Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola has responded to complaints from Formula 1 drivers about how tyre performance makes it difficult for them to overtake.
“The new rules are great for following another car,” said Romain Grosjean, “but the tyres are still what they were last year. As soon as you push, you slide, and then you lose the grip.”
F1 rookie Alexander Albon said he was surprised how much grip he lost from the tyres when he caught another car.
“When you’re following cars it’s really bad for tyres,” he said. “So battling is really difficult. You can’t spend more than two laps in a row, really, without overheating them.”
Isola said Pirelli is prepared to listen to the drivers and wants more information about what they’ve experienced.
“I accept the comment if they explain a bit more in detail which is the problem that’s related to the tyre. Is it overheating? Is it degradation? Is it what?
“Obviously we are always working to improve the product we supply. We are already developing the product for 2020. Even if we know that for 2020 it’s the last year of 13-inch tyres. So putting an additional fork in developing these tyres could be useless because we can focus our development on 18 inches instead of spending money or resources on developing the 13-inches while we are doing that because we want to supply a better product.”
“When they make generic comments like this one it’s a bit more difficult because I need to understand who made the comment [and] why they made the comment,” he added. “It is sometimes difficult to find the drivers and talk to them.
“But as you know sometimes I go to the drivers’ briefing and I like to understand from their perspective which are the areas of improvement and it’s very useful because they drive the car, they have the feeling and they know what to suggest.”
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