Pirelli hope to avoid US-05 style tyre woes at Zandvoort

Jamie Woodhouse
Zandvoort PA

Zandvoort PA

It has been confirmed that Zandvoort, home of the Dutch GP from 2020, will have two banked corners, and that creates a challenge for Pirelli.

Zandvoort has confirmed that the banking at the final turn will be angled at 32% – the equivalent of 18 degrees. This is twice as steep as the Indianapolis track which hosted the United States Grand Prix from 2000-07 where the banking was around 9 degrees.

The track’s signature Hugenholtz corner will also be banked to allow cars to race side-by side.

This news may bring back memories for some of the infamous 2005 United States GP at Indianapolis where a series of tyre failures in practice caused all the Michelin runners to withdraw from the race after the warm-up lap, leaving just six Bridgestone runners to take part.

And what’s more concerning is that Pirelli have confirmed there is little they can do to ready the construction of the tyres for the more extreme banked corners at Zandvoort.

“The only thing we can do is to react with the pressure, and we will have to increase the starting pressure,” Pirelli head of car racing Mario Isola told Motorsport.com.

“If you look at the regulation we are obliged to stay on the same construction and same specification for the whole year, so we cannot design a tyre for the banking and we cannot design a specific construction, for Zandvoort.

“So the only possibility is to try to manage the prescriptions in terms of camber and pressure.”

Isola did confirm that Pirelli have been given data regarding the increased pressure which the banked corners will put on their tyres, and simulations to find a way to work with it have begun.

“We have also made a simulation of the track being completely flat and with the camber, so you can see the difference in terms of additional load on the tyre. That was what we had in mind to calculate.

“But now to make a proper investigation, we need to receive the simulation from the teams and then we are in a position to define the pressure.”

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