Pirelli’s Mario Isola says improvements to the new tyres are “clear” and “visible”, insisting progress in their quest for better integrity is evident.
After the first test of the new constructions, the coming season’s tyres were widely criticised by drivers for the unimpressive performance they offered, but it was specified long before any of the tests that Pirelli sought improved integrity, not necessarily bettered performance.
Even this, though, was questioned after F1 drivers’ the brief outings on the tyre. But when Isola was pressed on how he could be certain of the effectiveness of the new-for-2021 tyre specification, he offered his assurances, clarifying that the manufacturer’s tyres show ‘clear’ and ‘visible’ differences to those of 2020.
“We won’t want to have any tyre issues anywhere,” Isola began whilst addressing media. “Silverstone is a good reference because it is a circuit with the highest severity, but to quantify [the improvements] is a bit difficult. We have different tests with our indoor department to assess the level of integrity, so to [provide] a number is difficult.
“I saw some numbers, though, and I can tell you it is a clear step. It is visible. We are not talking about five percent or something like that, which is probably a small number. We have some tests that are stressing the tyres for hours and you can see quite a big difference,” said Isola, who also noted that testing tyres is a challenge on its own in many respects.
The Italian explains that simulating real world conditions poses a challenge in the development of tyres indoors. “It’s also important to understand how to translate the indoor testing to usage on track. Obviously, what we try to do is have different indoor tests that replicate what happens on track, [tests] that are a mirror of what happens on track.
“That’s the final target of any indoor test, but you have to consider the load, the dynamic camber, the pressure because [pressure fluctuates]. What we try to do is replicate what happens in outer conditions with our indoor testing, but it is a complicated activity when you try to replicate every single element. There are some elements that are unpredictable,” summed up Isola.
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