Six-Time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton is creating his very own race team, which will make its competitive debut in the Extreme E electric off-road racing series early next year. Hamilton has named the team X44 – a nod to his F1 car number – and although he won’t drive in the new championship or be involved with X44 on a day-to-day basis, the British driver will draw upon his experience to help guide the creation of a dedicated and competitive team. Extreme E tyre supplier Continental welcomes this backing from motorsport royalty.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won in Spain from pole with a two-stop soft-medium-medium tyre strategy in some of the hottest track conditions experienced by Formula 1’s drivers. Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing, Mario Isola commented that “managing the tyres in these demanding conditions with nearly 50 degrees of track temperatures was a big challenge, especially on the soft tyre.” There were seven different strategies seen in the top eight.
Pirelli’s Stella Bianca – which translate’s as “White Star” – is synonymous with the golden age of motor racing. In 1950, Giuseppe Farina won the first race of the first Formula 1 Championship in his Alfa Romeo fitted with the tyre. The replica tyre returned to Silverstone this year to mark the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, complete with a little white star on the sidewall: a motif shared with the road-going tyres that carried the same name. The Pirelli Stella Bianca will now enjoy a permanent place in Silverstone history, as the F1 tyre supplier donated the tyre to the new Silverstone Experience museum.
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli said that tyre strategy had been “integral” to Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s victory in the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix. Starting from fourth on the grid, Verstappen was the only one of the top 10 to start on the hard tyre. He used their comparative durability to run a longer first stint, which allowed him to move into the lead and then defend his advantage. The P Zero White hard (C2) tyre was softer than the hardest designated tyre at the previous weekend’s British Grand Prix, won by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. While the Mercedes team was tougher on the tyres than most, with blistering a known issue, Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas were able to claim the second and third steps on the podium, with Hamilton using the P Zero White to set the fastest lap in the race to claim an extra championship point.
Formula 1’s exclusive tyre supplier Pirelli has concluded its initial analysis on a number of tyres run at the British Grand Prix. The tyre supplier said it has identified the cause of the tyre failures on both Mercedes and the McLaren of Carlos Sainz in Sunday’s race. A combination of the long stints the P Zero White (C1) was forced to complete and the “biggest forces” on F1 tyres ever meant the tyres were “placed under maximum stress” for a long period. The resultant wear on the tyres meant that the tyres were less protected from the extreme forces by the end of the race. While Pirelli plans to continue with its plan to supply softer compounds at the second Silverstone meeting, it said it would review the usage prescription for its F1 tyres, increasing the minimum tyre pressures to reduce structural stress.
Lewis Hamilton’s seventh win at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix came in dramatic circumstances after a last-lap tyre failure. The Mercedes driver was able to limp home with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull bearing down on him in a denouement filled with more tension than the rest of the race combined. Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas had suffered a tyre failure with two laps to go, preventing a predictable and regulation 1-2 finish for the team, and leaving the Finn without a point despite his team’s domination of the weekend. Tyre supplier Pirelli is conducting a full examination on what led to the tyres’ failure – McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also experienced final lap tyre issues. Initial assessments point to the lengthy stints completed on the P Zero White (C1 compound) tyre, and debris on the track after two early crashes. Tyre strategy was largely dictated by the second crash on lap 12, as many drivers opted to change early to the harder tyre during the safety car period begun.
Pirelli will supply Formula 1 with two different tyre specifications in the Formula 1 Silverstone double-header. The British Grand Prix this weekend, which is the second event of the year to be sponsored by Pirelli, will have the C1 compound as P Zero White hard, C2 as P Zero Yellow medium, and C3 as P Zero Red soft. The 70th Anniversary Grand Prix one week later will be one-step softer: so C2 as the hard, C3 as the medium and C4 as the soft. This creates Formula 1 history: the first time ever that there has been two different tyre nominations for a double-header at the same venue.
Formula 1’s Portuguese grand prix will take place at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão for the first time on 23-25 October. The rescheduled 2020 F1 season has put the circuit in elite company, with Silverstone (31 July-2 August and 7-9 August), Spa (28-30 August), Monza (4-6 September), the Nürburgring (9-11 October) and Imola (31 October-1 November) all hosting competitive racing in challenging times. UK brand Davanti Tyres is the official tyre partner at the track, a position it has held since 2017. “This is an incredible achievement for the team at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve,” said Davanti general manager Peter Cross.
Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli has confirmed the compound choices for the first eight 2020 grands prix. Pirelli has made two interesting decisions in this list. First, the softest C5 compound will not feature, a fact most probably informed by the lack of a street circuit in the current calendar. Secondly, the Silverstone double-header on 2 and 9 August will get two different sets of compounds, with C1-3 at the first grand prix, and C2-4 at the second. This will provide an interesting comparison for fans, and gives the tyre manufacturer another chance to discuss the effects different tyre compounds can have on F1 racing.
Supercar manufacturer and historic Formula 1 competitor McLaren is expected to cut 1200 jobs, according to UK news reports. The redundancies, which amount to more than a quarter of its 4,000-strong workforce, represent the UK company’s response to the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic on the car sector. Staff reductions are expected to be spread across its road car, F1 and Applied Technologies divisions.
Formula 1 and Silverstone have reached an agreement in principle for the circuit to host two grands prix behind closed doors this summer. The races will need to get UK government approval to go ahead. In a message distributed on Twitter, Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle said: “I am delighted to confirm that Silverstone and Formula 1 have reached an agreement in principle to host two races behind closed doors this summer.
The decision on whether Silverstone will host Formula 1 at all in 2020 is “still weeks away” according to the circuit’s managing director Stuart Pringle. However, Pringle has been able to confirm the news that should the circuit host one of exclusive tyre supplier Pirelli’s “home events” at all, it will be “behind closed doors”. Formula 1 is hoping to fulfil much of its planned 2020 calendar with an ambitious revised itinerary after racing was dramatically suspended at the eleventh hour in Melbourne, Australia. Plans current at the time of printing would see racing begin in Austria on 3-5 July, which could provide a “blueprint” for future events, with visits to European, Asian, American, and finally Middle Eastern venues making up a season of between 15 and 18 grands prix, according to F1 CEO Chase Carey.
Braking systems company Brembo S.p.A. has announced that it holds an interest in consumer tyre manufacturer and fellow Formula 1 supplier Pirelli. As of 31 March 2020, Brembo holds a 2.43 per cent stake in Pirelli, both directly and through its parent company Nuova FourB.
Pirelli says it “understands and fully agrees” with the decision to cancel this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix. The event was stopped after confirmation came that a member of the McLaren Racing Team has tested positive for COVID-19, leading to the team’s withdrawal. The FIA and Formula 1 convened a meeting of the other nine team principals on Thursday evening, which concluded with the majority favouring stopping proceedings.