Pirelli proving to be crucial

 The story of the season, yet again have been Pirelli.

A technician prepares tyres outside the garage of a team at the BIC on Thursday. Reuters

The Italian tyre manufactures seem to have had more control of races than some of the drivers and the teams. Their compounds have dictated tyre strategies, in turn pit stops, and as a result, the races. With four races to go, Pirelli may even decide who goes on to win the drivers’ title.

Unlike last season, where Pirelli, who took over after Bridgestone backed out in 2010, were so alien that the championship was reduced to the drivers who could best acclimatise to tyres. Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel and his team of tyre experts were the best and the quickest to decipher the ultra-conservative Pirellis and as a reward, the German bagged his second title in style.

As opposed to a one-sided 2012, this season has been a lot more competitive.
Pirelli have worked extensively on what the Buddh International Circuit has to offer this season and have decided to bring in P Zero Silver hard and the P Zero Yellow soft for the second edition of the Indian GP.

In comparison to the Korean Grand Prix a couple of weekends ago, Pirelli have got in two of their softest compounds to the BIC as the track demands are higher.

High track temperature aside, the circuit has several fast corners which puts a lot of pressure on the tyres. This could result in excessive tyre degradation, but the track has been used on and off since the last time the race was run and the surface is smooth. So, chances are teams will look to work towards a one-stop strategy depending on how the circuit plays out during Friday’s free practice and qualifying on Saturday.

“This year we know a little more about the track so we’ve made a less conservative choice, with the hard and the soft tyres striking exactly the right balance between performance and durability,” said Pirelli’s motor sport director Paul Hembery. “The circuit layout is one of the toughest that our tyres will face throughout the second half of the season and it’s also the last time that we will see the hard and soft combination this year, which was previously used in Barcelona, Britain and Japan -- which gives you some idea about the demands of this circuit.”

Hembery further explained the tyres chosen for the 5.125 km track: “The BIC circuit has been specifically designed to encourage overtaking, which is also one of the objectives behind the design philosophy of our tyres, so we should be set for an action-packed race at a crucial point in the championship.”

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