Formula 1

Tyre Wars: A Thing of the Past – Pirelli’s Mario Isola

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Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

The days of tyre wars in Formula 1 are over, according to Pirelli Racing Manger Mario Isola.

Pirelli have been Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier since 2011, taking over the rubber mantle from Bridgestone. Prior to that, grand prix racing witnessed its most recent tyre war, when Bridgestone and Michelin went wheel-to-wheel for F1 victories.

It will be the last tyre war if Mario Isola’s views are accurate, the Italian suggesting that performance variances and costs would put a halt to the idea in the future.

“It is a different situation,” he told gpupdate.net.

“At the moment, we supply the same product to all teams, so we put all the teams on the same level, in terms of tyres.

“If you open competition, you increase the costs because you need to test.

“You will have top teams with a better product compared to the midfield or lower teams as you don’t have any obligation to supply the same tyres to everybody.

“You create a differential between the top teams and the others.

“Maybe with two or three tyre manufacturers, you can have a couple of teams fighting at top but the rest will be struggling for performance.

“With the tyre, you can easily find half a second or more, so you generate a bigger delta [between teams] compared to now.”

A feature of Pirelli’s current tenure as Formula 1’s tyre supplier has been the multitude of colour-coded tyre compounds introduced to the sport. For the up-coming 2018 season, Pirelli will introduce the Hyper-Soft compound.

“I would like to see the Hyper Soft in some races this year, Monaco is probably the race where we’re going to use it for the first time,” Isola said.

“In terms of lap times, we will have faster lap times this year, because we should consider the development of the car that is probably roughly one second per lap as an average.

“Plus the fact that especially at the beginning of the season we are planning to use softer compounds.

“So in my expectation we should be quicker compared to last year by 1.5s per lap by average, it’s a lot, it’s another big step.”

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