New criteria coming for 2021 Pirelli tyres

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

The way Pirelli are set goals for their tyre compounds is to change from the 2021 season as F1 alters the criteria of their target letters.

In recent years Pirelli, F1 and the FIA have agreed on what they want from the Italian company’s tyres through a series of goals put into what’s called a target letter.

Their behaviour on-track, laptime deltas and the number of pit stops are examples of the targets set out in the document, but from 2021 there will be a greater focus on addressing the characteristics of the tyres with improving the quality of racing in mind.

F1 believes that the overheating tyres are playing a role in the current struggles for drivers to follow each other on the track, and while Pirelli say nothing has been decided yet, there will be changes to the way their briefs are set out come 2021.

Pirelli’s head of car racing Mario Isola told “The biggest difference is we identified a number of targets that are a priority, like the working range and the reduction in overheating.

“Plus we are also defining the numbers for delta laptime and degradation.

“So instead of having a letter with all the targets set at the same level [of importance], we want to focus on the more important ones.

“It makes it clearer for us. But it is not making our life easier, because when you have clear targets you have to achieve the targets. But we share and agree on the targets, and that is important.

“Overheating is one of the main targets. “If with the new aero package [in 2021] the loss of downforce is much less compared to now, this will help a lot the tyres. There will be less sliding, less surface overheating, and it is the right direction.”

But, Grand Prix Drivers Association director Romain Grosjean confirmed that the GPDA have submitted their own interesting proposals on the matter.

“We have seen it in Mexico, as soon as you get close to the car in front they [the tyres] are cooked,” he explained.

“We’ve made a long report, the GPDA. We have given all our feedback and our input and we hope Pirelli can go MotoGP style, where they can bring a new tyre every race and if it is good we can use it and if not we don’t use it. Regulations seem to be more complicated in F1, but tyres are still a big thing.

“There is not much else we can do that we haven’t done already. We’ve given our feedback and said we need changes.”

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