Pirelli’s 2013 tire has teams scrambling for data

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Pirelli made a big splash in the Formula One pond this year when it brought a high-degradation tire that possessed an elusive soul that caught thee teams out on just how to best use them. The quest for the P-Zero soul was akin to finding Ponce de León’s mystique fountain. The narrow window of optimum temperature proved a moving target and real challenge for the teams who spent the first half of the year trying to determine how to get their cars to prepare the tire for this window of performance without going over or under.

Pirelli announced their new tire for 2013 and many teams are already trying to ascertain what changes are being made and how the actual soul of the tire will behave, not just the hard facts of sizes or dimensions. McLaren technical guru, Paddy Lowe, told AUTOSPORT:

“Probably. I don’t think anybody, certainly from our side, would have thought the season would have progressed and evolved as it has done – which made for exciting racing.”

As AUTOSPORT points out, the tires are heavier than this year’s specification and this present a unique challenge as well.

“They [the tyres] are quite a bit heavier, which was a surprise to me,” Lowe said. “Considering the changes are not supposed to be very substantial, which to me would indicate not a big weight change, there is quite a big weight change.”

With a heavier tire and performance behavior characteristics, the teams are trying to get on top of the 2013 rubber so they do not spend the first half of the season experimenting with setup changes to find the sweet spot of each compound.

Pirelli boos Paul Hembery says they are making changes but the teams are all on equal footing:

“We do a lot of indoor testing and data creation to help them run their models. We put that data on a central server so they have access in real time together. They get it at the same time, so nobody has an advantage and that is being supplied to a timetable now.

“We are making some changes to the tyres – and it will have a difference particularly on aero. The tyre will also behave dynamically different.”

It’s the “behave dynamically different” that has teams concerned but in the end, keeping your tires constantly changing is a way to always have the teams searching and could provide interesting results….just like this year.

What do you think? Have the tires had too much of an impact this year or are you satisfied with the HD tires and persnickety characteristics that has had the teams on their back foot for much of the season?

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