PIRELLI BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW
Round 20 of 21 Sao Paulo, Brazil, 11-13 November 2016
The penultimate round of the world championship takes place at the intense, rapid and colourful Interlagos circuit. Although resurfaced relatively recently, it still provides a massive challenge with a constant series of high-energy corners and the potential for some very high temperatures. As a result, the P Zero Orange hard tyre makes its final appearance of the 2016 season alongside the medium and the soft: a combination last seen in Japan. THE CIRCUIT FROM A TYRE POINT OF VIEW:
- Interlagos is the second-shortest lap of the year, but probably the most intense as the cars are constantly cornering and dealing with traffic. This adds to the demands on the tyres.
- The resurfacing a couple of years ago increased grip levels and smoothed out the bumps.
- A very wide variety of weather conditions are possible, from intense heat to heavy rain.
- Interlagos is one of the few anti-clockwise circuits, with the right-rear tyre doing the most work.
- Tyres are often subjected to combined lateral and longitudinal forces, which increase demand.
THE THREE NOMINATED COMPOUNDS:
- Orange hard: used for only the fifth time in 2016. Mandatory set: must be available for the race.
- White medium: another mandatory set, which is set to form a key part of the race strategy.
- Yellow soft: despite the heavy demands of the track, this compound has raced in Brazil before.
HOW IT WAS A YEAR AGO:
- Nico Rosberg won the 71-lap race with a three-stop strategy, starting on soft and then stopping for mediums on laps 13, 33 and 48. The top three all stopped three times.
- Best alternative strategy: Kimi Raikkonen finished fourth with a two-stop strategy, starting on soft and then switching to mediums on laps 12 and 46.
PAUL HEMBERY, PIRELLI MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR: “We’re seeing the hard tyres in Brazil for the first time since 2013, which should prove to be very effective against the high-energy demands of the track. In 2015 we had a three-stop race, so with the increase in performance and downforce this year, taking a harder tyre – which has nonetheless been a very rare occurrence this season – was the only sensible option to offer a number of different strategy variables. Balancing its durability against the extra performance of the softer compounds will hold the key to the race tactics. The weather will obviously play a big part in these calculations too.” WHAT’S NEW?
- The Interlagos circuit recently had a major upgrade; meaning no further changes this year.
- Testing of the wider 2017 rain tyres continued for two days with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi last week.
- Pirelli has been announced as exclusive tyre supplier to the Bathurst 12 Hour race next year.
- Another exclusive deal for Pirelli means that it will supply Trans Am in the USA from 2017.
OTHER THINGS THAT HAVE CAUGHT OUR EYE RECENTLY:
- The championship title could be decided in Brazil, but only in Nico Rosberg’s favour.
- Both the Mercedes drivers have chosen identical tyre selections for Interlagos.
TYRES NOMINATED THIS YEAR: