Tyres, Yas Marina, 2021

Pirelli expect one-stop strategies at “most races” in 2022

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In the round-up: Pirelli’s Mario Isola expects that one stop strategies will be the norm for 2022 races this season

In brief

Pirelli expect one-stops at “most races” in 2022

Pirelli’s Mario Isola says he expects that one-stop strategies will be commonplace during the 2022 F1 season.

With a combination of dramatic aerodynamic changes to cars and new 18-inch low profile wheels for this upcoming season, Isola expects reduced tyre degradation during races this year.

“We are expecting a performance that is in line with the current tires, but the car is different, the downforce is different and maybe we will have a small difference in performance,” Isola told Tire Technology International.

“I’m expecting most of the races will be one-stop, simply because if you have less degradation and tires with the characteristics I have mentioned, there is no reason to have more than one stop. If we have really close racing and we have action on track, who cares about the pit stops?”

Mazepin did not watch races back on TV

Haas driver Nikita Mazepin says he has not watched any of the races from his rookie season in F1 back on TV.

Despite saying that watching F1 as a child was “something I seriously was looking forward to during my day” growing up, Mazepin says he has not done so with any races he’s competed in.

“In a way, I very much miss sitting in front of a TV because, thanks to me being in F1, I actually have never watched one start this year so far,” Mazepin said.

“So the good commentary – ‘lights out and away we go’ – I am not getting many of that.”

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Comment of the day

Did Sergio Perez earn a second year at Red Bull because of his ability, or because he compliments world champion Max Verstappen? Reader @neilosjames sees parallels with a former team mate of a champion…

I knew Perez would be well behind Verstappen, just didn’t expect him to be quite as bad. Especially in qualifying.

But he’s a perfect in his role because he has the ‘Irvine Factor’. He can show up to a grand prix, fully aware that he could drive every single lap at 100% of his own ability and the guy in the other car would still beat him. He could do the lap of his life and Verstappen would still be a tenth or two quicker. And it doesn’t seem to bother him – he can accept that he isn’t as good as the team leader and he doesn’t sulk about it, just gets on with his job and everyone is happy.

I don’t think Albon or Gasly could do that… neither had the ‘I’m #2 and I’m happy’ mentality. And over at Mercedes, I don’t think Bottas had it either.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Dsob and Michael Hu!

On this day in motorsport

  • 55 years ago today Jack Brabham led a one-two for his own cars in qualifying for the season-opening South African Grand Prix at Kyalami

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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  • 30 comments on “Pirelli expect one-stop strategies at “most races” in 2022”

    1. Hey everyone!

      Just want to wish all of you a very happy New Year. This is a year that promises a mouth-watering prospect for F1 fans and a heck of a lot if you enjoy just about any form of motorsport too.

      I’m looking forward to sharing every part of it with the many amazing people who are on this site. Expect to see a lot more from me down here in the comments section this year!

      1. Thanks @willwood, looking forward to seeing you in the comments more often again!

    2. RandomMallard
      1st January 2022, 0:50

      Echoing most of the social media posts above, a happy new year to everyone at Racefans. Let’s hope 2022 can deliver another great season (although I’m not sure I could another year as intense and controversial as the last one). New cars, new driver moves and new regs. Let’s hope it lives up to the hype

      1. Happy New Year.

        PS I’m still busy solving the Collatz conjecture.

    3. Interesting COTD. Perez works out quite well for Red Bull, but only when they have a car that can fight for championships, where they can deploy Sergio tactically. If they were even a few tenths slower, or if the field were closer together performance-wise, then he may have less appeal. Perhaps this is why Albon and Gasly, mired in the midfield, struggled so much more?

      The attitude aspect I completely agree with though. Sergio seems happy to pick up podiums and get a warm welcome in Mexico every year. Whereas Albon or Gasly would never be satisfied with “just” that!

      1. If they were even a few tenths slower, or if the field were closer together performance-wise, then he may have less appeal.

        Unfortunately Perez wasn’t there on the many occasions when the RBR was at par. It probably cost the constructors title.
        But luckily he showed up when the car was slower but they needed his help in Abu Dhabi.

      2. Interesting comment indeed. But contrary to COTD, I read that Irvine was not happy by his treatment in 1999. Schumacher and Todt seemingly didn’t want the #2 driver to win the championship. He was then replaced by a more obedient Barrichello.
        I easily see Pérez going the same way as Bottas: tired of not being able to match his lead driver and leaving. Granted it’s more Mercedes that decided to replace Bottas, but Valterri really seem relieved to change team.

    4. Had some doubts about the move to 18-inch, they now are looking pretty good though;

      1. the move to 18-inch, they now are looking pretty good

        Personally I’m more interested in the consistent implementation of track limits and safety car rules than the needless changes of wheel aesthetics.

        1. JohnnyRye (@)
          1st January 2022, 7:14

          I’d argue that the change isn’t about aesthetics, because most don’t mind the look of 13s, but rather about comparisons to most current road cars. You can’t get a 13 without a special order in NA

          1. @johnnyrye aesthetics do seem to be the main reason for that change to occur – Michelin, when it tendered for tyres in the past, and now Pirelli, have pushed the idea of moving to a larger rim size on the grounds that the appearance is more similar to that of premium road cars (i.e. it is about creating a visual link that can then be used to advertise road tyres). Certainly, Wurz has commented, in his role as head of the GPDA, that the drivers considered the move to be entirely driven by marketing decisions and that they don’t think there’s a net performance benefit.

            1. Well in that case the move to 18 inch was totally pointless, as the aesthetic effect is completely negated by the fairings. I mean if you look at the wheels as they are, then they surely look better (or at least more “road relevant”) than the 13 inch wheels, but with the fairings, I don’t really see the similarity with the 18 inch wheel of a road car anymore.

    5. For future reference. Feel free to call me up on this matter.

      1 pit stop races are the norm, first of all, excluding fastest lap.
      Are we getting even more one stoppers?
      Absolutely not.
      The field spread is going to increase reducing the scope of undercuts, even so the cars are going to be quicker and heavier, no way the tyres are going to hold up. Pirelli never managed to tame any spec of f1 car.

      1. Pirelli are designing tyres for cars which don’t exist yet, but which are themselves being designed to be able to take those tyres beyond their performance capabilities….
        It’s impossible for Pirelli, or any other tyre manufacturer, to win in that scenario.

        Every racing tyre in every racing series needs some element of management and restraint. F1 is no different.

    6. Jack (@jackisthestig)
      1st January 2022, 6:03

      Poor Nikita, if he didn’t watch any of the races back his only experience of F1 this past year has been watching his teammate and the rest of the field slowly disappear off into the distance. I’m surprised he’s still interested.

      1. At least Mazepin is keen on participating again this year, unlike a certain Mercedes driver…
        That’s slightly more important than watching replays, I think.

    7. I care about the pitstops, Pirelli.
      Pit strategy and the quantity thereof is a far more important determining factor of what happens on the track than is given credit for.
      Generally, the trend is that fewer pit stops make for more boring and monotonous events. Races with 2 or more stops per competitor are usually among the most enjoyable, most interesting and highest rated – even without weird occurrences or weather interruptions.

      Going back to what is basically strategy-free F1 is an absolute disaster.
      F1 has never been an ‘on-track action’ kind of series – sporadic spurts at best – and this only makes it worse.
      F1 needs to add dimension and depth to the competition, not take it away.

      1. I don’t think it is the number of pit stops per se, but the possibility for *differences* in strategy between drivers that make for interesting races. As @bleu points out below some of the most memorable races last year occurred when the two front runners followed different strategies.

        1. Sure @red-andy – and what better way to create an environment for diverging strategies than to make a higher number of pit stops more attractive?
          If the most attractive race strategy is one stop, then the best we can hope for is that one runs long first, and the other runs long later. Not exactly a lot of options there….

      2. You can argue about what happened for days but the simple fact is this years Driver’s Championship was decided by a pitstop strategy. I think they are quite a key ingredient for a good F1 race

    8. I don’t agree the talk that one-stoppers are boring and two-stoppers great. Tactically, I think the best we’ve seen when these tactics are close to each other – and I mean races where tactics have not influenced by VSC or SC. In 2021 French and Spanish GPs were good examples – one of HAM/VER went for two and then passed the another in late stages of the race. Dutch GP was a two-stopper in front and not a special spectacle.

      Bring softer tyres then is also not a good argument – in fact we had races with hardest tyres needing two stops (aforementioned Zandvoort, also Losail) while Sochi was going to be easy one-stopper before late rain using softest tyres, just like Abu Dhabi before late safety car.

      1. Who’s saying that (X) number of stops is good or (Y) number of stops is bad? More options = better than fewer options is what I’m saying.
        Tyres that can do a whole race or only need changing once (usually) lead directly to static races on track – or at best the examples you provide, where one team runs one ‘strategy’ and the other team does the other.
        2 basic strategies isn’t sufficient to create substantial strategic depth, IMO.
        Merely doing the opposite of your competitor doesn’t really constitute a “strategy” anyway.

    9. So Pirreli expect one stop races, in part due to 18 inch low profile wheels? I think you’ll find it’s the tyres that have a low profile. Wheels are wheels!!

    10. How about dropping the silly mandatory pitstop then and allowing drivers to manage tyres fully.

    11. When can we expect the first teams to unveal their new cars? Late January?

      1. Not until the teams get their deliveries of bags of sand and camouflage paint.
        Heard that McLaren had an invisibility blanket, but can’t seem to find it.

    12. For me this is Pirelli playing it safe. Why are they already “predicting” this scenario? Bring us more fragile compounds, police the pressures and let them race. Either that, or bring on Michelin as competitors. (Other tyre manufacturers are also available)

    13. Thanks for having you for another birthday. The site is always a pleasure to read, keep on the superb job!

      1. +1 and more.

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