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Teams to test Pirelli’s 2021 C3 and C4 compounds in coming races

2021 F1 Season

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Pirelli will supply F1 teams with next year’s C3 and C4 compounds to test during Friday practice at the first Bahrain race and Abu Dhabi season finale.

Teams previously tested Pirelli’s 2021 compounds at the Portuguese Grand Prix. During the first 30 minutes of second practice, teams were given an unidentified allocation of next year’s compounds to provide running data to the sport’s official tyre supplier.

For the upcoming test in Bahrain two sets of 2021 C3 tyres will be made available in addition to the regular allocation to teams. One of these may be run in either Friday session and the other must be run in second practice. In Abu Dhabi teams will receive a single extra set of 2021 C4 tyres, the second-softest compound in Pirelli’s range, which must be run during second practice.

Speaking before the Turkish Grand Prix, Pirelli F1 tyre chief Mario Isola said the company’s focus when developing next year’s tyres has been on increasing durability, in order to deal with the increased forces cars have put them under this year.

“The target of the new construction was mainly to increase the level of integrity because what we can see from telemetry data that we receive after each race is that the level of performance – that means the level of load that these cars are putting on tyres is – is growing every weekend,” he explained.

“We usually develop new tyres every year in order to increase the level of integrity or on the other side to limit the increase in pressure. That obviously is leading to other consequences like overheating, for example, or higher degradation.”

Pirelli originally intended to introduce new tyre compounds for 2020. However last year teams voted against using their 2020 rubber and the 2019 compounds were carried over.

“We homologated the 2019 prototypes for 2020 but we had no plans to carry over the 2020 tyres also for 2021,” Isola explained. “So what we agreed with the teams was to have this possibility to test in second practice.”

He said the initial feedback from teams following the Portuguese Grand Prix test was positive. “The tyres are designed not to increase the level of performance, that was not the target but to increase the level of integrity. The prototype we selected is giving this feedback on our indoor testing.

“When it was tested in Portimao, the feedback was quite positive, or at least in line with the current specification.”

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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...
Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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11 comments on “Teams to test Pirelli’s 2021 C3 and C4 compounds in coming races”

  1. …but to increase the level of integrity.

    It would be nice to know what Pirellis define is “integrity”. I’m guessing it somehow relates to tyre performance, but I’m not sure what characteristic of tyre performance they are referring to.

    1. I initially assumed they mean how long you can run them before performance drops off but you are right it’s a bit vague. Maybe it relates to the tyres not exploding even when performance has dropped off?

    2. Integrity, as in hoping that the garbage they provide will stop blowing up like we have seen several times this season

      1. @megatron That’s how I read ‘integrity’ too: ‘doesn’t blow up, hopefully’. But the teams wanted the same compounds this year even when Pirelli were warning about the extra loads, so who’s to blame for that?

    3. It could mean a lot of things. Pirelli mentioned increased loads so presumably the new tyres hold their shape better. Main benefit is to prevent failures, but I would like to know if it helps with performance and drop off not to mention predictability.

  2. Hopefully, FP1 on both occasions as FP2 is the only representative session for QLF and the race.

  3. If Pirelli are allowed to redesign the tyres why do the teams have to go to the additional expense of redesigning their bodywork for 2021?

  4. Wait… I thought F1 was going to cut downforce next year because the 2019/2020 tyres were going to be carried over into 2021. The 2019 tyres were expected to be unable to cope if aero development continues unimpeded. But Pirelli are now developing tyres with increased “level of integrity”. What’s up?

  5. 2021 is really going to be a repeat of 2020 if not even the tyres are much different

  6. I was under the impression that the fairly late changes to the aero-regulations for next year (floor edges etc.) was introduced because they where going to use the same tires for a 3rd year and Pirelli thought they would not cope with the downforce development. But if they are making new tires for 2021 anyway, what was the point of the changes?

    1. Exactly! And in my opinion they may not make any changes. It’s obviously more cost saving to have 1 company change the tyres than having 10 teams all spending millions to gain an advantage on 5cm front wing endplate or something

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