Ahead of the introduction of the 18-inch tyres in 2022, Formula One’s sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli confirmed its testing programme that will see the Milan-based manufacturer work on nine different venues.
For the 2022 F1 season, the sport is due to introduce new technical regulations along with a move to 18-inch tyres. The testing of the brand-new Pirelli tyrs began in 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the sport to push back its plans to 2022.
After working with the FIA together, the Italian tyre supplier came up with an extensive testing schedule for 2021 that is set to help the sport get prepared to the new tyres for the forthcoming season.
Scuderia Ferrari kicked off the 18-inch tyre testing with slick and wet tyres at Spain’s Jerez circuit on February 22-24. The Italian team will be back for more testing in Bahrain and at Budapest in the second half of the year.
The schedule features nine teams in total with only Williams missing from the programme ahead of the switch from the current 13-inch tyre for next year.
Mercedes will participate in three tests –Imola, Paul Ricard and Budapest, Red Bull will work with Pirelli at Barcelona and Silverstone, Alfa Romeo will try out the new 18-inch tyres at Barcelona, McLaren is set to test the new tyres at Budapest, Aston Martin will try them out at Silverstone.
Haas is scheduled to work on the new rubber at Silverstone, AlphaTauri will test the 18-inch tyres at Spielberg while Alpine will bring the test to an end at Magny-Cours on September 16.
Pirelli’s Head of F1 and Car Racing, Mario Isola commented: "We’re looking forward to resuming our tests for the new 18-inch tyres shortly, but as the Covid-19 pandemic – which led to the suspension of the test programme last year – is not yet over, it’s possible that our planned schedule for this year may have to be modified.
„As a result, we have a back-up plan too. Nonetheless, we have put together a programme that should enable us to pick up solidly from where we left off in 2019 and finalise the specification for a new generation of tyre under fresh regulations that will give Formula 1 a very different look next year.
„Many thanks to all the teams for their support in providing simulations and mule cars, giving us a good base to work from. We will be testing both our slick and wet prototype 18-inch tyres for 2022: we started already at Jerez in Spain for three days with Ferrari, and we will end up at France’s Magny-Cours circuit with Alpine in September,“ Isola said.