Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner believes that Pirelli’s softer tyre range for the 2018 Formula 1 season will lead to better racing.
Having increased the durability of the P-Zero range in order to cope with the demands of the new regulation cars, Pirelli have revised all five dry compounds from last season and made two new additions – the ‘hyper-soft’ and the ‘super-hard’.
Pirelli’s tweaks should encourage more pit stops per race – last year most races turned into a one-stop affair, stunting the strategic elements that had been opened up in 2016 with the availability of three dry compounds per race.
Horner spoke about the positive results seen over the course of the post-season tyre tests in Abu Dhabi.
“It was an important test, which is why both our race drivers were there,” the forty-four-year-old said to Motorsport.com. “And whenever you’re on track you’re learning, so it was good to get a decent amount of mileage in.”
“It gives you a lot of data to look at and understand, and it gives the drivers a good insight into what’s round the corner as well.”
Horner also noted that his drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were encouraged by the feel of the new hyper-soft tyre, but admitted that they did find some shortcomings that should be rectified by the time of the tyre’s first race – expected to be the Monaco Grand Prix.
“Both our drivers liked the softest tyre that was introduced. It seemed to be positively received, although I think they’ve still got a bit of work to do to tidy things up,” said Horner.
“What we saw in Abu Dhabi [over the course of the race] wasn’t the greatest advert for F1. The track might have some issues, but one-stop races certainly don’t help. I think that going softer into the range can only create better racing and fewer one-stop races.”
“What it should allow them to do is pick the right range of tyres for each event to provide exciting races with at least two stops, and maybe even three at some.”