Written by Hugh Waring, Edited By Meghana Sree
Images: Motorsport Week
Pirelli, the official tyre supplier for Formula 1, has announced the introduction of a new specification wet tyre starting from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. The decision comes after drivers expressed their concerns about the previous wet tyres' performance and warm-up capabilities. Pirelli has been diligently working during the 2022/23 off-season to develop a new wet tyre compound that addresses these issues.
Extensive testing was conducted to refine the compound, resulting in the creation of a tyre that offers improved warm-up and performance characteristics. Notably, the new wet compound can be fitted to Formula 1 cars without the requirement of thermal blankets, which are currently used to preheat tyres. This development is a significant step towards Formula 1's potential ban on tyre blankets for all compounds from the 2024 season, although drivers remain cautious about this move due to safety concerns.
Pirelli's chief, Mario Isola, expressed his enthusiasm for the new wet tyre, stating: "A new compound of full wet tyre will be introduced which will not require the use of tyre warmers beforehand. Track tests have shown even better performance than the previous Cinturato Blue full wet, even without the electric heating of the tyre. The result of studies carried out by Pirelli, it is the first concrete step towards the use of dry tyres without preheating."
It is worth noting that the 2023 Formula 1 season has yet to witness a race affected by rain. However, data indicates that the Imola circuit has frequently experienced wet conditions during past races. Weather forecasts for the upcoming grand prix weekend also suggest the possibility of showers in the region, adding further anticipation and excitement to the race.
The introduction of the new wet tyre by Pirelli aims to provide drivers with enhanced performance and warm-up capabilities, ensuring a safer and more competitive racing experience in wet weather conditions. As Formula 1 continues to strive for advancements in tyre technology, this development paves the way for future innovations that may eliminate the need for preheating dry tyres as well. The upcoming Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola will serve as the first test for Pirelli's latest wet tyre, and teams are eagerly awaiting its performance on the track.