F1 to retain 2019 tyres for 2020

Following the two-day end of season test in Abu Dhabi, the FIA and Pirelli have opted to continue using the 2019 tyres in 2020.

In a brief statement issued this morning, the FIA said: “After having tested and analysed new specification tyres for 2020, 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.

“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. In any case, the lessons learned will be invaluable for the further improvement of the tyres in the future.”

Following last week’s two-day, Pirelli’s, Mario Isola, though insisting that the 2020 tyres were the best option, admitted that it might be necessary to stick with the current tyres.

“The most important part was giving teams the opportunity to run the 2020 tyres back-to-back with the current 2019 tyres, to see how they compared,” he said. “Although each team’s test programme was – as usual – individual, the drivers have a good subjective impression and the next task is to correlate this with the objective data gathered.

“During the first day, we tended to see shorter runs, with teams concentrating on longer runs during day two. We’ve noted some improvements, especially with the softest C5 tyre, but that’s not always been matched by the tyres with compounds in the middle of the range.

“To get the complete picture, we’ll of course analyse all the data in precise detail over the next days, especially the long run data, which is particularly pertinent.

“Considering the predicted evolution of the cars for next season, we still believe that the 2020 tyre construction remains the best solution, but we are of course open to continue working with the 2019 tyres if this is what the majority of teams desire.”

Having first used the 2020 tyres in Austin, Sebastian Vettel admitted: “It was a disappointment, because there was no step forward. But it’s pretty much done, the tyres are built for next year so that will be it.”

“It just feels like a harder compound to be honest,” added teammate, Charles Leclerc. “I was sliding more, but to be completely honest, on my side I probably need to do a bit more mileage before to give any judgement.”

“If you put the stickers on the side of them I don’t see a difference,” said Romain Grosjean. “We used the two prototypes in the morning, had a good check, they are not any better,” added the Frenchman, “so a bit disappointing from that aspect.”