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F1 – British Grand Prix: hard tyres means bad news for Ferrari

Sport Published the 08/07/2011

The British Grand Prix is one of the most eagerly anticipated races in the calendar. Fast and technical, the Silverstone track has just been newly resurfaced. Could this be the opportunity for Pirelli to restore its image following the rather bleak European Grand Prix?

The new Silverstone circuit Copyright © : J. Ebrey/Silverstone

Once again, the choice of tyres for Sunday's race is the object of considerable speculation. Why? At the start of the week, Ferrari announced that if hard tyres were chosen, its chances of getting into the overall classification would be compromised. Felipe Massa, the team's driver even mentioned this could be a real problem, giving an advantage to Red Bull and McLaren.

Pirelli ultimately prioritised technical consistency by offering soft tyres (yellow markings) and hard tyres (silver markings). The manufacturer estimates three or four pitstops during the race.

To justify their choice, Paul Hembery, head of Pirelli's Motorsport department, explains that the hard tyres would resist the constraints of the track, while enabling the teams to make the most of their cars' potential.  He refuses to make any predictions however, given the new asphalt surface.

The driver Lucas Di Grassi has joined the ranks of the manufacturer as official test driver. After several months of inactivity, he will be helping to develop tyres that will be used during the 2012 championships.