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.
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 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.
With David Coulthard’s pull no punches words perhaps still ringing in their ears, this past week or so the Pirelli F1 team has looked into why two of their tyres were not boring at all during the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Pirelli says it has, in conjunction with the FIA, completed an analysis and identified why the rear left tyres on the cars driven by Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen failed.
Pirelli says it plans to undertake ten test sessions over 28 days this year. The sessions it is taking part in with nine Formula 1 teams will prepare them for the 2022 season and the introduction of 18-inch tyres and other technical regulations. Testing will be subject to any further restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
The exclusive tyre supplier to Formula 1, Pirelli has confirmed that Mario Isola, head of F1 and car racing, has tested positive for Covid-19. The test result was returned on Sunday 15 November during the series’ regular Covid testing schedule at the Turkish Grand Prix. Pirelli adds that while he is asymptomatic, Isola is now isolating and will adhere to local medical guidelines. All close contacts have been declared, retested, and no further positive cases have been returned. Isola will be repatriated to Italy following all the relevant stringent health protocols.
Pirelli has paid tribute to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton after he became the most successful Formula 1 driver of all time. Hamilton registered his 92nd career grand prix win with a one-stop medium-hard strategy in Portimao, Portugal. Mario Isola – head of F1 and car racing at Pirelli said the sport was “privileged to witness history being made.” Hamilton completed 45 consistent laps (40 in race plus five in Q2) on the P Zero Yellow C2 compound before completing the race on the harder P Zero White.
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.
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.
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 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.