Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola recently admitted that it has achieved “most” of the targets set for its 2019 tyre but admits there are areas where it still needs to improve. The official Formula 1 tyre supplier’s objectives for its rubber is set out in a ‘target letter’ agreed with the FIA and FOM.
“The current targets are defining a level of delta lap time between compounds [and] a level of degradation,” Isola explained when asked by RaceFans. “And if I look at the first eight races we are very close to the targets. The other request was to have less of overheating and from last year we have less overheating. As I said we can improve, but we have less overheating. Last year we had an issue with the delta lap time between soft, super-soft, ultra-soft were too close, now we have the right space in between compounds. That’s why I’m saying that most of the targets have been achieved.” – he said.
A proposal to bring back last year’s tyres failed to win the support of a sufficient number of teams during the Austrian Grand Prix. Mario Isola confirmed the move would have led to an increase in blistering.
“We never tested the 2018 [tyre] specification on 2019 cars,” he said. “The 2019 car is different from last year’s car. The aero package is different, there is a different balance in terms of downforce front to rear. So we are not 100 percent sure that the 2018 specification is working well on the 2019 car. I would say that probably the level of blistering and overheating is a lot more because they are quicker, they are heavier than last year. So there is no element that is going in the direction to reduce it.”
Mario Isola said that he explained to the Formula One teams which were present at the meeting that an increase in blistering would present safety and image concerns: “Provided that we work together, we don’t make anything that is dangerous or bad for the image of the company, we are always available to discuss any solution any idea any improvement. I don’t care if it is during the year, for next year. If it is during the year there is a regulation that says that we need at least 70 percent of the teams in agreement to change the specification, that is clear. Or we can send the request for a safety issue. But if there is no safety issue and the current product has no safety issue we cannot send any request. If there is a sensible idea to change something that could be the specification, the sporting rules the allocation of the, set any of these that can be good for the sport and that is with the agreement with the FIA, FOM and the teams we are always available to consider that and to implement that.” – Mario Isola concluded.