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Pirelli Debuts New Winter Tire for Formula One

New rules and vehicle dynamics demands for a new tire construction

Jan 28, 2014 SHARE
Pirelli F1 Winter Tire 01 Photo 1/1   |   Pirelli F1 Winter Tire 01

Pirelli F1 Tire Details:

  • Testing will be held at Jerez Circuit in Spain
  • Tires are heavier and feature new compounds
  • Wet tires will now disperse more water than previous models

Formula One is back in action after the short winter break and returns to Circuito de Jerez in Spain starting this week. Jerez is said to have the roughest tarmac of any circuit in the Formula One tour and will be the perfect opportunity for vehicle shakedowns with the recent rule changes. Debuting will be cars with 1.6-liter turbocharged engines, multiple recovery systems utilizing a reduced fuel allocation and the modified aerodynamic requirements. With all the changes in the rulebook comes a different set of vehicle dynamics. Pirelli has stepped in and developed a brand new tire range for the unique requirements.

Pirelli's new 2014 tire range was developed using simulation technology, data supplied by teams, and on-track testing. The slick tires will have a new construction and new compounds that are heavier than previous models. Each rear tire now weighs 250 grams more, while the front tires have increased to 200 grams. The front tires will have a new profile and the compounds used are said to be harder than last year's equivalents.

Additionally the wet tires will be using a new tread pattern and a different compound. The final days of testing in Jerez will be dedicated to wet weather tire testing on an artificially-watered track. In the case of an early rainy test day it will become the dedicated weather test day. The wet tire treat pattern is now more effective against aquaplaning by increasing the amount of water that's dispersed at full speed - an additional 5 liters per second. The new compound will also be able to work in damp or drying conditions to increase the crossover point to the intermediate tire.

Pirelli will be bringing a special one-off winter compound to Jerez to reduce the effect of low ambient temperatures during track time. The new hard compound is designed to work in low temperatures and reduce the chances of graining, a common effect in cold weather. "The Jerez test will be very interesting as we see the 2014 cars and engines on the track for the first time and how they interact with our tires," says Pirelli's Motorsport Director Paul Hembery. "In particular, this first test is an opportunity to see how the new cars interact with our latest tires, considering the differences between all the 2014 cars. Jerez will be an official test, but also a learning experience for everyone.

The 2014 tires are just as different to their predecessors as the 2014 cars, with the majority of our preparation work have been carried out by using advanced data simulation, as well as real on-track testing. Last year, the teams lost some pre-season running due to excessively cold conditions in Spain: we even saw some ice on the track at one point. In order to combat this, we have developed a special 'winter' version of the hard compound. This will be used for the Jerez test only and it is designed to work effectively even in cold conditions. Finally, the new regulations stipulate that one of the pre-season tests days will be dedicated to wet weather testing in our new Cinturato intermediate and wet tires. This is scheduled on the final day at Jerez, in order to give the teams experience of a wide range of conditions as soon as possible as they refine their 2014 cars"

This year teams are allowed an overall maximum total of 135 sets of tires for testing this year including the in-season tests. A total of 85 sets of tires are allocated for the three pre-season tests: 25 sets for Jerez and 30 each for the two Bahrain tests. The four slick P Zero compounds plus the Cinturato intermediate and full wet are available for pre-season testing. Furthermore, teams will have a limited amount of fixed compound choices totaling 18 sets per car that's listed below. Pirelli and F1 teams have selected winter, hard, and medium as the 'base' slick compounds that are suited best for Jerez.

Jerez is a track in the south of Spain consisting of 2.751 miles of slow corners and medium to fast bends which will put a heavy emphasis on the rear tires. The last actual grand prix held in Jerez was in 1997, but in the recent years it has been used extensively for testing.

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Jofel Tolosa
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