Istanbul won’t be harder on tyres than Silverstone despite turn eight – Pirelli

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In the round-up: Pirelli are confident Istanbul Park’s high-speed corners, including the infamous turn eight, won’t punish F1 tyres as hard as Silverstone, where several failures occured earlier this year.

What they say

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2020
Several tyre failures occured at Silverstone
The Turkish circuit has been resurfaced ahead of this weekend’s race. Pirelli’s head of motorsport and F1 Mario Isola says this will change how demanding it is for their tyres.

Talking about the severity of the circuit, we made some simulations and we have an idea. Obviously, the severity of turn eight is something that we know but we now have a good metric for us to compare circuits.

So we made a comparison between Istanbul and some other high severity circuits; to give you an idea, in general Istanbul is less severe than Spa and Silverstone. So we are not talking about a circuit that has a higher severity compared to circuits that we know better.

The Tarmac is new and actually we went there. Thanks to our people in Turkey, we had the chance to use a laser and measure the asphalt. It is quite smooth, it is very new. If I have to give you an idea of the behaviour that I am expecting, it is probably quite in line with what we have seen in Portimao.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

GT Racer raises a problem for the 2021 F1 calendar will cause for many in the sport, especially after a late-running and exceptionally intense 2020 season:

When they tried that triple-header in 2018 everyone in the paddock universally agreed it was too much and they shouldn’t do it again. This year they were forced to due to the pandemic and again concerns were raised regarding it been too much.

Yet next year they have two triple-headers. I can see that going down exceptionally badly with the crews as well as FIA and FOM staff who have to attend races as well as broadcasters who universally felt triple headers shouldn’t be done again.

I can see a lot of very burnt-out people around F1 at the end of next year.
GT Racer

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On this day in F1

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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39 comments on “Istanbul won’t be harder on tyres than Silverstone despite turn eight – Pirelli”

  1. It will…

    1. I agree, but these are the preferred tyres the teams chose. Pirelli offered better tyres but all the teams rejected that. I’m not sure what some potential podium place holder is supposed to say when a tyre failed on nearly the last lap, so costing them the podium place, but I’m guessing it won’t be expressing praise for Pirelli, which is unfair because the team wanted Pirelli’s older tyres not the newer ones.

      1. @drycrust

        Pirelli offered better tyres but all the teams agreed they weren’t actually better at all.

        1. @f1osaurus iirc the feedback (public anyway) was that the performance wasn’t any better and the tyres deformed under load differently to the 2019 spec which would have required more aero development from all the teams.

          I don’t recall the discussion being about tyre integrity, but on the flip side I also don’t recall Pirelli pushing that message either until the 2019 spec started failing this year.

          1. Pirelli did highllight that when we got the first commentary about the newer design not offering performance increases. It’s just it got swamped by all the “stupid pirelli for bringing new tyres that are worse than what we have” commentary from pundits, drivers, teams and boatloads of fans @sparkyamg

          2. @bascb at the time, the commentary was more on the breadth of the tyre temperature working window than the structural capacity of the tyres though.

            For example, when Isola talked about the changes to the construction of the tyres when they were developing their prototypes in 2019, he mentions altering the footprint of the tyres to adjust the heat transfer rates to reduce overheating and talking about how the compounds were altered to increase durability, albeit at the expense of peak grip. However, there is no explicit mention of making the tyres more durable to withstand the expected increase in downforce for 2020.

            It might have been an implicit development goal for the cancelled 2020 spec tyres but, at least initially, more of the public emphasis was on the issues of overheating and durability rather than on the structural integrity of the tyres. Given that the feedback from the drivers and teams was on the negative side with respect to the goals around the breadth of the temperature operating window, durability and sensitivity to overheating, it is perhaps not surprising that the 2020 tyres were viewed as being an overall failure due to failing to meet those targets.

        2. Pirelli offered better tyres but all the teams agreed they weren’t actually better at all.

          Pirelli referred to ‘better’ as more equipped to cope with the increased loads. Whereas the teams/drivers define ‘better’ as whatever suits them.

          Like asking a kid if candy is ‘better’ than vegetables.

          1. Just look up the press release: fia-and-pirelli-announce-2020-f1-tyre-specification

            There is nothing mentioned there about Brussels sprouts.

            The brief was to give the tyres a wider working range on heat management and allow the drivers to follow better. It did none of that.

          2. “The new solutions for the 2020 construction tyres tested last week in Abu Dhabi () allow lower tyre pressures than those used at the moment to be run. As a result, they are able to compensate for the increased performance expected from the next generation of cars.”

            (bold added by me to help people who thought this memo was a about vegetables)

          3. You should have bolded “next generation of cars” referring to the “18-inch era from 2021”.

  2. Re COTD Liberty are obviously very keen to increase it’s profits, while not being as single minded as Ecclestone and his mates about maximising revenue. Liberty do show a disregard to the welfare of the F1 crews as far as fatigue and work/life balance.

    1. You have to say, though, @johnrkh, that the teams have been pretty poor at defending their interests when it comes to the length of the calendar. 10-15 years ago, in older versions of the Concorde Agreement, teams got bonus payments for any races beyond 16 on the calendar, and had a veto if the calendar went beyond 17 races. Now we are told the promoters can schedule anything up to 24 races without opposition – seems clear that the teams have traded away their leverage on this point (probably for money). If employee wellbeing and work/life balance was on the priority list for most teams, they wouldn’t have given up these privileges.

    2. @johnrkh But increasing profit doesn’t necessitate triple-headers.

      1. @jerejj More races= more TV/internet coverage=more coverage for sponsors=more $$.

        1. Yep @johnrkh that’s why there’s a football world cup every year… oh wait!

        2. @johnrkh You entirely missed my point even though it was pretty clear, LOL. The same number of races gets achieved equally without triples, so no correlation there. The point was ‘doesn’t necessitate’ triple-headers.

          1. @jerejj

            The same number of races gets achieved equally without triples,

            It would stretch out the season longer increasing costs. The more you can cram into a fixed amount of time the greater the “efficiency” lowering the cost and increasing profits.
            I would have thought that was pretty clear?

          2. @johnrkh No, putting some of the races a week earlier and bringing the summer break forward by the same amount wouldn’t increase costs. The same number of races is achievable with only double-headers and standalone events and still keeping the important summer break at the same length. An effective way to reduce costs is to reorganize the season a bit by, for example, pairing Azerbaijan with Hungary or Austria instead of Canada. Alternatively, Russia, in which case Singapore-Japan double rather than Russia-Singapore-Japan triple. A US-Mexico-Brazil triple would be better logistically, and it’d also allow the season to conclude seven days earlier.

          3. @johnrkh Not much point keeping on arguing as this isn’t really getting anywhere, LOL.

  3. Well if that 2011 Turkish race taught us anything, an abundance of pit stops and overtaking does not necessarily make for memorable races.

    1. @tommy-c This is true. Tracks should make it possible to defend too.

    2. @tommy-c That’s because that was the norm for 2011. If that race had happened this season, we would likely have been thrilled with it. Not a classic by any means, but a good race without doubt.

      1. @mashiat I’m not so sure because we saw something a little similar in Portugal a few weeks ago as far as how easy DRS made much of the passing & how unsatisfying most fans found that.

        The powerful effect of DRS & the high level of degredation & huge performance gaps between worn & fresh tyres & the different compounds may have resulted in a crazy amount of passing but none of it was especially interesting, exciting or memorable. There was no decent battling or racing, Just a string of unsatisfying & utterly forgettable push of a button highway passes.

        And the high degredation & number of pit stops also made that race rather difficult to follow which also made it somewhat unmemorable given how everything just blurred together.

        That race was the definition of too much. Like a nascar plate race, a bunch of meaningless statistics which are forgotten the next day.

  4. …(Motorsport Technology)…

    While looking at the Motorsport Technology’s F1 portion of their website I came across an article that included this “To aid the driver in shifting gear at the right moment, the Dash unit has a row of LEDS, that can be configured to light up in green or yellow to show the increasing engine revs and then red as the RPM nears the engine’s red line. There is also an audible system, that sounds a tone in the driver headset inside their helmet to denote the shift point. This system is also used for lift & coast during the fuel saving phases of a race. It is often heard from the driver’s race engineer to lift or shift “on the tones”.”
    As I understand it, the rule is the driver is supposed to drive the car unaided. Obviously “unaided” doesn’t include the automatic ignition timing advance that is part of the ignition system (because it is extremely complex and can change multiple times in a second), but on the other hand “unaided” did result in … was it Renault who got penalised because their drivers had an automatic brake bias adjustment? Some team did get penalised for that. I’d have thought a driver would know when to change gear, so why do they need to have a computer telling them when to change? I recall seeing a video clip from years back where Fernando Alonso was using some LEDs to tell him when to change gear, and wondered if that was allowed. Apparently it is. If it is so important they change at exactly the right time then why not go the whole hog and use an automatic transmission (like most of the world)? If using an automatic transmission is considered aiding a driver, then why is a team allowed to install in the car an aid that tells the driver when to change gear?

    1. @drycrust A light doesn’t change gears for them. It’s just another representation of RPM.

      1. @f1osaurus True, but it indicates the person behind the wheel when to upshift, and in F1, the reference light-color is blue.

        1. @jerejj Like a redline on a tachometer then?
          I was going to write tacho but not being Australian I thought you may get the wrong idea :)

          1. @johnrkh Not really.
            I chose a lap under artificial lighting on purpose as that’s when steering wheel lights and displays are clearer from the T-cam view than under natural light, especially when sunny. Not quite the same as a redline on a tachometer.

        2. The solution that would make you happy is to go back to racing chariots.
          This driver “unaided thing” is being interpreted too weirdly by those who only see things in black and white and no cloudy days.
          The steering wheel is a driver aid. All the buttons to change modes or settings are driver aids. A button so supply drink to the driver is an aid. Radios, pit boards, pit crew etc are all driver aids.

    2. @tommy-c I don’t know when the first tachometer was fitted to a car but I’m confident it was a race car. I would think it would be a struggle to call a modern version of that a driver aid. Having said that I’m a big fan of manual gearboxes rather than the amazing but incredibly expensive dual clutch things.

      1. With the power and torque these modern engines produce and manual gearbox would get wrecked before a few laps are done. It is for the same reason even the engines themselves need some form of management so they don’t blow up.

        1. OOliver Um no.

        2. 917/30 Porches produced up to 1500 HP with a manual gear box they raced with around 1000hp. The BMW Williams could produce around 1200hp and raced at about 900hp again with a manual gearbox.

          1. Great, but gearboxes didn’t have to go 7 or 8 races back then. You could rebuild your gearboxes every day of the race weekend and after the races. For better reliability you need semi automation and more sensors. The reason for the proliferation of automation and sensors is reliability.

    3. @drycrust There is a huge different between lights telling you when the best time to shift is versus a computer doing it for you. The rule you refer to isn’t “black” and “white”. If it was the case, the driver would be the only member of the entire team.

      1. @mashiat Yes, gear-shifting via paddles is electronically assisted, but the driver still has to do the shifts himself and does it according to the lights (and maybe also sound beep) for the most part except when short-shifting sometimes.

    4. This, and many responses are quite interesting (the responses mostly in a good way).
      These ligths, as a shifting assistant are not new, so I don’t mind it at all. The sound or beep to give hints about shifting points sounds much more aided than the lights. I don’t really like the sound aided shift point hinting, although it sounds very functional and easy to adapt to. I don’t like it because I would like to see skills like adaptation and perception having a higher reward at this high level. Actually the more aids are around there the lower is the individual skill ceiling.

      I guess it’s not prohibited, because with the current rules mostly try to outrule coaching provided by humans, and this is provided by a system, and more it’s more like a hint than some kind of more complex coaching, and obviously it not acts instead of the driver.

      These cars must be quite quiet, and the engine’s sound is likely not as characteristic as it was in previous eras, so it makes the audible hinting more acceptable to me. See how much unaware Stroll was before he and Verstappen collided at Portimao, despite of Verstappen followed him very very closely on the main straight, it looked like he had no idea that Verstappen is there. (I remember, that Stroll said something like he was looking downwards, and was fiddling with some settings although, but still they not even had the same engine, so I would expect at least hearing something unusual if someone is so close for a while.) Are these cars really this inaudible under the helmet?

      1. As I have read, there is some sound indicator around DRS as well, as I remember to give a signal at the activation point. As I remember Michael Schumacher was one of the first drivers who asked his team to give him a rev-counter as a rookie, and the team found it quite unusual, because engines had much more character to sense by that time.

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