Pirelli to bring harder tyres for Spa and Monza

2012 F1 season

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Mark Webber, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2012Pirelli will use the hardest tyres in their range for the next two races in the championship at Spa and Monza.

Whereas last year F1’s official tyre supplier used the soft and medium tyres for the two high-speed tracks, this season they will bring their hard and medium compounds.

Pirelli also used a harder tyre allocation for the previous round in Hungary, swapping soft and super-soft tyres for their medium and soft rubber.

Their soft, medium and hard tyre compounds for 2012 are all softer than they were in 2011.

Pirelli will use their softest tyres for this year’s Singapore Grand Prix, as they did last year.

Here is the 2012 F1 tyre allocation announced so far:

Circuit2012 Option2012 Prime2011 Option2011 Prime
BahrainSoftMediumNo raceNo race
HockenheimringSoftMediumNo raceNo race
HungaroringSoftMediumSuper SoftSoft
SingaporeSuper SoftSoftSuper SoftSoft

2012 F1 season

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Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

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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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53 comments on “Pirelli to bring harder tyres for Spa and Monza”

  1. They changed tyres for Spa and Monza to avoid blistering like last year. Therefore Spa will be almost certainly 2 stopper, while I’m 100% sure Monza will be 1 stopper. I will be shocked if someone will try 2 stops at Monza, because it has one of the lowest degradation in whole calendar and they could easily get away with bringing ssofts and softs, if not for mentioned blistering.

    As for Singapore I don’t know if it’s good choice. Thermal degradation was huge problem last year and even in 2010, so 3 stops strategy should be a norm for top runners, while some drivers starting in midfield can try 2 stopper and pray not to destroy tyres too soon to make it work.

    1. Wasn’t last year’s blistering caused by teams running too much negative camber?

      1. Red Bull exceeded the recommended camber settings advised by Pirelli at Spa last year. New regulations were bought in for the Monza making Pirelli’s camber limits were mandatory.

        1. i remember adrian newey crying when the cars finished the race, because he fought the camber was at the limit of safety or something along those lines.

          1. BreadandButter
            1st August 2012, 17:37

            Yes, it was a shameful spectacle. He ignored the safety advice to gain an advantage (albeit a legal one) and then cried with relief when he got away with it. It was a pathetic and self-indulgent moment.

    2. Yes, it was. And however Pirelli warned the teams about it, Redbull ignored it.

      1. and then the FIA made a rule for it. End of story. Why it should be harder tyre?

        1. Because Pirellis are not very resistant to high speed and high loads. That’s why they will bring hard compound for next 2 races. Spa in two places generates enormous loads to tyres and then it has two straights, with speed up to 330 kph, which is, again, not what Pirelli tyres like. At Monza loads are smaller, but there are 4 straights with speed over 330 kph. I still remember few punctures in 2006 at Monza, so for Pirelli in next 2 races it’s better to be safe than sorry, even WITH rule about camber angles. Remember guys and girls, we have an open championship on our hands and any tyre failure for title contender not caused by puncture would be enormous PR blow for Pirelli.

  2. I’d rather see them using soft and hard. Good for different strategies I think.

    The last three races were boring as hell because the teams understand the tyres better now. Using a bigger gap between compounds can avoid this I think.

    1. I prefer to have super soft and medium. I don’t think we need hard tyre…

    2. British and German GP were boring as hell? No offence, but maybe you should watch other sport, NASCAR maybe? Or play Mario Kart?

      And by this “Using a bigger gap between compounds can avoid this I think.” you are shooting yourself in a foot, because at Silverstone they got softs and hards and you think that race was boring like hell, lol.

      1. Except for Brittish inhabitants, Silverstone is not a loved track under F1-fans. It are mostly boring races we had there. It is just the ambience why the circuit is still on the F1-callendar. Last edition was boring also.. Great qualifying but the race itself was boring and I’m surely not the only one with that opinion.

        Then Hockenheim.. Seriously? You think that race was nice to watch? The only exciting thing was Lewis getting himself unlapped. Half the race they showed a fight what wasn’t even a fight and the DRS on that circuit made overtaking way too easy.

        When I watched Silverstone I thought: damn, thid was the first and most boring race of the season. Then Hockenheim came and I thought that was the most boring race of the season. Now I think it can’t get any worser than Hungary but it’s definetly a trend.

        They used the soft/hard in Silverstone your right. But they also used soft/hard in Spain and that was an exciting race to watch and that for Catalunya standards..

        If you don’t mind I choose for myself if I want to watch F1 or Nascar..

        1. Wow, if you thought Silverstone and Hoeckenheim were boring, then I have no idea how you managed to watch F1 from 1992-2009 (if you did at all, that is)…

          Also, as an American, I love Silverstone, and think it produces some of the best and most grueling racing on the F1 calendar. Not sure where you got your “facts” about that one

        2. https://www.racefans.net/2012/07/08/rate-race-2012-british-grand-prix/ 7-8
          https://www.racefans.net/2012/07/22/rate-race-2012-german-grand-prix/ again 7-8

          People have spoken and voted, 7-8 means good race. If it was indeed boring, there would be more votes for 5/10 and less.

          What was so exciting about Catalunya, that didn’t happen in Hockenheim or Silverstone? Maldonado won by pitting earlier than Alonso and undercutting him and then controlling gap. Lotuses (3rd-4th) finished as they started. Kobayashi and Hamilton overtook few people. Webber was stuck behind Force India. Is it more exciting than Webber chasing and overtaking Alonso for the lead? Massa on Schumacher? Grosjean coming through the field? Moves by Kobayashi and Perez after start? Or in Hockenheim – Button chasing Alonso overtaking people? Raikkonen on Schumacher and di Resta? Sauber drivers overtaking loads of drivers? Hamilton unlapping himself on Vetel?

          Can you explain why Spanish GP was exciting race, while British and German GP were boring as hell?

          1. @armchairexpert

            Can you explain why Spanish GP was exciting race, while British and German GP were boring as hell?

            I don’t think average scores of seven out of ten reflect a widely-held view that the races were “boring as hell”.

            If you want to understand why people rated the races as they did, I’d recommend having a look at these articles:

            Spanish Grand Prix gets highest rating for five years
            Rate the race result: 2012 British Grand Prix

            The corresponding one for the German Grand Prix will be on the site tomorrow as I see @iamdanthomas has just finished it.

          2. Raikkonen’s move on DiResta after Schumi went through… one of the best of the year thus far.

        3. You call last year’s British grand prix boring? Incredible.

      2. the last 3 races were quite boring compared to others in the season, maybe it is because the teams understand the tyres better now, or maybe it was the pirelli compound choice. in hungary it was lack of overtaking. spanish gp, while not that great, was still brilliant for other reasons which f1 fans understand, like seeing the williams get back on form and having a venezualan in P1. i kind of agree with what he said about the silverstone track… but the same is for Spa, often the race is rated higher because of its cult status rather then the actual racing, and the cars just look so damn good and fast throught those flowing turns! monza is another track where there is often a procession, but still makes for a great race because of the high speed. he is right but, we have monza, spa and monaco that are ‘spectacles’ no matter the race quality, but silverstone, while also a historic track, is more a spectacle for the brit, and for everyone else, the racing looks crap on the tv with no trees or buildings like the other 3 tracks i mentioned. personally i hate the new configuration of it.

  3. No, why harder tyre? The rule was made to avoid blistering problem so I can’t find a reason to do it. Also Monza is well known for low tyre wear. This would force conservative, less dramatic strategy, which is I don’t think a good idea.

    1. Oops. Keith, I think the table has typo. In 2012, the option and the prime is in opposite cell.

      1. Well, fixed :)

        1. @eggry : actually it could have been right, I know last year they invert the nomination for one race, option being the harder of the 2 because they have more tyre allocation for one than the other … don’t remember for which venue though

          1. @jeanrien That was India, and Pirelli did that because they had no idea what the tyres would do so they decided to play safe and give the teams one more of the hard tyre.

          2. @jeanrien actually, I have no idea what I’m talking about with regards to how many tyres the teams are given, but the reason is the same. Read Keith’s post a bit further down.

        2. Should have read a bit further before commenting, all is mentioned by Keith a bit below (and the venue was India apparently)

    2. You’re right, i cant understand why would they bring harder tyres for low deg GP’s, Spa has some long corners still its usually pretty cold, and Monza is hot but the track is low deg. Now i’m starting to feel that they are following the advices from other teams, especially the big 3, Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull.

  4. Seems Pirellli are reacting to the criticism of the tyre deg – to the negative impact of the races.

    If Piirelli can spice up Valencia is dissapointing to see them be more conservative with tyre choice

    1. agree. we have seen processions at spa and monza in the past too.

  5. Dimitris 1395 (@)
    31st July 2012, 12:50

    Were the meds the option tyre compound in Germany and Hungary?

    1. I’ve always thought the harder of the two compounds was labelled the prime.

      1. Usually but not always. In India last year the hard was the ‘option’ and the soft was the ‘prime’.

        1. Why was that?

          1. @dvc With it being a new track Pirelli had been quite conservative with the tyre choice and picked the hard with the soft. It was later said the hard could have done several race distances!

            The rules allocate one more set of the ‘prime’ tyre to the drivers than the ‘option’. Pirelli decided to make the soft tyre the ‘prime’ so drivers would have an extra set of it rather than the hard tyre. This is most likely because they expected the hard tyre would be the unfavoured choice, as it proved to be.

            It’s a reminder that while a lot of people have opinions about what tyres should be brought to certain races to make them more entertaining, Pirelli have to make sure that what they do bring will work in whatever conditions are thrown at them. No-one wants a repeat of Indianpolis ’05.

          2. @keithcollantine Thanks for that. I hadn’t realised the allocation was different.

  6. Im glad there taking harder compounds as we may actually have some proper racing rather than some of the ridiculous tyre saving races we saw earlier.

    with the tyres playing a bit less of a role i think the last couple races have been a lot better than the earlier one’s, the racing has been more about racing & less about tyre saving, the on-track racing has been more hard fought & competitive & we’ve had less easy passes due to massive differences in tyre wear/compounds.

  7. It could be tough to tell the tyres apart at Spa and Monza. Hard and medium are very similar colours, but it’s never been a problem because they have never been allocated together until now.

    1. Apart from Sepang, that is, though the race was mostly wet, of course.

    2. Wrong on both accounts. They are very easy to distinguish. Medium tyres have white markings on sidewall, meanwhile hard tyres have silver marking, but it is pale, so tyre is completely black – http://www.grandprix.com/jpeg/phc/pbri12/sun/raikkonen1-lg.jpg. Mediums – white, hards – black. Secondly this combination was used already in Malaysia.

      1. Easy to identify when they tyres are motionless, but when in motion hard to tell because we have different screens. Some LCD screens don’t even show black as proper black. It is hard sometimes to tell the difference between the white walls and the yellows, and I have seen the commentators repeatedly making mistakes when talking about what tyres a driver is on.

  8. The Pirelli factor has made the season so far very interesting. You just didn’t have a clue who was going to benefit from how those tires performed. Now that the teams have really gotten a hold of how they work and how long they can last the races have become more about who really has an advantage via the quality of their race machines. If the season remains dry I think Alonso will find difficulty in holding his championship lead.

    Pirelli has done a really good job, the tires they have brought to the plate have provided surprising results and have made for a very exciting season thus far.

    If all the rolled up rubber at the end of the Grand Prix was somehow returned to Pirelli how many tires could be made from that pile of clagg?? Two or more I guess…

    1. “If the season remains dry I think Alonso will find difficulty in holding his championship lead” have you not realise he has kept a championship lead even in the dry? i think alonsos lead now, could well give him the championship in the end. he has not got the best car, but he has the lead in a close championship by a solid margin. on paper vettel and hamilton should catch him up, but on paper they should have had more points then him in the first half of the year, even with wet races, where vettel and hamilton have previouisly excelled. Alonso is in superb form, better then the other drivers, so if he keeps this form, it wont matter if it is wet or dry, he may replicate the first half of the year in the 3rd best car and finish 80 points ahead of the rest.

      1. Believe me, to see Alonso win the DC would be great, my choice in fact, but I am worried about the preformance of RedBull and McLaren and Lotus. FA has the points lead because of his wet weather performances, he took points frome the others and that is why he has the overall lead. Last weekend is an example of his tally slipping even though he did margine Webber. He was lucky

  9. That allocation seems perfect for Hamilton. With lower deg and Hamilton natural affinity to get tyres quickly into operating temperatures, he might be set to score good results at Spa and Monza.

    1. i think you are right. he is not as adaptable as other drivers, and these tyres will help him get more good results. he is the type of driver that doesnt think about tyre wear, he just wants to drive fast (which he is bloody good at). i think he lucked into the win at the last race in a small way, because after 25 laps on the last set of tyres i thought he would have problems going by his usual tyre wear history. you could hear on the team radio they were worried, and wanted to switch him to a 3 stopper. i think they were all relieved when he made it to the end without problems. he has to be favourite to win both races in the fastest car, but he has history at both tracks when he was favourite to win and did not have to worry about tyre wear like this year and still didnt get the result.

      1. People just say Hamilton is favourite to win just to put pressure on him. Why is Vettel or Kimi or Button not the favourite to win. They all have fvery fast cars. The Lotus is even consistently faster than the Mclaren over a race distance.

    2. I don’t think it makes any difference. The tyres are a bit of a lottery, and your a car’s fundamental design could determine if the tyres work quickly or not. Matter of fact, the tyres are more likely to aid slower drivers as they can go deeper into a race hence reducing any disadvantage from qualifying poorly.

  10. In my opinion, the tyres are too close in performance and durability. The only difference seems to be during qualifying. If you push the harder tyres, after a while, they begin to perform like the softs. If you don’t push the soft tyres too much, they give you the same life as the hards. There is not much room for different strategies.
    When a driver starts on the softs and does 30laps with a heavy fuel load!!!! Meanwhile, starting on a heavy fuel load with the hards, probably won’t give you an extended tour before your first stop.

  11. Is the summer break over yet.

  12. Does anyone know the history of previous tyre manufacturer’s inaugural years? Where they right in the ball at their beginnings?

    1. in the past when new tyre suppliers came in then were competing against other tyre suppliers so pretty much had to get it right straght away.

      when michelin came in for 2001 they had some graining issues at times in colder conditions early on but overall they were very competitive from the start. the took williams to a win in the 4th race of the year & scored 2 other wins with williams that year as well as numerous podiums.

  13. Its sounds like there is a few people on here that have only started watching F1 this year. Some of the comments on here are shocking. Oh and i’m loving the old Jenson, the tyre King. Where has all that rubbish gone?. Understeer or is it oversteer this time?.

  14. Anyone else though about how teams are so focused on reducing drag and optimizing air flow to get one-thousands of a seconds. And then you have Raikkonen flying with ducked ears on both sides of the engine air intake?

    Bit overrated?

    1. Reducing drag…but increasing downforce!

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