Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola says that he is confident drivers will be content with the new wet weather tyre that will be introduced later this year.
From the Imola round, which marks the sixth round of the 2023 F1 campaign, drivers will be issued a new specification of the extreme Wet compound following complaints throughout the 2022 season.
Drivers were unhappy over the performance of the tyre and often opted to switch to the Intermediate compound early in wet conditions due to its pace advantage.
During the winter break, Pirelli conducted a series of tests as it looked to provide the tyres for a more suitable tyre in rainy conditions.
“Last year we didn’t have a lot of opportunity to test wet weather tyres,” Isola told F1TV.
“Drivers were complaining [about] the level of performance of the extreme was not [at] the right level where we wanted to be.
“The Intermediate was working well but the warm-up and the performance of the wet tyre was not right.
“We had the opportunity, thanks to an agreement with the FIA and the teams to have an extended period of testing, especially during winter.
“That was important for us, because we had the opportunity to test in cold conditions.
“In cold conditions, we tested the new compounds with new ideas, new ingredients and a new philosophy. One of these new compounds was working very, very well.”
Significantly, the new wet compound will not require tyre blankets, as its tests showed that the tyre had better warm-up without them.
Isola is confident that the tyre is a “step in the right direction” after digesting the feedback from drivers after the tests.
“We tested all of the compounds without blankets and comparing with the baseline from last year with blankets,” Isola said.
“With seven degrees of track temperature, the new one without blankets was better in terms of warm-up and performance compared to the old one.
“We tested in Fiorano with Ferrari, we tested in Paul Ricard [with Mercedes] and then in Portimao with AlphaTauri.
“It was not supposed to be a wet test but it was raining and we took the opportunity to test the wet tyre.
“In all three conditions and with six different drivers, they said ‘we want this [new] tyre’. That’s why I sent the request to the FIA to authorise the change, from Imola, the wet tyre. I believe it’s a good step in the right direction.”
Leave a Reply