Spanish Grand Prix a 'lottery' without F1 tyre adjustment - Pirelli

Pirelli racing manager Mario Isola believes the Spanish Grand Prix would have been a lottery had Formula 1's tyre supplier not modified its tyres

Spanish Grand Prix a 'lottery' without F1 tyre adjustment - Pirelli

The decision to reduce tread depth by 0.4mm, as a result of blistering suffered in testing thanks to the increased loads at the resurfaced Barcelona circuit, was made early last month and will also affect the French and British GPs.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both suggested this made it more difficult for Ferrari to get the tyres working compared to Mercedes.

The change had the desired effect of preventing blistering and 10 of the 14 finishers completed a one-stop race.

"If you have a high level of blistering affecting all or most of the cars, you have a lottery not a race," Isola told Autosport.

"It's not the right approach and we, as a sole supplier, have to provide the same product to everyone that is a safe product, suitable for the circuit and so on.

"I don't think that the slight modification in the tread thickness changed the balance of the performance of different cars."

Vettel suggested the change had made the tyre compound itself harder, a suggestion Isola denied.

Only Fernando Alonso, who had to start on supersofts, and Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin, who had no mediums or softs left when he made his second pitstop, used the softest compound during the race.

"The compound is exactly the same and the construction is exactly the same, the difference is the thickness," said Isola.

"It is difficult to explain from the technical side because if the supersoft was excluded during the race because the general feeling was that it was too soft, the problem is a bit on the other side."

Isola stressed the decision to make the change in tread thickness was made in consultation with the teams, with Ferrari understood to be among those with blistering in testing.

During the race weekend, the pole position time was three seconds quicker than in 2017 and the difference in race pace in the four-to-five second bracket.

"We investigated the reason why we had this blistering, and to be sure that the track surface played the biggest role and not maybe the new cars or the new compounds we had to wait until Melbourne," said Isola.

"Once we confirmed that in Melbourne everything was back to a normal situation, I personally contacted all the teams to ask for their opinion and I collected different opinions.

"After that, we had an internal meeting in Pirelli where we evaluated everything and then we prepared a report for the FIA explaining why we were requesting this change."

Isola also hit out at suggestions the change might have been made to help Mercedes and disadvantage Ferrari.

"We would never do something like that," said Isola.

"We work with all the top manufacturers, more than just those in F1, so why would we give an advantage to one?"

shares
comments
How Hamilton got his mojo back and Vettel lost his
Previous article

How Hamilton got his mojo back and Vettel lost his

Next article

Why Ferrari F1 team's halo mirror winglet has been 'banned' by FIA

Why Ferrari F1 team's halo mirror winglet has been 'banned' by FIA
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022