F1 should have hypersoft at every race - Ricciardo
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has called upon Formula 1's official tyre supplier to bring its softest compound to every grand prix.
The new hypersoft tyre is due to make its debut at the next round, in Monaco, but Ricciardo believes that if it were available throughout the season, it would add a greater element of unpredictability to the racing.
"I don't know why we can't have the hypersoft at every race," he said. "Or at least we qualify on it and maybe figure it out after that.
"But at least we've got, like, a qualifying tyre and then bigger differences in the race to create a bit more opportunity.
"Because as I say, for the top six it was already obvious from Friday [in Barcelona] we were going to qualify on the soft and try to do a one-stop with the medium. That's no secret.
"I think that's what it is - just trying to create more options, more surprises, because it's a bit predictable for now."
Ricciardo's comment came against a background of mounting dissatisfaction with the lack of meaningful differentiation between the tyres.
Although each of Pirelli's compounds is claimed to be a step softer than last year, during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend the difference in laptime between the soft and supersoft tyres was reckoned to be in the region of just 0.3s.
Teams also found it difficult to manage the temperatures of the supersoft across a stint, especially on the front-left, which comes under particular stress at the Circuit de Catalunya.
With so little difference between the soft and supersoft in terms of laptime, the soft became the de facto choice, and indeed the majority of the top 10 used it as their qualifying tyre.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was among the most outspoken of the supersoft's critics.
"It is rubbish," he said. "It's not correct that we go faster on soft.
"It just shows that it's not exactly what it should be. The super should go faster - obviously you expect more degradation, which you have, but it is just a harder tyre to drive.
"You don't have much rear support in the car, and it is more pointy, you can't push as hard as you would like, so we've talked to Pirelli at the drivers' meeting. We need to keep all the work going because there is some more work to be done.
"I don't want to be negative, I just think that we can all together work on a better tyre."
Pirelli is willing to investigate the possibility of specifying tyres more than one step apart, as it did in China, where the available choices were medium, soft and ultrasoft.
Although the safety car played a substantial role in the outcome of that race, so too did a tyre-strategy gamble by Red Bull that yielded victory for Ricciardo.
"I had a chat with the drivers and it was quite interesting," said Pirelli's Mario Isola. "They had a lot of ideas for the future.
"An interesting proposal, because they were happy with the tyre choice in China, and sometimes the difference between soft and medium is less than one second, was to consider jumping levels. Say hard, soft, ultrasoft.
"We can make a simulation of this to understand the possible effects. We have six compounds in the range so we have the flexibility to jump a level as we did in China.
"But it's possible in these conditions that you have the hypersoft as a qualifying tyre, and under the current regulations they are obliged to use it in the race. It's not easy. You have to consider all the possibilities."
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