Pirelli tyre tweaks allow for lower pressures
Amid criticism from teams and drivers, Pirelli are in the process of lowering the tyre pressure limits on a race-by-race basis, according to Auto Motor und Sport, which suggests that the Italian manufacturer has changed the construction of the tyres for this purpose.
At Spa-Francorchamps the required pressures were 23.5 PSI for the front tyres and 22.0 PSI for the rears.
After day one at Spa drivers were not happy, with Williams’ Felipe Massa the most vocal, “The [high] pressures are a joke.”
“I’ve never had a car like it here at Spa or pressures like this in my life. Maybe it helps them with failing or cuts, but this is ridiculous,” added the F1 veteran.
However at Monza things changed, although teams were told initially to run with 23.5 PSI (front) and 21.5 PSI (back), they were lowered on qualifying day to 23.0 PSI and 20.5 PSI respectively.
In Singapore, a street circuit with different characteristics to the high speed nuances of Spa and Monza, Pirelli mandated 20.0 PSI for the fronts and 16.5 PSI for the rears.
Now for Malaysia the fronts will be allowed 21.5 PSI with the rears requiring 18.5 PSI. The rears dipping below 20 PSI on anything but street circuits is unprecedented.
Auto Motor und Sport motorsport editor, Michael Schmidt concludes: “The construction of the rear tire has changed. It could also be a reason why the pecking order has changed after the summer break. Some cars seem to perform better with lower tire pressures.”