What we learned about Pirelli’s new 18-inch tyres at Abu Dhabi

The comparative times may well have been meaningless supplied that mule vehicles of different vintages had been in use, but the Pirelli 18-inch tyre exam was a important session for groups and motorists as they put together for the new era in 2022.

All the teams getting part experienced currently sampled the new tyres when they participated in Pirelli’s advancement screening earlier in the 12 months. As time, the tyres becoming tried received closer to the remaining versions for those whose classes have been later in the 12 months.

Even so Abu Dhabi was the 1st time that all groups – bar Williams who opted out of generating a mule car for budgetary reasons – had been equipped to sample the definitive 2022 tyres, throughout the range of all 5 new compounds.

Pirelli has not informed us significantly about the previously screening or how its new tyres were being accomplishing, but following Abu Dhabi the company’s F1 manager gave some attention-grabbing insights into what we can assume.

“They experienced offered all the new vary of compounds, and they made use of all the new compounds on lots of laps, shorter runs, extended runs,” Isola discussed.

“I have to say that in basic, we discovered to start with of all the delta lap time in between compounds in line with our tyre growth assessments.

“So I can say that this number is pretty in line with our conclusions all through the yr, and in the course of our tyre advancement tests. Plainly the C1 and C2 are not the very best compounds for Abu Dhabi, it’s a reduced severity circuit where by we use primarily the C3, C4 and C5.

“So in basic, for C1 and C2, the comment was that the grip was lower, but they were being quite, very constant.”

A person clear characteristic stood out: “I can say that the typical comment from all the motorists was about understeer, it would seem that our rear tyre is a great deal more robust, it can be pushing a great deal the front. And the standard feed-back was on an understeer equilibrium.

“Consider that applying the mule cars the probability to change the established-up was minimal. So in some situations, even if the groups were being operating around the established-up of the automobile, the autos ended up still understeering, due to the fact of this energy of the rear tyre.”

Isola is assured that understeer will be less of an challenge with the good 2022 autos.

“Talking to the teams, they imagine that they can harmony the new autos rather simply. They instructed me that they are not nervous at all about the understeer, and they knew that with the new vehicles, they were expecting a little bit of that. So they feel to be not worried at all.”

Soon after the initially working day of the Abu Dhabi examination Pirelli produced a transform to the parameters it had given the groups in endeavor to dial out some of that understeer.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M Mule

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Illustrations or photos

“Looking at the info that we obtained from the groups, we saw a margin in the pressure, specifically in the front pressure,” claimed Isola.

“So we extra the likelihood to reduce the entrance stress for now by 1.5 psi. That was beneficial to lower the understeer, obviously supplying much more footprint on the entrance and decreasing the graining, particularly on the C3.

“We nonetheless have some abrasion and graining on the C4 and C5, but they are the softest compounds, so it will make feeling. But with this reduction in strain is C3 was performing improved.”

That entrance force fall was from 21.5 to 20. psi, even though Isola confirmed that the rears stayed at a reduced 17.5 for the two days.

As a comparison for the race weekend the respective quantities ended up 23. entrance, and 21. rear. In other text, we will get employed to looking at a lot lessen commencing pressures.

“We know that with the new sides, the 18-inches, the rear building is in conditions of integrity is more strong,” claimed Isola. “And this is why we have the risk to fall the force to 17.5. That is rather low also when compared to the 13-inches tyre.”

Aside from low starting pressures teams also have to get utilized to the decreased blanket temperatures mandated for 2022, and which in switch impact how motorists warm up the tyres the moment they’re on track.

“We are applying the blanket temperature that we resolved to introduce from 2022,” stated Isola. “That implies that the front tyres are heated at 70 levels, and not 100, and the rear tyres are at 70 levels, and not 80. So from next year, the highest temperature in blankets with be 70 and 70.

“That is the similar temperature that we have employed all through our tyre growth exams. The remarks from motorists were on the C1, in some instances, they experienced to force rather a large amount to get the temperature into the tyre. So that signifies a pair of laps to have the tyres completely ready. But we know that the C1 is not the tyre for Abu Dhabi.

“For the C2 it was a little bit less difficult. And from C3, C4 and C5, they did not complain about the heat up, they failed to have any issue on warm-up.

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21 Mule

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21 Mule

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

“This year we tried to design and style the new compounds with a broader doing work assortment, but without sacrificing far too match the warm-up period, simply because we knew that we wanted to go down with temperature in the blankets. So that is a affirmation of what we found all through the tyre checks.”

Isola also pointed out: “Looking only at the grip the tyre is in line with the 13-inches, but they are much more steady because of this new family of compounds, and the way in which we have developed the compounds.”

Just one significant distinction involving the mule cars and the definitive 2022 devices concerns the brakes and the drums that surround them.

“We have asked the teams to use optimum cooling for equally front and rears,” claimed Isola. “Because hunting at the simulations up coming calendar year with the flows that are heading inside, they should not be capable to use the warmth coming from the brakes to heat the rim.

“There is a large amount additional area, but also the brakes are developed with various flows. Now we are also assessing a further characteristic of subsequent year’s brakes, due to the fact in between the rim and the brake you have a room exactly where you have air at a selected temperature, so based if you seal that or not, you can have distinct temperatures.

“But this yr during the tyre exam, we instructed them to use utmost cooling. The issue was that starting off from 21.5 psi entrance but with a blanket temperature that is is 30 degrees decreased compared to this year, the strain enhance was pretty high.

“So mainly the managing tension – I never tell you the selection due to the fact I never want to launch private information and facts from any workforce – but contemplate that they were being operating a fantastic amount of psi, 4-5 psi larger than the starting off stress, simply because of this delta in the blanket temperature.

“Following calendar year with a new sort of drums, a new sort of brakes, I think they are in a a great deal better posture to command the heat that is going from the brakes to the tyre and also the blanket temperature that is setting up at 70.”

Yet another novelty for 2022 will be rim covers: “Some groups decided to check the rim cover in some operates, but these checks are not seriously consultant. 1st of all, mainly because the brakes are not the 2022 brakes.

“So, if you suit the wheel protect, you have the temperature that is escalating rather a whole lot, and the warmth exchange amongst the brake and the rim is not genuinely workable, as they will do future 12 months with the new brakes that are not transferring the warmth from the brake to the rim.”

Ferrari SF90 mule brake detail

Ferrari SF90 mule brake depth

Picture by: Giorgio Piola

One of the most important targets for the 18-inch tyres was to reduce complications with overheating, a characteristic which has bugged Pirelli for decades, and left motorists pissed off. Isola is self-confident that the enterprise has addressed the difficulty.

“The drivers commented that they can force,” he said. “Let’s get the C3 as a reference, that is likely the a lot more agent, the level of grip is good. And they can drive with out getting overheating or degradation, or greater than the 13-inches tyre.

“Honestly, I’m curious to see how the tyres function on up coming year’s cars and trucks, due to the fact I feel they are distinct also, the the aero package is so different. Also, the degree of downforce that you have at diverse speeds will be unique. So we have to have to understand how they operate with the new aero bundle.

“Probably, I can think about that they will have much less downforce in sluggish velocity corners, and larger downforce at significant velocity. And so that is building a modify in the equilibrium of one lap.

“And this is not possible to check with the mule cars, since they have the same configuration utilised when they have been intended, so they don’t have the floor outcome that is on the new automobiles.”

So apart from the aforementioned understeer, what else did the motorists explore?

“It’s a bit a lot more challenging in braking, less complicated to lock at times,” explained Isola. “They felt the fat of the tyres, every entrance rim is 2.5kgs heavier than the 13-inches, and the rear is 3kgs heavier than the 13-inches tyre. So they felt this on the steering wheel.

“They described a really very good straight line traction. In some scenarios some snap oversteer, that is in line with the simple fact that with the understeer you are inclined to use far more steering angle, and when you eliminate the grip from the rear, it is really extra snappy. So it really is very coherent with the other comments.”

Cars that are much more tough to push? That gels with reviews from motorists who have operate the new styles in simulators. And that type of challenge just cannot be a negative thing…