Formula 1
Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
R
Portuguese GP
02 May
FP1 in
17 days
09 May
Next event in
23 days
23 May
Race in
40 days
R
Azerbaijan GP
06 Jun
Race in
54 days
13 Jun
Race in
62 days
27 Jun
Race in
75 days
04 Jul
Next event in
79 days
18 Jul
Race in
96 days
R
Hungarian GP
01 Aug
Race in
110 days
29 Aug
Race in
138 days
05 Sep
Race in
145 days
26 Sep
Race in
166 days
R
Singapore GP
03 Oct
Next event in
170 days
10 Oct
Race in
180 days
R
United States GP
24 Oct
Race in
195 days
31 Oct
Race in
202 days
R
Australian GP
21 Nov
Race in
222 days
R
Abu Dhabi GP
12 Dec
Race in
243 days

2021 F1 downforce cut not a matter of safety, says Pirelli

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola says the FIA’s plan to further trim downforce levels in 2021 to help the tyre company is more a matter of performance than safety.

2021 F1 downforce cut not a matter of safety, says Pirelli

Pirelli is obliged to provide the same tyres that were used in 2019 for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. With downforce and thus load levels inevitably creeping up if unchecked, it was agreed during the lockdown earlier this year to rein in downforce with revised floor regulations for next season.

However, after the problems in Silverstone the FIA has promised a further downforce cut for 2021, with tweaks in a few areas. The details will be discussed by team technical directors in an FIA technical working group meeting on Friday.

Isola has welcomed the promised changes, but stresses that reining in downforce should not be regarded as a safety measure, as Pirelli can always increase pressures to compensate for high loads. The problem is that higher pressures create other issues that impact the racing, as was seen at Silverstone.

"The FIA decided to do that,” said Isola of the change. “And I cannot say that I'm not in agreement. But I don't want that the message to be that it's for safety reasons, because we can use the pressure to compensate for the level of load.

"Obviously, if we consider that from now to the end of 2021 the ability of the teams to develop the cars is huge.

“We can end up at the end of 2021 with a level of load that is really very high. And therefore we are obliged to increase the pressure to where we have again degradation overheating or blistering at the level that we don't want, so it's the right move to do for next year.”

Read Also:

Isola stressed that the higher pressures mandated for the 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone helped to ensure that there was no repeat of the failures seen at the British GP a week earlier.

“For me it’s not a matter of safety. If we increase the pressure we can compensate for the level of load, the level of stress that you put on the tyres. We did it for Silverstone for the second race. Okay, it’s difficult to compare, because in the second race we didn't have a stint of 37-38 laps.

“But according to the analysis we made on tyres after the second Silverstone, everything was working well. So the pressure obviously is playing an important part in this equation. And with the pressure we can support the construction, sustain the construction. You have vertical and lateral forces that are acting on tyres, and we can establish a minimum pressure that is different for each circuit and is calculated according to the level of energy that is going into the tyres.”

While there were no failures at the second Silverstone race, the higher pressures and high track temperature created blistering problems that particularly hampered Mercedes.

Isola added: “It is also clear that increasing the pressure means that you have side effects like for example, degradation or overheating, because the compound is more stressed, and therefore, you have these side effects, in some cases it can be also blistering.

“And drivers don't want that, and we don't want that. So if the idea is that limiting the downforce with a small step in the direction of reducing the downforce for next year, they are helping the situation, they're helping the tyres, because we can use a lower pressure.

“And considering that we are using the same product since last year and this product has to be used for this year and next year that is clearly helping the behaviour of the tyres, reducing the overheating, reducing the degradation and giving that to the possibility for the drivers to push a little bit more.”

Pirelli is still hoping that it can modify the current construction for 2021, and is planning to conduct prototype testing in FP2 sessions later in the season.

shares
comments

Related video

Verstappen: Nine races in 11 weeks the "limit" for F1

Previous article

Verstappen: Nine races in 11 weeks the "limit" for F1

Next article

Vandoorne feels ready for triple F1 reserve role

Vandoorne feels ready for triple F1 reserve role
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Prime

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. Ben Anderson looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Prime

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says Nigel Roebuck.

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Prime

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now? Prime

Is Formula 1 as good as it has ever been now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Prime

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Prime

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle.

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb Prime

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his teammate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen's emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber teammate's own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here's how Nick Heidfeld's career was chilled by the Iceman.

Formula 1
Apr 3, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Prime

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021