Pirelli to introduce new super-soft tyre for 2015

2015 F1 season

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A new super-soft compound is one of few changes Pirelli is making to its Formula One tyres for the 2015 season.

In its fifth year as F1’s tyre supplier, Pirelli intends to provide tyre largely similar to those raced last year.

“This year’s tyres will be evolutions of the 2014 tyres, with just one completely new tyre: the super-soft, which has a fresh rear construction and compound,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

The super-soft tyre was used at Monaco, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Red Bull Ring, Hockenheimring, Singapore and Yas Marina in 2014.

Hembery said the introduction of new V6 turbo engines last year was “the biggest challenge that we had experienced since entering the sport, thanks to a completely new generation of cars that featured very different characteristics to before”.

“Nonetheless, we met all our targets of helping to provide entertaining races, plenty of overtaking opportunities, diverse strategy options and an average of two pit stops per car at each grand prix, despite the many unknown factors for everybody.”

Pirelli also confirmed that of the 32,772 tyres it supplied at race weekends last year, over 38% went unused. The new engines pushed the maximum speed reached by an F1 car last year to 362.1kph, achieved by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull-Renault at Monza.

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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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36 comments on “Pirelli to introduce new super-soft tyre for 2015”

  1. Er…what was wrong with it?

    1. Too durable. Proper racing tyres aren’t supposed to last long. Ask Mark Webber.

    2. Why does something have to be wrong with it? The cars evolve, so do the Power Units and what might have been an appropriate compund last year might be useless this year with more power and torque from the 2015 cars.

      1. @wallbreaker What I meant was that they are only changing the super-soft compound for what reason? Why only that? What was wrong with it?

        1. @mashiat2 I’m not sure but I can recall the Super-Soft and the Softs were closer to each other than the rest of the compund range. For example in Monaco last year some drivers complained the Super-Soft was still too hard. Maybe they tweaked that to have a better performance balance across the entire range in accordance with the data from the teams.

    3. Yippee! another tire to not last a certain number of laps and suddenly puncture like at Silverstone! happy days for some more fake racing. Am I the only one who thinks this?

  2. The new engines pushed the maximum speed reached by an F1 car last year to 362.1kph, achieved by Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull-Renault at Monza.

    Yet Red Bull claimed they were so down on power, obviously they stripped of the downforce however if you look at the Williams for example that also stripped off downforce and was by design a naturally slippery car yet the Red Bull was quickest in a straight line.

    It was clear that the Renault engine was not good as competition last year but it’s little things like this that really highlights how much Red Bull talked down the engine to draw away attention from flaws with their car itself.

    1. the Red Bull was quickest in a straight line

      That top speed by Ricciardo was achieved when he was slipstreaming a car in front and with his DRS open, so it’s a little misleading to rely upon it as rebutting an assertion that the Renault PU had less power than the Mercedes unit.

    2. Redbull ran with an ultra skinny wing, Ricciardo had DRS and slipstreamed another car. Thats the reason why Redbull, of all teams, was able to set that record.
      I disagree with the point you make. Last years Renault PU was nowhere near as good as the Mercedes PU, and it’s understandable that Redbull was unhappy about that.

    3. In the very early stages of the race i.e. lap 10-15 Hamilton went 355 kph with only Rosberg in his slipstream.

      1. he did 359 behind massa easily. And actually continued to pull after he got out of his slipstream. That’s power.

  3. Pirelly shoul’ve changed wet tyres after what happened at suzuka. Safety first – show last.

    1. To be fair to Pirelli, they’re pushing for some wet weather tests so they can do exactly that.


    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      29th January 2015, 10:02

      The problem is that it’s incredibly tough to find the right balance between performance when switching from slicks to inters and inters to wets.

      Getting a smooth transition in terms of performance during drier and wetter conditions from slicks to inters to wets is very difficult to do.

    3. Remember, Bianchi has been on those tyres for some 17 laps, so he was pushing his luck a bit with more rain coming (though he wasn’t the only one). The truck being in that place at that time is unfortunate timing, more then anything else.

      But yeah, these tyres need more testing. Problem is, how the rules are written, it’s difficult to get an accurate test with the appropriate car.

  4. nearly 40,000 tyres :| thats huge.

    1. 40,000 tyres could wall a new track!

    2. 32,772 / 19 = 1,724 tyres per race weekend
      1,724 / 22 = 78 tyres per car per race weekend
      78 / 4 = 19 sets per car per race weekend

      1. 38% unused (presumably mostly wets and inters), gives 12 sets per car per race weekend used.

        1. Probably all fit into one 48′ shipping container. The question is what does FOM use to transport everything? I assume there are several cargo planes needed to transport 33 cars plus the pit equipment. Side note the original number didnt devide evenly into 19. Which means they likely didn’t send tires for the missing teams. I assume that the would reuse wet tires when not used so that isnt wasted. As someone in the logistics business the more I think about what has to be moved the more amazed I am that they can do back to back race weekends

  5. I think Rosberg would have been happier if Pirelli were introducing a new medium compound tyre…

  6. 12450+ unused tyres, damn.

  7. Excellent ! So while they use 30% less fuel and chase the green / efficient road relevant angle ,
    over 30 thousand tyres get made for 20 odd cars for one year ?
    Want to be road relevant?
    Make the tyres last as long as the engines ?

    1. @greg-c Pirelli do say they recycle all the tyres which come off the cars. And it stands to reason a substantial proportion of those unused tyres will be wet and intermediates which don’t get used at dry race weekends.

    2. Well @greg-c durable tyres is what we had in Sochi, and that was lasting one race. Whereas for example in Hungary fresh vs worn tyres made a Red Bull faster than one Merc and we ended with four cars fighting for the win.

      1. Sure, in hindsight , Sochi may have been better with a different compound choice , and Hungary , was an excellent race but was it just compounds alone that made the difference ? @lockup , I cant help but feel that these designed to degrade tyres , while adding strategic elements to a race , actually make the cars run at less than ” flat out”

        1. Oh I agree it needs more than just tyres @greg-c, but historically tyres have always degraded, back to the Goodyear days, apart from a spell with Bridgestone who were smart enough and cynical enough not to fall into the trap of supplying what they were asked to supply!

          I think tyres that slow during a stint add an extra dimension and open up opportunities for racing; bearing in mind that reduced to its simplest form, with no complicating factors, the cars will qualify in speed order then go round and round in speed order :)

          And yes it’s a waste, and so is the travelling. They have to minimise it, I 100% agree.

      2. @lockup Although the tyres undoubtedly were a large influence in that, it was also influenced by both Mercs having rear brake overheating problems during the race, as well as Hamilton’s car suffering a fuel pressure problem about halfway through the race. It supposedly led to a loss in engine power which was costing Hamilton up to 0.5 seconds a lap after it developed at roughly lap 40 (70 lap race, so it was a big time loss overall). Without that problem Hamilton may well have won the race by over 10 seconds if he had got past Alonso (which would have been easier with the extra power), so I don’t think the tyres alone made a Red Bull faster than a Merc.

        1. Fair point @polo, I’d forgotten the fuel pressure issue, Merc soft-pedalled that so thoroughly. Still I think we agree tyres that wear and have to be changed make a big contribution to the competition. That was what allowed Ricciardo to drive round the outside after all, and they can easily give 1-2s a lap which is the full difference between the cars.

          1. @lockup Agreed. I don’t think we would have had nearly as good a race in Hungary as we did without the impact of the tyre compound deltas and their degrading nature.

    3. Sure, why not one set of tyres for the whole season? No pitstops allowed! Blowout? Sorry mate, you’re out of this year’s championship! ;)

      1. “Chilton wins title, only car at last 4 races!” @abbinator

        1. Yes , valid points all, and funny as well , I just couldn’t help but gag on the irony of ” road relavent ” engine technology for manufacturers producing massive power with hybrid efficiency able to do 2000 K’s ? Per engine (4xrace/quali/FP) but needing a truck load of tyres to do it ,

          Lol , not that an 850 hp hybrid Renault is very road relevant ,

          Sure would be fun though ,

          Anyway , the resources needed to make , ship and distribute 30,000 tyres must be staggering ,

          1. Hurry up Melbourne !

      2. @abbinator
        And Rosberg doesn’t get a pay rise because he’s taken both Mercs out of the championship, ie , lockups , Monza-Sochi and Spa with Lewis’ puncture , ooops

  8. Sucks to be an F1 tyre supplier. Get them wrong and receive tons of negative publicity, or get them right and receive no publicity…

    Judging by how little discussion there was last year (Interlagos excepted) I’d say they did a good job, so kudos to them.

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