• Italian Grand Prix

Pirelli predicts one-stop Italian GP

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Car looks strong after practice - di Resta | F1 must cut costs to keep full grid - Todt »
Pirelli has its two hardest compounds at Monza © Sutton Images
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Pirelli is expecting most drivers to adopt a one-stop strategy at the Italian Grand Prix on Sunday after both compounds looked resilient in Friday practice.

Pirelli has brought its medium and hard compounds to Monza to cope with the high-speed and heavy braking zones and so far both compounds appear to be holding up well.

"We're looking at a one pit stop strategy," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "There are very low levels of wear. On the first session we had some front right tyre shoulder wear going through the Parabolica and the teams made a few modifications and wear levels were very low. They are pretty close to being able to do a full race on the hard tyre to be honest.

"So it'll be a one stop strategy with 0.3s to 0.5s difference between the two compounds. Degradation on the hard tyre is minimal and the medium tyre was starting to fade after 12 or 14 laps. So it's quite a conservative situation compared to some of the races this year."

Hembery said Pirelli opted for the medium and hard compounds because of concerns about blistering, which is often an issue at Monza.

"We were a little bit worried because one or two teams had a tendency towards blistering problems this year. So it was more on the caution side. It's always one of those things at Monza where you can be wise after the event. If we were sat here now and there were eight cars with major blistering problems unsure of how they are going to manage the race ... that's not the sort of weekend you want to have at Monza. Anybody in our business will tell you that Monza creates tyre problems no matter what category you are in. The braking from high speed puts such a load on the tyre that you get overheating and blistering."

Hembery said the teams are starting to manage races with fewer pit stops in general, but added that Pirelli would try to keep the racing interesting.

"There's a tendency this year to have one pit stop per car less than last year and we're starting to see a trend going towards one pit stop no matter what we use and that's something we'll be looking to change. It's a moving target because when you set the engineers a challenge over time they will resolve it."