MAY 17, 2011
New Pirelli will add to the strategy factor
The new specification 'hard' Pirelli tyre, due to be used for the first time at this weekend's Spanish GP should add even more spice to the strategic challenge facing F1's teams.
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says: "The new tyre reduces degradation and improves tyre wear. It's not a huge step over the original hard tyre but it does mean that there is a bigger gap between the soft and the hard tyre, which will definitely make things even more interesting on race day and give teams the opportunity to use more creative strategies. In Barcelona, based on the data we have seen in testing, we're expecting around three pit stops per car. It takes a lot longer to enter and leave the pits in Barcelona than it did in Turkey, and this is another factor that will have a definite influence on strategy."
The longer Spanish pit stop time will mean that making a four-stop strategy work will be more difficult and therefore only likely to be tried if tyre wear demands such an approach.
The new hard compound Pirelli was tested by the teams during Friday afternoon's dry free practice in Istanbul and prior to that during private sessions in Barcelona and Turkey, using Pirelli's Toyota TF109 test car.