Tyre complaints make no sense to Pirelli

Jamie Woodhouse
Pirelli claim they are puzzled by the complaints about their 2019 tyre range.

Pirelli claim they are puzzled by the complaints about their 2019 tyre range.

Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli say they don’t understand why teams are complaining that the 2019-spec rubber is hard to get into the operating window.

Haas have led the charge, claiming their trend of a strong qualifying followed by a poor race is partially down to the new Pirelli rubber and how hard it is to find an operating window for the compounds, while Lewis Hamilton has also shared his dissatisfaction.

But now, Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola has said he is puzzled by the complaints and suggestions of the compounds having a narrower operating window.

“If we talk about the width of the working window, and I heard some comments that this year it is narrower, it is difficult to confirm that,” Isola told Motorsport.com.

“What we call the C3 and C4 are two compounds that are the same soft and ultrasoft that we had last year. Obviously the working range is a function of the compound, so with the same compound we have the same working range.

“I don’t want to say it is wider, but what I will say is that they can use it at a higher temperature because of a reduction of thickness [of the tread], but we cannot say that it is narrower.

“The C1 and C2 are two compounds that are softer than last year so are more suitable, and the C5 in terms of hardness is the same as a hyper soft, so in terms of mechanical resistance it is better.

“We had a back-to-back comparison in Baku with some teams using the hyper versus the C5, and it is clear that the hyper had graining and the C5 had much reduced graining, so I don’t understand where we can say that it is a narrower window.”

Pirelli say they are puzzled by the complaints over the 2019 tyre range.

Nonetheless, he suggested Pirelli may look at making a wider working window in the future to address the concerns.

“Obviously I take any comments coming from the teams on board because narrower or not, they are asking for a wider working range, the result is that they say it is narrow,” he said.

“What is clear is that we have to work in the future to have a wider working range. Obviously we are designing new tyres for 2020 and also for 2021 considering the plan to remove blankets, so we are changing the approach in how we design the compounds.

“We are testing new ingredients and new materials to try to achieve this target, and we will evaluate if we want to introduce something new for 2020 to test also for 2021.”

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