Pirelli boss says company is on target to deliver more durable and raceable F1 tyres for 2022

Pirelli has been given a number of targets by F1 for their 18-inch tyre.
Pirelli claims it is on track to deliver the durable and more race-able tyres Formula 1 requested to be included in next year's new cars.

F1 asked for tyres that enable drivers to push hard during races as part of its plan to encourage closer racing in 2022.

Mario Isola, Pirelli F1 boss, said that the Italian manufacturer should be "very close to the targets".

He stated that drivers who tested the 2022 tyres were happy with the results.

Pirelli's tyres have been so good that drivers are unable to push for more than a few laps with the tyres not overheating or losing performance.

This is a key issue in keeping cars from racing for extended periods of time.

Pirelli's new tyres were the subject of a conversation between a leading driver and BBC Sport under anonymity. He said that those he had used in 2022 development programmes were a significant improvement.

He said, "The new tires are definitely better; it's possible to push harder and last longer."

What are the requirements for Pirelli in 2022?

F1 gave Pirelli a set of targets for new tyres. These will be fitted to next-year's cars that are designed to comply with a new set of technical regulations. This is a move to close down the grid and make cars more competitive.

The new tyres are not only lower profile and will fit 18-inch wheels, but also have three major improvements over the existing rubber.

Drivers can race with less heat so they don't overheat and are able to push harder throughout the race.

To reduce the problems of getting the tyres at the right temperature, and then to reduce the speed with which they overheat, we offer a wider temperature range.

Reduction in thermal degradation

Pirelli believes that it is on the right path

In an exclusive interview with BBC Sport Isola said that he was very positive about the results from extensive testing with many teams and all of the top drivers this year.

He stated that the drivers were satisfied with the results of the 18-inch tyre tests. Lewis Hamilton, for instance, isn't a driver who loves testing and he decided that he would test for one day. We received his feedback which was very positive.

Ross Brawn, F1 managing director, stated: "One thing Pirelli has been trying to do is make the tyres more thermally sensitive so that if a driver pushes the tyre too hard it comes back.

"It's difficult to do that with the tyres they have, but they seem to be making good progress."

"Drivers are beginning to appreciate the characteristics of the new tires. We can't assess the car properly until the final specs are in place and the drivers have the opportunity to test it.

There are other ways that tyres can be modified.

Isola stated that lower-profile tyres provided more pleasing car behavior for drivers, which was in line with the Pirelli statutory requirements.

He said that drivers love the fact that tyres feel more responsive and precise because they have smaller sidewalls.

He also said that Pirelli should be able to use the new tyres at lower pressures.

For the moment, teams and drivers need to apply higher pressures than usual in order to ensure the structural integrity of the tires after several failures.

Isola stated that part of the improvement process is to make tyres more durable without using pressure as the only response tool.

"If the simulations confirm, I expect to run at lower pressure with the 18 inch tyres."

How sure can Pirelli be?

Pirelli tried a new rear tyre design in Austria in July after two high-speed crashes at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Isola stated that it was impossible to make a decision on the new tyres until designs are run on the 2022 cars by the beginning of next year.

He stated that the main goal of the new tyre design was to allow drivers to closely follow other cars without the tyre irreparably heating up.

He also stated that the changing expectations regarding the performance of new cars added to the difficulties.

Isola stated that the tests were done on "mule" cars and now it is time to validate the results for the 2022 cars.

"There's a lot of debate about the actual performance of the 2022 cars. Everyone was expecting cars three seconds slower than the present cars at the start.

"Now, there are discussions about a possible performance very similar to the current cars and that affects the [rubber] compounds.

"We create a range of compounds based on the performance we expect for the next year.

"In any event, the compounds are entirely new because we changed the philosophy to meet the targets. We had to try a different approach using different ingredients.

"If the [requirement] is to adjust the compounds for next year, we have the 25-days of testing for 2022. We are also free to choose the compounds in another way (from one race to the other).

"I'm very confident that we can achieve a good balance."