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F1 rethinking plan for high degradation tyres in 2020

  • Published on 08 Apr 2019 12:33
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

A plan to bring back heavily degrading tyres in 2020 is now set to be scrapped, according to Pirelli. 

In recent years, Pirelli has built tyres that allow drivers to push for longer periods, something they couldn't do in the opening seasons of the Pirelli years when it reentered the sport in 2011.

Pirelli faced competition to be Formula 1's sole tyre supplier from 2020 to 2023, but managed to secure a contract last year, in which it stated the tyre supplier should set targets for high degradation - as much as two seconds of lap time over 10% of a race distance.

However that is not set to be the case anymore, according to Pirelli's head of motorsport Mario Isola.

"We have an ongoing discussion with both FIA and FOM and also the teams to understand which is the direction,” he said to RaceFans.net.

“If you look at the tender document released by the FIA – the target letter that was appended to the document – they were thinking [about] very high degradation tyres.

"But looking at what happened last year now we quite agree that it is probably not the right direction.”

Isola added that Pirelli's attempts to introduce more pit stops during a race has resulted in teams finding more ways to manage their tyres.

“We tried to be a lot aggressive with the three compounds and basically the teams were increasing the pace management to go on a one-stop."

Isola also revealed that Pirelli has a headache when it comes to selecting the three compounds it brings to a weekend, as it is difficult to factor in strategies when doing so.

“If we go conservative with all the three compounds then the hardest of the three is not chosen by anybody and you just have the mandatory set," he said.

"If we use the two soft that are quite close and a hard that is one step harder, nobody is using this one.

"If we use two conservative and one that is more aggressive – the softest is one step more aggressive, then we create an issue to the midfield because the top teams try to qualify on the medium while the others are obliged to use the soft and their race is done.

“So it’s difficult. We don’t have the perfect solution. What we are trying to do is to run many simulations with different delta lap times with different levels of degradation to understand which is the best.

"That is not perfect, but at least is in the right direction.”

Replies (5)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 772

    When it comes down to artificially manipulating race outcome by making components that fail prematurely it makes me wonder about calling F1 the pinnacle of motorsport. Will the proposed single supplier for transmissions call for a third gear that is designed fail ?

    • + 0
    • Apr 8 2019 - 16:23
    • Also, why not have a standardized steering wheel with a 5% chance of coming off mid-race?

      • + 0
      • Apr 9 2019 - 06:24
  • Kokoro

    Posts: 15

    Make driver use all three tyre types in race at least once.

    • + 0
    • Apr 9 2019 - 00:29
  • Good riddance. While we don't need tyres that'll last an entire race (wait, actually that'd be nice, but in return they could be slower, would vary up the strategies), even high deg tyres than the ones we already have seem a bit toss.

    • + 0
    • Apr 9 2019 - 06:23
  • kngrthr

    Posts: 203

    bring back fuel stops.
    that will shuffle it up.
    you can run max power for less laps or lower power for longer. the teams will then have to juggle tyres to suit that choice.
    team will have to readjust mid race depending on how the race is unfolding.
    could be very interesting with these engines

    • + 1
    • Apr 9 2019 - 07:46

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