Pirelli Perplexed as F1 Teams Decline Opportunity to Race without Tire Blankets in Intermediate Conditions

by admin

In a surprising turn of events, Formula 1 teams have chosen not to race with blanket-free intermediate tires, leaving Pirelli puzzled about their decision. Earlier this year, the teams had agreed to allow the use of blanket-free full wet tires starting from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

Following the cancellation of the Imola event, three drivers debuted the tires in the Monaco race, and subsequently, the entire field tested them during FP3 in Canada. Pirelli, aiming to expedite the introduction of blanket-free slicks for 2024, sought to incorporate the new intermediate tires into race weekends during the current season.

The Singapore Grand Prix was identified as the potential starting point, considering production and transport schedules. However, the decision required support from at least eight teams. Despite receiving promising feedback from testing, a majority of teams voted against the change during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Pirelli’s Mario Isola expressed his confusion over the teams’ rejection of the new intermediates, especially after their acceptance of the full wet tires. He stated, “That’s a good question. But I don’t have an answer, honestly.”

Isola acknowledged that only some teams were involved in the intermediate tire testing, and others may have preferred to test them before committing to their use in race weekends. However, he pointed out that organizing a full test with all the teams is impractical.

The teams’ decision to reject the new intermediates came despite the positive outcomes of Pirelli’s dedicated testing. Alpine, in particular, conducted the most recent testing at Paul Ricard, which received favorable reviews from Esteban Ocon. Isola mentioned that the tires performed well in various conditions and were positively evaluated during the testing sessions.

Alpine’s sporting director, Alan Permane, commended Pirelli’s outstanding work and praised the performance of the intermediate tires tested without blankets, comparing them favorably to the standard intermediates used with blankets.

James Vowles, team boss at Williams, suggested that teams were cautious about voting for the intermediates because they wanted to observe how the new blanket-free wet tires performed first. He emphasized that the Monaco and Canada races provided valuable on-track experience with the wet tires, which had not been extensively tested by all teams prior to the decision.

As a result, the teams opted for a more cautious approach, aiming to ensure the existing product performed well without any unforeseen issues before fully embracing the new intermediates.

You may also like

Leave a Comment