Pirelli using new software to spice up F1 strategies in 2018

Pirelli has developed new software to help it choose race-by-race Formula 1 tyre compounds in order to encourage two pit stops per event, and give teams more strategy options

Pirelli using new software to spice up F1 strategies in 2018

The Italian company is using simulations to find the best combination of three compounds for each race, which in some cases could mean skipping a compound step, for example nominating the medium, soft and ultrasoft, but not the supersoft.

"We have now a very good tool, software that we created this winter, to make all the combinations with three different compounds," said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

"And the software is returning the number of strategies in a certain interval of race time.

"We always pick up the three compounds that have the highest number of strategies.

"Usually of course the target is two stops, but it's not only two stops, we are taking the combination which on paper is giving us the higher number of strategies, to try to have more action on track.

"Software is a tool that is making a lot of comparisons in a quick way, but you need to put in the right numbers.

"If we collect good numbers [from testing and the early races], we can update the software in order to have new simulations and to decide the selection.

"We had a different system in the past, but now we have a new one that is considering more information.

"We have a better, more representative output. The model is stronger, it's more solid."

The lap time difference between compounds will determine whether it is necessary to have a jump between the chosen compounds with a smaller gap likely to encourage Pirelli to make that choice.

"If we discover for example that soft, supersoft and ultrasoft are too close, we can nominate, as we did for China, where we did medium, soft and ultrasoft [missing the supersoft]," Isola added.

"It's important that we collect the delta lap times between compounds to decide the selection.

"If we confirm the numbers that we have seen in Abu Dhabi [testing in November] - between soft and supersoft we had 0.6s, and supersoft to ultrasoft was 0.4s - depending on that, we can fine tune the selection and try to choose the best combination."

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Author Adam Cooper
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