Pirelli off the mark with 2015 tires

It seems the old specter of testing occasionally raises its head in Formula 1 and not just from the teams. While top teams would like more testing, smaller teams like the current testing limits as it costs money to go testing. Then there are the suppliers.

Pirelli has admitted that they are not where they should be with the 2015 tire. The intent of the supplier contract was to make a tire that prompts two or three pit stops per race and this year many races have had only one stop.

The F1 fan community is split on the novelty of the high degradation tire and while Pirelli has agreed to provide a rapidly wearing tire, this year’s spec seems more durable. Pirelli boss Paul Hembery said:

“We are not where we need to be this year and it is true that the requirement is for two or three [pit-stops per race],” he told Sky Sports.

“So we are not quite hitting the mark, but then we have no testing ability. We have zero testing ability so it is okay to sometimes ask us to do things, but we also need the ability to do our job.

“We are looking to make changes next year to get back to two or three stops, but we also need to have an agreement in place to allow us to do the testing to give us better information so we can ensure that happens.”

So Pirelli themselves need more testing in order to get the compounds right. For me, the high deg tires are a construct intended to spice up the show but its impact is also preventing more aggressive driving for an hour and a half on a grand prix Sunday.

Arguing that refueling only allows for pit stop passes in strategy is no different than what the HD tires are prompting. Forcing teams to stop multiple times allows for undercuts and passing while pitted. Same thing, different construct.

Lotus driver, Romain Grosjean, has called for a more aggressive compound such as the ones in 2012 when drivers would hit a cliff it they pressed too hard on their tires. Hembery agreed with some caution:

“Probably not to that extreme, but he [Grosjean] is quite right,” Hembery said.

“Different people have different views and there are some that say they want tyres that don’t degrade and they can push on, which is probably close to what we’ve got now.

“Others want drivers to have a big influence, like Romain suggested there, where the driving style and ability can make the difference. So I think somewhere in the middle is probably where we are going to be.”

Hat Tip: Sky Sport F1

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Pirelli wants more testing to make the tires a bit more crappy.

F1 logic right there.

Richard Durishin

Pirelli do what they are told and get to test…not much at all. This article is propaganda from France. LOL

Formula Future

I think obviously a tyre supplier should have freedom of testing. It could be an oppurtunity for emerging drivers to showcase themselves, through straight forward testing or sort of mini-cups.

Paul KieferJr

Personally, I suspect that Formula 1 drivers would rather that you just left them alone and let them drive until the end of time. This doesn’t quite fit their wishes.


Can we just get rid of marbles, please – probably means low degradation tyres, but if it opened up the full track for alternative racing lines, the benefits would be huge!


Exactly what I was thinking. No-Deg tires. That plus doing something about the rear aero turbulence and you’ve got MotoGP on four wheels. How about 2 sets of tires for the whole weekend? For the poor teams, give them an extra set until they get points in 2 races. #F1Solved


Two sets of tyres for the weekend, that’s radical. I like it!


So one could say Pirelli is on the skids?


I’m rooting for pirelli because i’m forced to root against Michelin because of the 18 inch wheel thing. To make a quick point on the subject, f1 cars are light, your BMW has 18 or 20 inch wheels (and the big brakes that make them necessary) because its carrying a bunch of weight it doesn’t need. When you hear “German cars are built like tanks”, they mean it. An f1 car only needs small brake discs because it doesn’t have heated leather climate controlled touchscreens with haptic feedback, so 13 inches is all the wheel it needs. I think that… Read more »

Negative Camber

There is the element of aesthetics though. People just like the look of them better regardless of the science behind it. F1 cars have multiple brake pads if memory serves correctly. Smaller but several. :)


Depending on what trim model of BMW 5 series you bought you almost certainly have multiple brake pads too. As your old arguments against kers pointed out (When red bull didnt bother to run it in 2009 and maybe 2010) race car engineers dont like to have useless weight on the car. If they dont want to make the car heavy enough to keep all the bits attached all of the time, what makes you think they want less sidewall (a bad thing) and more unsprung weight (a critically bad thing)? For people who dont bother to pay attention to… Read more »


Hi Matt, I agree with you to some extent (but not in having a dig at Todd – not cool) Large diameter wheels for their appearance I disagree with. Low profile tyres are not necessarily a bad thing, stiffer is good for turning and the tracks are very smooth, so high profile tyres aren’t a necessity. My objections to the switch to large diameter wheels and low profile tyres are 1) the likely increase in unsprung weight and rotational inertia, 2) the cost to the teams of having to re engineer the chassis and suspension, , and learn how to… Read more »