Formula One tyre supplier have announced that they will provide team's with their P Zero Red Super Soft and their P Zero Yellow Soft compound tyre's for this weekend's Austria n Grand Prix as the company prepare for a trip into the unknown as the Formula One heads to Spielberg for the first time since 2003.
The circuit layout calls for a low down-force car set up which means that the Pirelli tyre provides the car the maximum mechanic grip.
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembrey is looking forward to bringing the Italian company to Austria with Formula One for the first time. The Englishman said:
'It’s always exciting to go to a new circuit: everyone starts on a level playing field, with the teams and drivers who dial themselves into the new conditions soonest coming out on top.
Based on the asphalt samples and track inspections from our engineers, we believe that the two softest compounds in our range will deliver the best compromise between performance and grip on a circuit where the teams are expected to run high downforce. One interesting question mark will be the weather, which is well known for being unpredictable over the circuit. With any new venue, the work done during free practice becomes particularly important, so the teams will be looking to take as much information as possible from the Friday and Saturday sessions in order to assess the behaviour of the tyres on the track with different fuel loads and set-ups.
This will be the key to qualifying race strategy. Simulation data suggests that we will see a two-stop race, but this is subject to weather conditions and track evolution, which we will only understand properly after free practice.
Pirelli Consultant and former Formula One driver Jean Alesi believes that brake set up will play a key role in car performance as the Spielberg circuit has very tough braking zone's. The Frenchman said:
'Spielberg is back in the world championship, with a few modifications that everyone will only find out about during free practice on Friday. On the whole though, the track is the same as the one we knew before. What’s really nice about Spielberg is the fact that the track always goes up and down, which is great fun for a driver.
The tricky aspect of this is that all the major braking areas are uphill, which makes overtaking difficult. I remember something that’s quite funny: in the old days it was always said that the local cows stopped producing milk for a week, because of the noise from the F1 cars. Now that the cars make less noise, let’s hope it’s only a few days'
It is the third race in a row that Pirelli will bring the Soft and Super Soft to the track. The Super Soft tyre has a low working temperature which as a result means that drivers will be able to get the optimal performance from it very early giving them the opportunity to push the tyre earlier.
Pirelli believe that the best strategy to go with this weekend would be to start the race on the Super soft followed by two stints on the soft tyre but of course the team's will decide that for themselves once they have recorded some track data from Free Practice on Friday which will allow them to get a feel of the new track surface.
© Ben Johnston 2014