Formula One official tyre supplier Pirelli has promised to learn lessons from the Singapore Grand Prix and try solutions to prevent Formula 1 races being ruined by excessive tyre saving in 2019. Although the choice of the hypersoft for Singapore helped produce record-breaking qualifying laps, in the race the pace dropped off dramatically as drivers tried to look after their rubber. Drivers were lapping more than 10 seconds slower than they had in qualifying, and it was hard for cars to properly battle each other without risk of tyres overheating.
Pirelli motorsport racing manager Mario Isola admitted things needed to change: “This is something we should discuss because with experience and all the data that has been collected this year, we now have a better picture of the approach of the teams,” said Isola, when asked by Autosport about the situation – “It is good to understand which is the right direction for the future. These are all considerations that must help us to understand and to improve the situation for next year. I don’t have a solution right now but it is important we learn from what happened, not just go ahead without looking behind.”
Mario Isola said Pirelli was constantly having to balance the benefits of bringing softer tyres to boost performance and open up strategy options, against the potential for drivers to then end up going slowly to reduce degradation: “We need to analyse carefully the data because the risk is that we go softer and softer, we have tyres with more degradation, and the only result is that we have more management,” he said. “It is something we need to evaluate. This year we were quite aggressive with the hypersoft, and we have been aggressive at other circuits, and we have seen that sometimes there is a race pace that was not at the right level because they [the drivers] had to manage the degradation.”
Formula 1 race director Charlie Whiting said the FIA was likely to get involved in the discussion, although he acknowledged the situation was very complicated: “It is a huge subject really that one,” said Whiting – “You want tyres to be quick, you want the ultimate performance, but it depends on the track surface a lot as well. It is a very complex subject. We have to try to discuss this with Pirelli, we have to try to work out what the best track surfaces are for racing and for tyres, and try to suit the tyres to the tracks. But it is very, very hard.” – Charlie Whiting concluded.