Pirelli's prototype 18-inch 2021 tyres

Pirelli change test plans as 18-inch tyres are delayed to 2022

2022 F1 season

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Formula 1’s decision to delay its new technical regulations to 2022 has had several implications for Pirelli.

The sport’s official tyre supplier was granted an extension on its F1 tyre supply contract in 2018. It was originally appointed to supply 13-inch tyres for 2020, then 18-inch rubber for 2021 to 2023.

However the rules change means F1 will continue to use 13-inch tyres for a further season in 2021 before switching to 18-inch rubber. This has a knock-on effect for Pirelli, as the cost of developing the new tyres can now only be spread over two seasons instead of three.

Nonetheless a Pirelli spokesperson confirmed to RaceFans it supports the decision to delay F1’s new rules. “We will work together with all the parties involved to identify the best approach from now on,” they said.

Another consequence of the change for Pirelli is its testing plan for the 18-inch tyres this year, which had already commenced, now has to be delayed.

Pirelli began its 2020 test programme for the prototype 2021 rubber at Jerez last month. Charles Leclerc drove a ‘mule’ Ferrari, based on the team’s 2020 chassis with modified suspension to accommodate the necessary 18-inch wheels.

The second test was due to take place at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track on March 5th. That was cancelled due to the spread of the pandemic, and subsequent tests will also be delayed to next year.

“Testing on 18-inch tyres will now happen during 2021,” the spokesperson confirmed to RaceFans, adding it was too early to plan when and where this would take place.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
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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2 comments on “Pirelli change test plans as 18-inch tyres are delayed to 2022”

  1. Bad timing for either a global plague or radical rule changes.

    To help Pirelli spread the development costs, maybe F1 could phase in the new tyre format. Start with 18 inchers in back and balloons up front. Give F1 more road relevance as well – Mad Max rat rod style.

  2. A modified 2019-car.

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