New F1 tyres set to require less management in 2017


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. 2017 Pirelli new wider tyres on show. Friday 25th November 2016, F1 Abu Dhabi GP - Practice 2, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi

The all new, wider tyres to be introduced for the 2017 Formula One Season, will experience much lower degradation according to Pirelli.

Data from testing carried out by the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari using modified 2015 spec cars last year, has indicated that the performance drop off seen in recent seasons, will not be as apparent in the new compound.

Speaking to Motorsport.com recently, Pirelli F1 Racing Manager Mario Isola explained the findings.

“They are completely new compounds. We have encountered very low degradation, but these simulations are one thing.

“There will be a completely different performance window in which the teams will arrive in the second half of the season – where we often are on track with high temperatures.”

Control of tyre temperatures should also be more manageable for drivers in 2017, an area of concern the teams raised with Pirelli prior to construction of the new tyre compound. The testing simulations have confirmed that this issue has also been resolved.

“On the few occasions there was overheating, it quickly returned to the optimum value.

“The drivers made specific requests to us about this – because if they were following another car in the race then they would lose downforce, slide more and then overheat their tyre.

“Our goal is for the tyre to return to a normal condition in a very short time, which will help improve grip.

“In testing we have seen that this target has been reached – but it needs to be verified on the actual cars, so we will wait for the first few races.”

Though early findings from testing have been promising, Isola is also aware that the mule cars used did not produce the kind of forces and performance the 2017 challengers are set to bring, and so is loathed to make any real predictions on what can be expected when pre-season testing starts in Barcelona on February 27.

“Although the modified cars aimed to simulate the downforce levels we will find; we have not seen the true performance that we will have in 2017.

“We have seen from the simulations that we have been sent by teams, based on patterns with the new cars, that the performance will be better than those we saw from the mule cars.

“This leads us to still have some question marks on the feedback that will come from the track in the first tests and the first few races of the world championship.”

The 2017 regulation changes are hoped to make cars quicker, with gains of up to three seconds a lap being predicted, and if tyre wear and management is going to be less of an issue, it should allow drivers to be able to push much harder, something fans of the sport have been calling for, for some time now.