F1. One of the hottest issues that emerged at the end of theAlbert Park Circuitwon by Ferrari from Charles Leclerc to the second success of the season, it was the strategy that adopted the Williams with Alexander Albon. The Anglo-Thai made the pit stop on the last lap of the race, completing a long-run 56 laps with the compounds hard C2. A fact that highlighted the fact that it is possible to cover the entire distance of a grand prix with the same tire specification.
Clearly, to complete a similar distance, several factors must be considered: compounds carried by Pirelli for the scheduled event, the type of asphalting of the track, the layout of the track, the temperatures of the asphalt in the race, the mechanical set-up of the car and the aerodynamic configuration adopted.
However self it is true that the medium compounds have suffered a sudden deterioration also caused by the graining, especially on the Red Bull and on Alpine which were the cars with the most exhausted aerodynamic set-up and consequently with less mechanical grip as soon as the grainingthe fact that the Williams has played a long-run this long will be the subject of strategic analysis for the other teams in view of the next appointments.
With the new generation of F1 2022 there Pirelli brought to the debut the tires with 18 ″ rims, a type of tire designed almost from a white sheet. The increased dimensions of the tire-rim group led to a weight increase of 6 kilograms at the front and 8 at the rear. In addition to the increase in weight on both axles of the car, the new tires have changed the dynamic behavior of the car. This means that the damping of the car itself has changed and the setting phase requires a new approach as regards the calibration of the suspension elements.
Thermal management also varies with 18 ″ rims, ie how the tire enters the correct window of use in terms of temperatures. In qualifying in Melbourne it was denoted as for example the Ferrari with Leclerc has adopted the double-round warm-up strategy, while the Red Bull with Verstappen And Perez he played only one, immediately looking for the time-attack.
Not a very profitable choice, given that the RB18 suffers from this aspect which translates into understeer when cornering and oversteer in traction since the load transfer is not optimal given the lack of mechanical grip due to tires out of the correct working range.
The Pirelli from 18 ″ of F1 2022 they have a shortened shoulder with lowered hips compared to the 13 “ones. This has positive repercussions on the compounds, since less stress and bending are produced on the tires and consequently the carcass undergoes less vibrations and heats up to a lesser extent. Lower air chamber temperatures result in less heat dissipation of the tread, which allows the compound to increase its duration over the course of the race since the thermal output is more constant and tire management is simplified.
However, the strategy of the Williams with Albon to Melbourne can be replicated at each appointment. In addition to the aforementioned factors, another crucial technical parameter from this point of view must be considered: the remodeling of the electric blankets. From this year, the temperature of the tire warmers is 70 ° on both axles, while up to the previous year it was 100 ° at the front and 80 ° at the rear.
A difference of 30 ° less at the front and 10 ° less at the rear. Numbers that represented a further challenge for the teams both from a technical and a strategic point of view. As far as the technical side is concerned, the decrease in the temperature of the electric blankets has revealed critical issues in the search for the correct window of use for each compoundso much so as to vary the heating methods on the track especially in qualifying for the time-attack.
From a strategic point of view, this factor penalizes the undercut, since with colder compounds it takes longer to trigger the correct working range and consequently the lap out of the pits is more problematic.
The example of this criticality was the return to the track of Lewis Hamilton during Bahrain GPinaugural stage of the season F1 2022. The British of the Mercedes he went from soft to hard and from the first corner he had absolutely no mechanical grip, so much so that he missed the apex point at a speed of 80 km / h. This was because the tires were too cold, with marked understeer when entering corners and oversteer when exiting due to the precarious grip.
There F1 2022 is giving a spectacle and the fact that you can cover the distance of a grand prix with the same set of tires will be a further strategic variable to add unpredictability to the future appointments of the breathtaking vintage we are experiencing.
Photo: Mercedes AMG F1 – Scuderia Ferrari