Pirelli has begun its 2021 World Rally Championship campaign with two days of private tyre testing in Sardinia. The first day is devoted to gravel and the second day on asphalt. At the wheel of Pirelli’s uniquely-liveried Citroen C3 WRC test car will be Norway’s Andreas Mikkelsen, co-driven by his compatriot Anders Jaeger. The former Volkswagen, Citroen and Hyundai factory driver will be spearheading the development of the latest-generation Pirelli Scorpion tyres for gravel and P Zero tyres for asphalt, which will be supplied exclusively to the World Rally Championship from 2021 to 2024. The new tyres will eventually join the studded Sottozero Ice already displayed at the 2020 GP Ice Race in January in the manufacturer’s WRC tyre line-up.
While 46 per cent of the global population is still without internet access, the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the effectiveness of digital technologies. And specifically companies such as Pirelli are now better prepared for a possible second wave of Covid-19 because of the digital technologies they have deployed. Pier Paolo Tamma, SVP and Chief Digital Officer of Pirelli and Dr John O’Shea of Dell Technologies shared their views at the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit’s Virtual Edition on 8 July 2020.
Tyrepress has published its 2020 ranking of the world’s top tyre manufacturers. Our ranking lists the top 20 tyre makers ordered by turnover from tyres in the previous calendar year. For example, Continental turned over nearly 45 billion euros in 2019, but 26.4 per cent of this was from its tyre divisions, making it the fourth largest tyre manufacturer in the world with 11.7 billion euros. The ranking presents a baseline for discussing the relative positions of the largest global players in tyre production. In 2019, we noted that Bridgestone had opened up a gap at the top of our ranking, around 2.65 billion euros ahead of second-placed Michelin in tyre turnover. This year, the French giant has reduced this gap to just over half a billion euros, reflecting its most recent acquisitions.
Pirelli has launched Scorpion E-MTB, its first line of electric mountain bike tyres. The manufacturer says the tyres are tailored to the needs of this type of bike, in which the engine assistance subjects the tyres to stress that is higher on average than traditional MTB tyres. It has put into practice its experiences with motor powered vehicles in the Scorpion E-MTB development. It adds that sustainability, so important in the design considerations for the tyre, is also the basis for its return to the cycling market.
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.
As a result of its shareholder meeting on 18 June, the board of directors of Pirelli & C. SpA re-nominated Marco Tronchetti Provera as Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) attributing to him the powers for the operational management of Pirelli. Company chairman, Ning Gaoning, was given the authority of legal representation of the company.
Pirelli has developed a customised version of the Diablo Supercorsa SP to meet a new challenging performance target. The tyre will be the original fitment on the most powerful and technologically advanced production Ducati ever, the Superleggera V4. The tyre is designed to help riders get the most out of the significant aerodynamic load generated by the bike’s biplane wings, which characterise the aggressive design of the new motorcycle.
Pirelli’s 2019 Annual Report will feature new writing from Emmanuel Carrère and John Seabrook, and illustration by Selman Hoşgör. The Italian tyre manufacturer is continuing its decade-long tradition of “enriching” its report, entitled ‘The Road Ahead’, with new artist commissions. Pirelli says this helps to tell the company’s story “beyond the numbers alone.” The three artists have produced work based on the theme of resilience, or the “capacity to react, change and improve”, as Pirelli defines the word. While the theme resonates with the current context, Pirelli adds that the commissions were conceived before the changes imposed by Covid-19. However the emergence of the pandemic figure large in the pieces ‘Noon at our door’ by Carrère and ‘The Zoom brigata’ by Seabrook.
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.
Prometeon Tyre Group is donating one euro for each tyre sold in Europe in May to the International Committee of the Red Cross’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its Together initiative, Prometeon has invited suppliers, customers and its staff to donate as well. Furthermore, Prometeon will match its suppliers’ contributions.
Pirelli has launched a new high performance tyre for premium cars in European and Asian markets, the next generation Cinturato P7. The Cinturato product line has one of the longest histories in the car tyre segment. The brand, with which Pirelli claims to have “invented the concept of the sporting tyre for the road”, celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. While the P Zero line is Pirelli’s primary focus for the highest performance vehicles, the Formula 1 tyre supplier includes Cinturato branding via the series’s wet weather tyres with good reason. Such is Pirelli’s focus on the ultra-high performance sector, that the Cinturato is positioned as another tyre line for top premium segment cars. Preparations for the launch of the new P7 focused on drivers using 18” and above sizes, while Pirelli’s original equipment focus has also yielded 70-plus homologations for the tyre.
Bearing in mind that Pirelli’s high-performance leading product portfolio is based on an OE-homologation heavy “perfect fit” strategy, it is no surprise to learn that the Italian-based manufacturer is pitching it tyres as “the perfect fit for fleets” as well.
With some drivers returning to the roads as the lockdown eases, Pirelli technicians have offered five tyre maintenance tips to help ensure safety and performance. Drivers are also being referred to the company’s Pirelli Performance Centre network for further enquiries. There are now 128 depots in the UK Pirelli Performance Centre network. Retailers within the network maintain standards through a 130-point technical audit, which each centre completes twice a year with increasingly demanding criteria.
Pirelli UK is to recommence production at its plants in Carlisle and Burton-on-Trent from 18 May 2020. Initial production will be at a reduced rate, reflecting current market demand. “The company’s top priority is ensuring the health and safety of its workers and the wider community”, an official statement added.