Pirelli won’t trial protype tyres at race weekends

Date published: January 28 2020

Pirelli won't trial protype tyres at race weekends

Pirelli may trial new compounds of the same tyre during 2020 practices but they won’t test protypes for 2021 revealed Mario Isola.

Last year Pirelli gave the teams potential 2020 tyres to run during practice for the United States Grand Prix.

It didn’t go down well with the teams.

The extremely cold conditions meant the tyres were criticised by everyone, eventually leading to a vote to retain the 2019 tyres for this season.

But while Isola has told Autosport that Pirelli may test compounds of the same tyres brought to the race weekend during practice sessions, because “you are going to test something that is not affecting the balance of the car and other parameters on the car in a heavy way”, they won’t run protype tyres.

He added: “If we have to test a completely new tyre it’s probably the wrong way to do that.”

Speaking about what went wrong at the Austin weekend, he reckons one aspect was the lack of time as drivers have only three hours of track time on a Friday.

He says that prevented the teams from doing a “proper” tyre test.

“We supplied the prototypes to everybody, so it was a good opportunity [at Austin] to see how the prototype worked,” he said.

“The real, not mistake, but the important element of that test, [which] is why I believe that for the future it is not good to plan any test of validation during the race weekend, is that it is impossible for a team in three hours of free practice in total [excluding the FP3 session ahead of qualifying].

“When they are focused on their race weekends, they have to set up the cars for the race weekend, sometimes they have to test new parts.

“There is track evolution in every race. If we also had [to do] a comparison of a new tyre compared to the baseline, it is too much for three hours testing.

“So, it is a fact that they have to find a compromise to fit the additional tyre tests in a schedule that is already full of other stuff to do.

“And that means that in that condition it’s very unlikely that they can make a proper tyre test.

“That’s why we prefer to say ‘focus on tyre development tests where we have a whole day available’.

“The car is there, they can set up the car, we can make proper comparisons – long runs, short runs, different conditions, cambers calm, pressures calm, other stuff.

“We can have a proper evaluation.”

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