Formula 1 teams say the number of tyres they are allocated for testing is limiting the amount of running they can do.
With the V6 hybrid turbo regulations now in their sixth years, power units have become so reliable teams are capable of coverage huge mileages in little time. Mercedes is averaging more than two race distances per day.
“I think now that the cars are getting pretty reliable and can cover big mileage you find that by the end of the afternoon you’re running out of tyre sets,” Renault technical director Nick Chester confirmed when asked by RaceFans.
“So some tyres we’re sort of recycling and trying to get as much out of as we can but you get to a point where you’re pretty much out of tyres by the end of the day.”
Increasing the number of sets available for pre-season testing is a possibility according to Chester.
“It’s not something we’ve discussed with Pirelli yet but we could have more sets. For next year if we brought more sets [to] winter testing that would allow us to do a little bit more. We’ll do a little bit more representative running.”
Even Williams, which has covered the fewest laps of any team as it did not run its new car for the first time until the third day of testing, is being constrained in its approach by the number of tyres available.
[smr0901]”Within the team one of the biggest points of debate every night and even within the day – and we don’t always agree on it – is what should we do,” explained to chief technical officer Paddy Lowe.
“How shall we spend run time. How shall we spend our tyres. And there’s never, by a factor of two or three, there’s never enough time or tyres to do everything that everybody wants to do.
“We need to cover reliability, we need to cover measurement particularly to improve on our understanding in our development tools back at base. We need to do experiments in the configuration of the car, the fundamental aspects of aerodynamics particularly. And then we need to do set-up and we need to do driver preparation for racing.
“It’s very difficult, it’s impossible actually, to cover all of those things in the time available.”
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