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Pirelli Research and Development director, Maurizio Boiocchi; Marco Tronchetti Provera, president and CEO; and Motorsport director, Paul Hembery at a press conference at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina The 2012 line-up was presented by Pirelli Research and Development director, Maurizio Boiocchi; Marco Tronchetti Provera, president and CEO; and Motorsport director, Paul Hembery at a press conference at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina.

Formula One tyre supplier, Pirelli has presented its 2012 range of tyres for the 63rd FIA World Championship at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. Responding to new aerodynamic regulations regarding blown exhausts, the tyres have been developed with a squarer profiles, in addition to previously promised characteristics such as softer, more competitive compounds with consistent degradation.


Pirelli says it wants to help make races more entertaining and less predictable; it will try to make team strategies more important, though it still aims to have two to three pit stops. The other change is one of branding – Pirelli has reinstated the Cinturato name from the 1950s. Wet and intermediate tyres will feature Cinturato branding.

The Cinturato made its debut in 1951 on Juan Manuel Fangio's Alfa 159, taking him to championship victory, and was often seen on the podium along with another Pirelli tyre: the Stella Bianca, which was fitted to the Maserati and the Ferrari 375. The Cinturato competed in Formula One up to the mid-1950s, after which it became a road car tyre for sporting and technically advanced cars. The tyre brand took its name from the radial belt (or 'cintura', in Italian) that went all the way around the tyre carcass, initially made out of textile fibre and later out of metal.

Pirelli introduced its new F1 tyre range at an international press conference on 25 January, hosted by Marco Tronchetti Provera, president and CEO of Pirelli, Motorsport director, Paul Hembery, and Research and Development director Maurizio Boiocchi. Provera said: "After the positive experience of last year, the teams asked us to continue providing tyres with the characteristics that contributed to spectacular races in 2011. And this is what we have done, optimising the compounds and profiles in order to guarantee even better and more stable performance, combined with the deliberate degradation that characterised the P Zero range from 2011.

"We're expecting unpredictable races, with a wide range of strategies and a number of pit stops: all factors that both competitors and spectators greatly enjoyed last year. The development work on the new compounds took place throughout the 2011 season, thanks to the impressive learning curve and reaction times from our engineers, who are ready to continue those evolutions during the season ahead."

Pirelli's P Zero slick tyres will feature a new profile, with three (soft, medium and hard) new, softer compounds, which Pirelli said will feature a longer performance peak, though not lifespan. The full wet – the Cinturato Blue – has a new compound, while the intermediate tyre – the Cinturato Green – is unaltered.

The evolution of the Pirelli tyres for 2012 has also taken into account the regulation changes introduced by the FIA regarding blown exhausts. This new measure, which should result in a reduction of aerodynamic downforce acting on each tyre, requires a wider and more even contact patch; hence the less rounded shoulder on each tyre and softer compounds. During the 2011 season, there was a performance gap of between 1.2 and 1.8 seconds per lap among the different compounds; this year, Pirelli's objective is to reduce that to less than a second: between six and eight tenths.

In addition to the tyre developments, Pirelli's Racing Tyre System platform will help Pirelli's engineers to record the behaviour and performance of each tyre. This information will be shared with the teams and Formula One Management. After each tyre has been made in the Izmit factory (in Turkey) – where all of Pirelli's competition tyres are produced – the RTS registers the construction data of each tyre as a type of individual passport. The information on each tyre is built up as it arrives at a circuit and gets fitted onto a car.

From that point on, the tyre's temperature, pressure and wear rate are all registered and made immediately available to Pirelli's engineers on the track, using special tablet computers, as well as to Pirelli's research division in Milan and to all the teams. Pirelli's new Formula One tyres will make their debut at Jerez on 7 February, at the first official test of the 2012 season.