Formula 1’s tyre maker Pirelli has flown a bunch of motorsport journalists to Abu Dhabi to unveil the 2012 tyre compounds (and markings) they will run for the upcoming Formula 1, GP2 and GP3 seasons.
After the Italian company made what many believe has been a successful return to the sport, the goal of continuous improvement has remained uppermost when approaching the next championship season.
This year’s designs are ‘squarer’ – which in layman’s terms, means they have a greater contact patch with the road to reduce blistering and improve temperature consistency.
This has also led to an improvement in the tyre markings to help fans differentiate between the tyre compounds that the cars will run at each event, and Pirelli has made them larger and easier to spot.
Its wet-weather tyres – being its ‘intermediate’ and ‘full wet’ compounds now carry the signage of Cinturato, a sister company that has helped to develop its grooved tyres.
As was the case in previous years, Pirelli will run four dry-weather compounds over the course of the season, and it expects to supply over 45,000 tyres to the Formula 1 teams in the 2012 season.
What was also very interesting was that former Renault F1 driver Vitaly Petrov – currently on the F1 unemployment list after he was dropped by the Enstone outfit – was at the Pirelli media event, prompting suggestions that he could be the tyre maker’s next development driver.
Pirelli motorsport boss Paul Hembery avoided questions that were posed to him about Petrov’s presence and the speculation that he could join the Pirelli fold.
One should therefore expect an announcement any time soon…