In an interesting development, Pirelli is testing a new tire construction at the Austrian Grand Prix next weekend. This comes after two tire failures in Baku and a rather banal explanation, about starting vs running conditions, last weekend in France leaving room for finger pointing and innuendos.
Pirelli responded last weekend but increasing tire pressure in the rear tires. Now it seems they are testing a new construction and if successful, it will be used from Silverstone onward.
So after implying that some teams were clever in running their tires in different conditions than what they started in, it does seem that Pirelli are conceding that there may be need for a more robust construction. Is that admission that their tire was the real culprit in Baku or are they just making a new compound to protect against situations where teams may be running in lower tire pressures than what they start on? Or is it a combination of both?
Pirelli Press Statement
Pirelli, in agreement with the FIA, Formula 1 and the teams, will test a new rear construction of tyre in free practice at the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday 2 July to evaluate its effectiveness to further improve robustness of the tyres. This decision has been taken in addition to the recently issued technical directive and the latest starting parameters prescribed by Pirelli, in light of the fact that it is not currently possible to monitor running conditions in real time. This will remain the case until next year, when standard Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) sensors will be introduced across all teams.
Next Friday, each driver will have two sets of these new tyres available for use during either free practice session. If the test is successful, the new rear specification will be introduced from the British Grand Prix onwards, replacing the current specification. The new rear construction incorporates some elements that have been developed for use in the latest 18-inch Formula 1 tyres from 2022.
With this new structure Pirelli provides a tyre that can guarantee even greater levels of integrity under the extreme conditions that can be generated by the current cars.