Carlos Sainz says he’s looking forward to testing the 2023 tyres in FP2 of this weekend’s 2022 United States Grand Prix, after Ferrari have struggled with tyre degradation throughout the F1 season.
It will be the first time teams have tested the rubber on a race weekend, after the planned test at Suzuka was abandoned due to the wet conditions.
Ferrari have suffered consistently worse tyre wear than Red Bull in 2022 and have even been outperformed by Mercedes, despite having the faster overall package.
“First of all we need to see what the tyre does to the balance of the car, this is a huge factor,” Sainz told the media in Austin.
“The tyre is the only things that touches the ground from a Formula 1 car and the thing that gives you the grip, the feeling, the steering and everything.”
Ferrari have already ran a previous version of the 2023 tyres in April and June at Imola and Mugello.
But after FP2 at Suzuka was planned to include running on the new rubber, the downpour meant the Mexican Grand Prix will see that test instead.
Sainz added: “It’ll be super interesting to see what Pirelli has come up with especially because every team has played its part in developing Pirelli towards a certain direction to improve the tyres so let’s see.”
Concern over rule change
However, there was one rule change that Sainz warned about.
Previously, tyre blankets could be warmed to 100°C for fronts and 80°C for rears, but that was reduced to 70°C for all tyres in 2022.
From 2023, that will be slashed further, to just 50°C, which has already prompted safety fears from drivers.
Ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez branded the change ‘dangerous’ in some situations, such as running behind the safety car.
“I’m a bit concerned about this tyre blanket rule,” Sainz said. “Everyone says that this 50 degrees is quite dangerous and it’s not the right direction for the sport.
“But apart from that, let’s see what [this test] does for car balance, how it changes our car behaviour and see what the main limitation becomes and if it benefits our car or not.”