Alexander Albon, Red Bull, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Teams to test new tyre designed for Zandvoort banking next week

2020 F1 season

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Pirelli will give each team two sets of a new prototype tyre at next week’s test.

The tyres feature a modified construction designed to withstand the higher forces Pirelli anticipates will be generated by the new the banked corners at Zandvoort, which will host the Dutch Grand Prix.

Renovation work at the circuit is due to be completed by the start of March, two months before F1 returns to the track in May. Steep banking is being constructed at the Hugenholtzbocht (turn three) and Arie Luyendijkbocht (turn 13).

The corners will be banked by around 18 degrees. This compares to the relatively shallow 9.2 degree banking at Indianapolis, where Formula 1 infamously suffered a series of tyre failures during its 2005 grand prix weekend, which led to just six cars taking the start.

Formula 1’s official tyre supplier had previously said it could not design a specific tyre for Zandvoort and would supply its regular tyres, imposing suitable limits on camber and pressure. However Pirelli’s head of Formula 1 and car racing Mario Isola said they had decided to develop a special tyre for Zandvoort after analysing the data supplied by the circuit.

“This prototype has been designed with a slightly different construction because we are still analysing data coming from Zandvoort,” he said. “We made some analysis on the banking and the plan is to use these tyres with a slightly high pressure.

“So in preparation [for] that and because we are not fully aware of everything – we don’t have final data on the circuit, on the Tarmac roughness and so on, the idea is to test a slightly different construction here.”

Pirelli is yet to announce its compound selections for the race. It may decide not to nominate the special tyres for the race and use its regular constructions.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Teams to test new tyre designed for Zandvoort banking next week”

  1. I think its a big positive that Pirelli is at least looking at making special tyres.

  2. I have for a long time been under the impression that banking was forbidden on F1 compliant tracks, so is the acceptance (encouragement ?) of banking at Zandvoort a sign of F1 becoming less restrictive in terms of track compliance ? And could it lead to more existing tracks in the USA being able to host F1 ?

    1. The Zandvoort track is ready.
      Only gates, hospitality etc need finishing.

      1. erikje, from what I had heard, there was still a reasonable amount to do, such as finishing the construction of new access tunnels that need to go underneath the circuit (they’ve finished the box structure, but the approaches on either side are nowhere near ready). I believe there are other aspects too, such as the installation of the new drainage systems, that are still works in progress right now as well.

    2. @hohum I don’t think that there was anything that ever completely banned the use of banked corners on F1 compliant tracks. The FIA did permit moderate banked angles to be used, and there have been circuits used in recent years that did have banked corners – Turn 13 in Shanghai is a banked corner, as is the Dunlop Curve on the modern Nurburgring circuit.

      I would suspect that the reasons for not using sharply banked corners are more likely to be down to practical issues. Whilst it is not impossible to do so, building a steeply banked corner is more technically challenging, and thus more time consuming and expensive – I would imagine that is probably more likely to be why they tend to be avoided.

      You also have the cumulative issues that come with a banked corner – because the cars are likely to pass through the corner at higher speed, that then requires more substantial safety measures in the event that a car does lose control: again, whilst not insurmountable, you’re adding to costs and complexity there.

      As for more circuits in the US hosting F1 races, if you exclude the road courses of most oval circuits, I don’t think that there are actually that many circuits which have particularly extreme banking (at least when compared to those for circuits that are, or have been, in use in F1 in recent years). I suspect that it wouldn’t really open up any more venues than it does right now.

  3. Knowing Pirelli’s unrivaled technical “prowess”, I think their failure will be spectacular!

    Hope nobody dies.

  4. It nice to have banking . I wrote to Roger Penske now owner Indianapolis Speedway To talk F1 About having F1 oval track race Indy cars too 300 miles of Indy Should be the most view in the World 1/3 of the planet watch just a taught

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