Next season’s regulations are set to improve overall speed much more drastically than in recent years, and Pirelli have introduced some awesome looking tyres for 2017.
The Italian supplier have increased the width of the tyre by 25%, which will improve mechanical grip. This means that there’s going to be greater surface area contact between tyre and track, allowing the drivers to attack corners more aggressively and also make an even more rapid change of direction when battling each other.
This will translate to more overtaking opportunities, and with a new aerodynamic revamp planned, a gain of five-seconds-per lap is expected. Pirelli will be using 2015-spec cars from Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes in the test that is due to take place after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix later on in the season.
— #MsportXtra (@MsportExtra) May 28, 2016
Hopefully, Pirelli will address the fragility of their tyres and reconsider degradation rates too. What’s the point in making the cars quicker if the drivers have to spend half the race nursing their tyres? Yeah, we get to see more diversity in race strategy, but Formula One should be about drivers pushing to the limit 100% – from start to finish. If I wanted to see a bunch of guys conserving a load of rubber, I’d have joined a priesthood.
The tyres are definitely a bit of a throwback to the 1990’s, an era where driver talent was everything. No tyre preservation, no race engineer’s analyzing every morsel of data, the racing was purer. It would be great if Formula One retained their hybrid engine development, but devolved in other areas to improve racing.