THE BARCODE ALLOCATION SYSTEM
THE BARCODE ALLOCATION SYSTEM
Milan, September 24, 2015 – Pirelli brings around 1700 tyres to each grand prix, but the destiny of these tyres is mapped out long before they arrive at the circuit. The tyres for each race are made in a specific production run before the grand prix.
During the production process at the Izmit factory in Turkey – the sole source of this year’s Formula One tyres – each tyre is fitted with a barcode that is physically supplied by the FIA: world motorsport’s governing body. This barcode is the tyre’s ‘passport’, which is embedded firmly into the structure during the vulcanisation process and cannot be swapped. The code contains all the details of each tyre, making it traceable throughout the race weekend with Pirelli’s RTS (Racing Tyre System) software, which can read and update all the data.
Once the production run for each grand prix is finished, the Izmit factory sends a list of the bar codes to Pirelli’s logistics and distribution hub at Didcot in the United Kingdom. There, Pirelli’s system randomly groups the bar codes into blocks of four – comprising two rears and two fronts – which will make up a tyre set. This list of blocks is then sent to the FIA.
The FIA subsequently allocates blocks of bar codes – and therefore sets of tyres – to each individual car at random. The FIA prescribes a set of harder compound tyres to be used in the first 30 minutes of FP1 and a set of softer compound tyres to be used in Q3 for each car. The teams can then use the other sets allocated to each car in whichever order they like, as long as each car only uses the tyres that have been allocated for it. The only other limitation is that the tyres from each set have to be of the same compound.
Pirelli itself is not involved in this whole process at all, meaning that the Italian firm cannot in any way influence which tyres are allocated to which teams, or when they are used – although a rigorous quality control process ensures that all the tyres leaving the factory are identical anyway.
Once at the circuit, the tyres are given to the teams in strict compliance with the allocation that has been prepared by the FIA. The bar codes allow both the FIA and Pirelli to ensure that the right teams, according to the regulations, are using the correct randomly assigned tyres.
Each team is assigned a Pirelli engineer, who works exclusively with that team for all of the year, but the database that every engineer works off allows the engineer to see only information relating specifically to his or her team over the weekend, so that individual strategies are not compromised. All technical data relating to the tyres and their performance on the track is overseen by a selected group of Pirelli Research and Development engineers based in Milan, who monitor all the information in order to assist the team in charge of shaping the next generation of tyres.
As Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery points out: “Deciding which tyres are allocated to which teams, or when they are used, is a job taken care of entirely by the FIA once the tyres have left the factory. It is just another way that impartiality can be ensured among all the teams, which has always been a huge priority for us as exclusive tyre supplier. The way that our team engineers work also respects this confidentiality, which is constantly of paramount importance.”
Please find a video explaining all about how barcodes are used on this link: http://www.pirelliftp.com/share/f1/2015/00_3dvideo/PIRELLI_BarCode_ENG.mp4