Date: 25th January 2012 at 10:36am
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Formula One’s official tyre manufacturer Pirelli have unveiled their new tyre compounds for the new 2012 F1 season.

Pirelli are heading into their second season in Formula One after a fantastic debut season in 2011.

Pirelli entered Formula One hoping to improve the spectacle of the sport with different rubber compounds forcing teams into a new era of tyre strategy and it worked brilliantly.

The Italian tyre manufacturers are aiming for more of the same next season and spoke to the media on Wednesday at their Abu Dhabi launch event.

The new tyres have been designed to be ‘squarer’ which will improve grip and handling for the drivers, while tweaks to the construction of the tyre will mean that plenty of teams will be working hard to work out the optimum tyre strategy over the course of the race weekend.

One of the main reasons behind this will be down to the smaller gap in performance between the compounds.

During 2011 some of the tyre compounds offered around 1.5 seconds per lap difference, but Pirelli have shortened the gap to less than a second per lap between compounds.

‘These changes will provide more opportunity for passes, and help make a better show. Our tyres will be a bit softer which will add speed and show.’ Pirelli’s president Marco Tronchetti Provera told the press.

Pirelli have done this by changing virtually all their compounds in comparison to last season, the red marked super soft compound will remain almost the same, however the yellow soft compound, white marked medium compound and the silver marked hard tyre will now all be softer in comparison to last season, with the hard tyres characteristics changing the most, in terms of performance, the hard tyre could be around 1.5 seconds quicker to last year, making it perform more like the 2011 medium tyre.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: ‘We were going through races where teams would maximise use of the sets of the higher performing compound, which were soft in 2011, and minimising use of the hard or medium. From that point of view the second compound would not come into the strategy.

‘We needed to do work on the crossover points and the durability ? which is what we have done. We want a lower gap between compounds, with the slower tyre slightly degrading slightly less. Then teams will have to make a decision on which tyre to go with.

‘Last year we made it too easy for the teams by using soft compounds at each weekend, so they based their weekends around that. This year we want to mix it up more.’


Pirelli remain hopeful that races will see a mixture of two and three pit stop strategies during the races, but until the new cars begin testing next month, Pirelli cannot be certain.

‘In theory we should have some exciting racing ? but maybe we have been too conservative or maybe we have been too aggressive. That we will not know until we get racing.’ Hembery concluded.