Pirelli has nominated the hard and soft dry tyre compounds for the first four rounds of the F1 2011 season in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China, it has been announced.
The decision has been taken following an 'extensive' campaign of private testing - which took in more than 18,000 kilometres in Europe and the Middle East - plus three official group tests.
“The hard tyre will be the prime tyre, whereas the soft will be the option,” Pirelli explained in a statement to the press. “This decision has been made in accordance with the track characteristics in the Middle and Far East, which offer high grip and a wide variety of speeds and corners, as well as ambient and track temperatures that are likely to be high.
“The hard tyre offers an excellent balance between performance and durability in the tough conditions of the first four flyaway races. However, the soft tyre will give extra speed at the expense of resistance, which will make for some fascinating strategies as the teams compete with their new cars for the first time. Pirelli's aim is to have two pit stops at every race, helping to increase the spectacle.”
Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery added: “The valuable data that we've collected from both official and private testing has shown us that our nomination of hard and soft tyres is the best way forward for both the drivers and the spectators, so we look forward now to a successful Grand Prix debut and a great show in the Middle and Far East over the next four races.
“We've enjoyed great collaboration with the teams so far, and with the nominated compounds for the next four races now known, I am sure that this will help to focus their development for the start of the season.”
Meanwhile it has been reported that Pirelli has modified its super-soft and soft tyres ahead of this week's test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya to address issues of degradation.