Pirelli concludes at Paul Ricard 18-inch F1 test program


Pirelli wrapped up at Paul Ricard on Monday its 18-inch F1 tyre testing program that is supporting the introduction of F1's new-spec wheels in 2022.

After a recent two-day session at Magny Cours was cut short by a technical issue, Alpine and reserve driver Daniil Kvyat were on duty in southern France to cap Pirelli's final test.

The Russian driver ran exclusively on the manufacturer's intermediate tyres on the artificially watered track, raking in 167 trouble-free laps.

Pirelli stressed that Formula 1's s switch to new low-profile tyres represents a technical revolution for the pinnacle of world motorsport that required an intense research and development programme.

Save for Williams, which did not have an older-spec car available, all F1 teams took part in Pirelli's comprehensive development campaign which totaled 4,267 laps or more than 20,000 kilometres of on-track running.

"With this latest wet test we finally close our development schedule for the new 18-inch tyres," commented Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

"Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that 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 onto the base construction, and finally homing in on the five compounds that 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."

Isola says that Pirelli will fine-tune in 2022 the development of its product, which will be fitted to F1's all-new specification cars, next season with an additional series of test days.

"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."

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