- Regulation changes
'Silverstone to be a big learning curve'
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery believes the ban on off-throttle blown diffusers will bring the grid closer together but will be "a big learning curve".
The FIA has banned the use of off-throttle blown diffusers, with the ruling coming in to effect from the British Grand Prix. In an exclusive interview with ESPNF1, Hembery said that the required changes were "very significant", and that he expected them to bring all of the teams closer together from a tyre point of view.
"You've got to bear in mind that at Silverstone there's a very significant change coming with the blown diffusers being taken away," Hembery said. "So that's probably going to even things up for a lot of teams, and as long as they have the same opportunities then I think they'll find a balance that works best for them."
Hembrey also said that the off-throttle blown diffusers had not had a negative effect on the Pirelli tyres, but that he was expecting its banning to change the way the tyres react.
"Detrimental? No, but it's bound to have an impact because the loads are so high. If you understand correctly the way it is working it really is about how it forces the car in to the ground through the corners, and clearly we are a major part of cornering ourselves with the contact patch, so if you're loading the tyres more heavily then it's bound to have an effect on the way the tyres are being used. So it's going to be interesting for us to see how in fact that will effect and will change the general use of the tyre, definitely."
Despite having already made changes to the harder compound, Hembery said the regulation change would not force any further tweaks from a tyre point of view, but that the teams would have to learn how to get the best out of them once again.
"There are no other plans to change anything this season. We might just mix the compounds together, mix the way that they come together, but Silverstone's going to be a big learning curve for us and the teams to understand what difference the blown diffusers being removed does make to the overall balance and performance of the cars."
Chris Medland is an assistant editor on ESPNF1.