Pirelli completes another 18-inch tyre test at the Red Bull Ring

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Formula One's single tyre manufacturer Pirelli has brought its latest 2022 18-inch tyre test to an end, racking up high mileage with AlphaTauri's race drivers, Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda.

Beside the revolutionary new aerodynamic configuration, Formula One is set to introduce a brand-new tyre specification next year with the 18-inch tyres due to make their debut in 2022. With the world still grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, the introduction of the new tyres was postponed to 2022.

The postponement meant that Pirelli cancelled its preparation and on-track runs that were scheduled for 2020 and is instead working on the new tyres this year. After requesting a permission from the FIA to increase the number of test days, the Milan-based was granted a 30-day test programme that began on February 23 with Ferrari completing test runs at Jerez.

Pirelli and AlphaTauri stayed for a two-day tyre test programme at the Red Bull Ring while the rest of the field left the track which hosted the Styrian and the Austrian Grands Prix over the last two weekends.

Tuesday saw Pierre Gasly get behind the wheel of his modified AlphaTauri car that was fitted with the prototype 2022 18-inch slick tyres. The Frenchman completed 69 laps in the morning and performed a busy afternoon to rack up 164 laps in total.

The second day of the tyre development programme continued with his team mate, Yuki Tsunoda, who tried out a number of different options on Wednesday. The Kanagawa-born driver completed 59 laps in the morning and a further 72 laps in the afternoon to finish Pirelli’s experiment with its all-new product for Formula One’s 73th season.

Pirelli is set to continue its excessive tyre testing at Silverstone after next weekend’s British Grand Prix.