Pirelli F1 Japanese GP Suzuka preview

Pirelli F1 Japanese GP Suzuka preview

29.09.2014: JAPAN GP at Suzuka, 2-5 October 2014 - The two hardest tyres in the range back in action in Japan

JAPAN GP at  Suzuka, 2-5 October 2014




- The two hardest tyres in the range back in action in Japan

- Corners such as 130R and Spoon provide some of the highest lateral energy loads of the year

- Cool weather expected with the possibility of rain at one of the most demanding tracks on the calendar



Formula One’s late-season long-haul run of events now takes the teams to the epic Suzuka circuit in Japan, where the two hardest tyres in the range will be in action: the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium, the same combination as was last seen in Monza.


 While the two circuits are very different in character, Suzuka does have some elements in common with Spa: another well-known driver’s circuit with flowing corners but even higher lateral energy demands. As a result, the nomination for Suzuka is one step harder than Spa: hard and medium rather than medium and soft.


This does not make life easier for the tyres however, as there is a non-stop series of demands to cope with. Coupled with a track surface that is relatively abrasive, this means that wear and degradation is high. Initial forecasts suggest cool weather, which is not unusual for Japan at this time of year. Heavy rain showers have been a feature of Suzuka in the past, making a wet race a distinct possibility.


Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
: “Japan is one of the highlights of the year, not just for ourselves but for the whole of Formula One. The fans are absolutely brilliant, with huge enthusiasm and knowledge of the sport, which is almost unparalleled anywhere in the world.


Suzuka is a real drivers’ circuit, and because of that it is a considerable challenge for the tyres, with some of the biggest lateral energy loads of the year. As a result, it would probably be realistic to look at between two to three pit stops, with tyre management forming a key part of the race.


However, we’ll obviously know more about that after free practice. It’s a track where several forces are often acting on the tyre at once, and the increased torque but decreased downforce of this year’s cars will only place more demands on mechanical grip. If a tyre can perform well in Suzuka, it can perform well almost everywhere.”


Jean Alesi, Pirelli consultant:
“Suzuka is just an amazing track from a driver’s perspective. It’s very technical, with each bit of the circuit very different from the others. I would say that 130R is one of the most demanding corners of the entire year, which requires the right set-up and a car that is absolutely planted to the ground.


The esses are also extremely demanding: if you make just one mistake here that will disrupt the whole sequence and you lose a lot of time. We’ve raced many times at Suzuka in the rain: in those situations, visibility is extremely low. We also tend to see a lot of track evolution over the course of the weekend.


So we start off with a surface that is very abrasive and ‘green’ but the driver has to pay a lot of attention to how the situation changes over the weekend and how in turn that affects the tyres.”



The circuit from a tyre point of view:

Japan is characterised by high lateral energy loads, combined with some of the lowest longitudinal demands seen all year. Turn 15, known as 130R, is taken entirely flat at speeds in excess of 300kph. This puts a sustained load onto the tyres, subjecting them (and the driver) to massive g-forces. The front-left tyre is worked hardest at Suzuka.


The medium tyre is a low working range compound, capable of achieving optimal performance even at a wide range of low temperatures. The hard tyre by contrast is a high working range compound, suitable for higher temperatures. Cool temperatures are expected for this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, with a threat of rain.


The asphalt in Suzuka is quite abrasive, but there is a high degree of track evolution. Getting the right set-up is essential, to be able to stick to the optimal racing line. There can be a risk of graining: especially during the early stages of the weekend when the track is at its most green.


The winning strategy last year was a two-stopper, with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel stopping on laps 14 and 37. The German started on the medium and completed his final two stints on the hard tyre.



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          
Great Britain              Medium    Hard
Germany    Supersoft    Soft          
Hungary         Soft    Medium     
Belgium         Soft    Medium     
Italy              Medium    Hard
Singapore    Supersoft    Soft          
Japan              Medium    Hard



In the P Zero Magazine:


The brand new P Zero magazine, an innovation from Pirelli for this season, contains facts about the Japanese Grand Prix and its illustrious heritage, as well as everything else happening in the world of Pirelli from the past, present and future.


As always there’s a new recipe from Pirelli’s chef, tried and enjoyed in the F1 paddocks of the world, plus features and some history. This dynamic new e-magazine was launched this year and also contains video and other interactive content updated over the weekend. It can be accessed via Pirelli’s website on the following link: http://magazine.pzero.com/
 


- Alexandra Schieren, Anthony Peacock, photo Pirelli

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/pirelli-f1-japanese-gp-suzuka-preview---128241.html

29.09.2014 / MaP

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