Pirelli faces a "big challenge" over low-deg 2020 F1 tyre request

Pirelli says it faces a "big challenge" to prepare low-degradation Formula 1 tyres for the 2020 season as it has just one remaining '19 test to work on its rubber

Pirelli faces a "big challenge" over low-deg 2020 F1 tyre request

Its 2020 test programme - so far involving nine teams and four sessions in Bahrain, Spain, Austria and Silverstone - had been focussed on previously agreed aims to create a wider working range and less overheating.

But recent meetings regarding future rules have put a new emphasis on low degradation, with the drivers particularly keen to have tyres with which they can push harder for longer.

Pirelli now has just a single test session - with Mercedes at Paul Ricard on September 12-13 - in which to track test low-degradation tyres.

It then must provide the definitive 2020 product for all the teams to test in the week after the Abu Dhabi race.

The specific requirements for the tyres will be formalised in a target letter, which Pirelli hopes will be agreed by all parties over the Hungarian GP weekend.

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola admits that the new focus on low degradation when Pirelli's 2020 test programme was nearly complete has not made things easy for the company.

"It is different, because we were talking about overheating reduction, and wider a range, but reducing the level of degradation is something that is new," he said.

"I'm not 100% sure that we have what they are looking for in our range of possible compounds, and in that case, we have to develop something new.

"We only have one session for 2020 tyres, in the middle of September in Paul Ricard.

"It's a big challenge, so hopefully we are already going in the right direction with the development we have made so far, but we need to be 100% sure.

"One session is not a lot. Let's go step by step.

"Now the most urgent thing is to close the target letter, then to validate the development in September, and then we come to a conclusion."

Isola explained it was crucial for Pirelli that the target instructions specified exactly what it needs to produce for 2020.

"The general consensus [now] seems to be on low degradation tyres," he said.

"[But just the words] 'low degradation' is not enough for us - it could be low degradation for me and not for you, for example - so we need to understand which is the number of low degradation.

"Also the delta lap time that is expected between different compounds.

"If there are no modifications in the sporting rules for next year it means that we are going to bring three compounds to each event.

"We need to know which is the expected lap time between the three compounds, the level of degradation, a reduction in overheating [request] is coming from the drivers, and a wider working range.

"Those are the main targets for next year. Isola says the new target letter will be more specific than its predecessor, with which the tyre company has been working for the past three seasons.

"With the experience of the old one we are making some integration in the target letter to be more precise," he said.

"Being more precise means that we have more clear targets, and then we will do our best to achieve all the targets."

shares
comments
FIA issues Hockenheim track limits warning to F1 drivers

Previous article

FIA issues Hockenheim track limits warning to F1 drivers

Next article

Damage forces Williams F1 to change Kubica chassis for Saturday

Damage forces Williams F1 to change Kubica chassis for Saturday
Load comments
Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021