Analysis: F1 tyre tweaks could boost Raikkonen, Alonso title hopes

Kimi Raikkonen's and Fernando Alonso's world championship chances could be boosted by the switch to the new low-degrading Pirellis that their own teams initially campaigned against

Analysis: F1 tyre tweaks could boost Raikkonen, Alonso title hopes

On the back of last week's Silverstone test, initial analysis suggests that the new tyres do not perform in a dramatically different way to this year's rubber, but do degrade less.

While a move to consistent tyres should at first glance be a hindrance to teams like Lotus and Ferrari, senior engineers think the change could help teams that can look after the tyres because of the impact it will have on strategies.

PUSHING THE LIMIT ON SOFT TYRES

The key element in the fight for wins could be in how the lower degrading tyres affect the preferred choice of rubber for the race.

More often than not this season, because of the high level of degradation experienced with the 2013 construction, the best tyre for the race has been the harder 'prime' tyre.

That has limited the advantage of teams that can look after the tyres, especially as squads like Lotus and Ferrari have struggled to get the best performance out of the harder tyres.

If the shift to the lower degradation experienced at Silverstone stays in place, then the softer 'option' could become a viable choice for teams that can look after the rubber better.

In Hungary, for example, that could deliver a dramatic difference, because the performance step between the two compounds can be worth up to one second per lap.

SPEED LIMIT CHANGE A FURTHER BOOST

The chances of a strategy shift caused by the new tyres have also ramped up because of the reduced 80km/h pitlane speed limit being brought in from the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Although the change does not seem dramatic, it could have a big impact on race strategy, especially at grands prix where there has previously been a close-call between a different number of stops.

In Hungary, where last year there was divided opinion between the leading teams about whether to run a two or three-stop race, the total time travelling through the pitlane (excluding stops) will be increased from 12.3 to 16.4 seconds.

Each stop will therefore cost an extra 4.1 seconds - which could be enough to force teams to perform fewer stops and make it even more essential to look after tyres.

NO DRAMATIC SHIFT IN PACE

One key message coming out of the Silverstone test is that despite the politics at force earlier this year - when Force India, Lotus and Ferrari rallied against a change in tyre specification - there will be no dramatic shifting around in the order.

Williams chief race engineer Xevi Pujolar thinks that on single-lap form the tyres behave very similarly, and that differences will only come out in the races.

"The warm-up is a bit different from the 2013 [tyre], and in the long run they perform a bit different, so I think it may change a bit the racing," he said.

"It will hopefully move things around, but it will be no revolution."

A revolution may not be needed though to reignite the world title battle, with things so close at the front of F1.

shares
comments
Hungarian GP preview quotes: Pirelli
Previous article

Hungarian GP preview quotes: Pirelli

Next article

Pastor Maldonado keen to stay on at Williams despite struggles

Pastor Maldonado keen to stay on at Williams despite struggles
How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1 Plus

How Tyrrell became a racing Rubik’s cube as it faded out of F1

Formula 1’s transformation into a global sport meant the gradual extinction for a small team determined to stay true to its low-budget roots. But Tyrrell would eventually be reborn as a world-beating outfit again, explains MAURICE HAMILTON, albeit in different colours…

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver Plus

Assessing Hamilton's remarkable decade as a Mercedes F1 driver

Many doubted Lewis Hamilton’s move from McLaren to Mercedes for the 2013 Formula 1 season. But the journey he’s been on since has taken the Briton to new heights - and to a further six world championship titles

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era Plus

Why new look Haas is a litmus test for Formula 1’s new era

OPINION: With teams outside the top three having struggled in Formula 1 in recent seasons, the rules changes introduced in 2022 should have more of an impact this season. How well Haas does, as the poster child for the kind of team that F1 wanted to be able to challenge at the front, is crucial

Formula 1
Feb 2, 2023
The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff Plus

The Mercedes F1 pressure changes under 10 years of Toto Wolff

OPINION: Although the central building blocks for Mercedes’ recent, long-lasting Formula 1 success were installed before he joined the team, Toto Wolff has been instrumental in ensuring it maximised its finally-realised potential after years of underachievement. The 10-year anniversary of Wolff joining Mercedes marks the perfect time to assess his work

Formula 1
Feb 1, 2023
The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate Plus

The all-French F1 partnership that Ocon and Gasly hope to emulate

Alpine’s signing of Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon revives memories of a famous all-French line-up, albeit in the red of Ferrari, for BEN EDWARDS. Can the former AlphaTauri man's arrival help the French team on its path back to winning ways in a tribute act to the Prancing Horse's title-winning 1983?

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021? Plus

How do the best races of F1 2022 stack up to 2021?

OPINION: A system to score all the grands prix from the past two seasons produces some interesting results and sets a standard that 2023 should surely exceed

Formula 1
Jan 31, 2023
Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022? Plus

Who were the fastest drivers in F1 2022?

Who was the fastest driver in 2022? Everyone has an opinion, but what does the stopwatch say? Obviously, differing car performance has an effect on ultimate laptime – but it’s the relative speed of each car/driver package that’s fascinating and enlightening says ALEX KALINAUCKAS

Formula 1
Jan 30, 2023
Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return Plus

Why F1's nearly man is refreshed and ready for his return

He has more starts without a podium than anyone else in Formula 1 world championship history, but Nico Hulkenberg is back for one more shot with Haas. After spending three years on the sidelines, the revitalised German is aiming to prove to his new team what the F1 grid has been missing

Formula 1
Jan 29, 2023