Yokohama introduces new tyre to address puncture concerns

Yokohama has introduced a new specification of rear tyre for the 2022 Super Formula season to alleviate concerns surrounding punctures.

Yokohama introduces new tyre to address puncture concerns
Listen to this article

The new rubber, which features a slightly stiffer rear construction in a bid to improved durability, was trialled in last December's post-season test at Suzuka, where teams were given one set each to try.

Off the back of that test, the new tyres have been in use throughout this week's opening pre-season test at Suzuka.

It follows a spate of punctures in recent seasons, most notably Yuji Kunimoto's high-speed crash at 130R in last year's April Suzuka round.

Additionally, Nirei Fukuzumi lost out on a likely victory in the same race due to a deflated tyre, while Nobuharu Matsushita suffered a similar accident to Kunimoto's at Suzuka in 2020.

"Since the start of last year, we have been working to improve the durability of the tyre," senior Yokohama tyre development engineer Noritaka Koguchi told Motorsport.com's Japanese edition.

"Finally, we told everyone at the time of the rookie [post-season] test that the specification would change, and after giving the teams the chance to try the new specification, we approved it.

"In order to improve the durability, we changed the profile, and the way the tyres are compressed [by cornering loads] has changed, but as a result the cornering ability and stiffness have increased a little."

Read Also:

Opinion on whether the new rear tyre improves rear grip appears to be split, with Koguchi saying that "60 or 70 percent" of the drivers in the field have reported they feel little difference in terms of driving.

Kondo Racing pair Kenta Yamashita and Sacha Fenestraz however were among those to feel a noticeable change.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Yamashita described the feeling of the new tyre as "quite different", while Fenestraz added: "There is quite a bit more rear grip, and man, it’s fast! In sector one we’re really quick. I’m enjoying it a lot."

Kenta Yamashita, KONDO RACING

Kenta Yamashita, KONDO RACING

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

shares
comments

Krumm brought in to assist Fenestraz in Super Formula

Gallery: Every 2022 Super Formula car livery