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Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo has called upon Formula 1’s tyre supplier to bring its softest compound to every grand prix.
Pirelli’s new hypersoft tyre will make its debut at the next round, in Monaco, but Ricciardo believes that if it were available throughout the season, it would add a greater element of unpredictability to the racing.
“I don’t know why we can’t have the hypersoft at every race,” he said. “Or at least we qualify on it and maybe figure it out after that.
“But at least we’ve got a qualifying tyre and then bigger differences in the race to create a bit more opportunity.
“For the top six it was already obvious from Friday [at Barcelona] we were going to qualify on the soft [in Q2, to start the race on that compound] and try to do a one-stop with the medium. That’s no secret.
“That’s what it is – just trying to create more options, more surprises, because it’s a bit predictable for now.”
Ricciardo’s comment came against a background of mounting dissatisfaction with the lack of meaningful differentiation between the tyres.
Although each of Pirelli’s compounds is claimed to be a step softer than last year, during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend the difference in lap time between the soft and supersoft tyres was reckoned to be in the region of just 0.3s.
Haas driver Romain Grosjean was among the most outspoken of the supersoft’s critics.
“It is rubbish,” he said. “It’s not correct that we go faster on soft.
“It just shows that it’s not exactly what it should be. The super should go faster – obviously you expect more degradation, which you have, but it is just a harder tyre to drive.
“You don’t have much rear support in the car, and it is more pointy, you can’t push as hard as you would like, so we’ve talked to Pirelli at the drivers’ meeting.
“I don’t want to be negative, I just think that we can all together work on a better tyre.”
The German Grand Prix will be the next race to feature a bigger step between the compounds available (using the medium, soft and ultrasoft), as was the case at the Chinese GP.
Although the safety car played a substantial role in the outcome of the Shanghai race, so too did a tyre-strategy gamble by Red Bull that yielded victory for Ricciardo.
“I had a chat with the drivers and it was quite interesting,” said Pirelli’s Mario Isola. “They had a lot of ideas for the future.
“An interesting proposal, because they were happy with the tyre choice in China, and sometimes the difference between soft and medium is less than one second, was to consider jumping levels.
“We can make a simulation of this to understand the possible effects.
“We have six compounds in the range so we have the flexibility to jump a level as we did in China.”