Milan, November 18, 2013 – The final round of the 2013 Formula One season takes place at the iconic Interlagos circuit in Brazil this weekend, where Pirelli will bring the P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium tyres.
The Brazilian Grand Prix is also an opportunity for the teams to try out the latest-specification 2014 prototype tyres during Friday’s free practice sessions, in preparation for next season, which features a raft of regulation changes. The new engine characteristics of the 2014 cars will have an important effect on the tyres. Each car will have two sets of next year’s tyres to use in FP1 and FP2, as allowed by the current regulations. These will feature the 2014 construction and profile, with the 2014 medium compound.
Jean Alesi: “Interlagos is a circuit where the driver really feels involved, and while that sounds illogical, there are some circuits where you basically drive from corner to corner, whereas at Interlagos it’s a real experience that takes you over. Even though the track has been resurfaced a few times, it’s still quite bumpy, with big compressions, and because it’s anti-clockwise it feels very physical to drive. I love the feeling and the atmosphere at Interlagos: the fans are absolutely fantastic, so it’s a great place to go racing. Obviously for Pirelli this is a very important race because of the Brazilian market and this has always been the case: in my era I remember that Nelson Piquet owned a Pirelli tyre distributor in Brazil and was involved in promotional work to underline the importance of having the right tyres. The weather is always very changeable, so you have to be prepared for everything. The key to Interlagos is finding the right rhythm: if you manage this then you can minimize the tyre wear and have a good performance. I’ve been on the podium there in the past, but it’s important to find a good feeling immediately.”
The circuit from a tyre point of view:
There is a big emphasis on combined traction: the transition when drivers go from braking to putting the power down. Interlagos is usually light on brakes, so conserving momentum is important.
Set-up for Interlagos tends to be a compromise: there’s a long uphill straight towards the start-finish line, which puts the emphasis on speed and power (a challenge for the engines due to the altitude of Interlagos as well) but the more twisty infield section requires more downforce. The final sector of the lap is the most crucial one for the overall time.