Pirelli predict increase in speeds and degradation

Date published: March 7 2017

Pirelli are predicting higher levels of degradation at this week’s Barcelona test as lap times tumble.

Entering the second and final week of testing, many are expecting the lap times to drop around the Circuit de Catalunya as the team turn their attention to performance.

And with the increased speeds should come an increase in degradation.

“If they improve the lap time by two or three seconds, we have to reassess the numbers in terms of degradation,” Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola told Motorsport.com.

“I heard some comments that they are too consistent and, maybe okay, with the numbers we have now [from the first test], it is true. But wait until [this] week and then see what happens.

“If you improve the lap time by two seconds also the degradation is changing.”

One of the main assessments coming from the first four-day test was a general lack of degradation with Pirelli’s new for 2017 tyres, leaving drivers to predict Formula 1 could be in for a season of one-stop races.

Paul Hembery, though, reckons warmer conditions and increased speeds could change that.

The Pirelli motorsport boss said: “We don’t believe we’ve seen what you will see in Melbourne, and most teams will tell you the same. Let’s see Saturday night in Melbourne.

“There is degradation, but I also say let’s wait for Barcelona with 20 degrees more temperature and maybe two or three seconds more performance, which seems to be the impression that people have.

“Three seconds a lap changes the whole scenario. It is not where we are now that we need to watch, it is where we are at the end of the season. The cars could then be dramatically different to where we are today.”