During the latest Ferrari Racing Days event in the paddock at the Nurburgring in Germany, a very special tire was on display: the 10,000th Pirelli P Zero created for Ferrari’s XX program. The FXX, FXX EVO, 599XX, 599XX EVO and FXX K (with its latest Evo variant) are the most exclusive cars in the world; derived from roadgoing models and developed for track use. The base cars are already incredibly quick, but circuit racing modifications from Maranello’s engineers then make them even more extreme. The FXX-K Evo, for example, already exceeds 1000 horsepower, and to equip cars with so much power, Pirelli has developed tires specifically designed for each model. In Germany, the number of these special tires made reached 10,000 since 2011: the year that Pirelli became exclusive supplier to the XX program.
DEVELOPED LIKE F1 TIRES
From the very first car in the XX program, the FXX to the most recent FXX-K Evo, the development methodology has changed dramatically. In the beginning, the development process was more traditional, using the P Zero tires created for the Ferrari Challenge one-make series as a starting point for the more extreme FXX tires. For the latest cars, the development process now mirrors the methodology used to make P Zero Formula 1 tires. As well as on-track testing, Pirelli’s engineers have also been able to rely on data acquired from Scuderia Ferrari’s simulator – which is also used at the very highest levels of motorsport.
With the tire developed for the FXX K as a base, Pirelli’s engineers were able to create a tire in fewer than six months that was capable of dealing with the enormous downforce loads generated by the latest Evo aerodynamic package (in excess of 800 kilograms at top speed). At the heart of this latest development path were new P Zero rear tires that now feature a more even contact patch even when the Evo’s rear wing is generating maximum downforce. This helps to ensure excellent stability in terms of more balanced wear and more transparent drop-off, which contribute to more predictable handling and greater safety, regardless of the driver’s experience. Furthermore, the tires for the XX program have to offer very wide working windows, in order to ensure similar levels of performance on very different circuits all over the world, with varying asphalt and often unpredictable weather. The 2019 program, for example, began in February with the sandy corners of Bahrain and will conclude at the up-and-down Mugello circuit in Italy, at the end of October.