"Even if we took the same [compound] choices everywhere [as in 2014], what was conservative [in 2014] might start becoming aggressive because the pace evolution for next year is going to be pretty dramatic," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said. "We saw big improvements towards the end of the season and that's without them being able to get anywhere near the powertrain in the way they'd like to. We can expect quite a big jump again in performance, and if we are talking a second to two seconds a lap speed improvement then that dramatically changes the way the tyres are used, so we have to be wary of that and follow that."
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It's a good thing that they took this into consideration.
But something has been bothering me: wasn't the initial intention of the Pirelli tires, when they initially entered Formula 1, to create a tire that only dropped off significantly only after a bunch of laps? In other words, perform optimally like F1 tires have since forever, and then suddenly when the drop-off point is reached, lose 3 or more seconds per lap?
I.e., this is how it currently is, for a rough example:
- Lap 1 - 12: about 0.2 seconds per lap performance loss, thus 2.2 seconds performance loss from lap 1 to 12.
- Lap 13 onwards: losing about 0.5 seconds per lap, and more, which is known as the drop-off.
This is how I'd think it was supposed to be - think Kimi 2012, thus I think the tires were changed a bit from 2013 onwards, which is wrong in my opinion:
- Lap 1 - 12: Minimal loss in time per lap, as in the Bridgestone era, say 0.05 seconds per lap, resulting in about 0.55 seconds in time loss over this time, which is fully gained back, basically in fuel weight being reduced, and then some.
- Lap 13: Cliff is hit, resulting in about 3 or more seconds lost per lap immediately, thus forcing you to pit the lap previously, if you used free practice correctly.
I could swear I remember that the intention was more aligned to be toward the second scenario when Pirelli joined in 2011, but that it seems to have been lost in translation somewhere - that the intention was not to make you WAY slower each passing lap, but instead force you to pit after a certain number of laps.
The reason I bring this up is, by watching the races from the early 2000's again recently, I can't help but yearn for the times when the drivers drove the cars on the absolute limit, chasing each other for 30 or 40 laps but not getting past. This modern tendency of letting a guy through just so you don't lose time yourself, due to you standing no chance of keeping him behind you for even 5 laps anyway, makes you minimise your own loss by letting him past immediately, with no fight required.
It would be nice to see 2 cars, 1 with new tires and the other with 10 lap old tires, be able to battle for laps after laps, until just before the second car needs to pit.