Pirelli in ‘strange situation’…that makes two of us

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Before we head toward fat tires and other machinations for 2017, Pirelli still have to get through the 2016 campaign in 2016 and for that, they have been verbally given a contract extension with assurances that they will have increased testing in which to hone their tire compounds for a better season.

“We are still being asked to do two or three stops, that is the idea. They want us to try to come up with a degradation that is probably similar to what we have seen in the past.

“It is a strange situation because, if you talk to the fans, they all loved that initial racing, and the monumental increase in overtaking manoeuvres, and from a spectacle it was interesting, but for the drivers it was such a big change that it was something they found difficult to deal with.

“Now we are somewhere in the middle. We are not happy this season doing one-stop races; it is not in reality what we have been asked to do. It is something we recognise and it is something we need to change in the future.”

Now, Pirelli motor sport boss, Paul Hembery, didn’t speak with me because if he would have, he’d have heard a different story. I’m no fan of HD tires and have always felt that bringing a few compounds to the race in which teams select the ones that work best for their car and strategy is far more appealing but that’s just me. I know it’s odd to want drivers to run flat out and not nurse tires but that’s how I roll. So that puts me in a strange situation too.

As it is, Pirelli may be bringing more than two compounds to the weekend in which teams can choose but they must run the Prime and then their chosen Option. The thought here is that teams may choose the Ultra-soft tire to get grid position in qualifying while others look at the long game. Whatever, I’m not sure that does much for me.

You know what I’d like to see? I’d like to see Pirelli make an awesome tire compound with massive grip and super wear rates. That’s what I’d like to see. If the series is intent on artificially forcing pit stops, then keep the fuel cells the same size as they are now but open up the flow rate which will prompt a refueling stop so you can have pit stops.

The good news here is that Pirelli will be able to test and I assume the series would like a better HD tire that prompts more than one stop during races. I suspect Pirelli will get it right if given more testing but in the end, it just seems to be focusing on the wrong element in racing. Let’s hope 2017 finds us moving away from HD tires and back to other elements that actually do make good racing without artifice.

Regardless, James Allen has it much more sussed than I do so check out his story at link below.

Hat Tip: James Allen

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Paul KieferJr

Wouldn’t it be easier to let Pirelli go with their low deg tires and just simply extend the race to where it’s going to take at least one stop no matter what happens?

Richard Bunce

I don’t watch F1 for fuel stops or tire changes…

Andreas Möller

I’m torn. I would not call the current crop of 1-stop races at all boring – last time out, I found it really interesting to follow the different strategies, and the last 10 or so laps, when the drivers who had chosen different strategies converged, presented some great racing. I recognise that if we hadn’t had different compounds with at least one mandated pit stop, the strategy game would not have been as interesting. So while I’m watching the race, as long as there’s not too much “slow down to save the tyres” calls, I’m happy to stay oblivious to… Read more »