Renault tests low-profile 2021 tyre during Paul Ricard test

With Formula One cars set to run bigger, 18-inch wheels and wider, low-profile tyres in 2021, Renault tried out the new tyres for the first time during a test at Paul Ricard on Thursday and Friday.

Currently, F1 cars are running 13-inch wheel rims but the decision to change to bigger rims and low-profile tyres, along with other changes for 2021, is being made for technical and financial reasons. Specifically, teams currently spend a large amount of time and money in trying to understand the distortion and wear of the tyres in aerodynamic simulations, which will be made easier with a lower-profile tyre.

With Sergey Sirotkin behind the wheel of the modified Renault to test the 2021 tyre, Mercedes’ Esteban Ocon is also testing the 2020 Pirelli tyres, that will be run by all teams at the end of season Abu Dhabi test in December.

Another tyre change to be introduced in 2021 will see a ban on tyre blankets, used to keep the tyres at optimum working temperature on the grid before the start of the race. Formula 2 already runs without tyre blankets and is switching to 18-inch tyres next season.

“We know that Pirelli needs more test time,” Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul told Motorsport.com. “I think it’s important that we need to find a way to do it, to support them, but also in a way that’s fair to all competitors.

“It’s a bit of a frustrating situation, but right now we need to be able to come together to support Pirelli so that we have a product that is spectacular, safe and appropriate for F1. I think we need to have certainty that we’re embarking on something that will improve the situation and will be better.”

The test concludes on Friday, with McLaren running a further test in October and Mercedes in December.

Motorsport Technology

Motorsport Technology