During the lockdown all teams agreed upon putting reins on the downforce for 2021 as due to lockdown F1’s tyres manufacture couldn’t work on the tyre compound as it was planned and teams had to agreed with what Pirelli already has i.e. 2019 tyres to be run for next two season.
With the tyre compound remaining the same and with teams would be bringing the upgrades over the next two year meant massive increase in downforce and more stress on the tyre to cope with.
FIA earlier this season came up with the solution to that problem by limiting the work done on the cars development for season 2020 and 2021 and introduced token system for each upgrade the team wants to put on the car.
As a result, teams would enter 2021 with more or less the same car- the one they have had finished the 2020 season on.
But after the first British GP tyre saga where we saw three cars namely: car No. 77 of Valtteri Bottas, car No. 44 of Lewis Hamilton and car No. 55 of Carlos Sainz, suffering tyre failure in the dying stages of the races becoming cause of concern for the safety.
Even though, Pirelli successfully overcome the tyre problems with high his tyre pressure in the next British GP for FIA it wasn’t enough as they think in future same F1 cars will encounter same issues but Pirelli F1 boss thinks FIA’s further trim on 2021 downforce is to hamper performance rather than a step taken for increasing safety as he thinks increasing tyre pressure will enough to deal with the problem.
"The FIA decided to do that,” said Isola of the change. “And I cannot say that I'm not in agreement. But I don't want that the message to be that it's for safety reasons, because we can use the pressure to compensate for the level of load.
"Obviously, if we consider that from now to the end of 2021 the ability of the teams to develop the cars is huge.
“We can end up at the end of 2021 with a level of load that is really very high. And therefore, we are obliged to increase the pressure to where we have again degradation overheating or blistering at the level that we don't want, so it's the right move to do for next year.”
Isola stressed higher pressure authorized for F1 70 GP were enough to fending off all the vertical and horizontal forces acting on the tyre walls
“For me it’s not a matter of safety. If we increase the pressure we can compensate for the level of load, the level of stress that you put on the tyres. We did it for Silverstone for the second race. Okay, it’s difficult to compare, because in the second race we didn't have a stint of 37-38 laps.
“But according to the analysis we made on tyres after the second Silverstone, everything was working well. So, the pressure obviously is playing an important part in this equation. And with the pressure we can support the construction, sustain the construction. You have vertical and lateral forces that are acting on tyres, and we can establish a minimum pressure that is different for each circuit and is calculated according to the level of energy that is going into the tyres.”
Even though tyre failure were dealt with but second running in Silverstone saw teams suffering high blistering and overheating due to the ballooning of tyres caused by higher pressures, whichforced both cars of reinging champions Mercedes Amg F1 pitting earlier and subsequently losing the race to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
“It is also clear that increasing the pressure means that you have side effects like for example, degradation or overheating, because the compound is more stressed, and therefore, you have these side effects, in some cases it can be also blistering.
“And drivers don't want that, and we don't want that. So, if the idea is that limiting the downforce with a small step in the direction of reducing the downforce for next year, they are helping the situation, they're helping the tyres, because we can use a lower pressure.
“And considering that we are using the same product since last year and this product has to be used for this year and next year that is clearly helping the behavior of the tyres, reducing the overheating, reducing the degradation and giving that to the possibility for the drivers to push a little bit more,” said Mario Isola.