Pirelli confirm tire choices for Belgium, Italy and Singapore

Leave a comment

Pirelli has confirmed the tire compounds that it will be bringing to the Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix in the next few months.

The Italian manufacturer has endured a difficult season so far, initially battling criticism from the teams for producing a tire that had too short an operating window thus preventing drivers from pushing for more than a few laps. After trying to remedy this problem, the British Grand Prix saw five tire failures cause many to question the safety of the tires. Therefore, a more conservative stance has been takien for the coming few races.

For the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps, the hard and medium tires will be used. “Spa is the circuit that puts the highest vertical load on the front tires all season, mainly due to Eau Rouge corner. Consequently, the two hardest tires from Pirelli’s Formula One range are the most suitable,” a statement from Pirelli reads.

The same compounds will be offered to teams at the Italian GP due to the heavy braking zones at the fastest track on the F1 calendar. “Whereas Spa is characterized by a lot of fast corners, Monza is all about high-speed straights. Here, the tires are subjected to very high longitudinal forces and blistering can be an issue due to the stress put on the tires under braking,” Pirelli explained.

For Singapore though, the medium and supersoft tires will be used, again marking a change from the compounds used last season (soft/supersoft). Being a street circuit, the tires are not subjected to as much wear, and “the tight and twisty corners make the supersoft the ideal tire to generate traction and grip, while the medium tire adds extra durability into the strategy mix,” according to Pirelli.

This weekend will also see the first use of the 2012 tire constructions, introduced on safety grounds.

Marco Andretti confident that fewer tests won’t hurt Andretti Autosport

Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

A small point of debate around the 2018 aero kit has been the manufacturer test days that took place through the Fall of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018. Chiefly, the debate has centered around teams who hadn’t participated in those manufacturer test days and if they’re starting the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season at a disadvantage as a result.

Team Penske, Ed Carpenter Racing, and A.J. Foyt Racing completed test days for Chevrolet, with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports and Chip Ganassi Racing doing so for Honda.

That left teams like Andretti Autosport out of the mix, with some voicing concerns as a result.

However, in a press conference during testing at ISM Raceway last weekend, Marco Andretti explained that he thinks Andretti Autosport should be able to catch up on development, citing the team’s resources – they’re the only IndyCar team with four full-time cars in their stable – and the fact that everyone is still adapting to the new kit.

“I feel like it’s early enough days that, yes, we can catch up,” Andretti said at ISM Raceway. “When there is anything new, a new car, new aero kit, at-track days are huge. We can sim all these things we want. To really get out there and confirm what we’re learning back at the shop is another thing.”

Ryan Hunter-Reay during testing at ISM Raceway. Photo: IndyCar

Andretti continued, “Yeah, I don’t think we should look at it like we’re behind the eight ball. With a four-car team, that’s where we can use it to our benefit. So far so good.”

Teammate Ryan Hunter-Reay, echoed Andretti’s sentiments, adding that while the situation is not perfect, they will need to adapt to it in order to remain competitive.

“Any time you have a new car, to put it into perspective, we’re on track three days on a road course before we get to (the season open in St. Petersburg). That’s a very short amount of time. It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to lace up our boots and get on with it. That’s all you can do.”

Andretti Autosport will have one more team test, at Sebring International Raceway later on in February, before the season-opening Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

Follow@KyleMLavigne