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Bottas & Vettel sense little difference in Pirelli tyres for 2019

Written by  Nov 29, 2018

Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel have indicated there is little difference between the compounds Pirelli have produced for 2019 compared to this season.

The tyres have been an area for debate with drivers complaining of an inability to push hard during races to prevent blistering and ensuring most races stick to the engineers preferred choice of a one-stop strategy.

While the Italian supplier has made some changes for next season, including the dropping of the Supersoft compound, Bottas, who gained more experience than anyone having run both days of the tyre test in Abu Dhabi, was unconvinced.

"No, they didn't feel strange," said the Finn. "The differences are really small.

The inner structure is a bit thicker, which means the blistering should be less but the surface of the tyre overheats just as it did before. It means we can do one lap flat out but then we have to manage them again."

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Next year, the treads are also expected to be thinner at every race, with only those circuits that have been newly resurfaced seeing the surface shaved slightly to avoid blisters.

The Mercedes driver also offered insight into his program over the two days...

"Today we worked on compound scans, trying all the 2019 compounds from the hardest to the softest rubber," he explained.

"We focused on medium and long runs, gathering plenty of data and learning about the tyres. This week we've got lots of data for the team to analyse over the winter and we can't wait to dig into it."

While the initial evaluations may sound like Pirelli has ignored the requests of the drivers, Vettel, speaking on Tuesday, offered a reason.

"We only had that conversation three weeks ago so it has no effect on these tyres. It's more of a long-term project," he told Speed Week.

"The more interesting question is the tyre selection for next year is what tyres Pirelli will take to what tracks. That can have more difference than the move from 2018 to 2019."

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