Pirelli hit ‘most’ of 2019 tyre targets

Date published: July 8 2019 - Jamie Woodhouse

Pirelli have confirmed details for the FP2 testing of their 2021 F1 prototype tyres at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Pirelli say they have hit “most” of their targets with the 2019 compounds as they battle criticism from parts of the grid.

A vote was held in Austria over whether to go back to the 2018 compounds, but with teams split five/five, the majority of seven which was needed wasn’t reached and the 2019 tyres remained.

The Ferrari and Honda-powered teams are believed to be the ones giving Pirelli stick, but Formula 1’s tyre supplier are standing firm and insist that “most” of their targets for 2019 have been hit which are set out in a ‘targeted letter’ agreed between the FOM and FIA.

Speaking to RaceFans, Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola said: “The current targets are defining a level of delta lap time between compounds [and] a level of degradation and if I look at the first eight races we are very close to the targets.

“The other request was to have less of overheating and from last year we have less overheating. As I said we can improve, but we have less overheating.

“Last year we had an issue with the delta lap time between soft, super-soft, ultra-soft were too close, now we have the right space in between compounds. That’s why I’m saying that most of the targets have been achieved.”

The idea of bringing back 2018’s compounds failed, and Isola admitted that he wasn’t sure if they would work on the 2019 cars anyway.

“We never tested the 2018 [tyre] specification on 2019 cars,” he said.

“The 2019 car is different from last year’s car. The aero package is different, there is a different balance in terms of downforce front to rear. So we are not 100 percent sure that the 2018 specification is working well on the 2019 car.

“I would say that probably the level of blistering and overheating [would be] a lot more because they are quicker, they are heavier than last year. So there is no element that is going in the direction to reduce it.”

Isola revealed that he thought going back to last year’s rubber would risk creating safety issues for Formula 1, but Pirelli are always willing to act on requests if they are backed by the majority of the grid.

“Provided that we work together, we don’t make anything that is dangerous or bad for the image of the company, we are always available to discuss any solution any idea any improvement,” he confirmed.

“I don’t care if it is during the year, for next year. If it is during the year there is a regulation that says that we need at least 70 percent of the teams in agreement to change the specification, that is clear. Or we can send the request for a safety issue. But if there is no safety issue and the current product has no safety issue we cannot send any request.

“If there is a sensible idea to change something that could be the specification, the sporting rules the allocation of the set, any of these that can be good for the sport and that is with the agreement with the FIA, FOM and the teams we are always available to consider that and to implement that.”

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