Pirelli says it has turned its attention to compounds in this week’s 18-inch tyre test in Barcelona as the Italian manufacturer has 80 to 90 per cent finalized the construction of its 2022 product.
Alfa Romeo and Red Bull were in action on Tuesday in Barcelona with mule cars for Robert Kubica and Alex Albon, while Alpine reserve driver Daniil Kvyat was set to grind around the Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday.
Pirelli kicked off its 2022 test program at Jerez in February with Ferrari, and continued its testing with the Italian outfit and Alpine in Bahrain, before Mercedes joined the program at Imola in April.
During those tests, Pirelli worked towards the finalization of the construction of its 2022 tyre, which has now almost been completed, according to the company’s F1 boss, Mario Isola.
Today we welcome back another familiar face: @kvyatofficial returns in new overalls with @AlpineF1Team. He’ll be getting his first taste of the R.S 18 car, with a full day of testing the latest #Fit4F1 2022 18-inch tyre prototypes at @Circuitcat_eng. pic.twitter.com/4aqN2pKFS8
— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) May 12, 2021
“In terms of development, we are in the process of finalising the construction and the profile,” said Isola. “I would say we are at 80-90% the construction is finalised, and now we are starting a test campaign on new compounds.
“We have a new compound we are already using, a C3 level that is working quite well. It is the first one of the new family of compounds that we want to introduce for next year, with the characteristics that are required and were agreed in the target letter with the drivers.
“So much less overheating. Obviously, we need to validate that when we will have the final version of the cars.”
Formula 1 will introduce a whole new set of regulations for 2022, and designs will therefore be quite different to the current generation of mule cars used by Pirelli to test its future tyres.
But Isola says the older-spec machines are representative enough of next year’s cars to be used for development purposes, although he acknowledged that testing always has its limitations
Read also: Albon, Kubica and Kvyat in action with Pirelli in Barcelona
“We know that next year’s cars will be very different,” he said. “And the other point that is something that we cannot test during a tyre development session is the influence of the slipstream, we have only one car or two cars that are running on track, there is not proper traffic.
“And so we can assume when we are designing a new tyre, a new tyre to reduce overheating. And also the new aero package should suffer less when they follow in other car.
“They should keep the downforce, or lose maximum 10%, that is a completely different situation compared to what we have now, where they lose up to 50% of the downforce, and obviously they start sliding.
“But this is something that we will have answer only next year.”
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