Date: 9th March 2011 at 11:12am
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Formula One’s tyre manufacturer Pirelli predict that we will regularly see three stop strategies throughout the 2011 season.

The new tyres have yet to be a hit with the Formula One drivers during the winter testing sessions, they have been developed with one thing in mind and that is to increase the number of pit-stops in a race, to end one-stop strategies.

With that in mind, the new Pirelli tyres de-gradate quicker than the previous 2010 Bridgestone tyres and drivers have been quick to complain as they are out of their comfort zone quicker than they would like.

The speed of the degradation has led for speculation that teams will making four or even five stops during a race, which would obviously be a bit too stop start, but Pirelli have always believed that this would not be the case.

‘We did quite a bit of analysis after the last test sessions, with simulations of all the races that would have happened with all the teams, and all of them would have been operating on a three-stop strategy.’ Pirelli’s director of motorsport Paul Hembery told Autosport Magazine after the test session yesterday in Barcelona.

‘Considering we were having higher wear rates than we would anticipate in warm conditions, then it means a lot of the alarmist stories of having four or five stops are unlikely to be true, and are in fact quite false. In quite an extreme condition of wear, we were still looking at a three-stop strategy.’

Pirelli’s main aim was to guarantee a two-stop race, which in a warmer climate could well be the case, but if three-stops were to become the norm, then the tyre manufacturer would still be happy.

‘Three I am okay with, because we have had three in the past in the sport, even four actually. But I don’t particularly want to see four or five, because then you probably don’t have enough sets of tyres for a weekend to do that sort of thing.’

Once the teams travel to Australia, then Pirelli and the teams will once again be in un-chartered territory, with little running in warmer climates with the new tyres.

Teams had originally been scheduled to run the last winter test in Bahrain which would have brought an average air temperature of in the mid 20c, instead the teams are back in Barcelona where the temperature is currently in the low teens.

Pirelli believe the tyres will suffer less degradation in Australia, which will make the drivers a lot happier and will probably produce the as planned two-stop strategy for most cars.