TPF Redline: Pirelli’s 2020 tires vetoed by teams

Pirelli tested its proposed compounds for 2020 after the last race in 2019 at the Abu Dhabi circuit and from those tests, the teams have voted to not make any changes to the tire construction for 2020.

Basically the teams want things to remain as static as possible and one presumes they are all focused on the 2021 regulation changes and don’t want to spend a lot of cash on crazy development schemes for 2020 if they are preparing to spend a fortune on 2021.

Now F1 could have seen this coming a mile away and I don’t want to rush to judgment here but with such major changes in 2021 being telegraphed for an entire season or two, teams would reluctantly want to make any changes now for the 2020 season knowing they will get hammered with costs in 2021.

What will that mean for the 2020 season? Is there enough changes to make it exciting or is this Lewis’s 7th title on the trot and another Merc-dominated ho-hum season? I’ve parsed a few of the comment in Pirelli’s press release below but I’m curious what you think. Let me know in the comment section below.


Milan, December 10 – Having analysed all the results and team assessments from the recent test in Abu Dhabi, a vote for the specification of the tyres for the 2020 Season was carried out according to Article 12.6.1 of the technical regulations. The vote resulted in a unanimous decision to keep the 2019 specification tyres for the 2020 season by the Formula 1 teams.

Negative Camber
Negative Camber
Interesting they point out the FIA regulation and vote and the language keeps the decision process far from their table.

Together Pirelli, the FIA and the F1 Teams have taken into account several different factors in reaching this decision:

  • The teams will no longer have to modify the designs of their 2020 cars, which would otherwise have been necessary to accommodate the different profile of the 2020 tyre construction.
  • This will now allow the teams to continue the development of their 2020 cars – which are already at an advanced stage – uninterrupted.
Negative Camber
Negative Camber
I have not read why the testing and car development timing was not in sync here and why this year the timing seemed to not work. If the new compounds weren’t working for the teams, then the FIA need to consider that more testing for next year’s compounds needs to take place. Something in this story isn’t adding up because the teams voted due to the pressure they are now under with regards to their 2020 cars which are in full development swing and they don’t want to re-think this over a tire that hasn’t found favor in their eyes.
  • The use of the 2019 tyres also guarantees the teams stability, with the advantage of using a well-known product during the final season of the current regulations.

The new solutions for the 2020 construction tyres tested last week in Abu Dhabi, which Pirelli will continue to develop further for the 18-inch era from 2021, allow lower tyre pressures than those used at the moment to be run. As a result, they are able to compensate for the increased performance expected from the next generation of cars.

Negative Camber
Negative Camber
So Pirelli delivered a tire that during testing for the 2020 campaign with an eye on its evolution to the 18″ tire with lower pressures. It’s interesting in that in the past, lower pressures were something the teams desired and I am not versed enough int eh new tires performance window challenges to know, but perhaps this low-pressure concept wasn’t working for them during testing. Again, why go all-in on this construction or leave it so late in the new car development cycle?

These new solutions seen on the 18-inch tyres that will be used from 2021 onwards, with the first on-track tests in this size have already shown positive results.

The development test campaign with 18-inch tyres for 2021 onwards will continue throughout 2020, beginning in February with Ferrari at Jerez in Spain.

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