Pirelli’s Formula One tyres have to provide the maximum grip, durability and safety. Pirelli has designed tyres that are more than capable of delivering these standards, vital to make the most of a Formula One car’s power on every different surface and in all temperatures and weather conditions.
Pirelli has designed specific tyres for racing, bearing in mind three fundamental parameters:
Type of asphalt
All these factors must be considered in order to provide the teams with the most suitable product.
The coarseness of the asphalt plays a vital role in determining the stress that the tyres are subjected to, in terms of wear. The abrasion of the asphalt is also fundamental in choosing the compounds, which have to adhere to the track surface as effectively as possible, guaranteeing high levels of grip along with contained degradation.
Both ambient and track temperature influence how the tyres behave, along with tyre pressure – which impacts on how much work the carcass has to do. Peak performance comes at different specific temperatures, depending on the compound.
The supersoft is the easiest tyre to warm up, operating at 95 degrees centigrade.
The soft – a tyre still biased towards performance – works at 105 degrees.
The medium tyre has improved consistency while maintaining high levels of grip and operates at 115 degrees.
Finally, the hard tyre works at 125 degrees, with less ultimate grip but plenty of performance stability.
Conditions such as rain call for a specialized product: the Cinturato wet, for fully wet conditions. The intermediate version is equipped to deal with damp conditions.
These are the six compounds designed by Pirelli for the 2012 championship, ensuring the right compromise between performance and safety.