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Pirelli dismiss Prost tyre suggestion

NEWS STORY
25/04/2017

Pirelli has ruled out the suggestion from Alain Prost that teams be allowed to 'pick 'n' mix' their tyres.

The legendary four-time world champion, nicknamed The Professor due to his cool analytical approach which included uncanny mastery in managing such aspects of his car as tyres, had suggested that in a bid to increase the involvement of the driver and at the same time create more uncertainty, more freedom should be given in terms of tyre choice including mixing different compounds on the car at the same time.

"Let drivers put together thirteen sets of their choice from the five tyre types," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "I'd even allow a mix of tyre types in a set. A soft left and on the right a hard, or the other way around.

"I'd also abolish the rule that drivers must race with two different types of tyre," added the Frenchman who won his titles with McLaren and Williams. "When someone with hard tyres wants to drive through without making a pit stop, why not? Perhaps another is quicker with two stops and the consistently softest compound."

However, for the most part Prost's suggestions have been dismissed by Pirelli.

"Compulsory (tyre) changes are central to the show." Mario Isola told Auto Motor und Sport. "The teams' individual stints are differentiated in this way. You can stay out there on a set of tyres for a longer or shorter time. If you give the teams the chance to contest the race without stopping, most would work in this direction."

As for mixing the compounds, he said: "That would perhaps function with a GT car if you select a harder compound for the more heavily burdened front wheels. But Formula 1 cars are too sensitive for this."

As for different compounds on the front and rear axles, he said: "Take two combinations. One a supersoft at the front and a soft at the rear. The other a soft at the front and medium at the rear. The delta between supersoft and soft amounts to around 0.7 seconds. Between soft and medium is 1.5 seconds. You have much more grip on the front axle as on the rear. This inevitably leads to severe oversteer and skidding. It would be unbelievably difficult for teams to balance both axles."

On the other hand...

"What we could do is produce differing compounds for the front and rear from the same tyre type," he admitted. "The regulations actually permit us to do that."

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Pavlo, 25/04/2017 23:17

"With all respect to Pirelli, Prost is actually proposing to FIA, and FIA should answer. As long as Pirelly is a sole supplier, they have nothing to say here, they should deliver exactly what FIA says. Any fancy idea may (and will) be understood like unfair helping one of the teams.
When we will have several suppliers then they will naturally compete, subtle differences will start to matter all that ideas will pop up when makes sense."

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2. Posted by Teardrop., 25/04/2017 22:43

"Come on Pirelli, let the teams decide what tyre choice and compound, Prost is right, hard and soft compounds make a good racing. I was the tyre man for McLaren Team in the eighty's. make a tyre that they can choose from and not what they are told to race on. "

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3. Posted by NS Biker, 25/04/2017 18:25

"Let the teams design and manage the cars and how they run them.
This is NOT Pirelli's responsibility and in a similar manner, the FIA should get away from designing cars, as it seems they feel they are better at it than the teams are. We know the answer to that one."

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4. Posted by Canuck, 25/04/2017 18:05

"Don't blame Pirelli for this, the directive was given to Pirelli by the FIA/FOM as a knee jeck reaction to the multiple tire changes in Montreal due to changing conditions and this created a great race that year. So some idiot savant decided lets do this for all races, force tire stops with high degrading tires that can't be pushed too long without loosing performance, multiple pit stops and we can increase the show. These same idiot savants have again put their genius to work by creating more turbulence in the wake of the car to increase the speed of the cars in corners but forgetting that the effect on the cars trying to get close for overtaking. "

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5. Posted by Ro, 25/04/2017 16:51

"Pirelli hasnt really spiced up the show up to now , have they ? "

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6. Posted by GrahamG, 25/04/2017 13:49

"Great idea from Prost, usual drivel of self defense and "we must be able to tell you what to do" from everyone else.
Pirelli have ruined seasons of F1 with useless tyres and everyone has left the sport with silly doughnut tyres and wheels that no-one else uses (particularly road cars, thought the sport was trying to be road relevant?)"

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