Romain Grosjean, Haas, Yas Marina

Grosjean can’t tell if 2020 tyres are an improvement

2020 F1 season

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Romain Grosjean was underwhelmed by Pirelli’s new tyres for the 2020 F1 season after testing them today in Abu Dhabi.

The Haas driver covered 146 laps on Tuesday as he compared different versions of Pirelli’s 2019 and 2020 rubber, but didn’t have a clear preference for either.

“There are some positiveness and negatives,” he said. “It’s early days. Is it a big change and what everyone would like to have? No.

“Again, we need to look at how we’ve been running the cars and to make sure we are on the maximum of everything. But if you ask me if I’m very happy about the new tyres and this is going to solve some of the problems – the thermal degradation, sensitivity to following another the car – I just have to tell the truth and no, it’s not going to change the problem fully.”

Asked whether he thinks F1 should use the 2019 or 2020 rubber next year Grosjean said: “I don’t know, it’s too early to say. But it shouldn’t be really a question, should it?

“So that’s where we are. If you ask me right now I don’t know. Depending on the track, I would tell you one or the other.

“This is not going to happen, [but] after one year of development you would like to be saying ‘I’m going to race 2020, no question’.”

[icon2019autocoursempu]Grosjean does believe there is scope to improve the balance of the car on the new tyres. He expects them to work better when they are fitted to next year’s cars, which will be designed to account for the slightly different shape of the new compounds.

“To be fair, probably the floors and the tyre seals are not done for those constructions. So there are things that we need to take carefully.

“[But] what I can say is the general picture is that all the overheating and the management we need to do to go through a stint is still here.”

Asked if he was frustrated to see so little improvement following a year of development Grosjean said: “It’s been nine seasons, we’re used to it.”

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10 comments on “Grosjean can’t tell if 2020 tyres are an improvement”

  1. Maybe they should try square ones to spice things up a little

  2. Hey Grosjean no matter what tires you put on, you still will be at the back of the field 🤣

  3. The fact is pirelli shouldn’t have had to change the tyres for next season. The 2019 tyres are the best pirelli have developed and the only reason we have had to change them is because Ferrari and redbull blamed pirelli for their bad job designing their cars.

    1. The 2019 tyres are the best pirelli have developed

      I think most of the drivers on the grid would disagree with that view.

  4. So, if you can’t reach any conclusions, why test, then? Just adding CO2 in the air.
    Go enjoy your vacations. Mediocrity by HAAS.

  5. Asked whether he thinks F1 should use the 2019 or 2020 rubber next year Grosjean said: “I don’t know, it’s too early to say. But it shouldn’t be really a question, should it?

    I think this is completely the wrong way to view these tyres. Here we are, at the end of a season of using the 2019 tyres and Haas still don’t understand them. So the question isn’t which of those tyres presented is better, but how well can Haas use this once per year opportunity to compare “side by side” this season and next season’s tyres, and especially try to understand the 2020 tyres. Part of the problem Haas had this season is they didn’t understand their tyres. If they don’t understand their tyres next season then they can expect to finish that season poorly as well.

  6. I bet Nico Hulkenberg could. :-)

  7. It’s easy to look at this as just a Grosjean/Haas thing but there’s actually been very similar opinions from most of the drivers who have tested the 2020 tires, Not just in Abu Dhabi this week but also in prior test’s as well as the Friday practice runs in COTA last month.

    The overall consensus seems to be that there no better than the tires Pirelli used in 2019 & have failed to hit every target Pirelli were aiming for.

    And remember that they are no longer been told to produce high degredation tires & are no longer been given a mandate other than to produce the best tires they can so they don’t have the ‘We were asked to produce these tires’ excuse & TBH haven’t since the start of 2017. Since then they have essentially been just as free to do what they want as Bridgestone were the last few years they were in F1 as the sole supplier.

    1. Oh & there is more frustration from drivers regarding tires now than there was in the high degredation era because there now been told essentially that these are the best tires Pirelli can produce. Tires that they are having to run as high as 25psi to ensure they remain ‘safe’. Bare in mind that on the Bridgestone’s, Michelins & even Good Year’s they were safely running as low as 12psi & the average was about 14/15psi.

      1. @gt-racer, on the other hand, what sort of design loads were those tyres being produced for in the past when compared to today? The increased safety equipment has pushed the minimum weight up significantly in recent years, whilst aerodynamic loads have also likely increased significantly beyond anything that any of those manufacturers had to design for – aren’t we missing the context in which those tyres were designed when looking only at the inflation pressure?

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