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Pirelli pours cold water on 2017 speed hike

NEWS STORY
12/01/2016

Hopes of "faster", "aggressive" looking cars in 2017 have been dashed by tyre manufacturer Pirelli.

The Italian company has warned that planned changes to the width of cars, the tyres and changes to the shape and sizes of wings would result in higher cornering speeds... which was one of the intentions.

However, Pirelli warns that its tyres could not cope with the increased loads without making them harder and thereby slower.

The plans, first mooted in 2015 as it became increasingly clear that the formula introduced in 2014 was not proving popular with fans, would see downforce increase by as much as 60% which would hopefully cut around 5s off current lap times.

"With the new tyre sizes proposed for 2017, we think the load capacity of a tyre built to the current construction would increase by about 10%," a Pirelli spokesman told BBC Sport. "But nobody knows what structure we will choose for 2017 yet.

"Everything will be calculated much more carefully when we start testing," he added.

Pirelli has made a presentation to the teams - who were 8-3 in favour of the changes - claiming that tyres constructed to the 2017 dimensions could not cope with more than a 15% increase in downforce without drastically increasing tyre pressures - possibly by as much as 50% - which would effectively negate the improvements.

Furthermore, it is feared that less tyre (mechanical) grip would see lap time gain come from aero grip, thereby making overtaking even more difficult than it already is.

"Maybe a totally brand new tyre can be built," said the Pirelli spokesman. "There is a lot of speculation about this process, but it is still at a very early stage."

Pirelli's warning echoes Mercedes fears that F1 cars are already close to the limit in terms of downforce and power and that any significant changes would see tyres having to cope loads never experienced before.

At the time Mercedes claims were dismissed by rivals who said the German outfit was merely expressing such fears in an attempt to maintain its advantage. As if.

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1. Posted by Paul C, 14/01/2016 2:13

"Pirelli is defining tire engineering downward."

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2. Posted by F One, 13/01/2016 20:09

"So what Pirelli is saying is that they can't make tyre as good as Bridgestone and Michelin were able to more than a decade ago.
And I agree that Mercedes are talking out of their behind."

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3. Posted by Mugmug, 13/01/2016 12:55

"I wish Michelin would have gotten to be the F1 tire supplier instead of Pirelli. F1 started it's downhill spiral the same time Pirelli became the supplier. The word "tires" on all F1 broadcasts became the most used word to the point of Ad- nauseam. Instead of the subject of "drivers/engines/suspensions/brakes etc. it was and still is "tires. I personally don't give a s**t about the tires anymore. I want RACING !! Michelin said they would only supply F1 if they could be given the latitude to supply tires that would be durable and NOT promote "artificial excitement" The way I read Pirelli's statement is that they don't have the ability to provide a proper racing tire that can take the demands that were in place 10 years ago!"

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4. Posted by Paul C, 13/01/2016 2:48

"F1 needs tires that do not fail on purpose and force races to be economy runs after a few frantic laps. If Pirelli built it's road car tires like it's F1 tires they would be shut down by the EU for offering an unsafe product. Better yet let Michelin or Bridgestone supply tires to provide competition. "

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5. Posted by Canuck, 12/01/2016 16:19

"Those that blame Pirelli are way off the mark. Firstly Pirelli is manufacturing tires in accordance to directives given to them to have more pit stops. Secondly with the reduced testing, how can a manufacturer develop a tire to meet the requirements. Comparing to LMP cars is useless as they do not have the same rules. Remember F1 cars today are pulling almost 5 G's in corners and braking. And I agree with Merc that the more downforce you create the less likely are you to see overtaking. The wake left by the car ahead takes away the downforce of the following car. So do not blame Pirelli, blame the rule makes. Reduce downforce, reduce the wake, increase mechanical grip and you will have better racing."

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6. Posted by GrahamG, 12/01/2016 15:12

"Another triumph for the Pirelli apologists. When is someone going to rid us of this dreadful company which has done more to destroy interest in F1 than almost anyone else in the past few years. If Michelin can produce tyres for 1000BHP potential LMP1 cars where one set will last much longer than a F1 race it can't be impossible to have a decent tyre for ballerina weight F1 car. Please, someone somewhere do something!"

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7. Posted by Spindoctor, 12/01/2016 12:52

"Same old, same old.

I have a couple of problems with this:
1. Surely the LAST thing we need is an increased emphasis on "downforce", produced, presumably, by even more complex aerodynamic tweaking than at present.

2. The Quote below assumes we stick with current "chewing gum" tyres; designed to wear out and add "spice". Why not design new tyres that work properly?

'With the new tyre sizes proposed for 2017, we think the load capacity of a tyre built to the current construction would increase by about 10%," a Pirelli spokesman told BBC Sport. '

So "

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