Pirelli remains at the centre of the F1 ‘show’, but a new analysis proves that the marque’s tyres in 2012 are less fragile than last year.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said that following the pitstop frenzy of the Italian supplier’s first season back on the grid, there has been “much less” tyre degradation so far in 2012. In 2010, for Bridgestone’s last year in F1, the analysis said there were between one and two pitstops per driver — 304 in total over the first nine races. That number blew out to 560 stops in the first nine races of 2011, but so far this season there have been only 466 tyre pitstops.
An illustration of the changed situation is that, in 2011, there were 65 tyre pitstops at Valencia. This year, there were 49. And at Silverstone last year, there were 54 stops, compared to 43 earlier this month.
The situation could change yet again, with Pirelli already testing a new experimental harder compound that Paul Hembery says the supplier “may use in the future”.
Journalist Michael Schmidt said: “The reason for the decline in pitstops is obvious — the teams and Pirelli have learned.”