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Pirelli: F1 drivers make "easy" complaints about tyres

Formula 1 drivers make "easy" complaints concerning tyre performance and behaviour, but it must be understood that supplier Pirelli "cannot do everything", says the firm's motorsport boss Mario Isola.

Mario Isola, Racing Manager, Pirelli Motorsport, in the Team Prinicpals Press Conference

Mario Isola, Racing Manager, Pirelli Motorsport, in the Team Prinicpals Press Conference

FIA Pool

For the 2023 British Grand Prix this weekend, Pirelli has introduced a new construction that is designed to be more resilient to cope with the rapid escalation in car performance. The compounds are unchanged.

Driver feedback following the two practice sessions across Friday is that they are sliding around more, although this might also be attributed to the high pressures used for Silverstone.

Pirelli head of motorsport Isola says he is willing listen to these comments. However, while it is "easy" for drivers to complain, it is not so straightforward for the manufacturer to make them happy.

He said: "I believe that it's quite normal when you are the sole supplier to get some criticism. What I always say is that if the criticism is good, or to improve, it's always more than welcome.

"I understand that drivers sometimes are not happy about the performance or the behaviour of the tyre.

"But sometimes also, there are some strange situations. For example, last year we had the first year with the new cars and the new 18-inch wheels and I remember that all the drivers were happy.

"They said, 'Finally, we don't have overheating, we can attack'. We had a lot of races with a lot of action on track.

"This year, they come back criticising the overheating. We have the same tyres as last year. So I guess how it is possible that there is something else?"

Pirelli Tyre

Pirelli Tyre

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

He continued: "We are trying to do our best. Criticising the tyre sometimes, it's easy.

"But I listen to the drivers because they are the heroes of our sport, and they must be happy. But it's not always easy to make them happy."

The Italian added that Pirelli was at times hamstrung by not necessarily having a clear design brief when it comes to focusing on whether the tyres should degrade, overheat and what levels of performance it should offer.

He said: "We can improve, obviously, but we have some constraint. We have to develop a tyre now that is able to work without blankets [for 2024, that remains subject to approval]. So, we are focused on that.

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"If we have to work on a tyre with less overheating, it's another direction. We can do that. We are happy to do that. But we have to agree on a single direction.

"With 25 days of testing per year, we cannot do everything. So, I believe that there are many constraints that are more than understandable because we are racing for 22 races this year, 24 next year, the calendar is quite busy.

"We cannot ask the teams to do more than what they are doing at the moment, because I understand the effort they're putting in giving us the car for testing. But it's still quite limited."

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