Pirelli to test prototype tyre for Zandvoort banking
Pirelli has asked the Formula 1 teams to try a special prototype front tyre in next week's Barcelona test that could be deployed at the Dutch GP.
The Italian company says it is still assessing data on the rebuilt track, which now features a high-speed banked final corner, and which has just been resurfaced.
Pirelli has developed the new tyre for possible use if it thinks the projected loadings require a change from the standard 2019/2020 construction. Only the fronts are different from the regular tyres.
Teams will try the C2 compound in Spain next week, and if the decision to use the prototype tyre is eventually confirmed, it will be used across all three race weekend compounds.
The teams are due to be informed of the plan by Pirelli on Friday.
"I'm going to tell the teams that we're going to test prototype front tyres in the next session," said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.
"This prototype had been designed with a slightly different construction because we are still analysing data coming from Zandvoort. We made some analysis on the banking, and the plan is to use these tyres with a slightly higher pressure.
"So in preparation for that, because we are not fully aware of everything, we do not have final data on the circuit, on the tarmac roughness and so on, the idea is also to test a slightly different construction here. It's working in a slightly different way – it's more resistant."
Isola stressed that readying the new tyre was not a "panic" measure.
"It was discussed with the FIA and agreed with the FIA. I don't want to hear comments like 'panic, panic,' there is no panic. It is part of a serious and professional process where we need to be ready in case.
"Finally we may go with the normal tyres, with the appropriate prescriptions, but we prefer also to test the driveability of a different construction, and we have the opportunity here in Barcelona during the pre-season test.
"In the regulations it is written that during the race weekend we can test an additional prototype, two sets per car. We are going to give two sets per car of additional prototypes here at the next test. We'll supply the whole set, but just the front tyres are different."
Concerns about the use of banked corners in F1 stems from 2005, when there was huge controversy at the United States GP when all Michelin runners had to withdraw before the start at Indianapolis because of tyre problems experienced through the banked final corner in the build-up to the race, which included Ralf Schumacher's huge practice crash (below).
Ralf Schumacher, Toyota TF105 crashes
Photo by: Motorsport Images
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