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