The great visual change of the season 2017 Formula 1, probably even greater than the aerodynamics, will be the tires. The tires supplied by the Italian brand Pirelli, will be substantially wider than they have been in the last three decades, with the goal of a visual appearance more spectacular and increase the mechanical grip of the cars.
The width of the front tires will increase from 245 mm to 305, while the rear pass of 325 to 405 mm. The new measures showed physically for the first time last may, during the Monaco Grand Prix, and Pirelli exhibited its full range at Yas Marina last November.
in the face Of the tests of preseason will take place from next month of February at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the director of motorsport for Pirelli, Paul Hembery, has given an interview to GP Update, in revealing the feelings with the staff of Pirelli faced with this change, beginning with the aggressive visual appearance that exude the new tires. Hembery is convinced that the fans will react even more positively when seen with the cars of 2017:
“it Is a change very visible. We do tires, as you can all see, they are black and round, but we can make many changes and no one would ever. In contrast, this, for the first time, it is a difference very dramatic and visible. Even when we have put them in the muletos, it seems appropriate. Makes you realize that the tires may have been a little small, and makes an impact that’s wonderful. I have to say that, when people see the change in the design of the car of this season, I think that you will be very satisfied with the look of the next generation of Formula 1 cars. When you see the aerodynamic package, and the designs that come out of them, the cars are going to look very low, wide and very determined”.
beyond the pure visual aspect, is the performance, the most widely discussed every year. Since its entry in the category in 2011, Pirelli has been willing to make any requested changes with the goal of improving the spectacle in racing, weighed down by the harshness of the previous Bridgestone. These requirements have changed with the passage of the seasons, circuits and incidents, dancing between the tires too soft and that forced racing to four stops, or rubbers, solid as stones that could finish the race without stopping in the pit lane.
Finding the balance is an arduous task given the different paths and temperatures, and changes in the sporting regulations (introduction of the ultrablando and three compounds per weekend) seem to have taken effect in some way. Now, Pirelli is working to have the new tyres perform as they expect, something difficult given that the tests carried out to date have been done with modified versions of cars of 2016, which do not reflect the aerodynamic load that will be submitted in 2017:
“it is One thing to look good, and another is to make sure that the tires work well. we have tested in the muletos, but lose about 20% of the downforce that they are going to have. The biggest problem is not having a car in which to test them, in reality. We have to thank the three teams that provided us with cars: we have spent a lot of money, and without it we would not have the change for the next season. But the work of composition… you Can create a model to verify your design of composition, but it is done with a composition based in large part on a method of confirmation. you Create a model and you have to check this on the track; that is the part that we have not been able to do. Conceptually, we know that we are in the right direction (…) and we are expectant to see how they are going to be the actual car, in comparison with the simulation data that have been delivered. Understand what have prepared these teams full of engineers amazing to challenge us is the next exciting moment for us.”
the judging whether the tire will allow pilots can take the most time to the maximum of their machines in the race, Hembery pulls balls out, ensuring that “that has a great influence on the car and its handling of the tire in terms of creation of energy, that is the part that we want to verify’ . However, it has been more concrete at the time of comment some of the first details that the operation of the tire has left in its first test, and expects to be able to make substantial changes in them for 2018 with more empirical knowledge.
“We have seen less degradation and less thermal sensitivity. We probably need a little more warming for the tires; the larger surface area distributes the heat much better, so that reduces the stress in the composite. There are many variables that we’ll only understand when you start running. That said, the big difference in 2017 is that we can test in the car today. We will have 25 days of testing with the car in 2017 when we prepare for 2018, and that is the fundamental change that we need. When you see things change, and we’re going to see things inevitably because it is a big change, allows you to work on those changes to be ready in 2018″.
The tests of the pre-season will return to compete one more year in the circuit of Montmeló, again in two blocks of four days. Previously, Pirelli had been asked to move these tests to Bahrain to eliminate the risk of rain and winter weather which has at times affected the tests in Barcelona, but the teams and the FIA rejected this request due to questions of cost. Hembery continues to advocate that Bahrain would have been more ideal, and the trip to the circuit desert for the Grand Prize will be important to understand the tyres to the full.
“I Think we’ve well documented that we would have preferred to go to Bahrain, because what we did when we had the new engines, and have a clear indication of where we were before the start of the season was very beneficial for us. Even in China they usually have a lot of graining, because the long straight cools the tires. it will Likely be in the race in Bahrain where we have a clear indication, and in your test during the season. Hence we have a better opportunity of testing different compounds”.