Following the entertaining and incident-filled British Grand Prix, Formula One's sole tyre manufacturer Pirelli extended its stay at Silverstone by conducting the latest test runs aimed at the 18-inch tyres.
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. The new tyres were due to arrive in 2021, but, 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 will instead work 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 will see each F1 team getting a three-day test with the 18-inch tyres.
The very first test in 2021 was completed by Ferrari with the Italian team conducting test runs at Jerez at the end of February. The Milan-based company has performed a series of runs since, including test sessions at Barcelona, Paul Ricard and the Red Bull Ring.
Following the controversial British Grand Prix, Pirelli stayed at Silverstone with three teams to finesse their all-new product.
A busy day of @SilverstoneUK testing comes to an end for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel with @AstonMartinF1: he put 110 laps on a selection of 2022 #Fit4F1 18-inch prototype tyres. @fia @F1 pic.twitter.com/LXJdl0PxfR— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) July 20, 2021
On Tuesday, Haas, Aston Martin and Red Bull were present at Silverstone. The championship leading outfit was working with test driver and DTM racer Alexander Albon behind the mule Red Bull Racing F1 car, completing only one day of running. The Anglo-Thai driver performed both short and long runs.
The Aston Martin outfit’s F1 car was piloted by Sebastian Vettel, who racked up a total of 110 laps on the 18-inch prototype tyres. Nikita Mazepin was behind the wheel of the Haas’ mule F1 car with the Russian registering 42 laps in the morning with a further 68 trouble-free laps of Silverstone in the afternoon session.
While Red Bull packed up its equipment after the Tuesday running, Haas and Aston Martin continued the work on Wednesday. Mazepin handed his car over to his German team mate Mick Schumacher, whose task was to get to grips with the latest prototype tyres.
The 22-year-old Swiss-born driver racked up 51 lap in the morning and a further 61 laps in the afternoon, assessing the new Pirelli tyre compounds and structures for next year.
Replacing four time world champion Vettel, Lance Stroll was behind the wheel of Aston Martin’s F1 car on Wednesday as he also sampled the 18-inch tyres in preparation for next year. The Belgian-Canadian completed a total of 56 laps in the morning, followed by 68 laps in the afternoon.
The next 18-inch tyre test is due to take place in Mogyoród after the Hungarian Grand Prix with Ferrari and Mercedes working on the new generation tyres.