Pirelli Motorsport’s Mario Isola says the 2020 F1 season could be less unpredictable with the 2019 compounds, which will only have tyre pressure change.
Following rigorous testing of the 2020 Pirelli compounds throughout the 2019 F1 season and also at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, the F1 teams unanimously voted to retain the current year tyres for the next season as no one was happy with the new spec.
The Italian manufacturer were preparing the 2020 tyres with consistency in mind which would have helped in the races rather than focusing on qualifying pace. It was termed slow and with the decision of either 2019 and or 2020 and no mixed case, the former won.
The construction of the 2020 Pirelli tyres will remain the same as Isola explained that the tyre pressure will be changed so that compounds adjusts with the 2020 cars. The Italian, though, conceded that there will be less unpredictability due to the retention.
“Just the pressure will be adjusted compared to the new performance of the cars,” said Isola, Pirelli, to FormulaRapida.net, when asked. “So we see every year we have an increase of performance that we can estimate at 1-1.5s/lap as an average.
“That means that you put more energy on the tires and therfore we need to put more pressure on the tires. That is the way in which we work. The system is always the same [every season] as we receive simulations from the F1 teams.
“When we receive them, we have some indicators to identify the solutions. It is possible that we have a bit more overheating, obviously with a higher pressure, or a bit more degradation. I think that in that case it is possible that we have a bit more pace management during the race, but nothing else.
“The other point is teams know the tyres very well so they have lots of data, so probably we have a bit less unpredictability.” Isola also explained that the timeline to act for them as well as F1 teams was very short and so the safer choice seemed to keep the same tyres.
Since the F1 cars are complex machines and so, to work on bigger solutions, it would have needed more time for Pirelli to work. “[To start with] we have no concerns [to have same tyres] because the 2019 product is very good,” he said.
“We had an exciting season with a lot of action and good racing so I’m not worried about staying on the 2019. For me the problem is, you have cars that are very very sophisticated so if you make any small change the impact on the car is huge.
“The new profile of the rear tyre, the difference was probably less than 4mm, something like that. And the drivers feel the difference, so you can understand from that how sophisticated the cars are.
“Or, when you change the weight of the tyre by a few hundred grams they immediately feel it, and we are talking about a car of 730kg. So any change on these cars is something they feel in a big way, and they have to learn how to extract the best performance.
“If we talk about the cars, they have full control of what they do, because they develop the cars, they develop the engines. There is a third party, Pirelli, that is developing the tyres, so they are not in the full control of that process.
“This is the big difference between cars and tyres.” Following the announcement of retaining the 2019 tyres in 2020, Pirelli also revealed the compounds for first four F1 races as teams have already submitted the number of tyres they have opted for.
The story was co-written by Duncan Leahy