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2020 tyre decision will compromise unpredictability of races

NEWS STORY
13/01/2020

With precious few rules changes in 2020 likely to shake-up the order, not to mention the fact that most teams will be looking ahead to 2021, the decision to continue using the 2019 tyres again this season has left many fearing that the forthcoming season is going to be worryingly predictable.

Sadly, Pirelli's, Mario Isola agrees. Using their data and experience from last season, the teams should mostly be on top of the issues they encountered, which is no doubt why they unanimously rejected Pirelli's 2020 tyres.

One particular issue a number of teams encountered last season was tyre warm-up, which Isola believes this will be less of a problem this year.

"If you remember at the beginning of the season, some teams were complaining about warm up," he said, "and on some occasions, it was a bit difficult to warm up the tyres.

"That is not going to be an issue for this year," he continued. "They know the tyres, so the advantage compared to last year is that the learning curve on how to use a new product is already there. There is no learning curve for the tyres this year."

"The only negative side that I can see is that we take out a bit of unpredictability," he subsequently told Reuters. "That is something that sometimes is spicing up the show.

"We see that every time there is something the engineers cannot predict, we have better racing," he continued, "so without the element of the tyres we are taking out a bit of unpredictability.

"We know that teams are focusing on one stop strategies as much as possible," he warned. "They have also some good data from 2019 so it will be probably slightly easier for the teams to make a strategy."

Courtesy of continued development by the teams, lap times are expected to be around a second or more quicker than in 2019, when ten new (race) lap records were established. Because of this, Pirelli anticipates having to raise starting pressures.

"We are now receiving simulations on the expected performance and we will make our calculation in order to give them the feedback on what is the level of the increase in pressure," he said. "It could be in the range of probably a couple of psi.

"More downforce means more energy. Probably, if we have to predict something, it could be more overheating, maybe. That could be more of a thing because of the additional energy that is going into the tyre."

The Italian was also keen to play down speculation that the banked final corner could result in Indianapolis-type safety issues.

"I read many comparisons with Indianapolis," he told Reuters. "The circuit is different, the length of the corner with banking, so we need to see simulations and what we have to do to react to this new configuration. Our first priority is to guarantee a product that is safe and reliable."

Looking ahead to 2021, when the sport will switch to 18 inch tyres, Isola says that initial feedback has been positive.

"Obviously they are a lot more reactive compared to 13 inches because of the reduced sidewall, they are more precise, the braking phase is very positive. They didn't find an issue with the kerbs.

"One question mark was what happens when they hit the kerbs like they do now with the 13 inch tyre," he admitted, "but that was positive. We are happy with the current situation."

All ten teams will test the 2021 tyres this year, each supplying a 'mule' car specifically for the purpose.

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Jigsaw, 12/01/2020 20:41

"Most boring racing ever!! It really isn't racing. Its called parade days..."

Rating: Positive (2)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

2. Posted by Spindoctor, 12/01/2020 15:47

"Are we really still talking about tyres?
Call me old-fashioned, but I'm more interested in seeing some decent racing than in teams struggling with tyres which don't "warm up" etc. I want "unpredictability" that comes from seeing who can dare mots, drive fastest, not from arbitrary problems with crappy tyres (as mandated by FIA)"

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