Pirelli conclude 18″ tyre testing with Alpine

Pirelli conclude 18 inch tyre testing program

Pirelli, the sole tyre supplier to Formula 1 have announced in a press release today that they have concluded their 18″ tyre testing program with Alpine.

The final test was held at Paul Ricard, France yesterday in wet conditions, with Daniil Kvyat at the wheel of an Alpine F1 car, doing the business for the Italian tyre supplier.

F1 has a raft of aerodynamic changes planned for the cars next year, in the hope to improve racing and allowing the cars to closely follow each other without losing downforce. In addition to that, the sport will be debuting new, low-profile 18″ tyres which are more relevant to tyre trends on road cars.

Pirelli’s head of F1 and Car racing, Mario Isola said in the press release, after the test conclusion: “With this latest wet test we finally close our development schedule for the new 18-inch tyres.”

He went on to explain the challenges that Covid-19 presented: “Last year, the COVID-19 pandemic meant that we had to revise our test programme entirely, cancelling on-track testing to concentrate on simulation as well as virtual development and modelling. This system of virtual screening helped us optimise the number of physical prototypes produced and return to on-track testing for 28 days throughout 2021.”

Isola also gave an overview of their development philosophy saying: “We started off the development process with the profile, before moving onto the base construction, and finally homing in on the five compounds that we will homologate for next year. The results obtained up to now have been arrived at with the input of the drivers currently competing in the championship, a vital aspect for us, albeit using mule cars.

“Next year, we will still have some test days at our disposal, which will allow us to fine-tune the 2022 tyre with the new cars if needed.”

Isola announced when the F1 drivers will sample the final specification of the new 18″ tyres.

“Once the specification has been validated by the FIA, the drivers will have the chance to try out the definitive 18-inch tyres at the test after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix,” he declared, “although we will have to wait for next year’s pre-season tests to see these tyres in action on the 2022 cars for the first time.”

Needless to say, the process was a monumental effort by Pirelli, as the company shared some interesting figures in their press release, showing the level of hard work that has gone into finalizing the 2022 F1 tyres.

There was a total of 36 track testing days divided on all the F1 teams, culminating in 4,267 laps equivalent to 20,000km, while consuming 392 sets of tyres; a total of 1568 tyres!