If formula 1 dares to start a new season in July, this also poses complex challenges for tyre manufacturers Pirelli. The Italian brand must restart its production as a reaction to the compressed racing calendar and at the same time find solutions to minimize the risk of virus transmission.
Pirelli Motorsport Manager Mario Isola does say that by cancelling the early season races you have a stock of tires, which could be used in the first restarted races. But more tires would have to be produced quickly up to 35.000 as soon as the new calendar was published.
We need to be 100 percent sure that we are able to deliver the tires, otherwise the event cannot be organised,”says Isola in a new podcast episode of the portal”Autosport.com”. As part of the effort to help Pirelli with this, formula 1 seeks a compromise solution.
Pirelli: Certain tyre stock is available
“We are trying to work with an approach of flexibility,” explains Isola. “We are trying to work with a flexible approach.” The current regulation says that we need to know the tyres in advance, eight weeks for European events and 14 weeks for overseas events. Obviously this is not valid in this particular situation.”
“That is why we have brought back all the tires that were shipped to Bahrain, Vietnam. We were able to stop the tires that were going to China. In addition, we have already started production for a few more events. So we have a stock of tires that is immediately available.”
These could be taken from the camps in Didcot and Romania to the events as soon as the calendar is there.” But of course we need visibility over a longer period to be sure that we can not only deliver the first few events, but also the rest of the season.”
According to Isola Pirelii needs 45 people on the line
Since the rough planning provides for a Europe tour in July and August Eurasia, Asia, To control America and, finally, the Middle East, “means that it will be a pretty busy time for production,” says Isola. The said 35.000 tyres should probably be produced in a few months.
“You can imagine the impact on production. The Formula-1 teams would have shown themselves to be quite flexible in discussions and open to solutions such as a standard allocation of tires to relieve Pirelli and secure the supply in a very short time. that after the start of the season, his company must continue to send the usual number of tyre mechanics, engineers and technicians to the races, total of about 45 persons. Only in the field of marketing/PR could it be shortened.
Pirelli employees could be severely separated from the teams
A corresponding redesign of the premises as well as shiftwork could minimize the risk of too close a spatial cooperation of the staff and the principle of social distance could be preserved. However, Isola’s plans to create a biosphere pose another question in Formula 1.
“I know the plan of Formula 1 to keep teams as’bubbles’to avoid contacts between teams. The problem is, we’re everywhere. Pirelli is represented in every garage with an engineer,”notes the Pirelli Motorsport Manager. The “separation” of the teams is therefore difficult here.
Although it is conceivable to reserve a space in the garage only for the Pirelli engineer, the tyres and the Pirelli technician to avoid contacts with the team. But we also have to understand how we can participate in meetings within the teams.”Isola suggests the possibility of a video conference for this.
Work on 18-inch tires continues despite Corona
Because:”If we have someone at Pirelli who is positive, then there is a risk, that we distribute the virus in all ten teams or anywhere in the camp. It is a problem that concerns not only Pirelli, but all companies and associations that are in contact with all teams.”Specific procedures are needed here.
In view of the development work on the 18-inch tyres for 2022, Isola still reveals that this will continue, Pirelli is not affected by the closures imposed on the Formula One teams. Tests in the open are not possible, but last week they started with hall tests.