Smedley: New tyre rules big challenge

Formula 1 teams are facing a “big challenge” this season as they adjust to the new tyre rules, that’s according to Rob Smedley.

As of this season Formula 1 teams will not only have a new tyre compound in play – Pirelli’s ultra-soft – but there will also be a mix of tyres to choose from at each race.

Teams will have their choice of three compounds, one of which they have to use during Q3 and the other two that they have to use during the race.

They are free to choose the remaining sets that they want to use as well as the number of sets of each tyre.

And all this, Williams performance chief Smedley says, will be made even more challenging by the introduction of the ultra-soft tyre compound.

“I think it’s going to be a big challenge for everybody, to be honest,” Smedley told Autosport.

“It’s certainly not insignificant, and I would be so bold as to say I think it was sold as a little bit insignificant to reduce the tread depth by 30 per cent and therefore have 30 per cent less wear.

“It’s not that simple. You’ve got very different thermal properties on the layer that sits underneath the compound, and that gives you different properties of the compound itself after a certain extent.”

The performance chief, though, is confident that Williams can rise to the challenge.

“I think we’ve done the right things,” Smedley explained. “We’ve sat down and we’re considering extensively what difference that’s going to make.

“We’re considering it at a much deeper level technically than just knocking 30 per cent off our wear models.”

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