“The tyres look like they’re suiting these new generation cars”: Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz shares his thoughts on the new 18-inch Pirelli tyres

Somin Bhattacharjee
|Published 28/02/2022

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz is optimistic about the new 18-inch Pirelli tyres and feels that drivers can push for longer stints in it. 

The 2022 pre-season testing in Barcelona was the first time teams could try out the new-gen F1 cars. This year’s testing was even more crucial because of the wide-spread changes in regulation.

The main alterations come in form of aero-dynamic tweaks that are expected to reduce the amount of dirty air produced. However, another major introduction this year is that of the new 18-inch Pirelli tyres.

F1 cars had been running on 13-inch compounds for a long time, but these new tyres are being introduced to suit the bigger wheels. Adjusting to the new rubber will be a task for F1 outfits, but they’ve been preparing for the shift for well over a year now.

Throughout the course of 2021, we saw drivers and teams test out the 18-inch compounds on dummy/old-gen cars. These were carried out in order to gather as much data as possible ahead of 2022.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz himself took part in these tests last year. After the first pre-season running in Barcelona last week, he shared his thoughts on the new tyres and how they feel.

Also read: Ferrari academy driver is reportedly the favorite to replace Nikita Mazepin if he’s dropped by Haas

The 18-inch tyres feel better than it’s predecessors, says Carlos Sainz

Sainz was encouraged by the fact that drivers could go for longer stints on these new compounds. This may affect pit-strategies for several teams over the first few races, but once they get used to the changes, they can benefit from it.

The Spaniard went on to say that the new tyres do degrade and overheat. However, the rate at which it does so is slower than those of the 13-inch compounds. As a result, drivers can ‘lean on them’ harder, and push for much longer stints.

“I am maybe a bit more encouraged by them. Just because they did quite a bit of testing last year,” said Sainz. “I think I did three or four days in total with the compounds. And they look like they are suiting well this new generation of cars.”

“They look to be at least allowing you to push a bit more on them compared to other years. Maybe a bit less overheating, a bit less degradation. But they’re still a tyre that degrades, a tyre that overheats.”

“But the scale of it, for me personally, I feel like it’s a bit better and the work done by Pirelli last year and the development seems to start to pay off a bit,” the 27-year old concluded.

Also read: George Russell worried reduced slip stream will compromise overtaking

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About the author
Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee

Somin Bhattacharjee is an F1 writer at The SportsRush. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration and aims to work in the sports industry for the rest of his life. Somin has been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari since 2010 and his favorite driver is none another than the great Fernando Alonso. Other than longing for a Ferrari Championship win once again, Somin spends his free time playing football and basketball.

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