After the postponement of the season opener due to the coronavirus, the first Formula 1 race of the year will take place this weekend at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. The same event will feature another premiere: Pirelli’s new 18-inch racing tyres will also be used for the first time, but initially only in Formula 2. Their debut in Formula 1 will follow later.
Formula 1 teams based in the UK are working with the government and other groups to help address a shortage of respiratory equipment amid the coronavirus crisis. The news follows a government call for businesses to help increase the supply of ventilators to hospitals. According to an official statement, the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialise in rapid prototyping and high value manufacturing, which is hoped can be applied to the critical needs set out by Government.
Formula 2 is already established as the place to watch the Formula 1 drivers of tomorrow. In 2020, the championship will also be home to a new technological innovation as it adopts 18-inch tyres from Pirelli: the same size that will be raced in Formula 1 from 2021 onwards.
Pirelli will remain global tyre partner of the FIA Formula One World Championship until the end of the 2023 season after extending its current contract – which lasts until the end of the 2019 season – for a further four years. Pirelli notes that the agreement to extend the partnership was “completed in a short timeframe” on the back of the “successful partnership over recent years.”
The latest official Formula One game for PS4 and XBOX has just been released and this 2018 edition features Borg & Beck, one of the premier racing division’s most well-known brands, evoking memories of an era when Borg & Beck received the design award for outstanding achievement in motorsport, with over 300 wins from vehicles fitted with OE Borg & Beck.
Following the agreement signed last year, Vredestein is again the official tyre partner and main sponsor of the world-renowned Mille Miglia (1000 Miglia) rally currently taking place in Italy. The event has in turn provided the backdrop for the announcement of a new partnership between Vredestein and former Formula One racer Jochen Mass.
Pirelli showcased the broad variety of its global motorsport programme from the largest stand it has ever presented at Autosport International at the 2018 edition of the show. Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola, who heads up the company’s Formula One programme, visited the show along with around 100,000 other visitors over the course of the weekend.
The level of race to road technology transfer in Formula 1 is insufficient to pique Michelin’s interest in returning to the series as tyre supplier. This is the comment from Pascal Couasnon despite the tyre maker’s renewed interest several years ago.
Yesterday’s Mexican Grand Prix delivered Lewis Hamilton his fourth drivers’ title, not to mention a moment of bated breath in the very first round as Hamilton’s Mercedes made contact with the Ferrari of closest title contender Sebastian Vettel. The collision, comments Pirelli, added an extra tactical element to the race, as both protagonists were forced to deviate from the expected one-stop strategy.
Pirelli has continued its late-season trend of introducing softer Formula One compounds than in 2016 with its selection for the Japanese grand prix at Suzuka. Mario Isola, head of car racing, says that “this is particularly pertinent” at Suzuka, “as it’s one of the most challenging tracks for tyres of the entire year, with a very big emphasis on lateral loads that can cause thermal degradation if the tyres are not properly managed.
The first ever wet Singapore Grand Prix saw the top six starting on Pirelli’s Cinturato Green intermediate tyre and a mixture of Cinturato Blue wets and intermediates further down the grid. the early safety car periods provided the opportunity for some drivers to change from wet to intermediate tyres, while Daniel Ricciardo, who had started on intermediates, opted to change to a fresh set of intermediates. The Red Bull driver finished the grand prix second, behind the Mercedes of race winner Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes, led by Lewis Hamilton, took the top two podium steps at Monza’s Italian grand prix as nearly every driver chose a one-stop supersoft-soft strategy. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo adopted a different strategy, starting on a soft and moving to the supersoft for the second stint to move 12 places up from his starting position of 16th on the grid – the result of penalties. The Australian also set the fastest lap of the race, which was two seconds faster than last year’s equivalent, using the same tyres.