De la Rosa wins Pirelli tyre-fitting challenge

© Pirelli, 26 October 2012
© Pirelli

HRT driver and former Pirelli tester Pedro de la Rosa has triumphed in the annual Pirelli tyre-fitting challenge, which the Italian firm inaugurated at last year’s Indian Grand Prix.

Back in 2011, the first year that the Indian Grand Prix was run, Red Bull’s reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel beat Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery when it came to fitting a Formula 1 tyre from scratch.

This year, it was an inter-team rivalry, as de la Rosa took on his teammate and local hero Narain Karthikeyan in the Pirelli fitting area, watched by the international media.

Their task was a complicated one: to mount and fit a Pirelli Formula 1 tyre in the quickest time possible, carrying out all the processes correctly and in the right order, under the watchful eye of a Pirelli fitter.

First a tyre has to be levered onto the wheel rim; then it must be fixed with a special glue before being inflated to the correct pressure and balanced with the right weight.

The whole process takes around two and a half minutes in the hands of a Pirelli fitter, but de la Rosa’s winning time was two minutes and 47 seconds: 22 seconds faster than his teammate. In the same amount of time that it took them to fit the tyres, the drivers are able to cover around a lap and a half of the 5.125-kilometre Buddh circuit at racing speeds.

As his prize, de la Rosa wins a 50 percent scale PZero wind tunnel tyre, used by Pirelli and the teams for aerodynamic development at the beginning of the season. The consolation prize for Karthikeyan was a set of Pirelli espresso cups.

De la Rosa, who carried out the bulk of Pirelli’s tyre testing in 2010, commented: “I think fitting the tyres is a lot harder than driving on them! The whole process is a delicate balance between precision and strength; there is a definite art to it. As well as being a lot of fun, this challenge really shows how complex and important all the work that goes on behind the scenes in Formula 1 is, which most people do not get to see.”

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery concluded: “Having sweated over exactly the same challenge last year, I really feel for Pedro and Narain! But at least they only had to fit one tyre each; our fitters will get through nearly 1800 of them this weekend…”

 

Want to be the fastest to lap up F1 content? ‘Follow’ us on TWITTER and ‘like’ us on FACEBOOK.


COMMENTS

Nike Air 1999 Jordan 5 Fire Red size 8.5 DScheap jordans for sale2008 NIKE AIR JORDAN COUNTDOWN PACK COLLEZIONE CDP 16/7 MULTI COLOR SIZE 11cheap jordans for saleNike Air Jordan Retro 6 VI GMP Gold Medal Size 12cheap jordans for saleAir Jordan Retro XIII 13 Low Midnight Navy/Hornets 310810-107 Size 10 No Boxcheap jordans for sale(937) 100% Authentic Nike Air Jordan 21 Playoff Sz 13 White/Black/Redcheap jordans for sale2003 Nike Air Jordan I 1 Retro Black Patent Metallic Gold sz 9cheap jordans for saleNike air foamposite pro pure platinum Jordan Size 12 PADS Retro 1 3 4 11 13 Bredcheap jordans for saleNike Air Jordan Flight Runner 2 Black Red 8 New in box NIBcheap jordans for saleNIKE AIR JORDAN RETRO 1 HIGH OG "SHADOW" SOFT GRaY/BLACK 555088 014 men SZ 10.5cheap jordans for sale