Pirelli fears Turkish GP tyre choice 'too aggressive'

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola admits that the company has gone too "aggressive" on its compound choices for the Turkish GP.

Pirelli fears Turkish GP tyre choice 'too aggressive'

After drivers struggled to find grip on the newly-resurfaced track last season, Pirelli went one step softer for this year's race, switching from the C1, C2, C3 combination to the C2, C3 and C4.

However, having made that choice, Pirelli learned that the characteristics of the track had been changed after the race promoter decided to water-blast it, a process that has helped to generate more grip.

During Friday practice ahead of the Turkish GP drivers suffered graining on the softs, and Isola believes that teams will now try to avoid using them in the race if they can.

Teams will probably only have data gathered from FP1 and FP2 to plan their strategies for qualifying, as Saturday's FP3 session is likely to be wet, but their data gathering was made more complicated by Friday's changing wind levels.

There is also still a chance that qualifying itself could be wet, but if slicks are used in Q2, teams will have to make a call on whether to commit to starting on the medium or soft.

"I believe that the soft is quite an aggressive choice," said Isola. "Consider that when we selected the tyres, the three compounds for this race, we were not aware of this superficial treatment that they were planning. So looking at the data from last year, we decided to go one step softer.

"The soft is quite an aggressive choice. And I believe that some teams were using the soft today just to get rid of them, and focus on the medium and hard for the race, if they want to plan a one-stop strategy."

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Although it is common for the fastest drivers to try to go through Q2 on the medium rather than the soft, Isola believes that more will attempt to do so this weekend, encouraged by a relatively small delta of 0.3-0.4s between the two.

"I believe that we will see more than two or three cars trying to qualify on the soft, because the delta lap time between the soft and the medium is very small.

"So it's not like one second, where you take a big risk to go through Q2 with a medium instead of the soft, with this small difference, probably more cars are trying to qualify on the medium compound."

Isola confirmed that the treatment undertaken by the promoter had made a significant difference to grip levels, as reported by drivers today.

"The level of grip increased quite a lot. This is probably due to the fact that we don't have the bitumen on top, and let's say the stones are visible, and therefore generating more grip compared to last year.

"The increase in grip is clear, because the lap times are four to five seconds quicker than last year. So I believe that there is no doubt on the increase the level of grip.

"We were expecting some graining, and the graining is visible on all the three compounds, especially on the softer one, and especially on the front right. The graining on the inside shoulder is accelerating the wear.

"And so it will be very important for the team to measure and analyse the data from FP2 to understand what is the wear life of the tyres, because this is information that we don't have from last year, last year, as both quali and the race were wet.

"As I said that tarmac was completely different compared to this year. And we were one step harder. So the data in terms of wear and wear profiles that we measured last year are not relevant."

Read Also:

Isola admitted that Pirelli learned of the plans to water-blast the track too late to change the choice of compounds for the Turkish race.

"Usually we are informed by the FIA if there is any change in tarmac, or if the circuit decides to resurface, or make any special treatment. In that case, probably it was a late decision from the promoter, I suspect," he said.

"When they decided to make this treatment, we have been informed. So we had that information. But it was too late because we already produced the tyres, and they were already available for the race.

"It's not an easy period also for production and logistics. So we made the tyres and then after that we were made aware of this change."

shares
comments

Related video

Penalty leaves Sainz "a bit down" after seeing Ferrari pace in Turkey

Previous article

Penalty leaves Sainz "a bit down" after seeing Ferrari pace in Turkey

Next article

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems

Why Mercedes' Istanbul edge is both stronger and weaker than it seems
Load comments
Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material Plus

Verstappen exclusive: How Red Bull’s ace has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull Plus

How Mercedes went from Austin practice domination to "very tight at the front" with Red Bull

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be another close contest

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. On the 50th anniversary of his death, Autosport recalls the career of an F1 and sportscar ace gone before his time

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021