F1 2019
Topic

F1 2019

The early verdict on Pirelli's crucial 2019 changes

Pirelli is hopeful it has addressed several key areas that impacted Formula 1 races negatively in 2018 after the teams gained experience with their 2019 tyre compounds this week.

The early verdict on Pirelli's crucial 2019 changes

Abu Dhabi's two-day tyre test was an opportunity for all 10 teams to trial the new compounds, all of which have a revised construction and thinner tread.

The consensus among drivers was that the 2019 tyres did not feel significantly different to 2018 that is because the fundamental changes are not based primarily on peak performance.

Pirelli was already confident that its efforts to contain blistering that blighted several races this year would be successful, and has been buoyed by feedback of the new hypersoft tyre.

The softest compound in Pirelli's range suffered extreme graining this year, which made it difficult to use in the race.

Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola said: "The first feedback is that the new hypersoft is a good tyre. In terms of performance it's very similar to the current hypersoft. It looks like the level of graining is reduced.

"That's exactly the target of this very soft compound."

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB14

Pierre Gasly, Red Bull Racing RB14

Photo by: Jean Petin / Sutton Images

Temperature issues

As previously reported by Motorsport.com thinner-tread tyres will be used at every race in 2019 to combat overheating and blistering issues.

That follows a successful, albeit controversial, use of thinner-tread rubber at three grands prix in 2018.

Blistering occurs when the temperature of the tyres surpasses a certain threshold and this phenomenon happens more easily with thicker tread, which retains the heat and can cause chunks of the tyre to be torn from the surface.

This week's running was not particularly useful to testing the targeted 2019 improvements because the Yas Marina circuit lacks the high-speed corners that put high lateral stress on the tyres, the primary cause of blistering this year.

However, Pirelli conducted tests at Barcelona, Silverstone and Suzuka while developing the '19 compounds, so is confident it has met this demand.

What Yas Marina is good for is assessing how the tyres cope with overheating because of its many traction zones.

Drivers complained that sliding around while following other cars caused the surface temperature of the tyres to rise uncontrollably.

The hope is that changes to the tyre, combined with F1's front wing changes to make it easier for drivers to follow, will help ease this problem.

"We tried to design new tyres with the target to help with this effect, to reduce the overheating," said Isola.

"We received some estimations from the teams on the level of downforce expected [from their new wings] but not the influence of the turbulence from the car in front.

"This is information we don't have. But hopefully, with the new wings, it should be better."

Louis Deletraz, Haas F1 Team VF-18

Louis Deletraz, Haas F1 Team VF-18

Photo by: Jean Petin / Sutton Images

Pirelli shelves the supersoft

Pirelli has also almost finished balancing its range of tyres next season.

It had already confirmed it would stop using a seven compound range (from softest to hardest) of the hypersoft, ultrasoft, supersoft, soft, medium, hard and superhard.

Next year it will nominate a 'hard', 'medium' and 'soft' tyre for each weekend – picked from a range of five compounds, depending on what is suitable for each track.

As well as a revised hypersoft to improve graining, Pirelli has altered all other compounds except the soft.

It needs to choose which ultrasoft compound to homologate by December 1. Pirelli ran two versions this week, with the softer of the two possibly too close in performance to the hypersoft, as it works to make a decision.

The medium and hard tyre will be slightly softer for 2019. This is to increase more strategic variety by equalising the performance gap between the compounds.

What was previously known as the supersoft has been eliminated because Pirelli deemed it was too close in performance to the ultrasoft.

As well as deciding which ultrasoft to homologate by December 1, Pirelli is closing in on a December 6 deadline to select its compounds for the 2019 season opener in Australia.

The teams will need to make their selections for pre-season testing for Barcelona and Melbourne, plus a draft selection for the rest of the first five grands prix, by December 13.

Artem Markelov, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Artem Markelov, Renault Sport F1 Team R.S. 18

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Sutton Images

shares
comments
Red Bull's late season surge "confusing" - Ricciardo
Previous article

Red Bull's late season surge "confusing" - Ricciardo

Next article

Would Alonso be able to resist an F1 comeback?

Would Alonso be able to resist an F1 comeback?
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021