Pirelli says it will try to reduce the marbles produced by its tires in the 2014 Formula 1 season following suggestions from drivers.
The Italian manufacturer’s tires, in particular the softer compounds, generated large amounts of marbles during 2013, making going off the racing line to overtake less viable for drivers.
“The drivers certainly have commented on it and we can understand it,” said Pirelli’s motorsport boss Paul Hembery. “So it’s something that we are trying to do.
“It’s one of those things, though. Once you are in a season you can’t really do much about it then. We know that it’s clearly wear-related, it’s basically tearing of the tires in some cases, certainly the super-soft and to an extent the softer tire have not had the strength that we needed.
“You can see some races where we had almost no marbles when you are using the hard and medium, certain surfaces where it’s low abrasion. So we are working to try and improve that. The general comment from the drivers is ‘reduce marbles.'”
Hembery admitted the challenge of getting rid of marbles is not an easy one, however.
“At the moment, we’re doing a lot of work on scaling and understanding where we are with the different compounds, we wanted to try and improve things like the tear resistance of the compounds, which has a direct impact on marbles which is something we are trying to reduce for next year,” he said. “With the increased wheelspin, that has a chance of creating more marbles compared to where we are today, so we have to increase the mechanical strength of the compounds.
“If you go too far, then you just end up with more wheelspin because you’ve got no grip. That’s the balance that will be hard to find because we don’t know the real impact of the aero when we start racing. There’s also the risk that there are big differences between teams.”