Pirelli has been a prominent name in Formula 1 since the Italian company became the sole tyre provider in 2011. A lot of speculation was around the paddock on Pirelli working on newer compounds which were to be introduced for the 2020 season. The newer tyre compounds were in action during the afternoon practice sessions during the 2019 US Grand Prix and post the final race of the season - the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. According to Pirelli they had worked on tyre degradation and on providing a wider range of optimum temperature for the rubber. Their Milan headquarters was optimistic about the new range.
However, the feedback they have received from the teams and drivers has been quite astonishing. All 10 F1 teams have voted against the introduction of the newer 2020 rubber compounds. On Tuesday, the teams unanimously rejected the switch. This means that for the 2020 season, the same tyre compound and construction will be used which were used in the 2019 season. One of the drivers who tested the new prototypes was Romain Grosjean who opined:
I don't know. It's too early to say. But it shouldn't really be a question, should it? That's where we are. If you ask me right now, I don't know. Depending on the track I would tell you one or the other... this is not going to happen. After one year of development, you would like to be saying 'I am going to race the 2020, no question'.
In an interview, the Head of Pirelli Motorsport in Formula 1 and car racing, Mario Isola was asked regarding the rejection. He responded thus:
The target was to make a tyre better for racing, not qualifying, we were not focusing on qualifying, we were not focused on peak of grip, the absolute performance of the car. The idea was to have tyres where you can push more, this means that probably we have more one-stop races and so on but that was the discussion and agreement we have.
Formula1 and Pirelli now both have just one more season before a switch to 18 inch rims in 2021.Published 11 Dec 2019, 13:19 IST