F1 to discuss bringing 2018-spec tyres back after summer break

F1 teams will meet with the FIA and Pirelli to formally discuss the idea of going back to the thicker tread 2018 tyre construction after the summer break, Motorsport.com has learned.

F1 to discuss bringing 2018-spec tyres back after summer break

The meeting has been called by the governing body amid concerns from a number of outfits that the move to a thinner tread this season has hurt their campaign, while it has played a part in Mercedes being able to stretch its advantage at the front of the field.

While discussions have taken place among teams in private, the dull French Grand Prix has further increased the conviction of a number of outfits that something needs to change if the season is not going to be a turn off for fans.

Read Also:

The situation has prompted the FIA's head of single-seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis to call a meeting before the opening practice session in Austria to see whether there is the majority support required to make a change for after the summer break.

Pirelli reduced the thickness of the tread this season by 0.4mm in a bid to rid the tyres of the overheating and blistering issues that teams were so unhappy about last year.

In making that change, however, Pirelli has changed the tyre temperature operating window, raising it higher and leaving some teams – like Ferrari and Haas – struggling to get their rubber working properly.

Several teams believe that the change in operating temperature has been perfect for Mercedes, because it has historically struggled to not overheat its tyres.

While Pirelli has so far been aware of a number of teams being eager for change, it has repeatedly said that until there is a formal request for the tyres to revert to the 2018 spec it cannot do anything.

Under F1's rules, a change of specification of tyres will require support from seven of the 10 teams – and it is not automatic that that level of support will be reached.

While Ferrari, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Haas are eager for change, both Alfa Romeo and Renault have expressed reservations about a mid-season swap. However, they may be won over.

Mercedes will obviously be against the switch, and McLaren is also understood to not support the change since its car works well with the 2019 tyres.

It is probable also that Williams will align itself with Mercedes, since it has close ties to the German car manufacturer.

It means that the key vote to get seven in favour could come down to Racing Point which, while being a customer of Mercedes, has faced its own headaches getting on top of the tyres for qualifying.

Should the meeting conclude that seven teams are in favour, then it is understood that Pirelli has said it could be ready to bring the new specification tyres to the Belgian Grand Prix.

Speaking at the French Grand Prix, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said that he felt it was wrong that teams were trying to change the rules to slow his outfit down.

"It's pretty logical that the ones that will feel that they haven't understood the tyre properly will try to trigger change in the tyre," he said when asked by Motorsport.com. "My sportsman approach is that I don't think F1 should change the rules because some are doing better than others.

"I don't mean in an arrogant way. But on the contrary, this is an unforgiving high-tech sport. We have given it a big push over the winter to get on top of our set-up issues, and understand how the tyres functioned last year."

shares
comments
Gasly: Red Bull has "ideas" to help me out of slump

Previous article

Gasly: Red Bull has "ideas" to help me out of slump

Next article

Grosjean gets Haas suspension upgrade after France DNF

Grosjean gets Haas suspension upgrade after France DNF
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Jonathan Noble
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory Prime

The five key tests Hamilton passed to claim Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals Prime

Imola 1994: Memories from Ayrton Senna’s F1 rivals

The tragic events of the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix changed Formula 1 forever. Here, 17 of the drivers who took part explain how they coped with the devastating deaths of Roland Ratzenberger and Ayrton Senna.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy Prime

The data that leaves both Red Bull, Mercedes uncertain of supremacy

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying.

Formula 1
May 1, 2021