Pirelli has named former FIA head of F1 communications Matteo Bonciani its head of motorsport communications. In this role, Bonciani takes responsibility for communications throughout all the company’s motorsport programmes, including Formula 1, the World Rally Championship, and GT. Pirelli says Bonciani’s appointment as head of motorsport communications represents part of a restructuring of its motorsport department within the overall communications and brand image department.
Technology, sustainability and support for young talent – Pirelli states that these are the three cornerstones of its 2022 motorsport campaign. During a live-streamed press conference hosted by Mario Isola, the tyre maker’s head of motorsport, supported by rally activity manager Terenzio Testoni and GT circuit activity manager Matteo Braga, Pirelli set out its plans and priorities for the year.
The governing body of world motorsport has awarded Pirelli’s motorsport division three stars as part of its Environmental Accreditation Programme. This is the highest score that the FIA awards within the programme and gives only to participants who have demonstrated the best environmental standards in a series of measures.
Restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic threw a spanner into the works of Pirelli’s plan to introduce 18-inch tyres for the 2021 Formula 1 season. To accommodate this delay, the FIA and Formula 1 have proposed that Pirelli extend its existing exclusive tyre supply contract by one further year. Pirelli has agreed to this.
Vehicle manufacturers, dealerships, the DVSA and driving instructors should include a comprehensive lesson for motorists on how to use advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) so they are a road safety benefit and not a potential hazard, says IAM RoadSmart following the publication of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s (FIA) ‘How to maximize the road safety benefits of ADAS’ report.
Pirelli has joined forces with the FIA to back its newly-established Rally Star programme, continuing the Italian firm’s long-term commitment to support talented young drivers at every level of rallying. Rally Star is a recently-launched initiative which brings together national motorsport federations from around the globe, identifying talented drivers between the ages of 17-25 through a mixture of digital motorsport and slalom driving in production vehicles.
Pirelli has begun its 2021 World Rally Championship campaign with two days of private tyre testing in Sardinia. The first day is devoted to gravel and the second day on asphalt. At the wheel of Pirelli’s uniquely-liveried Citroen C3 WRC test car will be Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, co-driven by his compatriot Anders Jaeger. The former Volkswagen, Citroen and Hyundai factory driver will be spearheading the development of the latest-generation Pirelli Scorpion tyres for gravel and P Zero tyres for asphalt, which will be supplied exclusively to the World Rally Championship from 2021 to 2024. The new tyres will eventually join the studded Sottozero Ice already displayed at the 2020 GP Ice Race in January in the manufacturer’s WRC tyre line-up.
Goodyear will make its debut as a tyre supplier to the European Le Mans Series this weekend. The manufacturer is working alongside top teams in the LMP2 and LMGTE classes at the season-opening 4 Hours of Le Castellet. Goodyear’s latest tyre technology will be fitted to five front-running LMP2 prototypes and every car in the LMGTE field throughout the ELMS season. The brand’s entrance into the series follows last year’s fitments to LMP2 winners in the FIA World Endurance Championship. However the weekend will mark the first time that LMGTE cars have raced on the Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport race tyres. Having been delayed by the pandemic, the series will run over five races until November.
The Chinese Grand Prix and Sanya E-Prix have already been postponed, now the FIA is preparing race fans for the possibility of further events being called off should the coronavirus continue to spread. In a statement published yesterday, the FIA said it is “closely monitoring the evolving situation” with relevant authorities and its member clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission president, Professor Gérard Saillant.
The era of Michelin tyres dominating the World Rally Championship (WRC) is drawing to a close. The FIA has chosen Pirelli as sole tyre supplier for the WRC from 2021 to 2024. With its selection, Pirelli sees itself at “the top of motorsport” thanks to its exclusive tyre supply to both the leading rally and single seater racing championships. “These successful campaigns confirm Pirelli’s leadership in world motorsport,” comments the tyre maker.
As of next season, Goodyear will take over from Yokohama as official tyre supplier to the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup. Following an official FIA tender, Goodyear will partner with the series for the three years covering the 2020-2022 seasons.
Goodyear is to serve as official tyre supplier to the LMP2 category of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and European Le Mans Series (ELMS). This arrangement follows the decision made by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) to appoint a single tyre supplier for the Le Mans Prototype class.
Following the Formula 1 teams’ unanimous rejection of Pirelli’s proposed 2020 tyre specifications, the tyre maker has confirmed its intention to supply 2019 specification tyres to the 2020 F1 World Championship. Pirelli says it, the FIA and the F1 teams took “several different factors” into account in reaching this decision.
During last weekend’s Italian Grand Prix, Jead Todt disclosed that a second tyre maker has expressed interest in becoming exclusive Formula 1 tyre supplier for the 2020 to 2023 seasons. He didn’t reveal the company’s name – he claimed not to have the information at hand – however we confirmed it wasn’t Michelin.