UNITED KINGDOM: Pirelli has introduced the sixth slick tyre compound, called C0, in addition to the well-known C1-5, which is currently used in Formula 1.
Interestingly, the C0 compound is not a new in itself. The C1 of the 2022 campaign has simply been renamed. All else being equal, a new C1 is being developed to bridge the performance gap between the harder tyre compounds in the Pirelli tyre range.
Following the post-season tyre test at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, Pirelli’s head of motorsport, Mario Isola, spoke to media outlets. He said that Pirelli will homologate six compounds for the 2023 season instead of five with the introduction of the new C1.
Isola felt that the tyre manufacturer did not want to remove the current C1 compound, which had performed well in races like Zandvoort and Silverstone. Because the new C1 compound will have more grip than the old C1, the company decided to rename the old C1 as the C0 in order to avoid renaming other compounds.
The 2023 Formula 1 season will feature the brand new C1, while the C2, C3, C4, and C5 will be the same as in the just concluded season. The performance of the new C1 is supposedly closer to that of the C2 than earlier.
Mario Isola admitted that Pirelli could not create a new C3 with a performance range between C2 and C4.
In a season in which he claimed there had been a 30% increase in overtaking during races, Isola thought the 2022 C1 had been generally too slow. This was not, however, solely due to the new generation of ground-effect car tyres.
When asked if the additional compound allowed for more steps between the three chosen for a race weekend, Isola said that could be considered, but not for the first races in 2023.
He mentioned that the 24 drivers who participated in the post-season tyre test on November 22 had completed 2,458 laps. According to him, Pirelli will analyse the data gained from the tests. Each driver completed two race distances on average.