Tyres have played a key part in proceedings in 2018, and the Chief Technical Officer of the Renault Sport Formula One Team, Bob Bell, feels it will be another key component across the German Grand Prix weekend on Formula 1’s return to the Hockenheimring.
Different circuits give teams different headaches, with Bell highlighting the problems Renault faced in the Austrian Grand Prix, where Carlos Sainz Jr. suffered blistering issues with his rear Pirelli tyres, which meant the Spaniard was forced to pit for an unscheduled second time and finish outside the points for only the second time this season.
Bell says it will be key this weekend in Germany for Renault to not allow their rear tyres to get too hot as traction will be important, and he hopes both Sainz and team-mate Nico Hülkenberg will be able to keep their Pirelli rubber in the correct operating window to ensure the best possible result come Sunday.
“We’ve had different problems at different circuits,” said Bell. “The problem in Austria wasn’t really tyre wear, but blistering where the rubber underneath the surface almost “boils” and destroys the tyres from the inside out. That’s not a normal operating condition in any tyre!
“For us it will depend on which circuit we’re looking at, Hockenheim will be mainly focused on rear tyres and making sure we keep them in the right operating window, and not letting them get too hot.”
Pirelli is bringing the white-banded Medium, yellow-banded Soft and purple-banded Ultrasoft to Germany, with the red-banded Supersoft being overlooked, meaning there is a gap in the compounds.