SportF1More robust tires to reduce understeer in F1 2023

More robust tires to reduce understeer in F1 2023

The new generation of single-seaters with ground effect has meant a change in the aerodynamic concept with respect to the previous ones, and has given rise to different characteristics.

One of the consequences of this change, along with the weight gain caused by the additional safety features, is that they are more prone to understeer, especially at low speeds.

This is something that is not to the liking of several drivers, such as Max Verstappen, who openly admits that he prefers a car with a front end that turns more easily.

Formula 1 tire supplier Pirelli is aware of the problem and has revealed that, for 2023, it is working on a much stronger front tire that will help better balance the cars.

“We already have some improvement in mind for next year,” said Pirelli’s F1 and motorsport manager Mario Isola .

“Last year we didn’t get a chance to test the new tires on the current cars, but on the mule cars, and they were slightly different.

“Now we have a clearer idea of what we need to do with the tires for next year: improve the front end, especially as we have a very robust rear tire and that is creating some understeer at low speed.

Isola explained that while the mule cars the tires were tested on last year were designed to behave like the new 2022 models, the different way in which downforce was produced ended up masking the understeer nature of the ground effect single-seaters. .

“The mule cars used an aerodynamic package that was from 2021, so this ground effect was not that relevant,” he said.

“What we know from the current cars is that they are generating a lot more downforce at high speed, and less downforce at low speed. And the balance is slightly different.

Asked by about the main factor causing the current understeer, Isola replied: “If you want a percentage, it’s very difficult to give you a percentage.”

“What I can say is that when we designed the tires for this season last year, based on the balance of the mule cars, clearly the mule cars were more prone to understeer.

“The weight doesn’t help. But everyone knows: it’s not a criticism, you need to have this extra weight.”

“With the mule cars, the weight was the same as the current car, as we asked the teams to put some ballast to get the same weight and the same balance of weights.”

“But the aero package was completely different. That was the main difference to the current cars, and that’s what is probably going to cause the understeer.

“Most of that understeer is due to the aero package. But we can react by designing a slightly different front tire for next year to balance the car, and we’re testing that now with the current cars.”

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