SEPTEMBER 27, 2016
Pirelli begins to bring down high pressures
Pirelli is beginning to ramp down its controversially high compulsory minimum tyre pressures, according to Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
Teams and drivers have complained that the high pressures, dictated by Pirelli on safety grounds, are so high that tyres are like 'wood' or 'balloons'.
But Auto Motor und Sport now claims that, over the course of the last three races, pressures on the rear tyres have started to come down, while the front pressures remain "extremely high".
In Singapore, for instance, while the fronts had to be run at 20 PSI, the rears came down to 16.5.
"They are almost normal pressures now," an unnamed engineer said.
However, the report claims that because the fronts remain high, it means the tyre temperatures and wear rates are different from front to rear.
It is claimed the difference is explained by how teams set up the front camber, which puts additional load on the tyres.
However, respected correspondent Michael Schmidt says some teams actually suspect that Pirelli made recent changes to the rear tyre construction, which "could be a reason why the balance of power changed after the summer break".