Sainz plays down 18-inch tyre test crash reports

Mon, 1 March 2021, 08:00

Mar.1 (GMM) Carlos Sainz has played down reports that he crashed last week whilst testing Ferrari’s new-for-2022 18-inch tyres.

Eyewitnesses claimed that Ferrari’s new Spanish driver crashed during the Pirelli test at Jerez.

“I don’t know how much I can say about that according to the contract,” Sainz is quoted by the Swiss newspaper Blick.

“But if something happened, I would say that it was very insignificant,” he smiled.

Before the 18-inch debut, Pirelli has tweaked the design of the current 13-inch tyres for 2021.

When the drivers tried the 2021 tyres late last season, many of them were heavily critical.

“This was a completely normal reaction,” Pirelli boss Mario Isola told Auto Motor und Sport.

“When drivers test new parts, they always hope for better performance. In this case, the focus was only on durability.”

Pirelli simulations reportedly show that the projected laptime deficit for the tyres between 2020 to 2021 is between 4 and 5 tenths.

The tyres are also more prone to understeer, but Isola insisted: “You can react to that with the setup.

“Once the teams have adjusted to the new tyres, the difference won’t be that big anymore.”

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