Pirelli's prototype 18-inch 2021 tyres

Pirelli confirms all teams bar Williams will participate in 18-inch tyre tests

2021 F1 season

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Pirelli has confirmed details of its testing schedule for the new 18-inch tyres which are being introduced for the 2022 F1 season.

Nine of Formula 1’s 10 teams are scheduled to participate in the tests, the first of which were held last week at Jerez. Ferrari conducted three days of testing for Pirelli at the former home of the Spanish Grand Prix with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr driving.

Ferrari will do two more days of testing for Pirelli over the remainder of 2021. All of their rivals bar Williams are also scheduled to run mule cars to assist F1’s official tyre supplier in developing its new rubber for next year.

Like Ferrari, Mercedes and Alpine will do a total of five days each. The tests will take place across nine different circuits, all bar two of which are due to hold rounds on the 2021 F1 calendar.

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Pireli 18-inch tyre testing schedule

Jerez22nd FebruarySlickFerrari
Jerez23rd FebruaryWetFerrari
Jerez24th FebruaryWetFerrari
Bahrain International Circuit30th MarchSlickFerrari
Bahrain International Circuit31st MarchSlickAlpine
Bahrain International Circuit1st AprilSlickAlpine
Imola20th AprilSlickMercedes
Imola21st AprilSlickMercedes
Circuit de Catalunya11th MaySlickRed Bull, Alfa Romeo, Alpine
Circuit de Catalunya12th MaySlickRed Bull, Alfa Romeo
Paul Ricard25th MayWetMercedes
Paul Ricard26th MayWetMercedes
Red Bull Ring6th JulySlickAlphaTauri
Red Bull Ring7th JulySlickAlphaTauri
Silverstone20th JulySlickAston Martin, Haas, Red Bull
Silverstone21st JulySlickAston Martin, Haas
Hungaroring3rd AugustSlickMcLaren, Mercedes
Hungaroring4th AugustSlickMcLaren, Ferrari
Magny-Cours15th SeptemberWetAlpine
Magny-Cours16th SeptemberWetAlpine

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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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  • 12 comments on “Pirelli confirms all teams bar Williams will participate in 18-inch tyre tests”

    1. Any insight into why Williams are the only team who won’t be involved?

      1. I guess the cost of operating a mule car and that the information will be shared equally amongst teams.

    2. I can only assume Williams believe not testing the new 18 inch rimmed wheels is to their advantage.

    3. I don’t know but I wonder if their cars lately just don’t produce enough downforce, let alone would a mule version, so perhaps not able to offer up viable tire data for Pirelli to glean that they can’t get from the other 9. Just speculating.

    4. Yeah, I can only imagine that they don’t think the rewards outweigh the financial outlay. Not ideal for them though and a missed opportunity

      1. Alex I don’t think there are rewards nor is this a missed opportunity. The 9 teams are just helping Pirelli develop the new tires but they aren’t privy to the data. Sure all the teams will benefit by helping Pirelli, but Pirelli will be sharing data with all teams anyway, equally.

        But during the actual tests the teams will have little knowledge of what compound they’re driving, perhaps not even what air pressures, nor will they know if what they tested will actually become the final products once they are racing in anger. Plus there’s the reality that next year the cars will be entirely different anyway, compared to the mule cars they’re running for these tests. So whatever drivers think or feel about whatever tires they are on for these tests will have little to do with once they will actually know what compounds and pressures and cambers etc they’ll have real knowledge of once they are on the entirely different 2022 cars. It’s a bit of track time for them that will inevitably give them a feel for the 18”ers, but once they are testing ahead of the 2022 season Williams will have had the same data about the tires in the off-season, and then they will get up to speed as quickly as everyone else.

        1. @robbie great information! How do you know all this? Not questioning it, just curious to how you know.

          1. @justrhysism Thanks Rhys, in the last number of years it has really been from reading articles here on this site as well as taking info from other posters who are much more knowledgeable than I. Oh there was a time when I bought F1 magazines religiously and poured over them, but as I say more recently it’s been mainly here and googling for specific info otherwise. I’ve been following F1 for a long time too, like many here.

            Pirelli has spoken about how they conduct these tire tests in the past, about the tests being quite ‘blind’ to the teams, for as the sole supplier they simply wouldn’t want to favour any one team nor be seen to be doing so, nor would other teams let them get away with that as there would be outrage, as well from fans, and so I particularly reacted to the concept that Williams have ‘missed out on an opportunity.’

            There was a lot of buzz around this topic in 2013 when tires started exploding and at a point Pirelli and Mercedes conducted a test thinking they had F1 and FIA’s blessing to do so but some teams objected thinking it was unfair, with Pirelli claiming they had given all teams the opportunity. They talked about that test being blind to the team at that time but there was still an air of suspicion surrounding that. I personally felt the test was necessary and they had to do things the way they did due to the severity of the situation with failing tires, but anyway, I digress and there’s tons of articles on the topic online.

            1. @robbie yeah I vaguely remember the issues around 2013 with Mercedes too, but not in any detail. You have a great memory!

        2. You are correct In 1 way. The aero is dramatically changing but setup and geometry will remain similar and also how the car is designed to interact with the tyre.
          The more base line info the team can provide to Pirelli with their own car the more Pirelli will take that into account with what works for next years finalised compound and constructions.
          While only a test it also give driver a glimpse into what the 18 inch tyre is reacting to bumps camber and road.
          Team also get data from load sensors on their car allowing them to adjust accordingly for the loss of tyre side wall.

          1. I think the geometry will need to change. There is very little sidewall movement in the low profile tyres, (which is their main advantage) but unlike the current wheels/tyres they will require some actual suspension movement, something we have not seen for many years.
            This may require the “Centre of Roll” to move, which having read the explanation of same recently, in Race Care Engineering, is both critical and complicated, being a major factor in defining lengths, angles and attachment points which must be built into castings and hard points.

            Of course nowadays you can test things within the computer model but computer time is becoming limited in the future.

    5. Magny-Cours! Must be the first F1 cars round there in nearly 15 years? Great track. Didn’t seem to get much love from the F1 fraternity but always seemed to through up overtaking and a few good Grands Prix. Plus it was mega to drive on the F1 games. Nurburgring and Imola chicanes were fantastic. Will be good to see a modern car going round there, even in the wet.

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