Pirelli open to wider tyres and less downforce


3 June 2014 by Ryan Wood

One of the major issues which makes overtaking in modern Formula 1 so difficult is the reliance on aerodynamics. The disturbed air coming off the cars makes following closely nearly impossible.

Pirelli therefore are open to greater aerodynamic restrictions, whilst introducing wider rear-tyres which would counteract the loss in downforce via mechanical grip.

Felipe Massa believes this could be the right approach for the sport and would likely result in far more exciting races for the fans.

"Formula 1 is very aerodynamic, so in my opinion we need to make a study to improve the mechanical grip, more than the aerodynamic grip," said the Brazilian recently.

"In the past we had massive tyres. We don't need tyres like that now, but increasing [them] a bit [would be good]."

Pirelli has signalled that it would be open to exploring such an idea and even suggested it for the current season, but it failed to gain enough support amongst the teams.

"That was one of the things we discussed last year when we first saw the new regulations - having less aero and we'll give you wider tyres," Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery said.

"At the time, the teams didn't feel that was necessary and wanted us to keep the tyre sizes the same so we weren't able to follow that.

"But we've always said we'll do what the sport wants.

"If they want us to go up to the old, super-wide tyres we'll do that; 15-inches, 20-inches - you tell us what you want and we'll have a go at it.

"But you've got to decide what you're trying to achieve."