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Pirelli vindicated by new tyre performance

Pirelli's Paul Hembery expressed his pleasure that the 2013 tyre compounds were finally able to how what they were capable of in Australia on Friday.
After worried drivers had expressed concerns during pre-season tests in Barcelona that extreme tyre degradation would lead to ten-stop Grand prix races, Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery was a pleased and relieved man that the first day of the 2013 F1 Australian Grand Prix weekends had allowed the new compounds to show their true potential.

"I'm really pleased, to be honest," said Hembery after the end of three hours of free practice on Friday at Albert Park in Melbourne. "After the winter testing, which was obviously not particularly good from a tyre perspective, to finally get running in the normal running conditions - we are pleased.

"We found that the medium tyre is lasting 22-24 laps, which is what we needed. And the supersoft is very much a qualifying tyre here," he added. "You've got to your time in and probably do a short stint at the start and then you'll be looking at a two, possibly three-stop strategy.

"From our point of view that's in line," he insisted. "The day the supersoft really is just intended as the tyre to do a time with and the main race will be held on the medium tyre. So we don't see any particular issues."

The difference in tyre degradation rates had been down to the weather. With conditions at Jerez and Barcelona last month much colder than usual - and below the intended levels for tyre use at Grand Prix events during the season - it was the much warmer conditions in Australia that had made the difference with track temperatures peaking in the upper-30s.

"The teams were able to try out our tyres within their proper working range for the first time," explained Hembery. "The medium tyre showed plenty of consistency, just as we expected, while the drivers also benefited from the rapid warm-up of the supersoft.

"With Albert Park not being a permanent facility, the track started off 'green', but lap times rapidly improved as more rubber was laid down," he continued. "From what we can see of the degradation so far, we'd expect the majority of the teams to stop twice during the race, with some of the faster cars maybe trying three stops.

"As anticipated, we saw a performance gap of around a second between the two compounds here, which leaves the door open for plenty of strategy."

TV analysts suggested that the drop-off in supersoft performance might be as much as three seconds over the course of just ten laps, which could make for some very interesting team strategy approaches to qualifying's Q3 session and to how the teams use the options at the start - or possibly toward the end - of the Australian season-opener.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pirelli tyres.
Pirelli tyre on the Caterham CT03.
2013 Pirelli F1 tyres (pic: Pirelli).
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director
15.03.2013- Free Practice 2, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB9
01.05.2016 - Race, Pasquale Lattuneddu (ITA), FOM and Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President
01.05.2016 - Race, Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of FOM and Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President
01.05.2016 - Race, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director and Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President
01.05.2016 - Race, Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorspor Director, Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President and Mario Isola (ITA), Sporting Director Pirelli
01.05.2016 - Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President
01.05.2016 - Marco Tronchetti Provera (ITA), Pirelli`s President
01.05.2016 - Pirelli Tyres and OZ Wheels
30.04.2016 - Qualifying, Pirelli Tyres
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Minttu Virtanen, girlfriend of Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) and their son Robin
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB12
30.04.2016 - Free Practice 3, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38

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