High-deg tyres will be ditched for 2021

Jamie Woodhouse
Pirelli have confirmed details for the FP2 testing of their 2021 F1 prototype tyres at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

High-degradation tyres look set to be ditched for 2021 with Formula 1 bosses believing they are “not the way” to go.

Among the many changes scheduled for 2021 in a complete overhaul of the series, a ground effect concept for the cars has been revealed by Formula 1 chiefs to allow drivers to follow each other, while 18-inch wheels will be introduced.

Now, it appears that the tyres for said wheels will no longer be focused around high-degradation, allowing drivers to push harder.

“We want to have tyres that enable people to fight each other without degrading or only giving a short interval for the person attacking to attack,” the FIA’s head of single seater technical matters Nikolas Tomazis told Autosport.

“The current tyres are a product of what has been asked of [Pirelli], and I think we need to ask them to do different things to what they have been asked in the past.”

Formula 1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds confirmed that talks with Pirelli and teams are already underway to decide on a clear plan for the 2021 compounds.

“In the past we have maybe asked for the wrong things,” he explained.

“It is a very complex problem, but it is something that we don’t have a clear idea on yet.

“We are doing a lot of simulation and there are many things you can do, but we do believe that pitstops are important in F1.

“We know our fans enjoy these two/three second pitstops so we do want to have a level of pitstops.

“Perhaps an easy thing to do would be to have a Le Mans tyre that would go on and on and on, but then we would lose the pit stops.

“I have spent a lot of time talking to some of the teams who are going to help us with this task through simulation, but it is a difficult one.

“I completely agree with Nikolas: we were asking completely the wrong things of Pirelli over the last few years. The high degradation target was not the way to go, I think.”

Pirelli hope a decision is reached quickly so they can begin planning and working on the 2020 tyres.

Mario Isola, Pirelli’s head of car racing, told Autosport: “If we have to modify the targets for 2021 we need to know quite soon because we are going to start the development of those tyres.

“If F1 wants to go to low degradation tyres, or to have bigger delta or any other idea, if it is feasible we are happy to go in this direction.”

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