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Formula 1 | Pirelli sees no problem in more one-stop races

While there is much to suggest that one-stop races will become more likely in the 2022 Formula 1 season, Mario Isola doesn’t think fewer stops will have a major impact on the show. “I do not hope that we have fewer strategic variabilities,” says Pirelli’s motorsport boss.

The Formula 1 tire maker is switching to 18-inch tires as part of the rule changes for 2022. That and the desire for a rubber that is less prone to overheating has resulted in tire compounds being a little harder.

That probably means less wear and tear, giving teams the opportunity to make do with fewer pit stops. But Isola emphasizes: “The idea and the way we developed the tires is to continue to have different strategies, with a mixture of one and two stops.”

“It is also true that with a new product with less degradation we will have fewer pit stops and most races could be done in one stop,” the Pirelli man admits, adding: “It’s not an issue for me as long as we have good racing and action on the track.”

Isola: Viewers want to see action and fights

The prerequisite for this is that the drivers are able to overtake, but at the same time that overtaking is not too easy. “It’s important that the drivers make an effort when overtaking. That’s exactly what the spectators want,” says Isola.

He refers to a Formula 1 survey on the subject and states: “The majority of the feedback says that the spectators don’t want simple overtaking maneuvers. They want action on the track and they want fights.”

This approach was also followed when developing the tire for 2022, taking into account the properties required by the drivers, Isola continues.

“This tire has been developed in a different way, with different goals. The drivers want less overheating and degradation. They want to push on the tyre, they want to fight on the track. We have in consultation with the FIA, the FOM and the teams decided to go in that direction.”

“So we had to develop a new profile and a new construction, optimize the tread and design a new range of compounds,” Isola explains Pirelli’s work. “It’s a completely new product with a new approach.”

Pirelli has backup plan in case targets are missed

Despite hoping the new tires will perform as they are supposed to, Isola says more improvements will be made for 2023: “I think we are already planning a development campaign for 2022 as we never stop developing, around 2023 to be ready with an improved version.”

“For example, if we find this year that we might need to change a mix, or the delta lap time isn’t exactly what we expect, or the level of degradation, we have a back-up plan in place to make sure we getting closer to the goals and achieving them for 2023,” says Isola.

However, if Pirelli achieves the targets set now and the rules for the 2022 cars work in a way that allows the cars to follow each other better, Isola believes that Formula 1 could have a great season this year.

“Target targets for the delta lap time, tire degradation and so on were decided. With these numbers, with the simulation, we believe we can do better races. Yes, maybe fewer pit stops, but more action on the track.”

“The assumptions have to be checked on the track. And if for some reason we have to change something for 2023, we are ready to do so in the working groups.”

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