PIRELLI’S RACING TYRE SYSTEM, A VIRTUAL DATABASE THAT MONITORS IN REAL TIME ALL DATA RELATING TO THE CONSTRUCTION AND PERFORMANCE OF EACH TYRE, RIGHT FROM THE FACTORY TO THE RACE TRACK
Pirelli has developed a new integrated computer system to collect data during tests and races. The Racing Tyre System is the only one of its kind and unprecedented in Formula One, thanks to its comprehensive functionality that keeps Pirelli’s engineers constantly in touch with the cars, the Teams and Formula One Management personnel.
This unique platform, designed by Pirelli’s Information Technology division in Milan, allows engineers to monitor the performance, wear, and evolution of each tyre when it is out on track. In particular, Pirelli’s Racing Tyre System tracks details of the electronic ‘passport’ that belongs to each tyre and updates it in real time, from construction to recycling.
The bespoke system links the cars, Formula One team engineers’ computer screens, and a tablet carried by each of Pirelli’s tyre engineers with a central server based in Pirelli’s Milan headquarters.
This server is updated with information about every one of the competition tyres made in Izmit, Turkey, during each test session and race. The central server stores information about the production process and quality control of every tyre at the factory, certifying its identity and providing relevant data about its characteristics.
Once the tyre has reached the circuit and is mounted on a wheel, the Racing Tyre System collects all the information about the fitting phase and optimal tyre pressure range when the tyre is first fitted to the rim. Other information stored includes the weight needed for balancing the tyre, as well as the dimensions and weight of the tyre when first fitted. When out on track, the car sends telemetry data relating to tyre pressures, temperatures, wear and degradation – which is all recorded on the tablets of the Pirelli engineers.
This data is correlated with the car set-up and other telemetry recorded by the teams and sent to the central server. The accumulated data is always available for Pirelli’s engineers to consult in real time from the track. The Research and Development division in Milan also makes full use of the information, to provide instant analysis and projections that are sent on to the teams.
Formula One Management (FOM), which helps the system to run by providing precise lap times for every driver, also receives data in real time from Pirelli, such as which compounds are fitted to which car. Formula One Management then sends this information out to accredited television channels, helping to provide comprehensive media coverage.
The information relative to last year collected by the Racing Tyre System was used by Pirelli for the design and development of the 2012 Formula One range. The system will benefit from increased functionality this year, which will enable tyre analysis over a single sector and prescribed split times, in order to provide a complete picture of the performance of a tyre during each phase of the lap.
The latest evolutions on the Racing Tyre System will also make it possible to compile and send final reports to each team in real time, as well as to Pirelli’s Research and Development division. Finally for 2012, each tyre’s temperature will be measured at the end of every session by a special thermometer (called a pyrometer) that can send instant readings to the engineers’ tablets and the central server via Bluetooth.