Mario Isola, the boss of Pirelli Motorsport, says he prefers performing tyre testing with race drivers as they give Formula 1’s sole tyre manufacturer better feedback than the young or test drivers.
With tyre testing having increased in Pirelli’s era thanks to their desire to developing the tyres to better suit the modern day Formula 1 cars, all ten teams get the opportunity to test, while at the end of 2017, a full-on tyre test in Abu Dhabi took place that saw all twenty of the 2018 field take part, including this years rookie drivers Charles Leclerc and Sergey Sirotkin.
Isola is pleased to see drivers taking the tyre testing programmes seriously, and by getting the feedback from the experienced racers benefits Pirelli immensely.
“First of all I’m happy that the race drivers understand how important it is to test the tyre,” said Isola to RACER. “Also, for them to understand what is new on the tyre. Race drivers are always able to give you more comparisons compared to young drivers or test drivers.
“We had in the past some young drivers or test drivers who did a very good job but they can only give you an opinion compared to the baseline they have during the test. So you have a baseline, then you use a prototype, then you have another baseline to try and understand if there is a track evolution, and the young drivers or the drivers without experience can give you feedback based on that. A straight comparison.
“If you have a race driver, he has in mind this season or the previous seasons and he can give you more complete feedback. This is obviously an added value. Then you also have telemetry, you have sensors, you have a lot of data coming from each car and you can compare data with the comments. But obviously if the comments are more complete or consider a comparison with other situations, it’s much better.”