• British Grand Prix

Pirelli to test new compound during Friday practice

ESPN Staff
July 2, 2012 « Vettel names Alonso and Hamilton as stand-out drivers | Belgian GP organiser seizes on French uncertainty »
Pirelli will bring an experimental compound to Friday practice at Silverstone © Getty Images
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Pirelli will bring an experimental hard compound to the British Grand Prix in order to test its performance during Friday practice.

On top of the usual allocation of hard and soft compound tyres, the teams will have two sets of the new compound to use during the first two practice sessions. The new tyre has a wider operating window than the current hard tyre, which Pirelli is hoping will make it easier for drivers to use.

"Silverstone is one of the most iconic circuits on the Formula One calendar, precisely because it is so demanding for the drivers, cars and tyres," Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery said. "This is why we have chosen to test a new experimental hard compound here during free practice, which we may use in the future. The new tyre has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tyres into the right operating temperature window."

Pirelli has yet to decide whether it will introduce the new tyre at races, but is undertaking the test to give all the teams an opportunity to try the compound - assuming it stays dry.

"With the championship so finely balanced, our priority is to ensure that no one team is handed any particular advantage," Hembery added. "We want to keep the performance of the tyres at the highest level for as long as possible, so this is a valuable opportunity for ourselves and all the teams to gather more information about the potential effect of a new compound, and gain some data for the future. Silverstone is a very high-energy circuit that can see some unpredictable weather conditions, so a strong performance from the tyres and an effective strategy are vital ingredients in a successful race outcome."

Pirelli test driver Lucas di Grassi added: "I tested the experimental hard compound tyre in Jerez earlier this year: it's a similar concept to the current hard but with improved combined grip and better wear. It's particularly effective in warm weather and when the track conditions are poor - so you end up with a tyre that is quicker and lasts longer."