Pirelli fears Turkey F1 tyre choice "too aggressive"

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola admits that the company has gone "too aggressive" on its compound choices for the Turkish GP.

Pirelli fears Turkey F1 tyre choice "too aggressive"

After drivers struggled to find grip on the newly-resurfaced track last season, Pirelli went one step softer for this year's race, switching from the C1, C2, C3 combination to the C2, C3 and C4.

However, having made that choice, Pirelli learned that the characteristics of the track had been changed after the race promoter decided to water-blast it, a process that has helped to generate more grip.

In practice today drivers suffered graining on the softs, and Isola believes that teams will now try to avoid using them in the race if they can.

Teams will probably only have data gathered today when they plan their strategies for qualifying, as Saturday's FP3 session is likely to be wet, but their data gathering was made more complicated by Friday's changing wind levels.

There is also still a chance that qualifying itself could be wet, but if slicks are used in Q2, teams will have to make a call on whether to commit to starting on the medium or soft.

"I believe that the soft is quite an aggressive choice," said Isola. "Consider that when we selected the tyres, the three compounds for this race, we were not aware of this superficial treatment that they were planning. So looking at the data from last year, we decided to go one step softer.

"The soft is quite an aggressive choice. And I believe that some teams were using the soft today just to get rid of them, and focus on the medium and hard for the race, if they want to plan a one-stop strategy."

Although it is common for the fastest drivers to try to go through Q2 on the medium rather than the soft, Isola believes that more will attempt to do so this weekend, encouraged by a relatively small delta of 0.3-0.4s between the two.

"I believe that we will see more than two or three cars trying to qualify on the soft, because the delta lap time between the soft and the medium is very small.

"So it's not like one second, where you take a big risk to go through Q2 with a medium instead of the soft, with this small difference, probably more cars are trying to qualify on the medium compound."

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, and Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21, Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, and Nikita Mazepin, Haas VF-21

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Isola confirmed that the treatment undertaken by the promoter had made a significant difference to grip levels, as reported by drivers today.

"The level of grip increased quite a lot. This is probably due to the fact that we don't have the bitumen on top, and let's say the stones are visible, and therefore generating more grip compared to last year.

"The increase in grip is clear, because the lap times are four to five seconds quicker than last year. So I believe that there is no doubt on the increase the level of grip.

"We were expecting some graining, and the graining is visible on all the three compounds, especially on the softer one, and especially on the front right. The graining on the inside shoulder is accelerating the wear.

"And so it will be very important for the team to measure and analyse the data from FP2 to understand what is the wear life of the tyres, because this is information that we don't have from last year, last year, as both quali and the race were wet.

"As I said that tarmac was completely different compared to this year. And we were one step harder. So the data in terms of wear and wear profiles that we measured last year are not relevant."

Isola admitted that Pirelli learned of the plans to water-blast the track too late to change the choice of compounds for the Turkish race.

"Usually we are informed by the FIA if there is any change in tarmac, or if the circuit decides to resurface, or make any special treatment. In that case, probably it was a late decision from the promoter, I suspect.

"When they decided to make this treatment, we have been informed. So we had that information. But it was too late because we already produced the tyres, and they were already available for the race.

"It's not an easy period also for production and logistics. So we made the tyres and then after that we were made aware of this change."

Read Also:

shares
comments

Related video

F1 penalty leaves Sainz "a bit down" after seeing Ferrari pace in Turkey
Previous article

F1 penalty leaves Sainz "a bit down" after seeing Ferrari pace in Turkey

Next article

F1 balance "mish-mash" caused Verstappen Turkey FP2 struggle

F1 balance "mish-mash" caused Verstappen Turkey FP2 struggle
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021