Lucas di Grassi says Pirelli's new hard tyre a step forward

Pirelli test driver Lucas di Grassi believes teams will find the new experimental hard compound tyres that will be evaluated at Silverstone this weekend a step forward - even though the Italian manufacturer will not be rushed in to racing it in case it favours an individual team

Lucas di Grassi says Pirelli's new hard tyre a step forward

As AUTOSPORT revealed last month, Pirelli is to try out a new hard compound in Friday practice for the British Grand Prix. The new tyre should have a wider operating window, which will make it easier for teams to use.

Di Grassi has first hand experience with the tyres, and suggests there will be little doubt among the teams about its advantages.

"I tested the experimental hard compound tyre in Jerez earlier this year: it's a similar concept to the current hard but with improved combined grip and better wear," he said.

"It's particularly effective in warm weather and when the track conditions are poor - so you end up with a tyre that is quicker and lasts longer."

But although teams may welcome the new rubber, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery has reiterated that careful thought will be given to any idea of racing it because of the competitive implications it could have.

"The new tyre has a slightly wider working range, which should make it easier for the teams to get the tyres into the right operating temperature window," he explained.

"But with the championship so finely balanced, our priority is to ensure that no one team is handed any particular advantage.

"We want to keep the performance of the tyres at the highest level for as long as possible, so this is a valuable opportunity for ourselves and all the teams to gather more information about the potential effect of a new compound, and gain some data for the future."

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Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
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