At the end of the Austrian Grand Prix the Circus will head to Silverstone, for a weekend that promises to be full of news. In fact, the new format of the qualifying sprint race will debut in Great Britain, while Toto Wolff has recently declared that Mercedes is ready to introduce an extended evolutionary package of the W12, which could reshuffle the cards in the battle with Red Bull and Max Verstappen.
The variables just mentioned will be accompanied the probable debut of the new Pirelli rear tires, characterized by a different stiffness to avoid any risk of further failure after the Baku episodes. At the Red Bull Ring several drivers expressed their skepticism about how much the new tires can actually mess up the values on the field, appearing to think that the change will be minimal.
However, Otmar Szafnauer, Aston Martin’s Team Principal has not ruled out the possibility that, should the introduction of the new rear tires be confirmed, the performance hierarchies may be affected, although this is difficult to predict. Interviewed exclusively by FormulaPassion before the test with the new Pirelli during FP2 on whether the different stiffness and therefore deformation of the tires could impact for example on the aerodynamics of the diffuser, Szafnauer replied: “They could affect performance. We saw it in 2013 when we had a very performing car and even then the tires changed around the Silverstone period, with the result that our competitiveness deteriorated. My theory is that it is possible that something similar could happen, but you never know ”.
Just as it is difficult to predict how much the new tires will actually impact on the balance of forces, Szafnauer also stressed how difficult it is to predict who could benefit most in that case: “There may be opportunities or risks, as with any change”. Therefore, all that remains is to wait for the Silverstone appointment to directly judge whether, after the technical directive on wing flexion and tire pressures, even the new tires will not affect the hierarchies or if there may be surprises.