Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

“Aggressive” tyres will make Spanish GP a break from the norm – Pirelli

2018 Spanish Grand Prix

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An aggressive tyre selection for this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix will make for a different kind of race at the Circuit de Catalunya, Pirelli has predicted.

F1’s official tyre supplier has chosen a much softer range of rubber for this weekend’s race. Its 2018 tyre range is softer than last year’s and Pirelli has also gone one ‘step’ softer with its selection for Spain.

“We are going with a quite aggressive selection because we have the medium, the soft and the super-soft – which is like last year with the ultra-soft,” said Pirelli’s sporting director Mario Isola.

For the first time this year, the teams chose their tyres for this weekend after pre-season testing began. They have differed widely in their choices, with some drivers having up to twice as many sets of the softest tyres available.

While teams have often avoided using the hardest tyres in Pirelli’s selections, Isola predicts all three compounds will come into play on Sunday. “We expect a different race compared to the past,” he said.

Another change for this year’s race is a new, smoother and gripper surface at the Circuit de Catalunya. This has increased the stresses on the tyres, prompting Pirelli to introduce special tyres with thinner treads, which it believes will reduce rear tyre temperatures by up to 10C.

“We decided to reduce the thickness because not having wear is not really an issue,” Isola explained. “With less wear they can run longer stints depending if they can manage the degradation. But we saw very low degradation with the new Tarmac, so it is a quick pace with low wear and low degradation.”

Some teams could encounter blistering in the race, Isola added. “It’s possible because we have quite high temperature in the compounds.”

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23 comments on ““Aggressive” tyres will make Spanish GP a break from the norm – Pirelli”

  1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
    7th May 2018, 13:10

    Do we have the tires choice for this weekend yet?

      1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
        7th May 2018, 13:14

        Oh god it was also in the article. Please insult me.

        1. No insults but that was funny. I don’t mind having conversations with myself but when I have different opinions it worries me 😉

          Enjoy the race weekend @m-bagattini 👍

          1. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
            7th May 2018, 14:27

            I don’t even start worrying until opinions are at least 3 or 4

            Let’s hope for a great show @garns !

          2. Too funny mate. Hoping for a great weekend. After Melbourne everyone was thinking it would be a dull year but the past 3 races have been barn burners!

            Imagine if we get a few overtakes in Monaco 😲😁

            Which driver or team do you follow?

          3. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
            7th May 2018, 15:10

            Really, I don’t know what to wish for. On one side we had great, very entertaining races. On the other hand, as a Ferrari fan, I’d also like to see them win; you know, one of those boring races where with Vettel in front from start to finish. But again, this year is really cool and I’m very into knowing more about mid-fielders and so on.

            How about you, who’s your favorite?

          4. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
            8th May 2018, 15:52

            Forgot to tag @garns and notify

          5. Garns (@)
            9th May 2018, 5:09

            Being Australian Dan Ric is my favourite – great driver but also I like how he’s a bit of a larrikin as well.
            Other drivers I follow are Bottas, I like to see Max do well (don’t mention Baku) and also the Force India guys (again, don’t mention Baku).

            I think the talent of the grid at the moment is pretty awesome and like you say the mid field battle is going to be tight. Also like seeing how the young guys like Leclerc and Gasly develop as well.

          6. Matteo (@m-bagattini)
            9th May 2018, 11:56

            @garns See, I – like most of fellow Italians – am a fan of Ferrari. Doesn’t really matter who’s driving. Our worst current “enemy” is Hamilton but I become his #1 fan if he switches to the prancing horse. That being said, Dani is one of the few drivers I love to follow even if he’s not a Ferrari driver. He’s just too loveable. I would love to see him moving to Maranello. What do you think about this scenario?

          7. I actually liked melbourne, I admit there were few overtakes and it must’ve been boring to the most casual fans (not saying you are, but I mean someone who was just starting watching f1), but it was interesting to try and assess the speed values, like will ferrari be able to keep up with mercedes, and red bull?

            Watching hamilton pull away at 1,5 tenths per lap from raikkonen I was already quite optimistic for the season, usually hamilton in front means domination, not so little per lap.

            Then I saw red bull out of place but despite of that they proved to be at least as quick as ferrari, haas very competitive and still in a tier 2 compared to the former teams, followed by renault and mclaren on pace, and then the struggling teams, it was imo an interesting race.

            Certainly the following ones were more interesting, one could say every race this year so far was more interesting than previous one, which is probably gonna come to an end this weekend, baku was so crazy.

  2. Good.

  3. I like this. While it’s a great F1 circuit it hasn’t produced too many classics over the past few years. I was there in 2016 for Max’s first win (which should have been Daniels) but if not for the Mercs would have been a easy win. Hoping for another great race next weekend

  4. so tired of the talk about tyres.

    can we please go back to not using tyres as artificial gimmicks with stupid artificial gimmickey forced degredation and extreme tyre management races that does nothing but produce situations where car a on fresh tyres is so much faster than car b on worn/harder tyres that there is no good battle and any resulting overtake is as utterly devoid of interest as drs highway passes.

    f1 as the pinnacle of the sport really should be using the best tyres available, using them as gimmicks with artificial degredation and tyres that are far from been the best is just making f1 look silly & the reason i don’t bother with gp2/f2 anymore. it just isnt real racing now, too much artificial stuff creating fake, boring gimmickey non-racing!

    1. It’s either that, or non-stop processions from flag to flag. F1 truly is the pinnacle of motor sports, and at this stage its perfection is threatening to kill any excitement. Therefore it cannot do without a few variables that complicate the approach to a race and open the door for diverging strategies. Gotta swallow a bitter pill one way or the other.

      1. if i had a choose i’d take non stop processions over fake gimmicks every day of the week.

        i do not find the drs/tyre deg gimmick racing to be entertaining or fun, for me its just a complete turn off. i no longer bother with f2, i no longer watch every f1 race live because most of the love & passions for this sport i used to have has been eroded away over the past 7-8 years thanks to these gimmicks & the fake racing they produce.

        the ‘passing’ these gimmicks provide are for me about as fun as falling down some stairs. totally devoid of skill, bravery, excitement or fun…. utter rubbish as far as im concerned.

        1. Well you’re probably alone in wanting to see processions.

          1. There’s always a whinger.. this stuff about “pinnacle of racing” is some sort of by-word to legitimise someone’s complaint.

            It’s not like tires have never become an issue in previous eras. Drivers, engines, weather conditions, chassis are also talked about in this forum.

  5. I just hope thinner treads didn’t give Merc too much advantages…

    1. Why would it give Mercedes an advantage @ruliemaulana?

      1. FlatSix (@)
        8th May 2018, 14:49

        @3dom Because they recommended it, and although at least 3 teams said it was not called for, Pirelli followed their recommendation under the idea it was to improve ‘safety’. Now what does it have to do with safety I hear you wonder, well this change had to have a 70% vote to be passed, and it most likely would’ve never gotten that. Pirelli cleverly announced the change was for safety and then there’s no voting needed at all.

      2. @3dom just like what @flatsix saying. Merc always having trouble with tyre high temperature which why they tends to pick harder tyre than other team. Thinner thread tyre helps reduce tyre temperature.

        1. Thanks @flatsix @ruliemaulana. I also can’t comprehend why reducing the tread depth can be classed as safer, I wonder how they argued that one?

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