Monday, March 4, 2024

Pirelli Introduces New Slick Tyre Construction ahead of British Grand Prix

Pirelli Motorsport will introduce a new construction of slick tyre this weekend at Silverstone, with Mario Isola insisting they were needed due to the increased speed and loadings being put through the tyres with the current cars.

Speeds have skyrocketed this year, which is the second season of the new aerodynamic regulations within the FIA Formula 1 World Championship season, with faster cornering meaning increased loads on the tyres.

Isola, the Motorsport Director at Pirelli, says the new tyre construction will give them extra resistance against fatigue but should not affect their on-track behaviour, and the ten teams will get full use of them for the first time this weekend since having the chance to run with a couple of sets during practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

“The British Grand Prix will mark the debut of a new slick tyre construction, using materials that have been brought forward from their anticipated introduction next year,” said Isola.  

“This change in specification was made necessary due to the increased performance of the cars seen since the start of the season – both in terms of outright speed and loadings – compared to the pre-season simulation data supplied to Pirelli by the teams last winter, and the fact that this trend is only set to increase as the championship goes on.

“We’ve worked very hard on simulation over the last few years in order to not only supply a product that meets the performance targets set by all the stakeholders but also to have the ability to anticipate any eventual issues and react to them promptly.

“The new specification gives the tyre extra resistance against fatigue but does not affect any technical parameters or its behaviour on track. All the teams already had the opportunity to try the new tyre construction out at the Spanish Grand Prix, when two sets were put at the disposal of each driver in free practice.

“Their comments were in line with our expectations, especially when it came to transparency in terms of performance. The new specification also allows us to keep front and rear tyre pressures largely unchanged compared to last year, despite a significant increase in average loads.”

Isola says Silverstone is one of the tracks on the calendar that is notoriously hard on the tyres, particularly when it comes to lateral forces and stress, and it will be a good test for all three compounds.

“This debut will come on a track that is traditionally one of the hardest on tyres; on our internal charts Silverstone is right at the top in terms of stress and lateral forces exerted on them: particularly the front-left,” Isola added.  

“The track also takes a lot out of the drivers, who have to cope with lateral accelerations in excess of 5g throughout its rapid corners. The compound choices – which, unlike the structure, are not undergoing any change in specification – are identical to previous years at least in name: C1 is the hard, C2 is the medium, and C3 is the soft.

“However, the current C1 is in fact a brand new compound for this year, which fits in between the C2 and the C0: our new name for the hardest compound in the 2022 range.”

\