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Pirelli targeting balance between better racing and durability in 2018

Written by  Feb 08, 2018

Pirelli is hoping a broader range of tyres along with moving a step softer with this year's compounds will help create a better balance between increased overtaking while maintaining durability.

Last year, coinciding with the introduction of wider tyres and faster cars through higher downforce, the Italian supplier was more conservative with their products which resulted in mostly one-stop races and little drop off in performance.

While the drivers welcomed the ability to push harder for longer, it had a negative impact on the racing with those behind the wheel struggling to follow another car closely and produce an overtake.

"Increasing speed means that the ideal line becomes narrower, so we are trying to have a bit of a better situation in terms of overtaking with more degradation of the tyres," Isola told Racer.

“So cars on tyres with a different number of laps should create a differential in performance."

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This year, Pirelli has introduced a new hyper-soft compound for street circuits and venues with low grip or wear, with drivers praising the tyre when they tested it for the first time last year in Abu Dhabi.

As Isola continued, the move is part of finding the compromise which creates strategy options for engineers and adds another racing dynamic but doesn't return the racing back to the 'grandma' style of 2011-2016.

"We don’t want to go too much on the high side of degradation because then you make drivers unhappy because they want to push," he said, "Especially when they are attacking, when they are trying to overtake another car, if they lose performance too much it’s not good for them and it’s not good for the show.

“It’s a balance and a compromise that is very difficult to achieve, but we are working on compounds with a bit higher degradation, but thermal degradation, not surface overheating."

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