Barcodes critical for Pirelli’s GP tyre tracking

With the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend making sure that every petrol head will be firmly glued to their TV screen, it’s sometimes interesting to see what goes on behind the image portrayed on our TV screens.

It might come as a bit of a shock that tyre manufacturer Pirelli brings 1800 tyres to every Grand Prix race, but it’s just staggering to learn that each tyre is allocated its own unique signature at the point of manufacture, so it can be tracked from production to removal from a race car. And the reason that all this can be achieved is simple – barcodes.

All Pirelli tyres for Grand Prix races are made in their factory in Izmit, Turkey where each tyre is allocated a unique barcode which is embedded into the tyre structure during the vulcanisation process. Pirelli can then track the tyre at every point in the race weekends using their Racing Tyre System (RTS) software program.

The tyres for each race are given to each team at random by the FIA and a Pirelli engineer is allocated to each team to oversee tyre use and performance of the tyres.

Paul Hembury who is the motorsport director at Pirelli said:

“Even if we wanted to – which we certainly don’t – there is no way that we could influence which tyres are being allocated to which teams, as this is a job taken care of entirely by the FIA once the tyres have left the Izmit factory. It is just another way that impartiality can be ensured among all the teams, which is a huge priority for us as exclusive tyre supplier. The way that our team engineers work also respects this confidentiality, which is always of paramount importance.”

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