TJ13 called Pirelli out following the 2015 Australian GP because our analysis demonstrated this brief would not achieved this year. Pirelli have made the soft, medium and hard dry weather compounds in effect a half step more durable than in 2014.
The Canadian GP once again demonstrated that Pirelli have created tyres for 2015 which are delivering predominantly 1-2 stop races.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s commercial director, now admits Pirelli will fail to deliver the 2-3 pit stop brief for 2015.
“If we wanted to be self-critical we are finding this year wear and degradation levels are improved over last year, and the cars are maximising the tyres for a far greater number of laps,” admits Hembery.
“Canada was a one-or-two-stop race, and we have been given the task of creating a two-to-three, so we are a few laps shy of that at the moment.
“The reason being is we did some work on the rear tyre and that has allowed the teams to balance all four corners of the car much better.
“We’re seeing no great differences between the teams this year. It’s very minor, with more laps being gained out of the tyres.
“That rear tyre has enabled them to set the car up differently and balance things out.”
How has this happened? Why are we not seeing 2-3 changes per race for tyres? Well, Hembery admits Pirelli overestimated the incremental pace of this year’s F1 cars over their 2014 predecessors.
“We’ve not seen the performance improvements anticipated at the start of the year, and which were suggested in winter testing and Melbourne.
“There has only been a marginal pace improvement over last year, which has again been a bit of a surprise.
“Even with a two-second improvement you can imagine there is a lot more energy going into the tyre and that can rapidly change what is happening in terms of race strategy, wear and degradation levels.”
Taking the fastest lap of the race as the measure, the 2015 cars are on average just 0.574 seconds faster than those from 2014.
Hembery recognises there is little Pirelli can do now for 2015, “There are a few races this year that as we go forward we can maybe look at making a little change.”
“But even then it’s marginal because circuits can often pre-determine what we can choose, and the open choices we have are very few and far between.”
TJ13 has consistently argued that Pirelli be less conservative in their tyre selection and production, though the grief they got for the exploding tyres at Silverstone in 2013 means this path is one Pirelli will simply not tread.