The Friday of the Spanish Grand Prix was one of the most intense of the season for the teams, called upon to study the new configuration of the Catalan track, evaluate the new aerodynamic updates and verify the behavior of the new Pirelli. The Italian tire manufacturer will introduce a new specification at Silverstone featuring a more fatigue-resistant material, to ensure greater safety in response to aerodynamic load levels that have already exceeded forecasts. Simone Berra, Pirelli’s Chief Engineer, reported the teams’ comments to journalists at the end of free practice in Barcelona.
The new tyres, with modified structure but intact compound, behave identically to the current ones in terms of heating, wear and balance, according to Pirelli. “The proto rubber lived up to our expectations”, commented Berra. “We have not received any complaints. Overall comments on balance are positive, is in line with that of the current product. We don’t have a match between two identical compounds, for example between the current C1 and the new one, but overall everything is ok”.
More than for the structure of the rubber, a variable of the new tires could be the different pressures of use. In fact, with a more robust product, there is the possibility of lowering the prescriptions for the pressures, which would help to find greater mechanical grip. However, Berra reports that this is not the priority for Pirelli at the moment: “The pressures prescribed for Barcelona are the same between the two specifications, also to give the teams the opportunity to evaluate the tires under the same conditions. We did not want to introduce new variables”.
“At the moment, we don’t expect differences for the future on this front,” continues Berra. “The improvements mainly concern the new material of the structure to improve the fatigue resistance. Pressures are something we are not focusing on at the moment. Our goal is to extend the useful life of the tyres. If then in the next tests and in the next races we see that we can go down with the pressures, we will certainly try”.
The post-GP tests
Immediately after the Grand Prix, Ferrari and Mercedes will stay in Barcelona to carry out tests with Pirelli both for reinforced tires for the second half of 2023 and for the new product for next season: “We will test the tires for Silverstone and then we will immediately start focusing on the tires for 2024. It will be a good test for us, because Barcelona has some high-speed sections and is very representative. It’s a more complete circuit than Bahrain where we tested at the start of the season”.
The 2024 Pirellis will be modified both in the structure and in the compound to facilitate their operation without tyrewarmers. Berra explains: “We are looking for a structure that favors the heating of the rubber. We therefore want a product that is less stiff at the start and that stiffens as the pressure increases. We are trying different constructions. The goal for 2024 is to work without electric blankets. For this, we need a product with good structural resistance, but which is also capable of working at low pressures in the first warm-up laps and which helps the tire enter the operating window”.
Pirelli lets it be known that there are many parameters still open, both for the compound and the structure of the new tyre. However, the approval for the abolition of electric blankets is still lacking, a decision that will be taken by the FIA and the teams. In any case, the Italian tire specialist is optimistic: “I am confident that we will achieve our goals. Silverstone will be the last test and by then we will have finalized a proposal to be submitted for the 2024 tires without tyrewarmers”.
#Pirelli #reinforced #lowering #pressure #priority