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GP Week : Issue 129
9 F1 NEWS >> Concerns over proposed 2012 Indian GP date ITALIAN tyre manufacturer Pirelli is unlikely to bring the hard tyre compound to any more races this season. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery explained that, thanks to the durability of the revised medium tyre compound currently in use by the teams, the hard compound would not be needed in the second half of the 2011 Formula One season. “I don’t think we’ll see the hard compound again,” he said. “I think it’s probably too hard and that the medium is proving sufficiently robust for the aggressive circuits we’ve still got to come. So don’t think we’ll be going the hard route.” The announcement has led to accusations of Ferrari favouritism during the slow news period that makes up Formula One’s summer holiday. But while it is widely known that the 150o Italia struggles on the hard compound, the explanation for Hembery’s reasoning is a simple one: the Pirelli medium is durable enough for the next eight races on the calendar, the bulk of which will take place in the warmer climates favoured by Ferrari. The 2011 season has been a learning process for Pirelli, who became Formula One’s official tyre supplier after a two- decade break from the sport. One of the lessons learned, Hembery said, is that the current medium compound would be better used as 2012’s hard. “Probably next season the medium will become the hard,” Hembery said. “ We’ll probably slot something in between the current softs and mediums – we want to keep about one second between each. The super soft and soft gap is about right to be honest, because you’ve got a 1s speed advantage but you’ve got a clear degradation and limitation on use. “If we could replicate that now with a new medium and a new hard then I think we’ll be well placed.” Pirelli to scrap hard tyre compound THE last time Formula One went to Mexico, Boutros-Boutros Ghali was United Nations Secretary-General, Milli Vanilli had just been named and shamed as lip-syncing pop frauds, and Nintendo’s SNES was launched. We’ve come a long, long way since then. But talk of a Mexican Grand Prix is now gathering pace, following the success of Mexican driver Sergio Perez in F1, his countryman Esteban Gutierrez in 2010’s GP3 championship, and the Sauber’s TelMex sponsorship, which sees the Swiss team funded by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world. Sauber is the F1 team leading the Mexican revival, with both Perez and Gutierrez on its books, and further sponsorship from tequila giants Jose Cuervo. In an interview with Reuters, Carlos Slim Domit – son of Carlos Slim – said that the concept of a rebooted Mexican Grand Prix was “being studied”. According to Slim Domit, the site ear-marked for the Mexican Formula One revival is Mexico City’s Hermanos Rodriguez circuit, which is currently used for concerts and a range of sporting events including baseball games and NASCAR races. The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez played host to the 15 Formula One World Championship events that took place in Mexico between 1963 and 1992, and was also the site of a non- championship F1 race in 1962. The track is not currently at F1 standard, and would need major redevelopment before it could be homologated by the FIA. F1 to return to Mexico? Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C29. Sauber Demonstration, Guadalajara, Mexico, 26 February 2011.