Pirelli confident 2019 F1 tyres can last two more years

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola is confident that the company’s current tyre specification can be used without problems until the end of 2021 – and he hopes that the recently announced option to test prototypes at race weekends this year will not be needed.

Pirelli confident 2019 F1 tyres can last two more years

Pirelli is planning to use the same tyre spec for three whole seasons, a situation that is without precedent.

Usually the Italian firm develops new tyres that are designed to cope with the downforce levels that teams are expected to reach by the end of each season.

However, the 2019 compounds and constructions were retained for this season after the teams rejected the intended 2020 tyres that were tested last year.

Then the delay in the introduction of 18-inch tyres as part of the postponement of the new F1 technical regulations until 2022 meant that the current tyres will unexpectedly also have to do duty in 2021.

Thus they will have had to successfully deal with downforce loadings generated by the cars from the start of the 2019 season all the way to the end of 2021.

In order to mitigate that the FIA has mandated a small aero change to the floor regulations which will rein in downforce slightly in 2021, and Isola believes that will help the current tyres cope.

“We should start 2021 with downforce which is in line with the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020,” Isola told Motorsport.com.

“So we step back one year, or close to. The idea was exactly this, to plan a reduction in downforce in order to make the 2019 tyres last until the end of 2021, without increasing the pressure too much, because increasing pressure means that we go towards the issue of overheating and degradation.

“And we know the drivers are not happy with that, and that is why we have worked together with the FIA and the teams in order to find a solution.

“At the beginning many different options were on the table, but then it was decided that the best one was to work around the floor. That makes sense considering that we are probably going to lose the amount of downforce that they develop during the season.

“This is a very unique season, so it’s difficult to understand how much development there will be, but together with the floor change we also have the restrictions on aerodynamic tests, and the fact that this season will be very much concentrated, so they can develop the car in a short period time.”

Read Also:

Due to the COVID-19 situation and the revised race calendar Pirelli has no dedicated testing programme in place in 2020, so no new tyres are being developed for 2021. Also the company wants to focus on its 18-inch programme, and not be distracted by upgrading the current tyres.

However as previously reported, the FIA has built in some flexibility by allowing for testing of prototype tyres in FP2 sessions this year, should it be deemed that new tyres are required either within 2020, or for 2021.

“The idea was to proceed step-by-step,” said Isola. “Our first request was anything that could limit the performance in 2020, or that can go one step back in 2021.So starting with less downforce in 2021 obviously is helping the tyre.

“We can react with a higher pressure, but if we have help with the regulations, obviously it is better.

“Now we have the confirmation of the change of regulation, and now that the teams have restarted work, we can ask them to prepare some additional simulations on the expected performance for the end of 2020 and for the end of 2021.

“We can then decide if we need to plan any test or not. It was important to put it in the regulations, because when the season starts, it’s too late to discuss this kind of stuff.”

The FIA has made sure that the testing happens at the end of FP2 to ensure representative conditions, so that prototypes are not used for "track cleaning," as was sometimes the case in the past. Teams are also now obliged to run the new tyres in that part of the session.

“The idea is to have if necessary half an hour in FP2 that is dedicated to tyre testing. We don’t have the obligation to supply the same prototypes to everybody, we don’t have to supply two sets, so we can basically use this freedom to make this test more relevant.

“You remember last year the test in Austin was not really relevant? So learning from the experience, we have now this new situation. 

"This not a replacement for tyre development tests, because for next year we are planning to have our 25 days of testing for 18-inch tyres.”

shares
comments
What was behind F1's new exhaust limit
Previous article

What was behind F1's new exhaust limit

Next article

Wolff says Hamilton right to take a stand against racism

Wolff says Hamilton right to take a stand against racism
Load comments
Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage Prime

Why the lack of "needle" between Red Bull and Ferrari in F1 2022 is a mirage

OPINION: The fight for the 2022 Formula 1 world titles between Red Bull and Ferrari so far features little of the public animosity that developed between the former and Mercedes last year. But that isn’t to say things are full on friendly or won’t get much worse very quickly…

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight Prime

The underdog F1 squad that thrust Senna into the limelight

The Toleman TG184 was the car that could, according to legend, have given Ayrton Senna his first F1 win but for Alain Prost and Jacky Ickx at Monaco in 1984. That could be stretching the boundaries of the truth a little, but as STUART CODLING explains, the team's greatest legacy was in giving the Brazilian prodigy passed over by bigger outfits an opportunity

Formula 1
May 16, 2022
Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes Prime

Why Aston Martin is unlikely to repeat Jaguar’s F1 mistakes

Two famous manufacturer teams born out of humble midfield origins, splashing the cash while attempting to rise to the top of F1 in record time. There are clear parallels between Lawrence Stroll’s Aston Martin and the doomed Jaguar Racing project of 22 years ago, but Mark Gallagher believes struggling Aston can avoid a similar fate.

Formula 1
May 15, 2022
How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo Prime

How rejuvenated Haas recovered its F1 mojo

US-owned but until recently Russian-backed, Haas seems to have reached a turning point in car performance after three gruesome seasons. And it needs to if it’s to attract fresh investment. Team boss Gunther Steiner tells Oleg Karpov how close Haas came to the abyss.

Formula 1
May 14, 2022
How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket Prime

How F1 race leaders have now lost their comfort blanket

As Formula 1 teams have settled down in understanding the new generation of cars and the way they need to maximise their performance, fresh lessons have emerged. Jonathan Noble investigates how they have brought with them an all-new kind of grand prix racing

Formula 1
May 12, 2022
Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives Prime

Gilles Villeneuve's 10 greatest F1 drives

Formula 1 lost one of its brightest stars when Gilles Villeneuve was killed during practice for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. Forty years on, Motorsport.com picks out the greatest drives by a Ferrari legend

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat Prime

The silver lining of Ferrari’s Miami GP defeat

OPINION: Much was made of Formula 1’s first Miami Grand Prix – what turned out to be a very ‘marmite’ event for both those in attendance and everyone following on TV. But even as the on-track battle between Red Bull and Ferrari it produced continued the negative run of results for the red team, it contained a glimmer it must hope continues to shine

Formula 1
May 11, 2022
How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge Prime

How imperfect Miami offered F1's drivers a unique challenge

OPINION: Despite all of the stylistic embellishments festooning Formula 1's inaugural Miami Grand Prix, the Miami International Autodrome offered the drivers a unique challenge and punished driver errors; a stark contrast to the usual cast of modern-day circuits

Formula 1
May 10, 2022