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.
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.
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.
Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton won the final grand prix of the 2019 season with a one-stop medium-hard strategy. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in second used the same strategy at Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, but the third-placed Ferrari of Charles Leclerc added a final soft stint to his medium-hard run plan, taking advantage of the red tyre’s extra speed in the crucial closing stages of the race. Hamilton never lost the lead after gaining pole position in qualifying. He completed a hat-trick with a fastest lap on the hard tyre, which broke a lap record at Yas Marina that had stood since 2009.
Pirelli has presented the tyre that will equip the new Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo from the 2020 season onwards in all four Ferrari Challenge championships. The tyre is the Pirelli P Zero DHA, the product of some seven months of close collaboration between Pirelli and Ferrari engineers. The P Zero DHA is available in size 275/675-19 at the front and 315/705-19 at the rear.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the Russian Grand Prix from second on the grid with one pit stop, moving from the medium to the soft tyre under a virtual safety car. His team mate Valtteri Bottas, who finished second, adopted the same strategy. Behind them there was a wide variety of tactics seen throughout the 53-lap race, which featured two safety cars: one straight after the start, and one just over the halfway point.
In 2021, Formula 1 will bid farewell to 13-inch rims and tyres with chubby sidewalls, with the switch to an 18-inch dimension taking place that season. The onus falls upon exclusive tyre supplier Pirelli to develop rubber for the 2021 F1 cars, and Pirelli says its development will be greatly aided by the adoption of the 18-inch tyre size in ‘feeder’ series Formula 2 from 2020.
Pirelli travels to Albert Parks’ “slightly unusual” street circuit for the Formula 1 2019 season curtain-raiser in Melbourne, Australia this weekend. The exclusive tyre supplier nominated its C2, C3, and C4 compounds as the hard, medium, and soft tyres, saying that the track has a more flowing rhythm that also takes in some reasonably quick corners than stop-and-go street circuits, like Monaco or Singapore.
Pirelli has confirmed that all five of its slick P Zero Formula 1 compounds will be seen in testing this year. Only three colours will be used on the slick tyres’ sidewalls to help spectators distinguish between the compounds this season – white plus Pirelli’s corporate yellow and red, in order of increasing softness. At each grand prix, the hardest compound tyre will have white sidewalls, the medium yellow, and the softest red.
The Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) and Pirelli have announced a new original equipment agreement at Autosport International. Pirelli’s head of car racing, Mario Isola, Pirelli UK motorsport manager Jonathan Wells, and BAC co-founders Neill and Ian Briggs jointly introduced the arrangement, which means the British manufacturer’s Mono will run on the P Zero Trofeo R.
Pirelli’s global motorsport partnership with promoter SRO Motorsports Group has been strengthened with the arrival of the Blancpain GT World Challenge in 2019. The global championship brings together the Pirelli World Challenge in USA alongside the other GT sprint series promoted by SRO throughout Europe and Asia. This brings the total number of SRO competitions supplied by Pirelli up to 12. Pirelli will also become the headline sponsor of the new Pirelli GT4 America series, with 36 cars homologated, 20 of which are brand new models.
Depending on how you look at it, Pirelli has either simplified its F1 tyre colour coding for 2019 or made it more complicated. Only three P Zero colours will be seen at each race next year. These will always be the same – white, yellow and red – and denote the hard, medium and soft tyre choices at every Grand Prix. But the use of just three colours doesn’t mean Pirelli will only offer three tyre compounds.
Pirelli has presented new solutions and concepts as part of its Cyber Tyre development programme for more than a decade now. At last year’s Geneva Motor Show, the tyre maker introduced the Connesso system, a sensor-based solution that provides motorists with real-time tyre pressure and temperature data, as well as information about use and maintenance. Yet Cyber Tyre has only focused on road-going solutions so far – a further step for Pirelli would be to introduce its technology into Formula 1.