Pirelli welcomes F1 downforce cuts for 2021 to help tyre company

Pirelli boss Mario Isola says the FIA's plan to further trim Formula 1's downforce levels in 2021 to help the tyre company is more a matter of performance than safety

Pirelli welcomes F1 downforce cuts for 2021 to help tyre company

Pirelli is obliged to provide the same tyres that were used in 2019 for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

With downforce and thus load levels on the tyres expected to increase, it was agreed during the lockdown earlier this year to rein in downforce with revised floor regulations for next season.

However after the problems in Silverstone the FIA has promised a further downforce cut for 2021, with tweaks in a few areas.

The details will be discussed by team technical directors in an FIA technical working group meeting on Friday.

Isola has welcomed the promised changes, but explains that reining in downforce should not be regarded as a safety measure, as Pirelli can always increase pressures to compensate for high loads.

The problem is that higher pressures create other issues that impact the racing, as was seen at Silverstone.

"The FIA decided to do that," said Isola of the change. "And I cannot say that I'm not in agreement. But I don't want that the message to be that it's for safety reasons, because we can use the pressure to compensate for the level of load.

"Obviously, if we consider that from now to the end of 2021 the ability of the teams to develop the cars is huge.

"We can end up at the end of 2021 with a level of load that is really very high.

"And therefore we are obliged to increase the pressure to where we have again degradation, overheating or blistering at the level that we don't want, so it's the right move to do for next year."

Isola said that the higher pressures mandated for the 70th Anniversary GP at Silverstone helped to ensure that there was no repeat of the failures seen at the British GP a week earlier.

"For me it's not a matter of safety. If we increase the pressure we can compensate for the level of load, the level of stress that you put on the tyres.

"We did it for Silverstone for the second race.

"Okay, it's difficult to compare, because in the second race we didn't have a stint of 37-38 laps.

"But according to the analysis we made on tyres after the second Silverstone, everything was working well. So the pressure obviously is playing an important part in this equation.

"And with the pressure we can support the construction.

"You have vertical and lateral forces that are acting on tyres, and we can establish a minimum pressure that is different for each circuit and is calculated according to the level of energy that is going into the tyres."

Pirelli is still hoping that it can modify the current construction for 2021, and is planning to conduct prototype testing in FP2 sessions later in the season.

shares
comments
Vandoorne "ready to do a good job" as F1 reserve driver
Previous article

Vandoorne "ready to do a good job" as F1 reserve driver

Next article

Ferrari wants "clarity and transparency" on F1 car copying rules through appeal

Ferrari wants "clarity and transparency" on F1 car copying rules through appeal
Load comments
The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move Plus

The historic clues that offer hints of Hamilton’s next move

OPINION: Uncertainty over Lewis Hamilton's future has persisted since the race direction call that denied him an eighth world title in Abu Dhabi last month. But while walking away would be understandable, Hamilton has time and again responded well in the face of adversity and possesses all the tools needed to bounce back stronger than ever

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2022
What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility Plus

What the FIA must do to restore F1’s credibility

OPINION: The first stage of the 2022 Formula 1 pre-season is just over a month away, but the championship is still reeling from the controversial results of last year’s finale. The FIA acknowledges F1 has had its reputation dented as a result, so here’s how it could go about putting things right

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2022
The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins Plus

The six F1 subplots to watch in 2022 as a new era begins

As Formula 1 prepares to begin a new era of technical regulations in 2022, Autosport picks out six other key elements to follow this season

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2022
Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1 Plus

Why newly-retired Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Autosport on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2022
Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup Plus

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shakeup

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. Autosport breaks down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems Plus

Why new era F1 is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway. But instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Plus

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022