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Pirelli to seek return of F1 tyre "cliff"

Pirelli to seek return of F1 tyre "cliff"

F1 News

Pirelli to seek return of F1 tyre "cliff"

Pirelli to seek return of F1 tyre "cliff"
Ian Parkes & Ewan Gale

Mario Isola has revealed Pirelli will seek to reintroduce a "cliff" to its tyres from 2023 onwards.

The Italian manufacturer has overseen a lengthy testing process ahead of the introduction of 18-inch tyres for the upcoming season, with the rubber going hand in hand with F1's new-for-2022 regulations.

Testing was carried out throughout last year in anticipation for the tyre changes, with Pirelli sitting down to discuss the targets for the new compounds with F1, the teams and drivers.

Tyres in recent years have been criticised for a lack of degradation despite being too easy to overheat, meaning drivers have been forced to slow their pace to nurse the various compounds without the need for extra pit stops.

Outlining the priorities for the first year of the new tyres, Isola told GPFans: "If you have more consistency and less overheating, even if the level of degradation is not zero but is a number that is defined, we know that they [the drivers] can manage the race pace in order to reduce the level of degradation. That is impossible to change.

"The only possibility is that we design a tyre which, at a certain point, has a cliff. We design a tyre with a mileage and if you go above this mileage you have a cliff in the performance.

"You can understand it's not easy. Each car is different, each car has a different wear profile, each driver has a different driving style. If you put in the same document all those targets, they are not easy to achieve."

On how Pirelli's development focus will change ahead of the second year of competition with the 18-inch tyres, Isola explained: "We had to design all the new compounds, the intermediate, and the wet.

"We focused more on overheating reduction, wider working range, and a level of degradation and delta lap time that is in line with the target letter.

"For this year, our priority will be working on the cliff and fine-tune the product according to what we experienced on track because we tested the new compounds with the mule cars.

"Also, the numbers that we got from the mule cars are not 100 per cent the numbers that we will find on the new cars."

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