The role tyres played in the 2012 F1 season

12th December 2012

It was a thrilling year for Formula 1, which climaxed in the final race of the season in Brazil, seeing an exhilarating fight for the championship between Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel.

The contribution which Pirelli made to the 2012 season should not be overlooked, as the unprecedented seven winners in seven races at the beginning of the season was largely attributed to their tyres.

Pirelli are currently tied down to a three year deal with Formula 1 as the sole supplier of tyres for the racing season. The Italian based tyre giants also offer a wide range of roadworthy tyres available to consumers.

F1 has released some fascinating statistics for the 2012 season, including plenty of tyre-based facts.

A total of 23,500 tyres were used over the course of the year – all of which were recycled. The make-up of this was 21,400 dry tyres and 2,100 wet tyres. 

On average, dry compound tyres lasted 180km, whereas wet tyre compounds lasted 140km.

Turns ten and 11 on India’s Buddh International Circuit were the most challenging corners for tyres, as the continuous energy input into a tyre was the longest on this part of the track.

Kamui Kobayashi, who raced for Sauber, completed the most laps on the Pirelli hard tyres, coming in at 798. However, the Japanese driver also did the most laps on wet tyres – a total of 104.

Bruno Senna did the most laps on medium compound tyres (869), whereas the 1,012 laps completed by Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo were the most completed on soft tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus completed 237 laps on super soft tyres and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso finished top in terms of intermediate tyre use (145).

Over the 2012 season, the soft compound tyre was the most popular amongst drivers, with 123,270 being used in races and tests.

Medium compound tyres were used to cover a massive total of 121,840km, closely followed by the hard tyres that covered a distance of 101,692km. Super soft, intermediate and wet-weather tyres came in way behind these two, however, clocking up 21,993km, 13,770km and 7,930km respectively.

Lewis Hamilton achieved the highest speed on Pirelli tyres this season, during the qualifying stages of the Italian Grand Prix. The British driver recorded a blistering speed of 248.241km/h for his, now former, McLaren team on the Autodromo di Monza circuit.

Every race weekend, Pirelli’s tyre fitters took 124 air and track temperature measurements. Brazil took pole position for the hottest track temperature, recording a positively scorching air and tyre temperature of 55 degrees Celsius.

The coldest track temperature was, perhaps surprisingly, not achieved in the UK. It was in fact recorded at the Austin, USA grand prix, with temperatures as low as 11 degrees Celsius.

This winter will see cold conditions effect all of our vehicles. With this in mind, Pirelli have produced a range of cold weather tyres, that will help improve handling and grip on the wet and cold UK roads. At ATS Euromaster, if you buy two or more Pirelli tyres, you will receive a Pirelli trolley bag, so why not treat yourself this Christmas? 

For additional non-tyre related facts, visit the Formula 1 site

Posted by Over 23,000 Pirelli tyres used in F1 2012