F1 teams pushing to avoid tyre 'shock'


Formula 1 teams are pushing to ensure there will be no repeat of the 'shock' they faced in dealing with tyres at the start of this season, after getting hold of Pirelli's 2013 specifications for the first time.

Pirelli has made its final decision on the modifications it is making to next year's rubber following the recent conclusion of its private testing programme.

This information has been provided to the teams, so they can incorporate that knowledge into the designs of next year's cars.

The company is modifying both the compounds and constructions of its products for next year in a bid to ensure the racing is kept exciting.

It is also revising the tyres so that teams do not face as difficult a time as they had in 2012 of getting the rubber into the right operating window.

On the back of Pirelli submitting its 2013 data, F1 team engineers have conceded that they did not react as well as they should have to the changes made for 2012, which is why they will be taking matters much more seriously this time out.

McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe told AUTOSPORT: "Certainly it was a bit of a shock to the system for all the teams this year - and we have learned from that.

"What we had this year relative to last year was quite a big surprise to everybody, but the data [supplied beforehand] did not really indicate that; so we will really have to see.

"The data tells you certain hard facts, like the weight and shape, and these are things you can use in development. But in terms of how the compounds behave in their life there isn't really data about that, these are things you discover when you use them. We will be working hard on that."

Williams chief operations engineer Mark Gillan said: "We still haven't got all the information about what is happening for next year, but we are definitely paying closer attention to what is happening."

When asked by AUTOSPORT if teams had underestimated the changes made for 2012, he said: "Probably. I don't think anybody, certainly from our side, would have thought the season would have progressed and evolved as it has done - which made for exciting racing."

Although Pirelli is reluctant to offer a detailed explanation yet of the changes it is making to its tyres, Lowe says that as well as a revised shape, the rubber will weigh more in 2013.

"They [the tyres] are quite a bit heavier, which was a surprise to me," he said. "Considering the changes are not supposed to be very substantial, which to me would indicate not a big weight change, there is quite a big weight change."

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said about the situation: "We have started explaining to the teams and they are getting that information now.

"We do a lot of indoor testing and data creation to help them run their models. We put that data on a central server so they have access in real time together. They get it at the same time, so nobody has an advantage and that is being supplied to a timetable now.

"We are making some changes to the tyres – and it will have a difference particularly on aero. The tyre will also behave dynamically different."

The lack of understanding that teams had of the tyres at the start of this season led to an unpredictable start to the campaign, with seven different winners from the first seven races.

View comments (5)