NOVEMBER 8, 2023

Pirelli developing new tyres amid driver criticism

Pirelli, F1's sole tyre supplier, is developing a groundbreaking tyre that is set to debut in 2025.

Max Verstappen
© Red Bull

It's a response to a chorus of grievances from drivers and teams concerning tyre performance, exacerbated by recent events at Interlagos. The race highlighted the problem of severe tyre degradation issues, prompting an outcry from competitors over their inability to maintain peak racing speeds without compromising tyre integrity.

Addressing the concerns, Pirelli's chief Mario Isola acknowledged the critical feedback and emphasised the company's commitment to innovation. We're dissecting the connection between tyre wear and on-track dynamics, Isola said. Our goal is to engineer a tyre that wears in a manner that complements the racing.

Max Verstappen, among others, voiced his frustrations post-Brazil, lamenting the impossibility of pushing the car to its limits under the current constraints. This shared sentiment among drivers is driving Pirelli's pursuit of a balanced solution.

However, Isola pointed out that eliminating tyre wear is not the panacea it may seem. A tyre that doesn't degrade would strip away the strategic complexity of races, potentially leading to monotonous, uneventful grands prix. Tyre wear is the catalyst for much of the track action, he asserted, highlighting the delicate balance between durability and strategy.

Pirelli's aim is to strike that optimal balance, crafting a tyre that mitigates excessive wear while maintaining strategic diversity with potential multi-stop races. Without varied tyre wear, we risk a procession rather than a race. We need to maintain the element of competition that different wear rates can provide, Isola insisted.

Despite the challenges, Isola recognises the necessity of adaptation. Drivers are clear in their desire for tyres that can endure more assertive racing, he said.