Thu 19 Jan 2023

Isola: No major changes for 2023

The weather is never far from anybody’s mind in the service park, but there’s more of a focus on looking skywards than ever on the eve of Rallye Monte-Carlo.

As the crews prepare for the opening test of round one, the question foremost on the mind is of which tyre to take for the road ahead. Despite snow falling in the lead up to the event, the stages through the French Alps are largely dry.

Tyre strategy is never a straightforward matter at Rallye Monte-Carlo but, should the snow continue to stay at bay, the super soft version of Pirelli’s P Zero RA WRC will likely be the rubber of choice. Developed exclusively to perform in the sub-zero conditions of this event, Monte-Carlo will mark its debut.

“I think we will see the slick (P Zero) being used,” said Pirelli’s rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni. “I don’t think this is the rally for the winter tyres or for the stud.”

In general, though, it’s business as usual for Pirelli in 2023 as the Italian manufacturer continues to build on its learnings from last year’s inaugural hybrid-powered WRC season.

Motorsport manager Mario Isola added: "I would say it's part of our job, the continuous development that we have in rally and in any other championship we supply.

“Obviously, hybrid power units are important for the future for sustainability, but the cars are also heavier and have more torque. We had to adapt our tires [for 2022] and I'm happy with the result we had.

"That's why we are not planning big changes for 2023," he continued, "just some fine-tuning of our current product, because it is working well. We have to follow the development of the cars and we have to follow the fact that the drivers are learning how to use these cars and they are getting quicker and quicker - therefore putting more stress on the tyres. And that's our job.

"We have to supply the best compromise tyre for all the cars, and they are all different with different drivers who have different driving styles. When you are the sole supplier, you should make everybody happy. Sometimes it doesn't happen, but that's our target."

  • Full coverage from Rallye Monte-Carlo is available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
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