Formula One needs to generate more grip ‘mechanically’ from tyres and less through aerodynamics to create better racing, according to Pirelli’s sporting director Mario Isola.
Data from Formula One’s official tyre supplier showed the number of overtaking moves last season fell by 47% year-on-year. This was blamed by some on a new generation of high-downforce cars following a rules change.
Isola told F1 Fanatic that reversing this change would improve the racing. “My personal opinion is that we should have more mechanical grip and less aero grip,” he said.
“With more mechanical grip you encourage overtaking, it gets easier. Because when you’re following another car you lose less downforce and it’s easier to try to overtake. You can follow the other car closely. So in the future I would like to see more mechanical grip and less aero grip.”
Isola said the new generation of cars are much more sensitive to running in the disturbed air of another car, making it more difficult for them to follow each other closely. This also affects tyre performance, though this is something Pirelli has tried to address.
“You lose the tyre because obviously the temperature is going up [when following another car]. You slide and you increase the temperature, you overheat the tyre and lose performance.”
“The big step we did last year with the new family of compounds was to design compounds and use new ingredients to reduce overheating, control overheating. So even if you increase the temperature of the surface, the compound is still able to provide good grip.”
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