Pirelli’s 2020-specification tyre compounds, the introduction of which was blocked by F1 teams, would have stood up better to the exceptionally high forces seen at last weekend’s British Grand Prix, says the manufacturer.but unanimously rejected their introduction for 2020 in favour of continuing with the 2019 rubber.
Last weekend three drivers suffered tyre failures in the closing stages of the British Grand Prix. Pirelli said the tyres failed partly due to the extremely high forces exerted during the race, which were the greatest it had ever seen.
“The investigation says that the cause of the initial loss of pressure and then the deflation was caused by the level of stress on the tyre, on the construction of the tyre,” explained Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola.
Asked whether the 2020 compounds could have coped with the loads more successfully, Isola said: “That construction was more robust, stronger. I would say that was designed with these criteria in mind.
“If I have to compare the resistance of the 2020 tyre compared to the 2019, there is a step in this direction. And we can assess this step with our indoor test, with our methodologist. So, yes, is the answer.”
The failures suffered by Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Carlos Sainz occured without warning. Isola said Pirelli will consider changes for future tyre compounds which will help drivers judge when their rubber has become seriously worn.
“It looks like our tyres, also when they are worn, the level of grip is still quite good. This is something that we have in mind for the future, to generate a loss of performance when the tyre is worn.
“That is not for tomorrow, obviously, it’s something that we have to consider for the future.”
In the meantime Pirelli has decided not to go ahead with a planned test of new prototype rubber during second practice this weekend.
“For now, for this weekend, we have decided to cancel the test that was planned for Friday in order to give the possibility to the teams to use all of FP2 for their testing, their long runs and so on,” said Isola.
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