Pirelli’s head of car racing, Mario Isola indicated that Pirelli achieved its targets which it set before the season which saw a thorough technical revamp and the birth of much faster tyres in the 2017 Formula One Championship season.
In search of more excitement and bigger physical challenge for drivers, Formula One introduced a raft of changes in the technical rulebook. It led to up to 30 per cent higher downforce and much bigger mechanical grip due to much wider tyres. The aggressively looking cars proved to be eye-catching through the season and enabled drivers to humiliate track records by lowering them by more than two seconds on many circuits.
“Formula 1 introduced some radical new technical regulations this year, which resulted in the fastest cars ever seen in the history of the sport,” Isola started his assessment.
“So, our mission was to build the fastest-ever tyres, 25% wider than their predecessors to cope with the massively increased cornering speeds and energy loads, which nonetheless allowed the drivers to push hard from the start to the finish of every stint. We developed these tyres throughout 2016, despite not even seeing a 2017 car until the first pre-season test at Barcelona.”
The 2017-generation cars produces much quicker lap times on every circuit due to the massive improvement in cornering speed and stability under braking and acceleration.
“Over the course of this year, pole position was on average 2.450 seconds faster than in 2016, and the fastest race lap was on average 2.968 seconds quicker than last year. In spite of forces that were sometimes up to 35-40% higher than 2016 through the quickest corners, our 2017 tyres achieved all the targets established at the beginning of the season, with an optimal level of reliability and consistency.”
Isola is hopeful that Pirelli’s 2018 tyres will be even better and can meet the target and contribute to the aim of more pit stops during races.
“Now we look forward to next season, with an even faster tyre introduced to the 2018 range and with every compound going a step softer, which should help contribute to even more speed and spectacle in the future”, concluded Isola.