Pirelli to test 2021 tyres at the end of the season

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Formula One’s sole tyre manufaturer Pirelli intends to give the teams the opportunity to test the finalized 2021 tyres that will make their debut at next year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Pirelli is set to introduce modified tyres for the coming season in a bid to improve the characteristics of their products in terms of overheating and blistering. The Milan-based company manufactured a wide range of prototypes and brought them to Portimao last month to evaluate the on-track performance of the new tyres.

All teams were given three different sets of prototypes and were asked to complete two shorter runs with one of their drivers and a long run with the other driver. Following the successful test and positive feedback from the teams, Pirelli decided to introduce a slightly different tyre for 2021 compared to the current one that has been used since the start of the 2019 season.

Asked about the new tyres, Pirelli’s Head of F1 and Car racing Mario Isola said that they will feature a modified construction, but the compounds will remain unchanged.

„We have decided to homologate a new front and a new rear construction. The new front is the one with the biggest difference compared to this year, with the different profile, a different construction. We carry over the compounds to next year.

„Obviously it is impossible in one test to redesign all the range of compounds but we have this new specification. We are going to supply the new specification to all the teams in Bahrain and probably Abu Dhabi. We are discussing this in these days, to give all the teams the possibility to test the final – the homologated – version of this specification.”

The Italian company intends to reassess the homologated product before the season concludes at Abu Dhabi.

„Because in Portimão we supplied different prototypes to different teams, not the same to everybody, so not all the teams have been able to test what we have decided to homologate, so that is the plan for the next events. Obviously, I am talking about the first race in Bahrain on a layout that is well-known by the teams and the race in Abu Dhabi, again on a layout that is very well known,” concluded Isola.

In the meantime, Pirelli has confirmed that Isola has tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday 15 November at the Turkish Grand Prix. He returned a positive result during the regular Sunday COVID testing schedule. He is now isolating, and is asymptomatic and will adhere to the local medical guidelines.

„All close contacts have been declared, retested, and no further positive cases have been returned. Mario Isola will be repatriated to Italy following all the relevant stringent health protocols,” read a statement from Pirelli.