Pirelli plans to use safer construction from Malaysian GP

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Pirelli plans to use safer construction from Malaysian GP
Adam Cooper
By: Adam Cooper
Aug 26, 2016, 4:53 PM

Pirelli is planning to introduce a revised, and what it believes to be a safer, tyre construction at the Malaysian GP after testing it at Spa today.

Nico Hulkenberg, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 leaves the pits
Pirelli tyres
Pirelli tyres
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team
Felipe Massa, Williams F1 Team
Ferrari SF16-H, Side
Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team

All drivers were given two extra sets of experimental prototype tyres for use in today's sessions, although they were not obliged to use them.

The new tyres featured a construction designed to improve resistance to damage from what Pirelli calls "multiple impacts" with kerbs or other outside objects.

The main aim of today's test – which was conducted with the soft compound – was to demonstrate that the new construction has no effect on performance relative to the tyres already in use this year.

The significance of this is that teams have already made their tyre selection for the later races.

Pirelli is hoping to run a further test on Friday at Monza prior to getting a formal agreement from all the teams and the FIA that will allow the revised construction to be used in Malaysia and beyond.

"We are testing the new prototypes, the black one, that is a soft construction with the target not to change anything in terms of performance," said Pirelli technical boss Mario Isola.

"We want that this construction is transparent, and they don't feel any difference compared to the base.

"We tested the construction with our indoor testing, indoor drum and so on, and we found that the new one is better when you have a multiple impact against external objects. So it's more resistant and better with less propagation of the damage.

"That is the reason we wanted to test here, we wanted to test in Monza again. There is currently a request with the FIA to have the authorisation to bring additional prototypes to Monza.

"If we are successful – not successful in terms of integrity, that was assessed with indoor testing – but the drivers are happy with the performance and handling of the tyre, we want to introduce the new specification from Sepang. This is the plan."

No performance change

Isola said that early feedback from the drivers suggested that performance has not been affected.

"A few of them told that they didn't feel any difference, so it is a good starting point, but we need to check with all the drivers, all the cars, because if you want to introduce a modification during the year, you need the agreement of all the teams, otherwise we have to go to the FIA and ask for a safety issue. If everybody agrees, the introduction is let's say automatic.

"If they are happy because they didn't find a difference, and we have an improvement in terms of safety in terms of impact against the kerbs, we can introduced it without any problem."

The revised construction may also be used in 2017.

"We realise that during the race weekend it's not easy for a team to include our request in terms of testing, but it's important for everybody – this is part of our continuous improvement of the product.

"If this solution is successful, this is something that we are also considering for next year's tyres.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Malaysian GP
Location Sepang International Circuit
Author Adam Cooper
Article type Breaking news