Sergio Perez secured the pole position ultimately, however, grip recovery was the case for his rivals. Mario Isola, the Pirelli formula 1 boss says that grip recovery has become one of the main issues with the 2022 tyres. This issue will continue to provide the teams with an extra challenge in qualifying in Melbourne this weekend.
Teams must now determine whether used softs may provide an advantage in qualifying during practice at each venue when in previous seasons, their sole focus was on getting the most out of new tyres.
It’s only one of many features of the 2022 tyres that teams are discovering as they take on each new location.
Mario Isola’s statement on grip recovery
They’ve experienced a handful of different circumstances in qualifying, Isola said of the Jeddah weekend. Some teams ran two soft warmup laps, and some teams used the soft for a second qualifying stint. That never happened last year, if you recall.
The tyre can reclaim its grip because if it can’t, you’re not going to use it again. It’s an added component. It’s too early to say how powerful it could be because they have different circuits and attributes.
Isola believes that the old tyres in Saudi Arabia were more successful in part because they provided drivers more confidence. He believe the soft tyre had a lot of grips when it was fresh, and that was causing the snappy behavior, Isola explained.
These cars are quite difficult to drive, especially on a course with walls so close to the track that you can’t afford to make any mistakes.
A worn tyre loses a small bit of its peak grip, giving the driver a better experience. As a result, it is a little more progressive, and the driver can push a little harder. The driver has more confidence if there isn’t any significant degradation, such as heat degradation, coming from the tyre.
Grip recovery and Jeddah situation
The soft tyre was not used in the race in Jeddah, as the top 10 qualifiers took advantage of a rule change for 2022 that allows them to start on the same tyres they used in Q2.
Pirelli has added a step between the medium and soft for the Australian Grand Prix, and Isola feels the qualifying tyre may be used from the start due to a 1.2-second estimated pace advantage over the medium.
In Melbourne, we have C2, C3, and C5, and the difference between C3 and C5 is significant, he explained. And perhaps the C5 is quite an aggressive choice that we wanted to make because C3 and C4 seem to have performed well in our tests last year.
Soft tyres, grip recovery, and the down under Grand Prix
With this performance delta to the medium, to the C3, maybe some of them could try to start on the soft if the soft is not going to grain in Australia. If the tyre is speedy but graining and the degradation is high, the medium becomes the best option at the start of the race.
According to Isola, drivers in Jeddah were able to race closely since the hard tyre stayed in good form when following other cars.
Lock-ups do not appear to be as severe as they were with prior tyres, when drivers frequently picked up a vibration and had to pit.
When compared to 13-inch tyres, lock-ups cause a lot less tread degradation, Isola explained. It’s most likely a mix of the car’s build and rigidity.
If the vehicle is stiff, the load transfer will be stiff as well. That is to say, locking the unloaded tyre causes less damage. It’s not only that, but it’s also dependent on the track’s roughness, speed, and set-up, among other factors. In actuality, though, the lock-ups are causing less damage.