F1 News: 2014 Singapore GP Preview – Pirelli

Pirelli LogoSingapore Grand Prix Preview: Singapore, 18-21 September 2014
SOFT AND SUPERSOFT TYRES FOR FINAL STREET CIRCUIT OF THE YEAR
NIGHT RACE ENSURES UNUSUAL EVOLUTION OF TRACK AND TEMPERATURES
ONE OF THE MOST PHYSICALLY DEMANDING GRANDS PRIX OF THE YEAR FOR THE DRIVERS
Milan, September 15, 2014 – Following Monza, where the two hardest compounds of the Pirelli F1 range were nominated, Formula One now heads to Singapore where the two softest compounds in the range will be present: P Zero Yellow soft and P Zero Red supersoft.
Singapore is a street circuit, but a highly unusual one. The race is run entirely by night, which means that track and temperature evolutions are somewhat different to the normal course of a grand prix weekend. Nonetheless, ambient temperatures are still generally high, which along with the enclosed nature of the track in the heart of the city, means that this is one of the most physically demanding tracks of the year for the drivers.
Traction and braking are the key elements to the Marina Bay street circuit, and there is also a bumpy surface, which makes finding consistent traction all the more difficult. As well as that, there is the usual street furniture including painted white lines and manhole covers that can catch drivers out and provide an extra hazard for the tyres. Singapore has more corners than any other track on the F1 calendar, creating yet more work for the tyres.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director: “It’s always a great pleasure for us to come to Singapore, which has consistently proved itself to be one of the most spectacular races of the year. Racing under the lights in such a vibrant city provides an amazing atmosphere that showcases Formula One at its very best. The unique nature of the race at night obviously has an impact on the tyres, and we’ve selected the two softest tyres in the range for their rapid warm-up and high levels of mechanical grip: vital characteristics on a street circuit. This is actually a step softer than last year, when we nominated the medium and supersoft, so we should see some interesting tyre strategies with teams taking full advantage of the performance on offer. There’s traditionally quite a high incidence of safety cars, so every strategy has to be flexible enough to bear this eventuality in mind as well. With the championship seemingly getting closer, all the signs suggest that we’re in for an exciting and unpredictable race.”
Jean Alesi, Pirelli consultant: “I’ve never actually raced in Singapore but my impression is that it’s a bit like Monaco, with its capacity to transform a simple mistake into an absolute disaster, given how little run-off there is. Here you also have to add in the high ambient temperatures and high humidity, plus the fact that you are racing at night while keeping to a European timetable. So it’s easy to see how physically fatiguing the race can be for the drivers. From a technical point of view, the most important aspect is to have a car with the best traction possible. Consequently it’s important to look after the rear tyres, otherwise you lose a lot of time coming out of the corners (which are nearly all slow corners in Singapore). This can really compromise your race if you are not careful.”
The circuit from a tyre point of view:
Singapore is all about traction and braking. In particular the rear tyres are worked hard on the exit of all the slow corners. The left rear is particularly stressed, as it has to cope with both longitudinal and sideways accelerations. Traction is further compromised by the bumpy surface of the normal roads used for the circuit.
The supersoft tyre is a low working range compound, capable of achieving optimal performance even at a wide range of low temperatures. The soft tyre by contrast is a high working range compound, suitable for higher temperatures. Ambient temperatures are usually between 30-35 degrees centigrade in Singapore and there has not yet been a wet race.
Singapore has higher abrasion than most street circuits but the asphalt takes longer than most tracks to rubber-in so track evolution is slow; as is the case generally with non-permanent facilities. Rain showers in the late afternoon – a frequent occurrence – also have the effect of washing away a lot of the rubber that has already been laid down.
The winning strategy last year was a two-stopper, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stopping on laps 17 and 44. The German started on the supersoft, changed to the medium, and then completed the race on the supersoft again.
More information about Singapore and the unique demands this race places on tyres can be found on a new-look 3D animated video produced by Pirelli. This is copyright-free for media use on Pirelli’s Formula One website: http://www.pirelli.com/f1pressarea
The tyre choices so far:
P Zero Red P Zero Yellow P Zero White P Zero Orange
Australia Soft Medium
Malaysia Medium Hard
Bahrain Soft Medium
China Soft Medium
Spain Medium Hard
Monaco Supersoft Soft
Canada Supersoft Soft
Austria Supersoft Soft
Britain Medium Hard
Germany Supersoft Soft
Hungary Soft Medium
Belgium Soft Medium
Italy Medium Hard
Singapore Supersoft Soft

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