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Pirelli expects calmer 2013

NEWS STORY
11/01/2013

Mat Coch writes:

The 2013 Formula One season is unlikely to open with a string of different winners as happened in 2012, according to Pirelli boss Paul Hembery.

The 2012 season began with seven different winners in as many races as teams slowly came to terms with new technical regulations. With a stable set of rules heading in to the coming season, Hembery believes things will be rather more straightforward this time around.

"The cars aren't changing so much this year, they're very close to what they had last season so they won't have the huge challenges they had at the start of 2012," Hembery told Pitpass. "The real issue last year was the combination of, we made some changes added together with the dramatic changes made to the car meant that loadings between front and rear were quite unbalanced, creating temperature disparity between front and rear.

"You're not going to get that this year because the car is, more or less, last year's car," he added. "We anticipate that there will be a lot of work going on with exhausts again, strangely, but apart from that they're starting from a consolidated base."

However compound and construction changes made to the Pirelli rubber will present some work for the teams as they attempt to understand how the new tyre interacts with the car's aerodynamics during pre-season testing.

"The cars in testing are instrumented very heavily, so the teams will be looking at the aero in particular to try and understand the flow of the air," the Pirelli boss explained. "We've changed the structure of the tyre which means it will deform differently and that can affect the airflow, so that's one area they will be looking at closely."

Testing however provides its own unique challenges for Pirelli, as teams work in conditions that are otherwise foreign during the season.

"We're in operating conditions that we rarely see at an F1 race," Hembery said. "People are just trying to get the car sorted, not really looking at tyres in any great detail. By the third session they are focussing on what they are going to be doing in Melbourne. It's a strange period in winter testing, from our point of view, but we're up and ready to go.

"The third test (in Barcelona) you can get, on some days, temperatures up in to the 20's, so that would be a little bit more relevant," he continued. "We don't really get below 15 or 18 degrees on a race weekend."

Changes made to the tyres will mean there is next to no carry over learning from 2012, while the cooler temperature winter testing will limit what can be discovered before the circus hits Melbourne in March.

"Because we're changing all the compounds and structure there's not a lot there they can take forward," he added. "In terms of compound, in reality, they can probably gain as much as they need to when they actually get to Melbourne in the free practice sessions."

Pirelli launches its new range of tyres on January 23, prior to the first preseason test at Jerez on February 5.

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