Banking and loads the circuit's biggest pitfalls

Particular attention must also be paid to the track's grip variations

Braga: "To achieve a balance between peak and consistency of performance, optimising the warm-up phases, it is best never to go below the pressure limits that we recommend to the teams"

Everything is ready at Zandvoort for races three and four of the 2023 DTM season, for which Pirelli is sole supplier from this year. The Dutch track is notoriously one of the most demanding and perhaps the most treacherous in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters, posing particular challenges to both cars and tyres, with the latter involved in both traction and cornering.

From the point of view of the tyres, the main pitfalls of the track are related to the high vertical and lateral loads, due to the high-speed corners, and the presence of banking in Turn 3 (Hugenholtzbocht) and Turn 14, with inclines of up to 19 and 18 degrees respectively.  At these points, the gradient determines opposite effects on the vertical and lateral loads with consequences for the tyres and the overall performance of the car.

On the one hand, steep slopes lighten the lateral load, due to the component of the weight force parallel to the road, with an increase in the speed attainable in bends. On the other hand, the perpendicular component of the same weight force strongly increases the vertical load on the tyres, which increases by a non-negligible percentage compared to those on a non-sloping road surface, at the same speed and aerodynamic load. This phenomenon translates into more stress on the tyre construction.

Another point of attention of the Zandvoort track is its proximity to the sea and the dunes, which results in the possible presence of sand and high concentrations of salt on the asphalt. The consequence is that there are variable grip conditions to deal with, and the best choice is to opt for a flexible setup that can adapt quickly to changes in the track surface and always generate the best possible grip.

Matteo Braga, Pirelli Circuit Activities manager: "Our P Zero DHFs are highly versatile, ensuring performance and reliability even in such severe conditions, which were confirmed both in yesterday's free practice and this morning's qualifying. It is important, however, to pay attention to the operating pressures both at the start and after the mandatory pit stop and to stick to our recommended pressures, which are characteristic of this product and valid for every event in the championship.  We must never forget, in fact, that the duration of the tyre warm-up phase can be optimised by increasing the amount of air in the tyre. Therefore, in order to achieve the best balance between performance, degradation and tyre warm-up times, it is best never to go below the limits we set”.