After 4267 laps, Pirelli end 18-inch tyre test schedule

Jamie Woodhouse
Alfa Romeo work on an 18-inch Pirelli tyre. Spain, May 2021.

An Alfa Romeo crew member works on a prototype Pirelli 18-inch tyre. Spain, May 2021.

The mammoth Pirelli testing programme for the 18-inch 2022 compounds has been brought to a close by Daniil Kvyat.

When the new generation of Formula 1 challengers was delayed by a season until 2022 the upgraded tyres were too, giving Pirelli another year to work on them.

The current 13-inch specs are to make way for 18-inch replacements, and 28 days of on-track testing has gone into developing them.

That programme has now been completed courtesy of Alpine reserve driver Kvyat, who was at Paul Ricard, home of the French Grand Prix, to put the prototypes through their final paces in a wet-weather test.

In total, Pirelli say 4267 laps were driven on 30 different physical specifications which made it onto the track. A total of 392 sets were used.

As for the distance covered, Pirelli put that at 20,000 kilometres or nearly “half the earth’s circumference”.

Quoted by the Pirelli website, their Formula 1 boss Mario Isola said: “With this latest wet test, we finally close our development schedule for the new 18-inch tyres.

“Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic meant we had to revise our test programme entirely, cancelling on-track testing to concentrate on simulation as well as virtual development and modelling.

“This system of virtual screening helped us optimise the number of physical prototypes produced and return to on-track testing for 28 days throughout 2021.

“We started off the development process with the profile before moving on to the base construction and finally homing in on the five compounds we will homologate for next year.

“The results obtained up to now have been arrived at with the input of the drivers currently competing in the championship – a vital aspect for us, albeit using mule cars.


“Next year, we will still have some test days at our disposal which will allow us to fine-tune the 2022 tyre with the new cars if needed.

“Once the specification has been validated by the FIA, the drivers will have the chance to try out the definitive 18-inch tyres at the test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, although we will have to wait for next year’s pre-season tests to see these tyres in action on the 2022 cars for the first time.”