The start of the 2015 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, marked Pirelli’s fifth consecutive year as sole supplier to the sport. The Italian manufacturer has outlined how its involvement in the sport’s top-flight is underlining a ‘strategy of expansion in the world of motorsport’. The Italian manufacturer is keen to expand its motorsport presence and build on the 300+ championships, in over 40 countries, which it already supplies.
The 2015 Formula 1 tire, which made its debut at Albert Park, Australia, at the weekend, has been designed with ‘state-of-the-art performance’ in mind, which would result in ‘frequent overtaking’ and ‘exciting races with at least two pit stops per car’.
The tires have been evolved from the 2014 item to meet the requirements of the latest-generation cars. Pirelli predicted that 2015 cars could be up to two seconds per lap faster than last year’s specification, as manufacturers got to grips with the hybrid power units. As a result, the tires feature a new rear construction, across the entire P Zero range, which is designed to distribute heat and forces more evenly, leading to more consistent performance. One of the key evolutions on all the tires this year has been an improvement of the footprint pressure and temperature distribution. This results in a more even contact with the asphalt, improving grip and handling. An all-new supersoft compound has also been introduced for 2015, which has been designed to guard against blistering and graining.
In addition to supplying the sport’s top-flight, Pirelli has also unveiled its wider-reaching plans in motorsport. 2015 marks the 11th consecutive year that the FIM Superbike World Championship has used Pirelli tires. Pirelli is contracted to supply the championship until 2018, and began this partnership in 2004; making it the most enduring tire supply in the history of international motorsport
Back on four wheels, and in addition to new contracts for the UK’s new Formula 4 championship and German GT championship, the Italian firm is aiming to expand its presence in Asian motorsport, supplying championships as diverse as the Ferrari Challenge, Lamborghini Trofeo, Australian GT Championship and Chinese Rally Championship. On the business side Pirelli expects an average annual growth in the Asia-Pacific region of around 16% in the next couple of years, making it Pirelli’s fastest-growing market worldwide.