Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019

Pirelli expects ‘one-stop races but more action’ in 2019

2019 F1 season

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Formula 1 fans can expect to see less activity in the pits but more action on track this year, according to the sport’s official tyre supplier.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Mario Isola believes the changes to cars and tyres for the 2019 F1 season will improve quality of the racing on track, but expects single pit stop strategies to remain the norm.

Asked whether he expects the teams’ preference for one-stop strategies to continue this year, Isola said: “I think so.”

Last year Pirelli produced a softer range of tyres, hoping this would encourage teams to adopt more multi-stop strategies. Instead they favoured single-stop race plans as they were unwilling to sacrifice position on track due to the difficulty of overtaking.

Isola said Pirelli’s new tyres for 2019 will complement changes to the cars which are intended to aid closer racing and overtaking.

“The target is to make overtaking easier,” he explained. “The car that is following is feeling less the car in front, so you’re losing less downforce.

“On top of that the DRS would be more efficient – also that is in the direction of encouraging overtaking. And then also five kilograms of fuel more, so they have to save less fuel.

“That’s why we wanted to design tyres that are less sensitive to overheating and a bit more consistent because with the full package. [So] we maybe have one-stop but more action on-track. That’s the target, for overtaking on track.”

Isola also doubts the new cars will be slower as a result of the tyre and aerodynamic changes for 2019. “Everybody was convinced the new aero package was going to reduce the downforce,” he said. “Looking at the lap times, probably not.”

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  • 32 comments on “Pirelli expects ‘one-stop races but more action’ in 2019”

    1. Let say we have 60 laps race. Do the Pirelli tyres bulletproof enough to do 55 laps in Medium and 5 laps in Soft? The best cars could just use Medium on Q2 and having greater chance to get fastest lap point.

      1. Probably depends how much you are pushing the tyres, if you go slow enough you could probably do 200 laps on any set of the current tyres.

    2. MaliceCooper
      12th March 2019, 9:09

      If everyone is doing the same thing then why bother with pitstops at all?

      1. Because….umm…uh… it’s the Law!

        The FIA Law of Sexed Up Racing. Enjoy. And don’t forget to push the Fan Steward Button when required by the law.

      2. Because it provides an opportunity with the undercut/overcut.

        1. Getting rid of mandatory pitstops doesn’t reduce the opportunity for the undercut/overcut. It just adds another option for strategy. Besides who wants the overcut/undercut anyway? Passing in the pits is terrible.

      3. 3 cheers for Malice !.. Hip, hip

      4. That kind of things irks me.
        For those who always like to talk about “show” and stuff, having the driver/team decide whether to pit or not is something easily overlooked and I don’t get why.

    3. So, if we want variation just remove the mandatory tyre change and we should be fine

      1. No, it’s too logic….let’s just give an extra point for the team that make more pit stops in the race! Sigh….I wish they have listened to this. Drop the mandatory pit stops, but I guess it will never be done

    4. Does DRS count as “action”?

      1. it will mean the fastest cars get to the front more quickly, hence a greater probability of an extremely boring race. making DRS more powerful is one of the worst things they could do, but here we are.

        1. Yep, @frood19, and for goodness sake, don’t get rid of the blue flags!

    5. Hopefully they last longer than last year’s tyre. It was awful watching tyres that were designed to do a 2 stop race were forced to do a 1 stop race most of the time.

      On the other hand, I wonder if the gap in degradation is still big enough to allow B teams attempting a fastest lap if their parent team asks for it. Assuming teams who entered Q3 only have a set of fresh tyre while the remaining half have a couple or so like last year, the Q3 teams will have no answer when the smaller teams pit for the 2nd or 3rd time to nail that fastest lap. It’s a bit of a stretch but I’m really excited for the race on Sunday

    6. Flicking through the comments shows that this issue is incredibly complex.

      Firstly, the teams know that it is difficult for cars to overtake each other these days so this means that track position is king. While this is the case, the teams will never make more stops than is absolutely necessary (the one mandatory stop in this case). There is very little Pirelli can do to fix this.

      Secondly, we lament DRS being a thing but as long as fans demand races filled with “overtaking” I can’t see what other options FOM/the FIA have until a fundamental shakeup of the technical regulations takes place.

      Thirdly, a lack of overtaking does not mean the race is boring. Monaco 1992 (the last 15 or so laps at least) and Jarama 1981 prove this.

      Fourthly, are one stop races necessarily a bad thing? As long as the race is interesting and there are battles throughout the field the number of pitstops each driver makes is irrelevant. Berger won Mexico 1986 and Schumacher won Portugal 1993 on no stop strategies.

      1. @geemac – good points.

      2. @geemac The problem with these tires is that going slowly all race long is the dominant strategy. Perhaps if overtaking gets easier this year, it will be harder to protect the tires without being overtaken, which is a good thing. The easiest way to increase strategic variation is to ditch the two-compound rule, as the difference between zero and one stop is much larger than the difference between one and two stops. By the way, Schumacher did make a pit-stop in Portugal 1993.

      3. @geemac, I believe that Murray Walker has previously said that he found the 1981 Spanish GP at Jarama was a pretty dull race to commentate on, mainly because most people knew how difficult it was to overtake around that circuit. Because of that, even though the drivers were quite close together on track, there wasn’t that much tension over the race and it wasn’t that engaging to watch as a result.

        As an aside, @f1infigures is right that Schumacher did make a pit stop during the 1993 Portuguese GP – he is recorded as making a 5.3s long pit stop on lap 22 to change tyres.

    7. ”And then also five kilograms of fuel more, so they have to save less fuel.”
      – I doubt the increase in the maximum fuel allowance by 5 kg is going to make a noticeable difference in the end.

      1. @jerejj – agreed. Impose a minimum fuel limit as well, and it might help matters.

        1. No it won’t help anything, they will just burn off the excess fuel on the recon and formation laps until they are underweight and then start fuel saving again. Just accept that fuel saving is the fastest way to run the race. The only way to force them to want to run more fuel is to give them much better tires that can handle being pushed 100% for every lap, and make overtaking easier.

    8. I’d much rather see most races feature two or three stops, with one stop being a rarity. There is so much excitement and action to come from pit stops, and I’d rather see a two or tree stop race where drivers are pushing their tires hard, compared to a one stop where they’re conserving them. I want that gain from pushing hard in a two or three stop race, to overcome the pit delta. Do most others feel the same?

      1. Doesn’t matter how the fans feel. The problem is, most tracks have a pit stop delta around 20-25 seconds– that is, even with a perfect pit stop, you’re going to lose 20-25 seconds of on-track time.

        So even if your tires are degrading to the point where you’re losing a second every lap, you can do that for 19 laps, and still be ahead of the car that pitted 19 laps ago when their tires just started falling off. Pit stops are incredibly expensive in terms of lap time, so the engineers are going to engineer around them if at all possible.

        Personally, I’d rather go back to refueling, with short-lived tires that can be raced hard from pit out to pit in.

        1. So just make tires that lose 2 or 3 seconds a lap when degraded.

      2. Only way this would be good is if they got rid of the speed limit in the pits. I just don’t get how anyone can like the cars slowing down to 50mph on purpose 3 times a race. Just kills the flow.

        1. @darryn, on the flip side, there is then the problem of protecting the people within the pit lane from cars that are coming along the fast lane at full speed.

          There have been injuries, and even fatalities, due to individuals being struck by cars travelling a high speed down the pit lane in the past when there were no speed limits – even at the current limit of 100km/h, I imagine some would still find it disconcerting to have a car travelling past you at a speed close to that of the national speed limit of most nations.

    9. One thing that could be improved immediately is to let the teams choose their tires from all 5 compounds. That will make it much more likely to see different strategies.

      1. No it wont, they will all congregrate to the best strategy very quickly.

    10. I expect a change in strategy because of this new rule of 1 point for fastest lap. Maybe a long first stint on harder tyre and then changing to softer tyre at least on tracks which are favorable for overtaking. Pushing at the end on low fuel to get the fastest lap.
      This 1 point for fastest lap might just work pushing teams to go for different strategies instead of the normal 1 stop races.

    11. I don’t expect nothing special happening on that tiny ridiculous straight.

    12. Y’all think this one point for fast lap is gonna mean everyone is going to chase that point and make for better racing. Aint gonna happen, just like the qually change that didnt go anywhere a few years ago. The fastest lap will be set by one of the top three teams during normal running. The extra point is not worth making a risky strategy if one is getting points for sixth place anyway.

      I see the only benefit to this fast lap point is at the end of the season when every point counts. It may, in fact, take away from the drama. Law of unintended consequences.

    13. Electroball76
      14th March 2019, 9:16

      They could make it mandatory that everyone pits on lap 30 and at least one other time

    Comments are closed.