Following the introduction of its brand new set of wider tyres for this year’s season, Pirelli announced it had also created back-up compounds more similar to 2016’s tyre regulation.
The Italian manufacturer, officially launching its 2017 season this week in Turin, has confirmed the existence of « more traditional » rubber in case the new compounds fail to reach the level of performance they are expected to deliver on track.
" We decided to start the season with compounds that are completely new. A new philosophy which was in line with what’s required, less degradation », Pirelli’s F1 motor racing manager Mario Isola told Motorsport.com.
“We made our assumption on the fact that the new cars are achieving the level of performance seen in the simulations.
"If for any reason we don’t reach this level of performance, less energy going into the tyre, we’ll need to go back to tyres with more of a classical philosophy."
According to previous on-track testing, these tyres can be expected to work similarly as previous year’s compounds in terms of thermal degradation.
"Yes, because the back-up compounds are more similar to the old generation with more degradation, faster warm-up", Isola explained.
"They are not harder or softer, the hardness is similar. But with the new compounds, we try to have a wider working range, a completely different philosophy."
However, Isola stressed that bringing a back-up rubber into use is not currently on the table as it would require agreement from both the sport authorities and the teams.
"We have one range of back-up compounds homologated that we can use to replace the base compounds.
"This would be a discussion we would need to have with the teams and the FIA to agree the process to introduce these. But we have no intention to use these at the moment", Isola concluded.