Pirelli P-Zero's degradation

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    Very good article on JA.F1 comparing tyre drop off this year with last year:

    (I would post the link but for some reason it won’t let me – go to James Allen’s blog)

    Seems like we’re back to the “good old days”. If tyre degradation defines laptimes as opposed to fuel load, we could see last minute dashes for soft tyres again.



    So what do we think to Lewis’ comments with regards to this? Do we think it might be too early to say the tyres will retain the degradation found in testing given that we don’t know fuel loads vs. tyre wear and compounded by McLaren using the MP4-25…a car not designed around the P-Zero?

    Do we want higher degrading tyres or do we prefer 1-stop races to ensure maximum track time…leaving track position to driver skill/KERS & the adjustable rear wing?



    I think Bridgestone had the soft tyre pretty much right. It could maybe have worn a little faster, but it tended to last the first 15-20 laps of the race. I would like to see the harder tyres go off a bit faster, they should be quite worn and losing performance by the end of the race. That way drivers will have to look after the tyres better, and those that don’t are punished towards the end of the race.

    Generally it introduces a performance differential that is linked to driver ability rather than some of these artificial performance enhancements that they seem determined to introduce to the car.


    Prisoner Monkeys

    Grip and durability should be invervesely proportional. The more grip you have, the shorter the tyre’s lifespan. That’s the way it was done in the 1980s, and it was fantastic. Remember qualifying tyres, that produced so much grip that they were practicaly on rims by the end of the qualifying lap? That’s the way it should be. Bridgetsone were too worried about their corporate image, which is why we got “soft” tyres that could do 52 laps of Monza.



    The degradation should have been higher on the Bridestone’s. If here is a higher degradation pit-stops are going to be fun! The variables are enormous!



    As long as performance and degradation are consistent from set to set i’m fully backing the choice of less durable tyres – it gives you a bit more tactical freedom and puts some more emphasis on driver’s tyre management ability. Imagine the likes of Button will still be able to do a one stop race while most others are forced to pit twice or even more just because they are harder on their tyres.

    But for the moment it seems that it’s a bit more messy than everyone expected. It’s even more worrying if you read one of the recent news articles at Pitpass: http://pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_news_item.php?fes_art_id=42878

    I believe we’ll talk about the tyres a lot more in the next two sessions in Spain, especially at Barcelona – the track there is sort of tyre-punishing.



    As long as we have consistency so we know what to expect.



    One of the few actually convincing arguments for the return of the tyre war was that it would put the tyres back onto the edge of performance.

    The current tyres just arn’t about lap time, which is left for the teams. For Bridgestone it was advertising, for Michelin, who wanted special new tyres it’d have been something simular.

    Pirelli say there about improving the show, but who really belives them? Actions m’lud. Anyways, 1st time round the won’t have cracked it so, degredation it could be, yay!



    How are we telling the difference between compounds? Am I missing something?



    Personally, I hate pit stops especially when they account for “overtaking”. But, if you are going to say you are making a tire that will last so and so number of laps make it do that. Soft tires should be that, soft. Im a Webber fan but how much of his 42 laps at Hungary were based of off complete driver skill instead of false labeling by Bridgestone; saying the tires will go off in 5-15 laps when they can really last 40. If tires are going to be a strategy option, make them an option. I completely agree with PM that grip and durability should be inversely proportional and should be at the extremes.



    Personally I would like to see “Team Mates” with opposite driving styles battling to see if a three stop aggressive drive can beat a one stop smooth style. So I am all in favour of tyres that degrade quicker that the Bridgestones.

    Do think we have to wait until we see some running on a warmer track before we can be certain of the tyre wear.



    It is interesting that McLaren said in their launch interviews that they are taking special care to keep the tyres in better condition – it wasn’t entirely clear if they did that in creating the suspension, or intend to work with their new car to get that, but it does show how much of a concern the tyres are to the teams this year.

    I do think that it might add some interesting differences: some teams being quicker, but then unable to make the tyres last in the race, while others might be a bit slower, but can make the tyres really last.

    I think on the last day of the test quite a few people were able to drive long stints with good consistency, so even if the initial loss of grip is rather steep, the tyres do seem to bottom out at a consistent level after that.



    I think more pit-stop is good for the sport.



    With regards to W-K’s comment, I agree about the warmer environment needed. It will give a better indication to both the levels of grip and degradation. Bahrain sounds like the perfect place!

    I can see Bahrain getting even more stick than last year given that the drivers might be just that bit more cautious on new rubber.



    Yeh, we have to remember these tyres aren’t really designed for these temperatures. Makes you wonder why they do it in Spain every year. I mean, of all European countries it makes sense and it’s good for F1’s traditional fanbase. Maybe this is why the Bulgarian F1 bid wants to have a track that can be heated? It’s in Europe and would attract some tourism to the country in the winter if they had the F1 tests.

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