Pirelli goes aggressive with soft tyres at Spa

2014 F1 season

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Pirelli has stepped away from its policy of bringing more conservative tyres this year by selecting the soft and medium tyres for the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix.

Formula One’s official tyre supplier has used its hardest tyres at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the past two seasons.

It last brought the soft tyre to this race in 2011, where concerns over blistering arose during the weekend. Pirelli attributed this to some teams exceeding the recommended camber angles, and Red Bull were among those to run very short stints on the soft tyres at the start of the race.

Pirelli will stay true to form with its tyre choices for Monza and Singapore, where respectively its hardest and softest rubber will be used.

2014 tyre compounds so far

Circuit2014 Option2014 Prime2013 Option2013 Prime
MelbourneSoftMediumSuper SoftMedium
Monte-CarloSuper SoftSoftSuper SoftSoft
MontrealSuper SoftSoftSuper SoftMedium
Red Bull RingSuper SoftSoftn/an/a
HockenheimringSuper SoftSoftn/an/a
SingaporeSuper SoftSoftSuper SoftMedium

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Pirelli goes aggressive with soft tyres at Spa”

  1. Neil (@neilosjames)
    24th July 2014, 14:10

    And here was me appreciating the more conservative choices…

  2. I dont understand if They go Aggressive for Spa why not for Monza

    1. higher speeds = higher tire temps = higher degradation = the need for harder tires @harsha

      1. @beejis60
        But last year we saw Tires loosing temps on straights and with harder tires this year its hard to keep them under Required temps so going to 2011 allocation of Soft and Medium is the better choice as they did for Spa
        any way they choose them so its done and dusted

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        25th July 2014, 3:46

        Higher cornering speeds cause those effects. Driving in a straight line actually cools the tires.

  3. Considering that the 2014 tyres last longer (2014 soft=2013 medium), I don’t see it as aggressive. The names changed, but the tyres are the same(almost).

  4. I would rather they have stuck to the more conservative approach seem earlier in the year as that has produced some great racing.

    I really don’t want things to go back to what we had the past 2 years where tyres were the dominating story every race with tyre degredation taking away from good on track racing.

    1. As has been pointed out by other posters, given that the current tyres were designed to be more robust than the 2013 spec tyres, combined with the reduced cornering speeds due to the cut in downforce, the current compounds are reckoned to be about one grade more durable than their equivalent 2013 counterpart.

      With that, a 2014 spec soft tyre is more comparable in performance to a 2013 medium tyre – if anything, the complaints from the drivers at a number of circuits (particularly at slower circuits where there is a heavier reliance on mechanical grip) has been that the tyres have been too conservative and are not binding to the tarmac as effectively.

    2. I’m with PeterG, tyre degradation might mix up the results but it discourages drivers from challenging or defending for position.

      Anon, drivers always want more grip but the racing is always better with less grip (eg. damp track ) and less grip provides opportunities for the best drivers. The only reason I can see for using the super-softs would be to make lap times comparable to past years.

  5. Good mix IMO, 4-5 of each combination so far.

    1. I can already imagine that Force India are planning one stop less for Spa, somewhere they are usually quite strong..

  6. Hopefully they’ll use soft and medium or soft and super soft at COTA

    1. Hopefully they will use the hard and medium for every race from now on.

  7. I think this is good news. The problem of the last couple of seasons has been either the tire exploding, or degrading in an non-linear matter. This season, both of those issues are fixed. Teams are better able to predict tire wear, and thus no ridiculous strategies appear. Personally i think 3 stops are fine, and should be doable on those tires at Spa. Monza however i think is a bit too conservative. Overall Pirelli has done a great job so far this year in my oppinion.

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