Date: 29th February 2012 at 1:28pm
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The first test in Barcelona was very pleasing for Formula One tyre manufacturer Pirelli.

Unlike in Jerez, F1 teams used all four of the new tyre compounds with the hard, medium, soft and super-soft all getting running time.

At this stage last year the teams and the drivers were highly critical of the new Pirelli rubber, but this season there has been very few comments regarding their performance and Pirelli believe that is because they are performing exactly as anticipated.

?It was an extremely productive four days, and we were helped by temperatures that – at least in the afternoons – were more representative of what we will expect to see during the season,? Pirelli?s motorsport director Paul Hembery told formula1.com.

?The teams all completed the most amount of running that we have seen so far this year, 17,207 kilometres as opposed to 14,949 kilometres in Jerez. This allowed them to gather plenty of data on all four slick tyres that we can now analyse in order to come up with a few different scenarios for the first races related to strategy options and crossover points.

?As we expected, most teams chose to concentrate on the medium tyre, with the emphasis often on aerodynamic set-up work rather than tyre evaluation. However, we got plenty of work done and we?re satisfied with the levels of degradation and performance seen so far, as we head now into the final test again at Barcelona next week. It?s only then that we will see a more accurate picture of the relative performance of the teams, but from our point of view we are meeting our objectives.?


That objective has been to create more tyre strategy in 2012, to do this Pirelli have changed the design of their tyres for this season by making a few tweaks to the construction of the tyre.

The idea behind this is to make the teams consider different tyre strategies during a race to work out the optimum tyre strategy over the course of the race weekend.

One of the major differences being that there will be a smaller gap between the compounds in terms of speed. During 2011 some of the tyre compounds offered around 1.5 seconds per lap difference, which would often provide too much of a difference for teams to mix up their strategies and would often run the optimum compound for the majority of the race and use the other as little as possible.

But for 2012 Pirelli have shortened the gap to less than a second per lap between compounds, which depending on the difference between degradation will provide a variety of tyre strategies over the course of a race weekend.