Tires in the Formula One 2011 Season

Drivers set to get front-tyres boost

Pedro de la Rosa, Abu Dhabi testMichael Schumacher’s hopes of getting tyres better suited to his driving style have been boosted by Pirelli confirming it has tweaked the design of its front tyres since last year’s Abu Dhabi test.
Schumacher was one of several drivers to complain about Bridgestone’s front tyre last season.
After the teams’ first Pirelli test in November, he declared it too soon to make a judgement on whether the new rubber was an improvement.
Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery says it has adjusted the front tyre based on feedback from that test.
“We were asked to provide a slightly stronger front tyre, which is what we’ve done,” Hembery told AUTOSPORT in Abu Dhabi. “In the process we maybe threw the rear out of balance, which is something that was noted during the test. But we’ve also improved that during the remaining tests that we’ve done.
“We were asked to try to beef up the front tyre, to give it more a precise input when the drivers turn into the corner, to give more feel. We believe we’ve done that, and we’ve now finished the work on the rear so we’ll see how we get on with a car designed around our tyres.”
Hembery also confirmed that Pirelli will be testing several times during the season.
He is considering a request to run in some Friday practice sessions at grands prix if the teams feel changes are required, but the firm will also conduct its own testing programme.
“We’ve got no request in place [for Friday practice] because we haven’t run yet,” he told AUTOSPORT.
“But that’s something that, if we do uncover problems as we go along – or we’ve maybe got the wrong positioning of a compound for the positioning we’re using, we can ask them to add in a test session to give us more information. That’s something we’ll hold in reserve for an emergency.
“At the moment we know we’re going to be in Istanbul in April, then Barcelona in May. We’ll definitely be back in the Middle East again in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi at the end of the season. We couldn’t get Silverstone, we’re trying to go to Monza and probably Spa as well.
“So we are trying to carry on a parallel development programme. That’s obviously looking more for 2012. We’ve got some ideas that, given more time we would have taken forward, but those now are rested and being put towards that programme.”

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