Renault: Right to tweak cars to help Pirelli

Date published: June 23 2020

Renault cars lining up

Renault F1 managing director Cyril Abiteboul says he supports the sport’s decision to change the floors for 2021 in order to help Pirelli.

Next season Formula 1 will continue to run the 2019 Pirelli tyres, putting them on track for a third successive season.

While initially Pirelli had planned to introduce new tyres for 2020 that was put on hold when the teams voted to continue running the 2019 rubber.

That tyre’s life was then extended through to 2021 as Formula 1 has delayed the introduction of new regulations, including the move to 18 inches, until 2022.

In order to make sure the tyres stay within a safe range for tyre pressure next year, the Formula 1 teams will have to tweak their floors in the off season to reduce the car’s downforce.

Abiteboul believes it is the right call.

“I’ve been a supplier of engines, and I know the difficulty of being a supplier to F1,” the Frenchman told Autosport.

“It’s a big ask, a lot of expectation.

“I think we need to do a slightly better job in giving sufficient notice and stability on our decisions so that Pirelli are given the opportunity to develop the right product for what we want to do.

“If you take the example of this year, let’s not forget the circumstances.

“We were supposed to move to 18 inches next year, but we decided just when we were coming back from Australia to postpone the regulations by a year, and we always need to look at the consequences of our decisions.

“Having taken that decision I think it also makes sense that we try to slightly adjust our cars to their product, at least in the short term.”

Abiteboul says that decision is a good sign for 2022.

“I think medium term, for 2022 in particular, we need to make sure that the right products are developed for our cars, with the right assumptions,” he said.

“Sometimes what’s remarkable with F1 is that the grid in general is capable of going above our assumptions.

“I think everyone has been surprised by the amount of aerodynamic development that we’ve been able to generate in the last 12 months, despite a change of regulations with the simplified front wing, and so on.

“It’s also a bit of a credit to the sport that it’s a constant moving target for a supplier like Pirelli, but having said that for 2022 we all need to be perfectly aligned with what we will be needed.”

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