After analyzing telemetry from yesterday’s practice sessions, Pirelli decided to increase the minimal rear tire pressure that should make it more tricky for the drivers to warm up the rear tires.
This year’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix is very different compared to the one we have had in 2019. First of all, the single-seaters are of course not the same, especially after the introduction of the 2021 floor regulations, but weather is also quite warmer than expected.
After two hours of on-track action, some drivers complained about the difficulty to manage the tires and preventing the appearance of graining on the rubbers’ surface. After utilizing their measurement systems, Pirelli came to the conclusion that the tire stress was disproportionate and decided to increase the minimal rear tire pressure to allow a better balance between the front and the rear axle.
“It’s a bit tricky, this circuit,” Pirelli F1 director, Mario Isola told Motorsport.com.
“The severity that we measured on telemetry is higher than the simulation. So we had to react with a fine-tuning of the pressure.”
“What we can see from the telemetry is that the teams are stressing the tires more. We need the real data to judge the real stress on tires, otherwise, we have to rely only on the simulation.”
“The most difficult part is to balance the front axle with the rear axle, most of the corners are 90 degrees. And you need a lot of traction from the rear. So you put energy into the rear.”
“You have a long straight, with a cool down, especially of the front tires, that is quite big. So front locking at the end of the straight, or keeping the front tire in the right temperature, is the most important element for the set-up of the car.”
“All the three compounds are one step softer. In reality, in 2019 we selected the C2, C3, and C4, but nobody used the C2 during the race. So it was a one-stop strategy with C3 and C4, that are the hard and the medium this year. So I believe that with the C5, we just added a bit of strategic option to the race.”
“Adding a softer choice compared to last time is helping with the warm-up. But it’s probably not helping in balancing the car. So they still have to work around that. And hopefully, we have more action because of that.”
The Italian also mentioned the high track temperature that could also give the drivers a hard time managing their tires, but most importantly, the fast-rising or falling track temperatures also have to be taken into account, making the challenge even greater.
“We are in Baku one month earlier compared to two years ago. But the weather forecast is for warm temperatures. So we are expecting up to 50 degrees of track temperature. But when you go in the old part of the circuit, you don’t have all the track that is under the sun.”
“So sometimes you have the main straight that is under the sun and two-three kilometers in the back that are under the shadow. And the difference in temperature between the shadow and the sun can be 20 degrees. So it is something to consider.”