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McLaren hopeful of less "peaky" racing in 2022

McLaren hopeful of less "peaky" racing in 2022

F1 News

McLaren hopeful of less "peaky" racing in 2022

McLaren hopeful of less "peaky" racing in 2022
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

McLaren technical director James Key is hoping Pirelli's 2022 18-inch race tyres will bring an end to "peaky" racing.

Thermal degradation is the major restriction to the current iteration of Pirelli rubber, with drivers having to control the temperature of the tyres with an optimum range in order to destroy the compound.

This often leads to races where gaps between drivers yo-yo as they nurse their tyres by slowing down after a number of attacking laps.

With Pirelli constructing new tyres for F1's radical new regulation set next season, Key is hoping for a more consistent degradation curve throughout races.

Asked if the tyre data from the tests carried out this year point to the compounds behaving as expected, Key responded: "Too early to say.

"We need to do several long runs in representative conditions to really understand whether things like longevity, the thermal performance and sensitivity is understood and so on.

"From the data I've seen, there is a difference in how thermally sensitive they are.

"Hopefully, it will perhaps allow a flatter spread of racing rather than this peaky thing where you attack, you get your tyres too hot, you have to pull back.

"That's definitely something which is part of this overtaking scenario for '22.

"But I also appreciate that it's very early days for Pirelli and it's a very difficult thing they are trying to achieve here, a different racing tyre.

"They've got to find something which lives, still with a pretty quick car, but then try and make them last longer.

"It's an experiment still at this stage but the data I've seen, again there's nothing strange in it. We will just have to see on proper long runs and hotter tracks and see if they degrade or whether they are as expected."

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