think so – I think the teams are just getting better life out of the tyres now so Pirelli don’t have to bring such a hard tyre mix.

          Also, the current medium is supposed to be quite close to the original hard compound.

          1. I completely agree, Keith, you’re thinking precisely what I am – as teams get their heads around the tyres and make them last longer, it is natural to assume Pirelli will bring softer compound combinations to maintain the balance they had earlier in the season.

            I’m sure the team will alter their cars to handle these changes – McLaren have done so, Red Bull will manage it too.

        2. Well, medium tyres don’t work very well with the 150° Italia.

          1. So that’s why they named it that! That’s the track temperature they need it to be to get the tyres working!

      4. I think bringing the soft/supersoft combination might be a reflection of expecting more Nurburgring like temperatures and humidity. And as you say, the teams might make them last the distance by now.

        But it is a bit suprising for Spa.

  3. Ferrari will be happy of not using hard anymore…

  4. I just hope that Pirelli will stick to their guns. Martin B mentioned at some point that they were making their tires harder actually, due to succumbing from pressure from a rival tyre manufacturer who were using F1 as an example of how bad Pirellis were.

    1. Only the medium and hard compounds have been made more durable, soft and super soft are the same compound as have been used all season, and won’t be changed before the season is finished.

      1. Well, who knows. They tested new soft tyre 2 weeks ago in Germany. It can be used.

        1. Paul Hembrey said on Twitter that the harder soft compound won’t be used for the first time until 2012.

          1. Thanks. Hopefully it won’t be used next year too.

  5. I think that since the start of the year we’re seeing McLaren and Red Bull switch places in terms of tyre usage. Red Bull used to be hard on its tires, instantly switching them on for quali. But now it seems that McLaren have that honor, and their last few cold races have helped them mask it; or if you choose to see it the other way around, it switched their tyres on well for the races. I think given the cold conditions of the last few races it was perfect for them.

    Is Spa considered a high-deg circuit Keith? I know the sweepers are fast, but it’s quite low downforce meaning the sweepers would actually be less fast than they were if you were carrying say, Monaco/Spain spec wings to there, so where does the balance cut it?

  6. Funny how as soon as ferrari realised that their cars were terrible on the hards…pirrelli the italian tyre makers have stopped bringing them to the races.


    1. Where would be the benefit to Pirelli bowing to Ferrari’s wishes?

      They would never get away with it.

    2. you mean like Silverstone?

      plus, why would they make their other compounds more durable at the same time? Like the medium which is practically as durable as the original hard tyre.

      so actually we only had 3 races so far this season where the hard or revised medium tyres were not used. doesn’t sound like Pirelli are helping Ferrari much there.

      But people seem to find conspiracy theories where they want to.

    3. I also believe with all the tire testing that Pirrelli is giving Ferrari a “gripper” tire compared to the competition.

      Ferrari’s pace has come out of no where…

  7. I never think Singapore was thrilling! Though the first race was great but all it was a fix.

  8. Guess it was too much of a sales pitch by Pirelli to call Singapore GP “thrilling”…. But soft and supersoft combination always seem to produce exciting races!

    Hope so for Singapore! Dry or wet!

  9. This must be sweet music to Alonso’s ears, as the Ferrari have been struggling for pace on the harder compound. Expect him to be among the points for the next 3 races.

    1. Expect him to be among the points for the next 3 races.

      I think that he’ll be expecting more than just “points”. I’d put him down for at least one win and a couple of podiums. :)

      The unfortunate thing now, and probably what Vettel was hoping for, is that even if he never wins another race, Vettel’s opposition is coming from more than just one team/driver. And not having to worry about hard tyres for three races will make Alonso’s holiday all the more enjoyable.

  10. Interesting how the softs are raced at every track.

    1. I was wondering about this, and perhaps they are doing it so they have a benchmark tyre for data at the end of the season? I can see this would be quite a useful thing for them, and I guess the soft tyre is the best of that and the medium for these purposes.

      1. That sure is an interesting thought Noelinho! It would make a lot of sense for Pirelli.

  11. Why don’t they put all 4 compounds in the guise of coloured balls in a box and have a draw for each race, that way it’s less likely it could be fixed.
    They could have 5 draws a year for the forth coming 4 races, it would also give Pirelli extra recognition, similar to the lotto or the FA cup draw.
    Maybe the BBC could make a program out of it, oh no that wouldn’t work, if it became popular they’d sell it to sky.

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