Pirelli’s new 18” Formula 1 tyres faced “one of the biggest tests” of their inaugural season in Spain as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen used a three-stop strategy to win and gain the championship lead. He alternated between the P Zero Red soft tyre, with which he started the race, and the P Zero Yellow medium, on which he finished it, handling a high-energy circuit and high temperatures with relatively high degradation. His team mate Sergio Perez and Mercedes driver George Russell, who also finished on the podium, both used a different three-stop strategy: soft-medium-medium-soft.
Exclusive Formula 1 tyre supplier Pirelli will supply the teams with its softest compound P Zero tyres for the first time since the Australian grand prix when the series visits the streets of Monaco. The C5 compound, alongside the C4 and C3, will be available one weekend after the hardest tyres in its range were selected for the Spanish Grand Prix. The compounds will be designated as P Zero White hard (C3), P Zero Yellow medium (C4), and P Zero Red soft (C5).
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.
Wheel manufacturer BBS Japan has signed a four-year contract with Formula 1 to become the exclusive supplier of new standard rims. The company, part of the Maedakosen Group, has also signed up to supply rims to NASCAR for the next three years.
Max Verstappen and Red Bull used a fresher but used Pirelli P Zero soft tyre to overcome Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes on a 43-lap old hard tyre in a single lap showdown to win the Formula One Drivers Championship. The controversy about how F1 contrived to supply this conclusion to the 2021 season at Yas Marina continues to rage. The intense coverage beyond the usual race weekend press generated by the controversy builds upon a season in which F1 has considerably refreshed its profile; it has gained improved global interest via the Netflix documentary Drive to Survive, a roster of drivers invigorated by some new faces, and a schedule expanding outside its traditional European base. Exclusive tyre supplier Pirelli’s head of F1 and car racing Mario Isola said: “It’s been an absolutely incredible season with some of the most intense competition we can remember: a fitting way to close the chapter on 13-inch tyres before starting a new one with 18 inches.”
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina this weekend will be the last race in Formula 1 history run on 13-inch tyres. After more than half a century of racing on this tyre size, Pirelli is introducing its new 18-inch tyres in 2022. To celebrate the changing of the guard, all the 13-inch slick tyres used in Abu Dhabi will carry a special logo on the sidewall: ’Next year I turn 18’ – underlining the switch to 18 inches by bidding farewell to the current tyres before welcoming the new size next year.
Pirelli has published initial conclusions from the ongoing analysis it is carrying out on the tyres that deflated during last month’s Qatar Grand Prix. The tyre maker states that these conclusions “exclude any production defects.”
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.
Pirelli has welcomed the president and chief executive officer of Formula 1 to Circuito Panamericano, the tyre maker’s most advanced proving ground. Stefano Domenicali is currently visiting the region to attend this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, and during yesterday’s tour of the facility was accompanied by Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of F1 and Car Racing, and Cesar Martin Alarcon, Pirelli’s chief executive officer and executive vice-president of the LatAm region.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen opened up a 12-point gap at the top of the Formula 1 Drivers Championship after an intensely tactical two-stop race against Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton at Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas. Verstappen switched from the Pirelli P Zero Yellow medium tyre to the P Zero White hard tyre on lap 11, with a successful ‘undercut’ to gain the lead from his rival, who stopped three laps later. Mario Isola – head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli said that the two drivers had used “exactly the same” pre-race tyre allocation in different ways to produce a “thrilling finale between two drivers absolutely on top of their game.”
Monday’s tyre test at France’s Paul Ricard circuit heralded the conclusion of Pirelli’s initial development programme for 18-inch Formula 1 tyres. Alpine’s Daniil Kvyat was in the seat for the wet test, finishing a programme disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The flagship global motorsport series will switch to the new low-profile tyres in 2022, shifting away from the 13-inch tyres currently used. Pirelli calls this move a technical revolution and has devoted an intense period of research and development to the change, with indoor and outdoor testing. The manufacturer will now tweak the tyre based on 2022-specification car testing.
Narain Karthikeyan, who in 2005 became India’s first-ever Formula 1 driver, has signed on as a JK Tyre brand ambassador. Commenting on the arrangement, Raghupati Singhania said the tyre maker was “delighted” to have Karthikeyan represent the JK Tyre brand in India.
A major change to Formula 1 for the 2022 season will be the introduction of 18-inch tyres after half a century of wide sidewall tyres sitting on 13-inch rims. Pirelli is presenting the new tyres at Silverstone today and comments that “now it’s time to change to a more modern approach” with a dimension actually seen on today’s road cars.