However, following tests in Austin and the subsequent two-day test in Abu Dhabi, it was decided to stick with the current (2019) tyres after the teams – in a rare move – unanimously voted not to accept the 2020 tyres on offer.
Trying to put the best available face on the situation, Pirelli says the move will benefit the teams.
Together Pirelli, the FIA and the teams have taken into account several different factors in reaching their decision, explained the Italian manufacturer.
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, which will now allow the teams to continue the development of their 2020 cars – which are already at an advanced stage – uninterrupted.
The use of the 2019 tyres also guarantees the teams stability, insists the company, which has the sole tyre supplier rights until 2023, with the advantage of using a well-known product during the final season of the current regulations.
The new solutions for the 2020 tyres tested last week, 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.
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, said the Italian manufacturer.
The development test campaign with 18-inch tyres for 2021 onwards will continue throughout 2020, beginning in February with Ferrari at Jerez in Spain.
Of course, this likely means more one-stop races, while, once again, F1 has missed an opportunity to shake things up a little by not allowing Pirelli to ‘skip’ a compound as was the case in 2018.