Pirelli unlikely to test prototype tyres on race weekends again

Mario Isola says Pirelli is unlikely to test prototype tyres at Formula 1 race weekends again after its negative 2019 US Grand Prix experience.

Pirelli unlikely to test prototype tyres on race weekends again

Pirelli supplied the tyres it had produced for the 2020 season to all 10 teams at last year's race at Austin, but, on an unusually cold weekend and with the lower peak grip level of the now-abandoned new rubber - a factor introduced to reduce degradation, among other tweaks - many drivers reported issues.

Although the rubber was better received at the post-season test in Abu Dhabi, the teams voted to drop the 2020 variation and continue with the same tyres used last year.

Read Also:

Isola said that if Pirelli needs to test new compounds of the same tyre type, "that is probably feasible during the free practice, because with the same construction, you are going to test something that is not affecting the balance of the car and other parameters on the car in a heavy way".

"The comparison of a new compound during free practice is possible," Pirelli's motorsport boss continued to Motorsport.com.

"If we have to test a completely new tyre it's probably the wrong way to do that."

Isola explained that the lack of track running available during grand prix weekends, as well as the need to set up the cars using existing rubber that resulted in a better-handling car, meant F1 weekend tyre testing was unsuitable.

"We supplied the prototypes to everybody, so it was a good opportunity [at Austin] to see how the prototype worked," he said.

"The real, not mistake, but the important element of that test, [which] is why I believe that for the future it is not good to plan any test of validation during the race weekend, is that it is impossible for a team in three hours of free practice in total [excluding the FP3 session ahead of qualifying].

"When they are focused on their race weekends, they have to set up the cars for the race weekend, sometimes they have to test new parts.

"There is track evolution in every race. If we also had [to do] a comparison of a new tyre compared to the baseline, it is too much for three hours testing.

"So, it is a fact that they have to find a compromise to fit the additional tyre tests in a schedule that is already full of other stuff to do.

"And that means that in that condition it's very unlikely that they can make a proper tyre test.

"That's why we prefer to say 'focus on tyre development tests where we have a whole day available'.

"The car is there, they can set up the car, we can make proper comparisons - long runs, short runs, different conditions, cambers calm, pressures calm, other stuff. We can have a proper evaluation."

shares
comments
Why Stroll's Aston Martin investment is a no-brainer

Previous article

Why Stroll's Aston Martin investment is a no-brainer

Next article

What Aston Martin's new deal says about the state of F1

What Aston Martin's new deal says about the state of F1
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Alex Kalinauckas
Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish” Prime

Why Bottas feels the time has come to be “more selfish”

We’ve seen five distinct versions of Valtteri Bottas at Mercedes as he’s tried to fulfil his own ambitions while being a consummate team player – two difficult, competing missions which have been challenging to reconcile. Speaking exclusively to Stuart Codling, Bottas explains his highs and lows… and why he still believes he can be world champion.

Formula 1
May 15, 2021
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021