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2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres

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2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres 2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres

2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres

Arguably the most interesting tyre story at pre-season testing is not the new compounds, or the change in construction, but the resurfaced track.
According to Pirelli, this new surface is approximately three times smoother than previous years, which is going to have a huge affect on tyre performance, completely changing the team?s testing strategy.
Traditionally, tyre testing at Barcelona is largely unrepresentative. With ambient temperatures rarely getting above 16°C, the resulting track temperatures are never enough to get the tyres properly working within their working range. Add to this the fact that the Barcelona circuit was relatively rough, with the lateral loads in Turn 3 destroying the front left, the drivers have to spend most of their lap managing ?cold graining?.

This is essentially where the compound is not warm enough and becomes relatively brittle, resulting in a lack of grip and as the car slides, the surface of the tyre begins to tear. The end result is a much finer graining pattern than conventional graining but this still reduces grip significantly.
The new surface was only completed at the end of January this year, and at the beginning of February, Pirelli measured the macro and micro roughness of the track.
Turn 3 at Barcelona subjects the front left to huge lateral loads, making it the most susceptible tyre to cold graining and wear
?The macro roughness in particular is much smoother because when the tarmac is new the aggregate is very close and there is a lot of bitumen,? explains Mario Isola, Sporting Director at Pirelli. ?Since our first measurements, they have tried to get a lot of cars running on track, organising a lot of track days and we were here for some GT testing two weeks ago. On the last day, it was dry and the level of grip was quite high which is common from what we?ve seen over the last few years with resurfaced tracks. We measured the track again at the weekend and there were no big differences.? Aside from the obvious, that a smoother track will provide more grip resulting in less degradation and wear, there are also a range of other factors that can affect tyre grip. For example, the level of bitumen on resurfaced tracks is initially quite high, and it can take quite a lot of track running to wear this layer away. Only then will the tyres be able to exploit the full potential of grip from the new surface.

?I’m not sure how good Barcelona is now for tyre testing, we will find out next week when the track has got rid of some of the shine,? highlights Andy Green, Technical Director of Force India. ?It?s quite a shock that the track has changed so much from a macro/micro perspective. It has a big effect on our tyres. For sure if we had known it was going to be this smooth we would have brought a whole different set of tyres to this test.?
This may seem rather obvious, but the bitumen is very black in colour and as we all know from wearing dark clothes in the sunshine, black absorbs heat quicker. So ...
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2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres 2018 F1 Testing Insight: Tyres


Source of news: racecar-engineering
Source of publication: 27-02-2018 21:41
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