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Pirelli unsurprised by high tire wear in Malaysia

Mar 22, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT

CORRECTION Malaysia F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Pirelli’s F1 chief Paul Hembery has revealed that the high tire wear in Malaysia is what he was expecting, despite many teams querying the newly designed compounds.

In 2013, the tires have been designed to wear more aggressively, and this caught many of the teams out in Australia as they struggled towards the end of the race. Following practice, Sebastian Vettel questioned whether he would have enough sets of tires to complete the race on Sunday, but Hembery has dismissed this comment.

“Degradation stayed within our anticipated parameters. As we expected, we saw quite a high wear rate today, due to the more extreme nature of our 2013 tires – which put the accent firmly on performance – as well as the high temperatures and abrasive track surface.”

Hembery also acknowledged the differing wear rates between teams. This was particularly clear in Melbourne as Kimi Raikkonen managed to stop just twice, making his tires go the distance to finish ahead of his three-stopping rivals.

“We have also seen differences in the way that individual teams use the compounds, with the hard compound lasting 15 laps for some teams and 21 laps or more for others. We’ll be looking at all the data tonight to establish a more precise picture for qualifying and the race.”

The management of the Pirelli tires is quickly becoming pivotal in the battle for the early-season advantage, and questions still surround Raikkonen’s victory in Australia: was it due to raw pace or good tire management? Either way, if he can repeat the result in Malaysia, he will be in good shape to challenge for the championship. Should the forecast rain arrive in Malaysia though, the teams will have to wait until the Chinese Grand Prix in three weeks’ time before they truly understand the dry Pirelli compounds.

  1. chaparral2f - Mar 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Well, if Pirelli knew this, then why did they produce basically a gumball qualifying tire that would only be good for a few hot laps when their foresight told them that the race would be hot and the tires would be destroyed in short order? Not very smart. Hembery, how about producing tires that are quicker and last longer? Hmmm, Bridgestone did that and so did Michelin and so did Goodyear and so did Firestone….

    • apexassassin - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      Because they can’t? Just saying this whole “detoriate by design” stuff didn’t surface until after Pirelli realized making F1 tyres was going to be a lot harder than they thought.

      Remember when they went to Bridgestone for advice and had the door slammed in their face? I do. Pirelli. Inferior tires in a superior racing series. Makes no sense to me.


      • chaparral2f - Mar 22, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Agreed. Wish Michelin would come back. Gee, I wonder how many teams would sign up with Pirelli?

  2. ttnvrl8 - Mar 22, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Anybody who’s ever run Pirelli street tires must know that they don’t last there either. They used to dry-rot in Phoenix where I live before they’d be used up because – “test outside of Italy? Why” was their motto…I think the guys chewing through the tires will opt to run them hard for a very short time, then make two pit stops to go on the primes for the rest of the race.

  3. apexassassin - Mar 22, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I am soooo sick of Pirelli being the story every single week. Especially because their tyres wreck F1, not enhance it.

    Save looking after the tires for endurance racing… I want an F1 where nobody notices the tires, because they actually perform on a level suitable to showcase F1 cars performance and the drivers abilites to RACE. Not babysit a shitty, inferior tire suppliers mistake.

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