F1 tyre supplier Pirelli planning softer 2018 tyres and sixth compound
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli says it is planning on introducing softer compounds next season, after admitting it went a little too conservative in 2017 given the unknowns the new regulations presented.
The sport underwent major changes to increase lap speeds by around 4-5 seconds this year, forcing Pirelli to review its compounds. Whilst three teams provided 'mule cars' to simulate expected downforce levels, they failed to deliver an accurate measurement.
Pirelli therefore took a conservative approach, but the company's Head of Car Racing, Mario Isola, says that will be addressed in 2018 with this year's Soft becoming next year's Medium and so on.
"We have defined the construction and we will release the data to the teams on 1st of September," revealed Isola. "We have new construction front and rear, we will give some additional information soon.
"Obviously we are now working on compounds, now the target is to go one step softer compared to this year, we know this year we have been quite conservative, but last year it was not easy to develop the new sizes with the mule cars so we decided to be on the conservative side."
Pirelli is also planning on introducing a sixth 'dry' compound tyre according to Isola, which would sit alongside the Ultrasoft, Supersoft, Soft, Medium and Hard.
"The current Soft will be the new Medium next year and we also intend to increase the number of compounds, it is still not defined but we probably have next year more compounds to give us more freedom in the section during one event as there are no modification in the sporting regulations so still three compounds per event and the target is to have more flexibility."