Pirelli keeping 2020 tyre tests a secret

Jamie Woodhouse

Pirelli have revealed the tyre compounds for the first eight rounds of the 2020 season.

Pirelli are working on repeatable “indoor tests” to design their 2020 tyres to F1’s requests, but they are keen to keep the details a secret.

The Italian company have been asked to produce tyres with lower degradation and wider operating window for 2020, but they had concerns both about the amount of time they had to test the compounds and how well they would work in different temperatures.

However, Pirelli’s motorsport chief Mario Isola has revealed that they are working on “indoor tests” to make sure they get the tyres right for 2020.

“What we are doing for next season is to redesign the construction in order to modify the footprint, and this is mainly to reduce overheating,” explained to Motorsport.com.

“And to design new compounds with new ingredients we are exploring new directions in order to have a wider working range.

“We have been working with some indoor tests to understand how to identify and measure the working range properly because the working range is affected by a lot of different elements.

“If you measure the working range of the same tyres and same compound on track, on two different cars, or two different tracks with different asphalt, it is different because it is affected by a lot of different parameters.

“So to identify the working range, we need an indoor test that is repeatable. And this is giving us the opportunity to compare compounds and to understand if we are going in the right direction to have a wider working range or not.

“That is not easy. It is easy to explain now, but for our colleagues to do that is not easy.”

But, exactly what these tests involve will remain shrouded in secrecy.

“You are trying to discover confidential information that I cannot really say,” he said when pushed for details by Motorsport.com.

“It is quite an important achievement and it was a hard job for the people there. We would like to protect it and not give our competitors the information.

“But it is something that is a new system, a new process. It was a way of finding a new methodology.”

One team who should be happy to hear that Pirelli are trying to widen the operating window of their tyres are Haas.

The American team have pointed the finger at Pirelli’s 2019 rubber as being partly to blame for their awful race pace, but team principal Guenther Steiner admitted that they need more than a “magic tyre” and had to solve their own problems.

“I don’t rely on Pirelli because we haven’t seen a solution yet,” he said. “Even with a different tyre we would not drop off this brutally but we would still not be fast enough. We need to work on ourselves as well.

“This tyre just needs loads of downforce to make it work and that is what we haven’t got. So it is pretty obvious when you see it.

“I am not relying on Pirelli to come up with a magic tyre because even with a magic tyre on this car we would not be fast as the other ones would still go faster. The drop off wouldn’t be as brutal but the rest would be pretty similar.

“So we need to work on ourselves as well and see what Pirelli comes up with and hopefully the tyre will not be worse than this one.”

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