AN IMPORTANT DEBUT ON ONE OF THE TOUGHEST TRACKS FOR TYRES
MARIO ISOLA - MOTORSPORT DIRECTOR
“The British Grand Prix will mark the debut of a new slick tyre construction, using materials that have been brought forward from their anticipated introduction next year. This change in specification was made necessary due to the increased performance of the cars seen since the start of the season – both in terms of outright speed and loadings – compared to the pre-season simulation data supplied to Pirelli by the teams last winter, and the fact that this trend is only set to increase as the championship goes on. We’ve worked very hard on simulation over the last few years in order to not only supply a product that meets the performance targets set by all the stakeholders but also to have the ability to anticipate any eventual issues and react to them promptly.
The new specification gives the tyre extra resistance against fatigue but does not affect any technical parameters or its behaviour on track. All the teams already had the opportunity to try the new tyre construction out at the Spanish Grand Prix, when two sets were put at the disposal of each driver in free practice. Their comments were in line with our expectations, especially when it came to transparency in terms of performance. The new specification also allows us to keep front and rear tyre pressures largely unchanged compared to last year, despite a significant increase in average loads.
This debut will come on a track that is traditionally one of the hardest on tyres; on our internal charts Silverstone is right at the top in terms of stress and lateral forces exerted on them: particularly the front-left. The track also takes a lot out of the drivers, who have to cope with lateral accelerations in excess of 5g throughout its rapid corners. The compound choices – which, unlike the structure, are not undergoing any change in specification – are identical to previous years at least in name: C1 is the hard, C2 is the medium, and C3 is the soft. However, the current C1 is in fact a brand new compound for this year, which fits in between the C2 and the C0: our new name for the hardest compound in the 2022 range.”
THE TYRES ON TRACK
- The teams will have the C1 as the P Zero White hard, C2 as the P Zero Yellow medium and C3 as the P Zero Red soft in Great Britain: a choice dictated by the high energy loads that Silverstone puts through the tyres.
- The track is one of the most demanding of the whole season, especially for the front-left tyre that has to cope with heavy loadings throughout eight different corners.
- Some of the highest average cornering speeds of the year are seen at Silverstone (Maggotts, Becketts and Chapel are all taken flat-out) while the drivers are subjected to lateral forces that can exceed 5g.
- A two-stopper was generally the most popular strategy in 2022. All three compounds were seen during the race: including on the starting grid.
- Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz claimed his debut win last year at Silverstone, having started from pole position.
- Pirelli will remain at Silverstone from July 11-12 for a slick tyre development test without tyre blankets. Taking part in the test is Red Bull (for one day), Haas, and Williams.
- After Monza, Silverstone is one of the most historic permanent tracks on the F1 calendar, having hosted 57 grands prix. In 2020, the British Grand Prix was followed one weekend later by another grand prix to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the very first F1 race in history – which took place at Silverstone on May 13, 1950.
- The most successful team at Silvestone is Ferrari, with 15 wins, while Sir Lewis Hamilton is the most decorated driver at Silverstone with eight wins. Having been honoured by Queen Elizabeth II, Hamilton was later knighted by the current King of Great Britain, Charles III.
Pirelli will bring its P Zero White hard and P Zero Red soft compounds to Silverstone. Along with Spa in Belgium, Silverstone is the most energy demanding circuit of the year. Teams are likely to use different compounds at the start of the Feature race, diversifying their strategies. The Soft, although theoretically the slower strategy, could give a significant advantage at the start and help to maintain track position. The hard tyre, which is the only viable tyre for the Sprint race, is expected to be very consistent with some management required. A key factor could be the British weather, which is notoriously variable at this time of year.
P Zero White hard is the chosen compound for the race weekend in England. Ultra-rapid and high-energy corners such as the Maggotts and Becketts complex aren’t the only challenge that Silverstone has to offer. The British circuit is one of the most demanding on the calendar and requires the hardest compound. Drivers will have to focus on the thermal management of the tyres. Limitations will be heavily influenced by driving style and car set-up, and could lead to different drivers having strengths in different types of corners.
Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.