Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola says there is a chance there will be more one-stop races in 2022 but hopes improved racing will reduce the reliance on strategy.
This year will see new technical regulations introduced that are designed to make it easier for a following car to stay close to the driver in front thanks to the way downforce is generated. As part of the new rules, Pirelli is switching to 18-inch tires that Isola says will be more robust to allow drivers to push harder, but that could impact on strategies.
“I hope we don’t have less strategic variabilities because the idea and the way in which we have designed the tires is to continue to have different strategies, a mix of one and two stops,” Isola said. “It is also true that with a new product with less degradation, it is possible that we will have less pit stops and the majority of races could be one-stop.
“For me, it is not an issue as long as we have good races and action on track. If we have drivers that can push for overtake — and when overtake is too easy, it’s not good — it’s important that drivers are putting a lot of effort in to overtake. That is exactly what spectators want.
“There is a survey made by F1 on that and the majority of feedback on that is that spectators don’t want easy overtaking, they want action on track and they want fighting.”
Additionally, Isola says Pirelli did not opt for noticeably softer or harder compounds when developing the 2022 tire despite a new construction, instead trying to make sure the performance offered is similar to last season.
“We decided to keep the same level of hardness for the compound range, not to go harder,” he said. “One idea was that you have less degradation because the tires are harder. No, they are not. It’s just a different concept of compounds, we used different ingredients. It’s a new family of compounds. We decided to develop one compound in the middle of the range and to take the others from this one because we needed to have all the compounds that are in the same family.
“In terms of hardness, it’s comparable to last year. So the level of grip we expect from the new compounds is exactly in line – different characteristics but it is in line. That is why in terms of tire performance, we are not expecting any difference compared to last year.”