Pirelli urged to rethink 2017 F1 tyres

Pirelli is facing calls from Formula 1 drivers for a rethink in its approach to tyres for 2017, in a bid to allow cars to be push to the maximum again.

The Italian tyre company came into F1 with a request to deliver degrading rubber in a bid to improve the spectacle and mix things up.

However, that approach has often left drivers frustrated because they are having to manage their tyres throughout races rather than being able to push flat out.

Now, following discussions in the Grand Prix Drivers' Association (GPDA), fuelled by the results of its Global Fan Survey last year, there is a push for that approach to be changed from 2017.

GPDA chairman Alex Wurz says that drivers are unanimous that they want more performing tyres, because that will then deliver a better show for F1 fans.

"The drivers want to underline very clearly that they would love Pirelli to produce a tyre which goes faster around corners as well as being safe," he told the BBC.

"If we get sticky tyres, we will have happy drivers, and happy drivers means authentic and honest performance, pure message for the product and driving the cars to the maximum.

"That's what we want and, according to the fan survey we did last year, what all the fans expect."

Fans' view

The GPDA Fan Survey, which was conducted in association with Motorsport.com, highlighted that fans wanted a better spectacle in F1, without the need for gimmicks.

And while 80 percent of respondents wanted there to be a tyre again, only 13 percent were in favour of more degrading tyres.

F1 drivers and team representative are expected to meet Pirelli chiefs ahead of the new season to discuss what can be done in time for the 2017 season, when wider tyres are set to be introduced.

Pirelli chiefs have said many times that they are happy to adopt any approach that the sport wants them to take.

Safety issue

And although faster tyres would seem to be in conflict with a desire for improved driver safety, Wurz thinks that that there will be no compromises on that front.

"We know that car and circuit safety was designed for higher speeds," he said.

"We have seen higher cornering speeds in F1 already, back in 2009, cars went more than 30mph faster around corners.

"While we drivers want to minimise the dangers, by using modern technologies and the amazing safety know-how F1 developed over the years, drivers accept the underlying risks of racing to a certain extent."

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Article type Breaking news
Tags pirelli