Last week we discussed the challenge Haas F1 said they were having with this year’s Pirelli tire compounds. The thinner tread has certainly been a challenge for them in finding the right performance operating window whereas Mercedes seem to be square on top of it.
As Gunther Steiner said, they spend millions of the cars and they shouldn’t be talking saying, “did your tire work or not?”
It is interesting in that the thinner tread was designed to reduce graining and have a higher heat window but after introduced last season, they did seem to really favor the Mercedes chassis and one might consider that before bringing them to this year’s product offering.
For Pirelli’s racing boss, Mario Isola, the issue isn’t quite that cut and dried:
“If we talk about the width of the working window, and I heard some comments that this year it is narrower, it is difficult to confirm that,” said Isola.
“What we call the C3 and C4 are two compounds that are the same soft and ultra soft that we had last year.
“Obviously the working range is a function of the compound, so with the same compound we have the same working range.
“I don’t want to say it is wider, but what I will say is that they can use it at a higher temperature because of a reduction of thickness [of the tread], but we cannot say that it is narrower.”
Pirelli tested the C5 compound against last year’s direct equivalent, the Hypersoft, and this year’s model had much reduced graining so they are not entirely sure they agree with the notion of a more narrow window of performance.
Mario says he’s listening, though, and they are willing to take the comments onboard:
“I take any comments coming from the teams on board because narrower or not they are asking for a wider working range,” he said. “The result is that they say it is narrow.
“What is clear is that we have to work in the future to have a wider working range.”
I’m not sure when they would make any change but I think the lopsided nature of this season already might prompt F1 to consider changing the tire compounds so more teams can find a wider operating window and more durable tire. Perhaps it could tighten the competition.
Hat Tip: Autosport