Pirelli is confident the changes to its tyres for the 2019 F1 season have addressed the problem with blistering it experienced last year.Formula 1’s official tyre supplier used special, thinner-tread rubber for last year’s Spanish, French and British rounds in response to the blistering several teams experienced during pre-season testing. The thinner rubber will be used at all races this year.
The teams had their first chance to test Pirelli’s full tyre range for 2019 in last year’s post-season test in Abu Dhabi. However motorsport director Mario Isola said the Yas Marina circuit does not generate the same high energy levels which provoked the blistering at venues such as Silverstone.
“On this track in some conditions you mask a little bit the differences,” Isola explained following the test. “I believe that in different tracks they will feel the differences more.
“If I compare just the reduction in tread thickness, that is one of the new characteristics that we decided to implement in the new tyres. This [reduced] the blisters massively at Barcelona, Paul Ricard and Silverstone.
“And in Barcelona we had a clear comparison made by all the teams because they had a pre-season test but in Silverstone, for example, we were there for our tyre development test we compare the normal version with the reduced one and it was clear that the normal one was going to blister a lot but the reduced one was a lot better.
“So I believe that we have a confirmation of the differences of the new tyres probably more in circuits where the level of energy is higher. Here also during the race we didn’t have any blister so comparison is more difficult.”
Some drivers reported they felt little difference between the new tyres and the previous rubber. “The tyres are not a revolution compared to last year,” Isola agreed. “It’s not a big change like it was in 2017.”
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