Pirelli F1 boss Paul Hembery has said that Williams Martini Racing driver Valtteri Bottas gave him goosebumps at the Chinese Grand Prix when the Finn reached 200mph on the Intermediate Pirelli Cinturato tyres during qualifying.
24-year-old Bottas reached the speed, which was officially recorded at 316 kph, on the back straight of a wet Shanghai International Circuit, home of the Chinese Grand Prix since 2004.
“Seeing Bottas achieve those sorts of speeds, in the wet in China, was one of those moments that gave you goosebumps: which is what Formula One is meant to be all about” said Hembery.
“The Cinturato Green intermediate is in fact the only tyre in our range that is completely unaltered compared to 2013, but it was still able to provide complete control even under extremely marginal conditions. This performance underlines the sheer bravery and talent of today’s Formula One drivers – which is what everyone wants to see.”
With a tread depth of only 2.5mm, the Green Cinturato tyre can clear around 25 litres of water a second per tyre at full speed, with the Blue Cinturato Extreme Wet tyre clearing around 65 litres per second per tyre.
Part of the achievement, however, is down to the fact that the cars this year have less downforce, meaning they are creating less drag, therefore enabling the cars to go through the air faster. Add this to the effect of the Drag Reduction System and you get an extremely slippery car in terms of aerodynamics at high speed.