F1 teams unanimously vote to keep 2019 Pirelli compound for next season

Formula One teams have voted against using Pirelli’s proposed new tyre compounds for the 2020 season, following Abu Dhabi’s important post-season test.

The new compound tyres, which have been designed by Pirelli to be less sensitive and more conducive to the promotion of harder racing, were tested at the Yas Marina circuit last week, alongside the 2019 compounds used this season.

Following the test, however, both drivers and teams have agreed that the tyres do not offer enough of a difference to be preferable to those already used.

The news will be something of a setback for Pirelli, who have spent much time designing the news tyres in accordance with the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association (GDPA) request for more durable rubber that can be pushed harder and work in optimum range for a longer duration. For some time, the trend has been towards faster wearing tyres at the softer end of the range, meaning races are more about team tactics and tyre management than ever before.

Abu Dhabi is not the first time that teams have tested the proposed 2020 tyres at length, with October tests in Barcelona and the Circuit of the Americas also returning negative feedback from drivers including Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Romain Grosjean.

“The FIA would like to thank both Pirelli and all the teams for their work and collaboration to improve the tyres for the 2020 season and beyond,” read an FIA statement. “In any case, the lessons learnt will be invaluable for the further improvement of the tyres in the future.”

The task for Pirelli will now be to continue work in earnest on the lower profile 2021 compound tyres that will be fitted to bigger to 18-inch wheels. It will be an important job, with the radical 2021 regulation, budget and car design changes aimed at levelling the playing field yet further and promoting the closest racing to date.

Motorsport Technology