Free practice could be extended at Suzuka and Austin

Free practice could be extended at Suzuka and Austin

Some free practice sessions during the end-of-season Grands Prix could be extended by half an hour, allowing Pirelli to work on its tires for 2023. The unique Formula 1 manufacturer is looking to modify its rubbers the next year so that they are more suited to the characteristics of the new single-seaters on the front axle.

Pirelli has test sessions with the teams in the wake of certain Grands Prix, the next one being scheduled with Running of the red bulls in Monza, in about ten days. Nevertheless, the Milan firm wants to be able to test its 2023 prototypes in an event and the opportunity should arise during the Japanese and United States Grands Prix. If weather conditions disrupt these sessions, the opportunity will be rescheduled to the Mexican Grand Prix.

“The EL2s will last 90 minutes and not 60, so we will have a little more flexibility”explains Mario Isola, director of Pirelli F1. “Taking-wise, it will be very similar to a normal EL2 session. [pour les écuries]. I believe that with the current plan, it is a good solution for the moment. Of course, it’s the first time, so we have to check whether it works or not. But the idea is to keep this kind of testing available for the future. So when we have the European season, on Tuesday or Wednesday after certain Grands Prix, we can use the available teams for real tire tests.

The prospect of extending free practice at Suzuka and Austin is however not without implications which still need to be discussed.

“Clearly, we have to talk about the mileage of the engines”warns Mario Isola. “You can’t increase the mileage compared to what is planned, etc. It’s complicated, because every time you find a solution, you also discover problems. The idea of ​​using EL2s is good: it doesn’t force the teams to come to another circuit, it doesn’t force them to stay longer like Tuesday or Wednesday, but you have to use the same car they have for the weekend , with the same engine, so the mileage is an issue. Every time you have an idea, you have to discuss it for weeks to find a definitive solution that works.”

Interview by Oleg Karpov

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