Teams prepare for crucial 2023 tire test as Pirelli introduces new compound

The session will also be the first proper test of a new hard compound that falls between the current C1 and C2.

The 10 teams have two cars each, one for racing drivers and one reserved for rookie drivers who have made fewer than two starts.

Only the 2023 tires will be used, meaning the youngsters, some of whom graduate to race seats next season, are expected to play a major role.

The teams participated in the 2023 tire tests in FP2 in both Austin and Mexico City. However, those sessions were ‘blind’, and while some drivers used the same tires that will be used in Abu Dhabi, others used experimental versions that did not make the final cut.

For Abu Dhabi, the tires will be prepared as agreed with the teams and the FIA ​​for 2023, with two hours of warm-up at 70 degrees C.

Tire allocations between racing drivers and rookies are different, with the former getting more sets and therefore potentially putting more miles in the day. The assignments are as follows:

Race drivers – 10 games: 1 C1, 1 C2, 3 C3, 3 C4, 2 C5.

Rookie drivers – 8 games: 2 C3, 4 C4, 2 C5.

“The allocation was decided together with the FIA,” Pirelli chief engineer Simone Berra said when asked by Autosport about the options.

“So we will only bring one set from the harder range, C1 and C2, and some sets from C3, C4 and C5, obviously, because they are more suitable for this circuit.”

“The idea is that young drivers can work more in the softer range and just protect their confidence with the car.”

McLaren Pirelli rims and tires

Photo by: Steven Tee/Motorsport Images

For 2023, the existing five slick compounds remain unchanged from this year, with the key new for next season being construction.

“The 2023 specification is different in terms of structure on both the front and rear axles, mainly at the front,” said Berra. “We did a lot of work on the structure to improve the integrity of the front axle and to lower the front axle pressure prescriptions a bit from what we have now.”

Berra confirmed that there will be an additional choice of sixth compound in 2023, with the current C1 becoming C0, and a new C1 introduced to fill a perceived gap between the current C1 and C2.

The new tire was used by some drivers in Austin.

“We have a new version of the C1. So the C1 is no longer the current C1, it’s a new one that should provide more grip compared to the old one, which had less grip. We got feedback that grip was missing a little bit on the C1.

“The current C1 will become C0 next year. So next year we will have six compounds, C0 which is the current C1, the new C1 and then the others which are still exactly the same compound in the new structure.

“The C0 will be used at the most stressful circuits, which will probably be Silverstone, Suzuka and Qatar for next year.”

Regarding the decision to move to 70 degrees C heating from the planned 50 degrees C, Berra said: “We focused a lot on structure, because that was the main focus for development this year. And we didn’t develop a lot of different compounds, so we missed the 50 degree target.

“So for us, in asking the drivers for their feedback, in asking the FIA ​​what kind of saving was then in energy use, there wasn’t much saving in terms of overall energy, it was decided that the best solution was to keep the 70 degrees”. “

medium tires

medium tires

Photo by: Erik Junius

Pirelli will also run 2022 cars in the winter, before the 2023 machines are ready.

The focus will be on wet racing at Paul Ricard and Fiorano, with slippery work, for 2024, which will take place in Portimao. Ferrari, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri have all been confirmed to participate so far, while Mercedes have expressed interest in helping.

“There will be some tests, not with all the teams,” Berra said. “We asked them for availability, and some responded.

“We will mainly work on the intermediates and the wet, because for us it is the best period of the test in cold temperatures and representative conditions. And then we will have a couple of tests for the slicks for the new specification for 2024.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *