This weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will see race debut of Pirelli‘s latest evolution of the hard compound tyre, which promises to offer more durability over a race distance and provide a wider gap between the soft and hard compounds.
The new hard tyre was tested by the teams during Friday practice in Turkey, and during private sessions in Barcelona and Turkey with Pirelli‘s Toyota TF109.
The soft PZero tyre, which has been used at every race so far this season, will also feature this weekend in Barcelona. The Italian tyre company expect that a three stop strategy is most likely, based on the data they have already compiled.
“We said from the start of the year that we would introduce evolutions of the tyres if we believed that they would benefit the sport and Barcelona marks the first occasion that we have done this,” explains Paul Hembery, Motorsport Director at Pirelli. “The new tyre – which we have tested extensively – reduces degradation and improves tyre wear.
“It's not a huge step over the original hard tyre but it does mean that there is a bigger gap between the soft and the hard tyre, which will definitely make things even more interesting on race day and give teams the opportunity to use more creative strategies.
“In Barcelona, based on the data we have seen in testing, we're probably expecting around three pit stops per car. It takes a lot longer to enter and leave the pits in Barcelona than it did in Turkey, and this is another factor that will have a definite influence on strategy.”