Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli has announced a plan to test new 18-inch tires that will be used in Formula 1 from 2022, and nine out of ten teams will take part in the testing.
Pirelli plans to undertake 10 test sessions totalling 28 days this year with nine Formula 1 teams in preparation for the 2022 season, which introduces new technical regulations along with a move to 18-inch tyres.
This, of course, is subject to any restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The development of the new 18-inch tyres actually started back in 2019, before being paused for a year as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, 18-inch testing resumes with a varied programme of slicks (seven sessions) and wets (three sessions) that takes in four stand-alone tests and six that will run immediately after a grand prix.
The first two sessions took place at Jerez in Spain with Ferrari from February 22-24: both slick and wet tyres were tested. In total, the test sessions cover 20 days throughout 2021, but as more than one car will be running during some of those days, there will be 28 ‘car days’ in all over the course of the year (22 days in the dry and six days in the wet).
“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,” said Mario Isola from Pirelli motorsport.
“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.”
2022 18-INCH TYRE DEVELOPMENT TEST CALENDAR