Pirelli is set to carry out a trial of a new qualifying tire rule at the Emilia-Romagna grand prix that dictates which compound can be used, if the weather allows.
Teams previously had 13 sets of dry weather tires for a race weekend but will have that amount reduced to 11 for this weekend’s race at Imola, with four sets of softs, four sets of mediums, and three sets of hards. The trial will mandate to use the hard compound in Q1, the medium in Q2 and the soft in Q3, rather than softs at all stages of qualifying.
Pirelli motorsport director Mario Isola says the focus of the changes is not only from a sporting perspective but also intends to make the tire process more sustainable with less wastage.
“The first round of the 2023 season in Europe will feature two important innovations in terms of tires, both aimed at improving the environmental sustainability of our sport,” Isola said.
“The first centers around qualifying: at Imola we will be testing a new regulation that requires teams to use a different type of compound for each of the three sessions, with the hards fitted for Q1, the mediums for Q2, and the softs for Q3. This means a reduction – from 13 to 11 – of the sets of dry tires that each driver has available for the entire event, therefore decreasing the environmental impact generated by the production and transport of the tires.
“Then, with the same aim, starting from this grand prix, a new compound of full wet tire will be introduced which will not require the use of tire warmers beforehand.
“Track tests have shown even better performance than the previous Cinturato Blue full wet, even without the electric heating of the tire. The result of studies carried out by Pirelli, it is the first concrete step towards the use of dry tires without preheating.
“Finally, we have chosen to bring our range of softer compounds (C3, C4, and C5) to Imola, which could offer the teams a wider range of strategic options ahead of the race.”
Pirelli’s qualifying tire intentions could be scuppered by the weather in Imola at present, with heavy rainfall and flash flooding occurring in the region in recent weeks and continuing in the build-up to the race, disrupting preparations at the circuit.