Straight off the back of the Monza F2 demonstration, Pirelli have been on track for the first time with the new for 2021 specification 18-inch Formula One wheel.
Bolted on to the test mule Renault F1 car of former Williams racer Sergey Sirotkin, Pirelli are present for the remainder of the week at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France, putting the first laps on the new 18-inch wheels set to be introduced into Formula One for the 2021 season.
Having already completed substantial testing with the F2 specification rubber during the course of the last 12 months, Pirelli admitted they have started running in Paul Ricard without any set expectations on how the vastly different wheel and tyres will perform in France:
“We started the F2 tests with 18-inches. That is going quite well, so hopefully we have the same result with Formula 1,” explained Pirelli’s Head of F1 and Car Racing, Mario Isola. “I don’t want to call it a ‘shakedown’, because we are going to test for two days and we have a programme that is quite big.
“We want to test different solutions to have a better idea. We have these three sessions to understand and assess the baseline for next year and then, obviously, we will have a full year of development next year to finalise. The challenge is big, as I’ve said many times…”Sirotkin managed a respectable 94 laps in pleasant weather at Paul Ricard, with no official times or comments about the performance of the new tyres released by either Renault or Pirelli.
Pirelli are expected to consider substantial additional running with the new wheel and tyres over the course of the next few months.
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