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Pirelli announces 2013 F1 Tyre plans at its Motorsport Conference

At todays Pirelli Motorsport 2013 press conference the sole F1 tyre supplier explained its plans for 2013 and the changes it has made to its range of Formula One P Zero tyres. Pirelli explained that by the end of last season the teams had begun to fully understand the way the tyres worked and how to use them and needed a new challenge to reduce the predictability. This was far from the case at the beginning of the season with seven different winners in the first seven Grand Prix. Pirelli has been asked to bring back this air of uncertainty to the sport and has made extensive changes to the construction and appearance of the range. This seasons hard tyre will no longer have silver markings on the sidewalls rather the branding will be bright orange making it far easier for commentators, spectators and TV audiences to identify which tyre is being used. Pirelli went on to say that the tyres will degrade faster in 2013 with softer compounds in use. This will mean the profile of the tyres will change more at speed with increased downforce but will critically provide a larger contact patch with the track surface. To help combat the distortion the tyre construction across the shoulder of the tyre has been reinforced and this will mean that 2013 tyres will be heavier resulting in a knock on weight increase in the car specifications. Pirelli's newly appointed brand ambassador and ex Formula 1 driver Jean Alesi said that the new tyres would also respond more precisely or sharply to driver input which will suit some drivers but not necessarily all. 2013 should as a result of the increased tyre degradation see drivers needing to make two to three pitstops per race according to Pirelli which will in turn give team managers more opportunities to gain a strategic edge over their competitors. Pirelli has also forecast that lap times will increase by approximately 0.5 seconds in 2013. There will be no change to the number of tyre sets allocated to each team over a Grand Prix weekend which will remain at six sets of hard compound and five sets of soft compound. Pirelli Motorsport director Paul Hembery also explained that one of the biggest challenges that Pirelli faced was in supplying the F1 teams scaled down tyres for use in their wind tunnels, adding that the scaled down tyres were constructed in a different way and it was extremely difficult to get them to react the same way in profile under load as a full size tyre. Hembery also dismissed rumours that Kamui Kobayashi would be joining Pirelli as test driver for its F1 tyre range as had recently been speculated.


BBC announces Jake Humphrey replacement

The BBC has confirmed that ex Moto GP presenter Suzi Perry will replace Jake Humphrey for the 2013 Formula 1 season. The British, Belgian, Italian and Brazilian GP’s are amongst those that will be shown live by BBC, the Monaco GP will not be live. All 20 races will be broadcast live by Radio 5.

Audi announces 2013 Sportscar plans

Audi has confirmed that its commitment to sportscar racing will continue in 2013. The Ingolstadt based team will field three hybrid R18 e-tron Quattro cars at the Le Mans 24 Hours and at the WEC round at Spa Franchorchamps. The team will be defending its 2012 WEC title with two updated R18 e-tron quattro cars running under the Audi Sport Team Joest banner.

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