By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Pirelli’s racing manager, Mario Isola has claims that the tires Pirelli will supply Formula One with in 2018, will be different from the 2017 compounds they are currently working on.
Much is being made about the vast changes to the cars for 2017 that will see them lap up to five seconds quicker than in 2016, but none more so than about the much wider tires Pirelli will bring to the table.
Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull were tasked with modifying 2015 cars to simulate the increased downforce of the 2017 cars in order for Pirelli to properly analyze the near 100 compounds they have tested, but downforce levels of the test cars has been estimated to be 20 percent less than the cars that will form the grid in Albert Park some three months from now.
Isolo suggests that testing for the 2018 compounds will involve more than three teams, and produce a better tire as 2017 cars with their full downforce figures and handling parameters will be used to improve the designs that will be used in 2017.
“I feel that the direction is good and we probably need to continue the development and to have a new product in 2018, but because next year we will have the real race cars testing, we have another step towards the right product. If I have to look at the results with our mule cars, we are optimistic. We are happy with the development and then we need to see with the real new car and with the loads that are expected,” said Isola.
The task of not only changing the size of F1’s tires, but their behavior is a major task for Pirelli this winter.
“We were obliged to change completely the product, the compounds, everything. It’s not just the size that was bigger it was a complete redesign of all the tire,” added Isola.
Let’s hope they get it right, pre-season testing in Barcelona is only 80 days away.