Pirelli prepares for F1 race in Austin, Texas
The inaugural United States Grand Prix Formula One race in Austin, Texas, will be held from Nov. 16 through race day, Nov. 18, 2012.
Pirelli & Cie SpA and its subsidiary, Pirelli Tire North America Inc., have been running simulations on the new F1 track using data obtained from a visit to the track during its construction. Pirelli is the sole supplier of tires to F1 racing.
Pirelli says Circuit of the Americas in Austin is more complex than the other new F1 track, Hockenheim in Germany, because it has never been raced on before. Understanding the nature of a new surface is always complicated, particularly when there is no previous data.
“There’s no doubt that preparing for a circuit that is completely new is more difficult than going to one of the established venues," says Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director.
"However, we now feel fully ready for this magnificent track, where we will bring the P Zero Silver hard and P Zero White medium tires. The technology and know-how that we have at our disposal means that we can forecast some very accurate predictions without actually having raced at a circuit these days, thanks to the preparation work from our engineers.”
They brought with them sophisticated laser measuring equipment in order to assess the abrasiveness of the circuit by examining closely the spacing and shape of the stones that make up the aggregate. Several readings were taken from themachine in order to ensure an accurate representation. Using these readings a virtual representation of the track from the tire’s point of view can be created on computer.
Together with some asphalt samples from the new venue, this allowed Pirelli to calculate the likely wear rate and the effect of the asphalt and ambient temperatures on the tires at different points on the circuit.
"Their analysis of our brand new track can help provide race strategy predictions that should assist drivers and teams toward achieving success at our circuit," says Steve Sexton, Circuit of the Americas president.
The Austin track officially will open Oct. 20-21. Modern Tire Dealer will be on hand to record the festivities for posterity -- and its Facebook page. Look for those photos next week!