Pirelli eyeing softer compound for street circuits

Paddock atmosphere - Red Bull Racing mechanics with Pirelli tyres. 06.03.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 2, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Preparation Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
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Pirelli is looking into the possibility of introducing a new softer compound tyre for use in races at street circuits in 2025, in response to more venues of that type being added to the F1 calendar.

It comes after a largely processional Monaco Grand Prix where teams tried to preserve their tyres to last for more than 70 laps after an early red flag stoppage disrupted their plans for a more conventional strategy.

As a result the top ten drivers started and finished in the same order without any change of position during last week's race

Pirelli currently produces a pool of six different soft compounds from which three are selected for each race and nominated as the soft, medium and hard compounds.

But the tyre manufacturer is now looking at adding an even softer seventh compound that could be used by the teams at temporary street tracks like Monaco and Las Vegas.

“We collected quite a lot of good information — we finalized more or less the construction of the 2025 slick tires,” Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola said in comments reported by RACER magazine.

“We have very promising compounds to reduce overheating for 2025. The idea is to also introduce a new C6 compound, a softer one, because in the calendar we have more and more street circuits and we need softer compounds.

“So we are going to move the range a little bit on the soft side, always trying to reduce the overheating. The real problem is to find the right trade-off between overheating and degradation.

(L to R): Mario Isola (ITA) Pirelli Racing Manager with Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Ferrari Team Principal on the grid.
19.05.2024. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 7, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, Race Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images

"We need to keep degradation but reduce overheating," he explained. "And that’s not always easy, because the two elements are connected.”

Isola had previously said that a Monaco-only tyre wouldn't be possible because it would be impossible to develop and test effectively. He denied that the move toward a softer tyre was in response to pressure from the teams.

“That was our idea considering the calendar and considering where we go to race,” he explained. “Obviously the target we have [is to] to encourage a mix between one- and two-stop strategies so we made a proposal to go a bit softer.

“The request was to reduce the overheating. The risk is that if you reduce the overheating they change less, because obviously they can run more laps without high degradation.

"If we go in this direction then we need to have softer compounds in the range to select the compounds properly for each event, so our proposal was not having any constraints on the number of we homologate.

"We said, ‘Let’s think about a C6, softer than C5, that can open up different strategies’," he continued. "We tested one in Paul Ricard a couple of days ago.

"It’s the first attempt but the idea is to go in this direction and probably homologate six compounds next year.”

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