Pirelli may take harder tyres to 2019 races
Pirelli says it may opt for harder compound selections at Grands Prix in 2019 in order to enable drivers to push through more of the race.
Pirelli often selected soft rubber through 2018, having introduced the Hypersoft tyre, with the intention of creating various options that would lead to two- or three-stop strategies.
However teams still aimed to stop just once, eking out tyre life in order to make the strategy work, meaning drivers were often told not to push.
This approach was most prominent in Monaco, Singapore and Mexico, with teams running a slow pace on the softest rubber, and some – the top teams – trying to avoid it altogether.
Pirelli will bring three compounds to each Grand Prix from its reduced range of five, numbered C1 to C5, and says it may take a more conservative approach with its selections.
“We have seen this year most of the races with one stop,” said Pirelli chief Mario Isola.
“The only result is that we went softer and softer and teams were managing the pace more and more.
“So is it good that we continue with this approach or we just accept that we have one-stop races but maybe we go one step harder and teams can push, and drivers can push?
“If you ask me my personal opinion is it’s better to go in this direction.
“We accept that we have one-stop races but at least we give the opportunity to drivers to push.”
In dry-weather races drivers are mandated to run two different tyre compounds – meaning they must make one pit stop – but Isola played down suggestions that additional stops would help the action.
“It was interesting to talk about compulsory two stops for example,” he said.
“I’m not sure it’s the right solution because also [with] two compulsory stops there is the big risk everybody stops at the same lap or very close.
“So you’re just generating shorter stints where probably drivers can push more, they will use the softest available compound because the stints are shorter, but there is no variation in the strategies.”