Pirelli tyres, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

F1 to introduce new tyres from British Grand Prix for safety reasons

2023 Spanish Grand Prix

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The FIA has given Formula 1’s official tyre supplier Pirelli permission to introduce a new tyre specification on safety grounds.

The new tyre specification will be made available for all teams to test at the Spanish Grand Prix next month. Pirelli intends to introduce the revised tyres at the British Grand Prix in July.

Under F1’s rules, the range of compounds to be used during a season must be determined by December 15th of the preceding year. However it can be changed with the FIA’s approval, which was given following discussions of the Technical Advisory Committee and Sporting Advisory Committee.

Pirelli’s head of motorsport Mario Isola said the change was necessary due to the increased performance of this year’s cars, which is putting the rubber under greater strain.

“We’ve seen how much more performance the 2023 cars have compared to last year throughout the opening races of this season, and that is thanks to the extraordinary pace of development shown by all 10 of the teams,” said Isola. “In Miami, for example, the pole time was nearly two seconds faster than last year, but the same sort of progress has been seen during races as well.

“Pirelli’s simulation work has always been aimed at not only supplying a product that hits the performance targets specified by stakeholders, but also anticipating any potential problems and reacting to them quickly.”

Isola said Pirelli is bringing forwards the introduction of some developments it had made for the tyres it plans to race next year.

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“The new specification contains materials that we have already developed for 2024, which will make the tyres more resistant without affecting any of the other technical parameters or their behaviour on track,” he explained. “To allow all the teams to test the new construction on a level playing field, Pirelli will supply two extra tyre sets per car to be used during FP1 and FP2 at the Spanish Grand Prix.”

Lap time change at the first five races of 2023

On average, lap times are 1.01 seconds quicker than last year. Changes to some circuits will have influenced this: The Miami International Autodrome was resurfaced and its chicane was eased, while an extra DRS zone was added at Albert Park in Melbourne. However DRS zones were shortened at three tracks – Bahrain, Melbourne and Miami – and one corner was tightened at Jeddah.

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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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38 comments on “F1 to introduce new tyres from British Grand Prix for safety reasons”

  1. New tyres, they say.

    On safety grounds, they claim.

    About changes in teams’ competitiveness, I will not be surprised.

    1. @proesterchen
      Just like in 2013 !

      1. @tifoso1989 and Alonso paid the price that year, I hope this is not happening again.

        1. Alonso got the advantage in 2005 though

      2. And 2021

    2. This reeks of politics behind the scenes. Im not a RBR fan, but this is not right.

      1. If the tyres level out the gap between #1 and #2-3-4 it can only be a good thing considering the dominance of this season.

        1. @esploratore1 It should be upto the others to catch up. The team that did the best job shouldn’t have there performance reigned in, Especially via artificial means like bringing tyres designed to hurt one team more than others.

      2. JackL,
        Let’s not forget that RBR lobbied hard for the qualy modes to be banned and especially PU to be frozen. This is completely fair considering that RBR have done absolutely nothing in the hybrid era pre-2021 but whining and complaining about the rules.

        1. Let’s add the parts cut out of the rear of the cars in 2021 to reduce downforce which hampered low rake cars in the name of safety…which brought Redbull into the fight in 2021

          All the tyre blowouts that happened in 2020 (Bottas, Hamilton, Sainz, etc) were on front tyres…

          The mid season tyre change also helped Mercedes in 2021 (some people will say Mercedes lobbied for it)

          To me, it’s all about handicapping…

    3. Yes, I think it’s for competitiveness as well.

      1. @esploratore1 considering that the proposed changes would allow the tyre carcass to take higher loads, is it not actively in Red Bull’s interests to support the proposed changes given their car has the highest performance and is likely imposing the highest loads on the tyres?

  2. Maybe the new tyres will work better on corners or kinks relative to the straights. Might disadvantage some teams (can’t think who though ;-).

    Tongue in cheek of course.

  3. Steve Holmes
    12th May 2023, 15:04

    It’s a relatively complex compound that is intend to become much heavier by removing one atom from the flexing mass (cornering force) and the faster rotation will slow the tires mass and thus increase drag. Expectation is for RedBull to lose 28kph of overall straight line speed and for Alpine to gain up to 60 kph of performance.
    These tires will last three races or more and is another brilliant way formula one will make tons of money. Why change the tire compounds because it’s just another RedBull advantage.

  4. Raymond Pang
    12th May 2023, 15:11

    Every year we have tweaks to regulation changes, which slow the cars down. And every year the engineers find ways of countering that and bettering it. So why is it such a surprise this year?

    And were there any issues with the tyres in Miami, despite the cars being 2 sec a lap faster? OK, I get that Silverstone puts much greater load on the tyres. The teams can just make more stops, rather than chancing it.

    1. Exactly… every year Pirelli goes “oh, we didn’t expect this level of performance” but always happens, specially if the technical regulations see little change between seasons.

      1. Then again with pirelli’s competence level I’m not surprised!

  5. Can the new tyres curb Ferrari woes?
    Will Aston Martin lose its lower degradation benefits?

    1. Usually tyre changes benefit mercedes in recent times, happened even when they were stronger.

      1. @esploratore1 is this a continuation of Vettel’s complaint from 2018 about the tyre changes – a complaint that Vettel himself later withdrew after he actually tested the tyres – whilst ignoring the fact that other changes, such as 2021 or 2013, either had no effect or actually saw other teams gain significantly more?

    2. Can the new tyres curb Ferrari woes?

      I read the headline and thought, ‘Hmmm, which team is having greatest problems with tyre wear? Raw speed putting them front runners, tyre wear seeing them slide backward in the race’

      Yep, Ferrari.

      @esploratore1 I think you’re on the wrong track, Mercedes have a general problem getting heat into the tyres, so I’d be surprised if this benefits them in any way

  6. Why is this under ‘2023 Spanish Grand Prix’?

    1. The Dolphins
      12th May 2023, 18:01

      SHR Modding; from the article:

      The new tyre specification will be made available for all teams to test at the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

  7. well RBR can now go full throttle! lol

  8. Didn’t the same thing with the cars over performing happen in 2020 or 2021 and the tires weren’t holding up?

    1. Didn’t the same thing with the cars over performing happen in 2020 or 2021 and the tires weren’t holding up

      I think you’re mixing two different things that slightly interact.
      2020 the downforce developed by the cars was so high the tyres couldn’t cope at the normal regulation pressures, and flexure of the sidewalls caused failures so Pirelli issued higher pressure requirements. Cue complaints from teams and drivers about “balloons” the higher pressures continued into 2021…

      2021 Pirelli realised it was difficult to monitor the actual inflation pressures when RBR (Max) had that spectacular failure on the main straight at Baku. Pirelli couldn’t prove absolutely that RBR were under-inflating, but their report pussy-footed around saying it and they introduced new tests straight after.

    2. Didn’t the same thing with the cars over performing happen in 2020 or 2021 and the tires weren’t holding up?

      2020 Pirelli constantly increasing the required tyre pressures to counter the teams (all of them) generating high downforce, which resulted in large numbers of sidewall to tread area failures. Most memorable was the Silverstone GP, where multiple teams had serious failures and LH finished on three wheels.

      2021. Pirelli started with required tyre pressures up on the previous year. Failures still occurred, and Baku was notable for Max not finishing due to one such failure. Pirelli changed the pressure test procedures following the investigation, where the report stopped short of outright accusing RBR of running on illegally low pressures.

  9. Coventry Climax
    12th May 2023, 18:47

    FIA: “We must do something.”
    Pirelli: “We can mess up the tyres again?”
    FIA: “Good idea, but what will we tell everyone?”
    Pirelli: “Oh, something about safety usually goes down without problems. We’ll have ChatGPT write something and use that.”

  10. Steve Holmes
    12th May 2023, 18:48

    Pirelli tires are as good as Pirelli can make
    Right? I hope so

  11. The speed increase is real, so no need for conspiracies there. Is it enough to warrant new tyres? Seems doubtful, but there’s really no way to tell from the outside.

    What I don’t get is that Pirelli has no car to test their tyres on. They had that old Toyota way back when, but I haven’t seen anything like it in years. Pirelli doesn’t have to make a competitive F1 car (it’s hard enough for 9 teams) but, crucially, they are not constrained by the regulations either. They can make something that matches the figures coming out of a Red Bull by ‘cheating’ their way to that performance. Back in 2021, teams bolted on all kinds of gadgets to mimic 2022 downforce levels. The tricky part is probably finding a PU.

    1. Coventry Climax
      13th May 2023, 2:16

      There’s only two ways to look at this, in my opinion.
      1) The ten teams competing have to do their development mostly, if not all, by means of simulator these days. Some of them may have gotten things wrong for this year, but over time, given the rules don’t change, they’ll improve. I’d be fine with Pirelli using a real car, but whatever it is they’re using now, this is admitting they got it wrong. Wow, that’s a first! But still, after so many years in F1 and whatever the story around it, there’s only one word for it: Incompetence. It should not need to be necessay to change things mid season – again.
      2) There have been, as far as I know, no complaints about safety this year. For a change, I might add. So it’s hard to believe that Pirelli, with no history of being on top of things -of which safety is one, and very important-, leave alone ahead of things, now use that same safety as the argument to come up with new tyres. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, and I don’t need to be in this case either: Given the way the FIA has been handling things over the last decade or so, you can’t be surprised if they’re behind it. In short, it’s hard to deny this simply stinks of FIA interference.

  12. I actually did some solid research into this. I think the issue with the tyres is due to an interesting phenomena known as the Pircedes effect.
    Quite often this can be solved easily via money delivered discretely via suitcase. Alternatively excessive whinging will have some effect, though this depends on the number of Pumpernickels consumed in the last 48 hours.

  13. After two races where the hard tyres lasted the entire race, it seems quite premature to change the tyres..
    Pirelli must be extremely anxious that tyres might blow up again.

  14. Understandable in the end for precautionary purposes.
    The dramatic lap time improvement in Miami versus last season was down to general evolution, yes, but also largely the track getting entirely resurfaced, so a slightly misleading comparison (see 2017-18 Spanish GP pole lap comparison).
    I think Baku should read in place of Melbourne because none of Melbourne’s activation zones got shortened.
    The reintroduced one was 10 meters longer than last season before getting dropped & of course, not all zones got shortened in Bahrain or Miami either.
    Bahrain’s S/F straight activation zone difference was only 8 meters, iirc., so hardly any impact, albeit 100 meters on Baku’s S/F straight, probably minimized the overall gap a bit, & maybe also the 2x 75 meters in Miami.
    Miami’s chicane didn’t seem any different visually, & neither did minimum apex speeds get seemingly affected, but Max’s & Charles’ errors in Q3 slightly minimized the overall difference because the pole time most certainly would’ve been faster otherwise.
    Jeddah’s slight alteration was more to do with concrete barrier re-positioning than the actual corner radius, so also pretty unimpactful.
    However, this isn’t why the 2022 pole lap remained faster, but because Checo messed up his latter flying attempt in Q3 after failing to beat the outright record on his first attempt & Max wasn’t in Q3.
    Nevertheless, given the trend thus far, the remaining circuits shared with last season should also see faster absolute lap times in qualifying trim unless something happens, like in Jeddah.

    1. Remaining circuits minus Circuit De Catalunya & Marina Bay Street, of course, since circuit changes on these two will definitely mean lower lap times unless rain hits.

  15. Safety? Sure, ’cause we had so many tire blow outs this year.

  16. nothing like mid season rules changes (changing tire construction is same as changing rules). Very credible sport /s

  17. Pirelli have more unified information on tyre performance across all the teams from this year and last, it will allow them to make more detailed comparisons across the two years, see there are consistent differences and work towards making changes. I don’t believe this is a performance levelling issue.

    If they started messing with underbody regulations mid-year, or adding load vs speed linearity requirements in addition to the flexi wing tests they already have, I’d understand the concerns about messing with the competitive order. Also I don’t see RBR actually complaining.

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