Date: 18th February 2011 at 9:03am
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Pirelli have returned to Formula One for 2011.

The Italian tyre manufacturer returns to Formula One after a 20 year absence replacing Bridgestone as the sports official tyre manufacturer.

Just like last season drivers will have the use of two tyre compounds over the course of a race weekend, with both compounds being used during the race itself.

Pirelli have announced that their new hard tyre will be used as the ?prime tyre? for the opening four rounds of the season, with their new soft tyre being the ?option tyre?.

‘The valuable data that we’ve collected from both official and private testing has shown us that our nomination of hard and soft tyres is the best way forward for both the drivers and the spectators, so we look forward now to a successful Grand Prix debut and a great show in the Middle and Far East over the next four races,’ Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said.

‘We’ve enjoyed great collaboration with the teams so far, and with the nominated compounds for the next four races now known, I am sure that this will help to focus their development for the start of the season.’

It is thought that the decision should force drivers into making two pit stops in all four races at Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China.