‘more on-track action’ thanks to new ‘well-functioning’ F1 tires — FormulaNerds.com
Pirelli Motorsport director Mario Isola hailed the role this year’s F1 tires have played in enhancing the sport’s on-track action for spectators.
The 2022 season has seen the introduction of massively redesigned cars, with drastic aerodynamic changes designed to make overtaking easier for drivers.
As part of this redesign, the Sport has also changed from 13-inch tires to 18-inch tires, in an effort to improve the transferability of the technology from the circuit to the road.
Speaking to the Formula 1 website before the summer break, Isola today salutes the first success of these tyres.
According to the Italian, there is a positive consensus in the paddock that this season’s fresh rubber is contributing to the F1 spectacle, meaning only minor adjustments to the compounds will be needed for 2023.
“I’m happy; the performance is good,” Isola said. [thirteen] races with a lot of action.
“Obviously the aim is to have a mix of strategies…to create technical interest in the championship,” he added. “But I believe the main objective is to see a good show and a good technical challenge for the teams and for us, because the new 18-inch tires are completely new.
Has racing improved in 2022?
Initially developed by F1’s in-house motorsport team and the FIA, before being developed by teams up and down the grid, the 2022 concept car is primarily designed to address the loss of downforce felt by subsequent drivers in previous seasons.
In fact, Formula 1 engineers estimate that in the 2021 car, drivers lost 35% of their downforce when driving three car lengths behind a lead car, and up to 47% when driving. approach within a car’s length.
By contrast, ahead of the 2022 season, new car designs were said to reduce this rate to 4% and 18% respectively, thanks to the reintroduction of the “ground effect” principles first introduced. then banned in the 1980s.
This year’s cars don’t feature the “skirts” found on ’80s ground effect cars, but they do include highly contoured underfloor tunnels that allow them to better preserve downforce during tight racing scenarios.
So, did the rule changes work? Overall statistics say yes. In the final race before the summer break, the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix, there were a total of 65 overtakes, more than three times the 18 seen at last year’s event.
A number of drivers have also spoken positively about this season’s cars, although not all are convinced the rule overhaul has had the desired effect.
Earlier this year, two-time world champion Fernando Alonso said “following was definitely easier” at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, but “overtaking still wasn’t as easy as it looks. on the television”.
Since then, the overtaking rate has also changed depending on the track, with the 2022 Monaco Grand Prix still registering only 12 overtakings, showing that the spectacle of a race still depends on the layout of the circuit.
Refining a winning formula in 2023
Already, Pirelli has started testing next year’s tire compounds. While Isola says the tire maker doesn’t want to change its winning formula too much, he admits that as teams become more familiar with the regulations their cars will get faster, which will require adjustments.
“We have a very good, strong rear tire that pushes the front end and generates understeer in low-speed corners,” he explained. “It’s in all the teams, it’s a general trend, because the new aero package is designed in such a way that … the car is very well balanced at high speeds, but at low speeds it generates this under -turn.”
“We are working on designing a new construction – front and rear – with a higher level of integrity as the cars go faster and faster,” added Isola. “We’re designing a new, slightly stronger front construction to balance that out and reduce that understeer.”
Ahead of next year, Isola also said that Pirelli plans to bring its harder C1 compound closer to the C2 in terms of grip, in addition to bringing the C3 closer to it compared to the C4.
As for Pirelli’s wet-weather range, its motorsport director also revealed that drivers have asked for the Intermediates to be easier to warm up in wet conditions.
To get this under control, the Aston Martin and Mercedes teams remained at the Hungaroring, as the manufacturer continued to push through its 2023 testing programme, but Isola told fans not to expect drastic tire changes for next year.
“It’s not a revolution, it’s not a new product for next year,” concluded Isola. “It is an improvement of the current one which is, in any case, good.”
Featured image credit: Formula 1.