Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Pirelli doubt two mandatory pit stops would improve racing

2018 F1 season

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Forcing Formula 1 drivers to make at least two pit stops wouldn’t necessarily make for more exciting races, according to Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola.

The sport’s official tyre supplier has used its tyre selections to encourage drivers to use more varied, multi-stop strategies this year. But this has been largely unsuccessful: most races have been won using one-stop strategies.

F1’s current rules require drivers to make at least one pit stop if they only run dry-weather tyres during a race. Isola said there has been some debate about whether this should be increased to two, but this has yielded “nothing really serious or applicable in the short term,” he added.

“There are discussions on how to design a better regulation, of course, but this is something that happens every year.”

Trying to enforce such a rule, which other series such as the DTM has used in the past, would be problematic in F1, according to Isola.

“And also the possibility to have mandatory two-stops. But we need to pay attention because if you have a in the rules that you have a two mandatory stops there is a high risk to have all the cars stopping in the same lap, because your other constraints means that basically you define the strategy.

“If you say you have to use the three compounds, that means you have to stop twice, everybody will stop at the same time. It’s not really something that is generating more strategies or different approaches.”

Creating more rules could leave teams with less freedom to operate in, Isola added. “The more you add constraints you probably [start to] have the same strategies.”

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2018 F1 season

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30 comments on “Pirelli doubt two mandatory pit stops would improve racing”

  1. But the fight for the DHL trophy might become the big attraction on Sundays :P

  2. Repeating myself: the only step forward is finding ways to reduce pit drive through times.

    1. +1

      And when that is solved remove the mandatory pit stop and rules forcing top 10 to start on quali tires.

    2. @coldfly don’t formulate it that way, they might come with the idea to have car with limiter on at 200 kph (except if DRS is open with an allowance at 220).
      Pit time lost would be reduced, the box is ticked.

      More seriously, I am still in favor of dropping the mandatory pit stop and the start on qualifying tyres.
      Surely there is the possibility to design tyres around that, could they degrade slowly up to a hard layer making the car sliding? That would make it challenging for the one who want to push extra but safe and without tyre blowing.

      1. Surely there is the possibility to design tyres around that, could they degrade slowly up to a hard layer making the car sliding?

        Wasn’t that basically the so-called “cliff” of a few years back that everyone complained about? @jeanrien

        1. @toiago it doesn’t have to be. The cliff was often accompanied by delamination making the car undrivable and demaging it.

          If you have successive layer which get harder and harder you would have performance drop on a continuous manner and car starting to slide because of the lack of grip (not happening in one lap as before though)

    3. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
      16th August 2018, 9:47

      Redesigning pit entries/exits to something like Silverstone, where pitting means you miss a few corners of the regular lap, would reduce the pit deficit and encourage aggression be strategies

      1. Pat Ruadh (@fullcoursecaution)
        16th August 2018, 9:49

        My kingdom for an edit button

    4. I see your point, but realistically, i’m not entirely sure how that would work.

      Sure, on some circuits you could chop a little off, but generally speaking, we still need to bring speeds right down to make the pit stop procedure as safe as possible.

  3. Why all this artificial nonsense surrounding tires? Let the teams do their own strategies, if they want to do 0 stops, let them. There is no excitement in seeing regulated pit stops or mandated tire usage. The excitement is watching teams be creative. Same for aerodynamic regulations. Same for engines. Same for overtaking without a DRS. It seems FIA doesn’t and apparently will not get that.

    1. I agree. We have decent amount of tyre strategy between teams this year – Bahrain, China, Baku, Britain, Germany, Hungary …all had exciting tyre strategies that determined that winner of those races.

      If anything, the FIA should look at removing the mandatory usage of two different compounds on a Sunday. It would be great to see a team attempt a no stop race on the hard compounds. Or a team go for two or three stints purely on the compound used in Q3.

      A mandatory 2 stop race is such a bad idea that the FIA shouldn’t even waste their time evaluating it.

      1. Completely agree, I’ve been saying this since the Bridgestone era. Remember Kobayashi at Valencia 2010? Ran the whole race on one set and stopped in the last or second to last lap

      2. No, but it gives them another avenue through which to keep the racing processional, which it seems they are determined to do at all costs.

    2. @eljueta spot on, +1.

  4. Vettel fan 17 (@)
    16th August 2018, 10:49

    The reason no one does more then one stop is because of dirty air. A two stop might be theoretically faster but because of dirty air it’s so hard to overtaking you’re better off saving your tyres to eek out a one stopper. Fix that and teams might consider that

    1. This is it exactly, track position will always be better than an additional pit stop, especially since pit stops have a chance of going wrong.

    2. @vettelfan17 Overtaking a similarly-paced car has never been easy. The difference with earlier seasons is that drivers are now so good at nursing their tires that the pace advantage of fresh tires is (likely) not enough to overtake. So, unless you have nothing to lose, a 1-stopper is almost always the preferred option. The solution to the problem? Producing softer tires may not even help if the drivers are still able to make them last very long. Giving the teams more strategic freedom might work, for example by allowing drivers to start the race on whatever tire they want, but then too tire saving will likely wipe out the performance differences between the compounds, creating static races again.

  5. I agree with him.

  6. Didn’t Ross Brawn say repeatedly that Liberty Media are against superficial attempts to improve racing? For the 100th + 1 time…find a way to equitable distribution of revenue and most everything else will fix itself!

    1. @gpfacts: Nice idea. But Liberty can’t do that.

      They’re constrained by the Bernie debt. At best Liberty should take 25% of the pie – but need 50% or more to keep the Bernie $8Billion legacy alive. This season the teams get even less, not more. If they put another 25% into the team pot and cut back on the ‘legacy’ payments, we could see a fair distribution. Not going to happen.

      But, I fear their real desire for cost caps is so they can take more money away from the teams – not give it back in a fair and equitable fashion.

      What does Liberty (or did Bernie) do for F1 that deserved 50% of the profits? Not nearly enough. The teams is why we watch F1 – to watch the speed, the pinnacle of motorsport tech. Not to listen to Carey drone on about ‘fan engagement’. Liberty is, at best, a gussied-up booking agent. F1 is the talent. F1 teams are the show. Liberty is, as was Bernie, the money-sucking middleman.

  7. Just allocate them 3 sets of the softest tires and let them do as many or as little stops as they want.

  8. I would go the opposite direction: remove the two compound rule and let people do anything they want, from full race on “hards”, or soft then medium, or 2 stops using only softs in three stints, or…

    I don’t think drivers 1 stop because it’s the fastest way to complete the race distance (most of the tracks), but because it reduces the risk of getting stuck behind someone, what would then ruin their race and strategy. Leave the tires alone and fix the performance delta required to overtake someone. (they are trying with the new front wings, let’s see)

  9. Had too much coffee today so my brain is thinking strangely, but could all the cars start with extra ballast, say 40KG, and each time they pitted they would be allowed to remove 10KG.

    1. @emu55
      no such thing as to much coffee :)

  10. Good that Pirelli also speaks out agains this. Surely no one who has looked at F1 up close can think that mandatory 2 stopping would make it any more interesting?

  11. Make car lap times and overall pace improve when following a car and track position will be less important. Currently there is a penalty to follow a car so track position is of primary importance. The formula needs adjustment so a following car has a real advantage- not a fake DRS one. At this point the strategies will begin to randomize.

  12. The way I see it, there shouldn’t be any mandatory pitstop at all. With sorts of tyre selections, let the teams and drivers choose what’s best for themselves. Be as it may whatever they choose. We’re surely gonna see interesting races.

  13. ONE mandatory pit-stop has only made the racing worse, so why would anyone think that doubling down would work, even Pirelli can see that.

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