Used for the first time this season in Monaco, Pirelli’s new 18-inch maxi rain tire did not convince the Formula 1 paddock, quite the contrary.
Sebastian Vettel, for example, felt that this tire did “too slow” i “Too hard for this track, but it would also be too hard for a circuit like Imola. It’s just a bad tire.”
Jos Verstappen, Max’s father, judged “It’s amazing how little grip the riders have on the maxi rain. It’s nothing new, it’s been a long time coming. Something needs to be done.”
But Mario Isola, the director of Pirelli in F1, has wanted to respond to Baku and believes it is too early to judge the performance of maxi rain tires. Remember that the Italian manufacturer is limited to a single tire of this type for the whole season, and that a slow circuit with very high aerodynamic strength as the Monaco is not ideal to get an idea of what it is worth.
“Wet tires are always hard to understand. I don’t think Monaco is the right way to get a clear idea of maxi rain tires. We only have one compound for rain and only one intermediate, and they have to work the 22. different circuits, so we have to find the best compromise. “
Isola also points out that Pirelli only has very few test sessions to improve these two types of rubber.
“We don’t have many opportunities to test the maxi rain and intermediate tire. We recently tested Ferrari with Fiorano, and so far this is the only session scheduled this year to develop an even better product for the season. coming. .”
“We are working very closely with the FIA and the teams to find more equipment available, but if we don’t have the chance to test the tires, then we don’t have the chance to develop them. Let’s say we’ll have to wait until the next race. it will be raining to understand if and where we can develop this product. “
“Also, if you remember the pre-season tests in Barcelona, we had decided to wet the track for half a day to give the teams a chance to try out the new product, and with the maxi rain there was very little running. concentrated in the intermediate tire “.
“We need evidence, otherwise we will not be able to develop the new tire of the future. And we need to evaluate it properly to react to that.”
Why do we see F1 teams raising tire pressure right now?
Lately, F1 teams tend to increase the pressure on their tires. Are they just experimenting? Or is it because the simulations do not reflect the performance on the track? Isola answers this new question.
“We have a new product and new cars. Last year we tested a mule that was obviously very different in terms of the aerodynamic force generated. That’s why we used lower tire pressures on that mule.”
“Now we have the team simulations, and the cars are much faster than expected. If you compare this year’s lap times with last year’s, they’re just a second slower. “The performance is very good. Keep in mind that the teams are simulating at the pace they think they will be at the end of the year, so we’re close to that level of performance.”
“Our recipe system is pretty robust. We use the same as in the past, but it applies to the new product and the new package. That’s why we see different tire pressures from last year.”
“After the incidents in Baku last year, I understand that many teams are focusing on tire pressure this year. But even in Monaco the pressures were higher due to what I said before. So we will define the pressures in the same way as before. “