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Decision on 2020 F1 tyres to be made next week

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In the round-up: Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola says the decision which tyres the sport will use next year will be made next week.

What they say

[icon2019autocoursempu]Isola explains what F1’s next steps are in agreeing whether to use its new 2020 tyres or this year’s rubber next season:

Monday the 9th of December is the deadline for the decision. The next steps are that all the teams analyse the data and send the feedback to the FIA and their feedback, their opinion and their suggestion.

Obviously we will make an analysis as well, then there is the decision because the 9th of December we have to nominate to select the compounds for Australia and Bahrain.

We will select the components also for the first four races because then nothing is going to happen between now and the pre-season tests in Barcelona. And the teams have one week to send us back the selection for Australia and Bahrain and for the pre-season test in Barcelona.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Could different drivers have got a better result out of the Ferrari SF90 this year?

This year I think even Hamilton, Verstappen, Alonso or Ricciardo would not have been able to become drivers’ championship with that car though. Unless Vettel was driving for Mercedes perhaps, but then Bottas would have likely taken the title.

The car was doing fine in pre-season testing though and it was by far superior in Bahrain (second race). So there was clearly more potential in the Ferrari from the start of the season. It’s mostly that their drivers plus engineers were unable to unlock it. Who knows a better driver could have done more to get the setup issues straightened out much sooner. Who knows what would have been possible then.

Either way, it’s still an utter embarrassment that both Ferrari drivers finished behind Verstappen in the drivers championship. That again is due to the ridiculous amount of driver errors that especially Vettel keeps racking up, but also Leclerc makes too many mistakes, but these were mostly in qualifying and he improved in that regard later in the season.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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7 comments on “Decision on 2020 F1 tyres to be made next week”

  1. The fact that there is even needing to be a discussion about if they should run the 2020 tyres or 2019 tyres next year is a pretty damning indictment of Pirelli in my opinion.

    This year’s tyres have been troublesome in terms of overheating & a silly tiny operating window again & the 2020 tyres were supposed to be better in both areas yet Pirelli seem to have failed to hit those targets. If teams & drivers don’t seem to be able to tell the difference between the ’19 & ’20 tyres then it just confirms to me that this is the best Pirelli can produce & to expect a better product is simply a pipe dream at this point.

    They had the excuse in the past that they were making what F1 asked them to yet I saw that this is not the case now which just shows that they were likely hiding behind that excuse all along & that it is perhaps time to let another supplier have a go be it replacing Pirelli or as a competitor to them because things should not be allowed to remain as they are in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport.

    It is surely a complete joke that the pinnacle of the sport has to deal with some of the worst tyres in the sport. But I guess that’s what you get when you go for the cheapest ‘show’ option rather than proper designed for racing best they can possible be tyres.

    1. When you (or at least “I”) go into a music shop to buy a guitar, I select a cheap one and an expensive one, and if I can’t tell the difference then them I buy the cheap one. Recently I was looking into kitchen knives. Some of these sell for thousands of dollars (each), which sounds extraordinarily over the top. To me … okay, maybe I can accept paying $20 for a knife, but a hundred bucks each?! However there are chefs who can tell the difference between the $20 version and the expensive, and believe they need the expensive knives.
      I recall, when I was young, while working as a technician, modifying some Crescent pliers to my own criteria because none of the commercially available ones were like what I wanted. There are people around with expertise and they can tell the difference between a cheap product and one that has had a lot of thought and effort put into it.
      Now Pirelli have given the teams the option of a) tyres built to the 2019 spec; and b) tyres built to the 2020 spec. Presumably the 2020 spec tyres have “more technology” built into them that’s supposed to give “better performance” than the 2019 spec tyres. The difficulty is discerning the difference between the 2019 tyres and the 2020 spec. Romain Grosjean recently said he couldn’t tell the difference, so presumably he’d be happy with the 2019 spec tyres.
      I think it is slightly disappointing to see things like Valtteri Bottas setting a faster time on 2019 tyres than George Russell on 2020 tyres. To me this completely misses the point: the aim is to discern how much better the 2020 tyres are from the 2019. I would have thought the best way to do that is to get each driver to drive a similar test pattern with each tyre, e.g. 20 laps on a 2019 tyre, then 20 laps on the 2020 tyres. I can’t see the logic in sending Valtteri out to do lots of laps on 2019 tyres and none on 2020, and I can’t see the logic in sending out George to do lots of laps on 2020 tyres and none on 2019.

  2. 450 kw is at about 600hp, that’s quite powerful, considering the torque of electric engines and the cool balancing opportunities of electric cars. Then they will be a bit too powerful for narrow street courses.

  3. Supposedly in a modified-W09 based on the earlier info that modified-2018 cars would be in use for all of this year’s 18-inch tests conducted by Mercedes, Renault, and Mclaren?

    In case anyone’s interested, the car VB uses for the rally-event is Citroen DS3 WRC from 2011-16.

    I share the same views with both the COTD and Jolyon Palmer’s column.

  4. The Palmer column is quite interesting – a top 5 i can get on board with. perez has had a bit of an up and down season, but he’s still pulling off some great drives, and he’s made stroll look like the journeyman he surely is. i feel like sainz must be at the top of someone’s shopping list for 2021 – ferrari (if they don’t get hamilton) perhaps?

    vettel is also conspicuously absent from the palmer column – how will others rate him in their season reviews? I think he pulled it back a little right at the end of the year, especially in qualifying (the win in singapore was fortunate but still a very good drive), but overall he’s struggling to make my top 10.

  5. Verstappen’s ability and potential is frightening, and perhaps even greater than Hamilton’s, but putting him above Hamilton for the 2019 season seems a little contrived/click-baity to me. Yes his peak performance may already be higher but there’s no contest over a season imo. Of course it’s easy to look good in the best car and look like an amateur in a bad car, despite prodigious talent e.g. Ricciardo, but in any case the best driver over the season was Hamilton, no contest.

  6. Here’s what I will say regarding the Ferrari car and pre-season testing from 2019. It is testing. It doesn’t matter unless it is outside the bounds of expected reality. Anyone who saw the first week of preseason testing in 2019 and thought that Ferrari had a distinct advantage were kidding themselves. Ferrari was in the lead during the first week of testing, and not by a staggering or unbelievable amount. And? Ferrari is one of the top two-three teams every year. That is exactly where it should be.

    If Williams leads the pack after the first week of testing for 2020, let’s talk. Or STR. Or if Ferrari is dead last and on fire. Outside of something like that, you aren’t going to learn all that much from testing lap times. Reliability? Maybe. General pack position? Possibly. Finishing order for Australia or the season? Only by luck.

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