F1‘s official tyre manufacturer Pirelli has been reevaluating minor revisions to the 2024 tyre compound series in an effort to address minor issues that have come up. The focal point was to make the C2 compound a tad softer. The C2 compound is currently the third hardest in the line that ranges from C0 to C5.
The rationale behind this proposed change was the performance proximity of C2 to the hardest compound C1, and its noticeable distance in performance from the C3 compound. Therefore, exerting a slight shift was conceived as a strategic move towards achieving more uniform intervals between the tyre compounds.
The tyre test rules under the rubric of F1 permitted Pirelli to distribute two sets of the revamped softer C2 compounds to each racecar driver for the Friday trials at the Japanese Grand Prix. Despite the insightful initiative, the pilot performance fell short of expected standards. Consequentially, the feedback concluded that Pirelli will likely maintain the current compounds into the forthcoming 2024 season.
Reflecting on the data and outcomes of the Friday Japanese test, Mario Isola, Pirelli‘s Head of Car Racing, voiced out. He said, “Looking at the data, and also considering the track evolution, I believe that the prototype doesn’t have the grip that we were looking for. Consequently, it is highly probable that we’ll continue with the current C2 for the next year. Given the absence of a discernible grip progression, there is no pragmatic reason to modify and introduce a new compound when the C2 variant is currently well-suited.”
Isola added, “The mere reason behind wanting to try out the prototype was due to it being too similar to the C1 and somewhat too distinct from C3.” Pirelli emphasized that the C2 compound revision trials were a one-time event and there were no plans for any further assessments prior to the final decision.
However, during the Mexican Grand Prix of this month, Pirelli has set plans to evaluate an adjusted C4 prototype with a vision to enhance its traits. “We’ll be testing the C4 in Mexico, following the same procedure without a dedicated FP2 for us, and only two sets of prototypes will be handed to the drivers”, Isola elaborated.
To illustrate, this is not an initiative to alter the C4 compound given its advantageous position. However, the C4 has demonstrated significant graining over the season. Therefore, Pirelli aims to amplify the mechanical resistance, and also expand the operational range in response to feedback from teams which has been remarking that the C4 is slightly peaky.
In addition to the Mexico C4 prototype examination, Pirelli has also confirmed bringing softer compounds for the Grand Prix as compared to the preceding year. This time, the hard, medium, and soft sets will comprise the C3, C4, and C5 compounds respectively.