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Pirelli’s Mario Isola: “Suzuka is as demanding on tyres as it is on drivers”

Pirelli nominated one of the most durable tyre ranges for the Japanese Grand Prix— the C1, C2 and C3—with Pirelli Motorsport Director Mario Isola describing Suzuka International Racing Course as one of the most unique and “demanding” tracks on the calendar.

Isola said that Suzuka places heavy stress on the tyres due to the vertical and lateral loads they must undertake both throughout the lap and while cornering. These traits support the continued use of Pirelli’s second-hardest compound set at Suzuka, which now features the updated C1 tyre that débuted in 2023.

“The Japanese Grand Prix takes place on one of the most fascinating and demanding tracks in Formula 1 history: Suzuka, with its unique figure of eight layout. This historic venue is a drivers’ favourite, being absolutely thrilling to drive in today’s ultra-competitive single-seaters. With its very significant lateral and vertical loads, Suzuka is as demanding on tyres as it is on drivers. These demands are equally distributed across all four wheels, with 10 right-handers and eight left-handers throughout the six-kilometre lap.

“As a result of these challenging characteristics, we bring some of the hardest tyres in the 2023 range to Japan: C1, C2, and C3. This is only nominally the same as last year’s selection on account of the new C1 compound, which was introduced this season to slot in between the C2 and former C1 (now called C0).“

Tyre testing is on the agenda during Friday practice, which will see teams have the opportunity to test out Pirelli’s next iteration of the C2 compound. Isola said that Pirelli is aiming to incorporate the new tyre next season, which would provide drivers more grip than the current version.

On Friday, all the teams will get the chance to test a new version of the C2 compound, with a view to homologating it for next season. This latest evolution should provide more grip than the current C2, and so fit in more coherently between the C1 and C3.

Isola added that teams will be allocated two extra tyre sets per driver to accommodate the trial, and that more more testing will be run at the upcoming Mexican Grand Prix to evaluate a newly-developed C4 tyre.

“For the first two free practice sessions, each driver will have two additional sets of tyres, compared to the usual 13 sets per weekend. This test is part of a development programme that was recently defined for 2024 and will continue with a new C4 compound to be tested on track during the Mexican Grand Prix weekend.”

Credit: Pirelli Media


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