MAY 7, 2015
Pirelli to go soft to spice up races
Pirelli is aiming to spice up races by leaning towards soft-compound tyre choices as the 2015 season progresses.
Having faced intense criticism of its deliberately heavily-degrading tyres of the past, F1's official supplier went notably more conservative for the start of the new 'power unit' era last year.
Pirelli vowed to ramp down that conservatism for this year as experience of the new regulations increases, but chief Paul Hembery acknowledged that the target of mainly three-stop races has yet to be achieved.
"We aim to bring the softer compounds (to races) more and more," he told Finland's Turun Sanomat newspaper, "and in particular we want to be using the super-soft.
"Maybe we should have taken that tyre to Bahrain," Hembery added, "as it would have meant a three-stop race."
However, Lotus engineer Mark Slade says that, as far as Pirelli's approach to F1 goes, things have changed since Kimi Raikkonen was winning races for the Enstone team with ultra-soft tyres in 2012 and 2013.
"Even if they still call them 'super-soft'," he said, "they really are just soft compounds. The names have changed but the tyres are harder now."
Slade said he doubts Pirelli is really shaping up to change its current approach to F1.
"I don't think they're going to make radical changes," said the Briton, "as they are satisfied with the current situation."