Pirelli Formula One Tyres Could Give Way to One-Stop Races

Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli has spoken out about their new tyres and the lack of degradation they suffer from – are one stop races the new norm?
For a sport whose excitement resides in the ludicrous speeds which the cars achieve, Formula One has always had an equally exciting “pause” period, in the form of their trademark pit stops. Watching an entire team of mechanics regimented into swap all four tires out with fresh treads in three-seconds or less has never failed to impress. The sport might be seeing less and less of these in the future as the possibility of Formula One becoming a one-stop race becomes very real.

When asked about the status of degradation on the new tires, Pirelli Motorsports Boss Paul Hembery said:

“There is degradation, but I also say let’s wait for Barcelona with 20 degrees more temperature and maybe two or three seconds more performance, which seems to be the impression that people have. Three seconds a lap changes the whole scenario. It is not where we are now that we need to watch, it is where we are at the end of the season. The cars could then be dramatically different to where we are today.
The extent of degradation will be key to race strategies, for if there is minimal degradation and wear then that will push teams on to one-stop strategies.” – Paul Hembery

pirelli 2017

Felipe Massa completed a 20-lap stint in the first week of testing and said that he was able to push for the entire stint, that’s a good thing, it means that whilst there will be less pt-stops, there will be less tyre nursing too, so the drivers will be able to just get on with racing.

There is still the possibility that Pirelli could be reeled in by management at some point down the road should the lack of additional pit stops be viewed as a detriment, but that doesn’t seem to be the direction Liberty Media is taking the sport.