Pirelli Motorsport’s deal with F1 has been extended by a year due to COVID-19, as WEC is forced to shuffle the 2021 calendar.
The latest FIA WMSC meet approved one-year extension of the contract of Pirelli with F1 after the 18-inch tyres were postponed from a 2021 debut to 2022. The Italian manufacturer had a deal set-up initially running until 2023.
However, the one-year extension means, it will now run until the 2024 F1 season, with Pirelli remaining the sole tyre supplier. “The World Council has agreed to grant a one-year extension to the existing exclusive tyre supply contract with Pirelli to reflect the original intention of the 2018 tyre tender and remain within the overall technical framework in the best interests of all relevant stakeholders,” stated the FIA WMSC.
“The COVID-19 pandemic obliged the FIA and Formula 1 to implement emergency measures that included the cancellation of Pirelli tyre development tests last year and the postponement of planned new technical regulations – which included 18-inch tyres – from 2021 to 2022. As a result, 13-inch tyres will be used during the 2021 season, with a move to 18-inch tyres in 2022.”
In another key decision made by the FIA WMSC, the 2021 calendar for WEC was re-drafted with the change in Le Mans 24 Hours date. And with Portugal hosting MotoGP in April and F1 in May, the organisers were forced to postpone the endurance event.
The Prologue has been shifted out from Portimao to Spa-Franchorchamps, which will now host the first round of the 2021 WEC season. The test will take place on April 26-27, followed by the first round on May 1, which will be a six hours event.
Portimao now will be the second event of eight hours on June 13, with 6 Hours of Monza keeping its July 13 date. The Le Mans 24 Hours will then slot on August 21-22 date, as the race and the series organisers wish to give every chance for fans to attend.
The WEC season will end as it was supposed to with the 6 Hours of Fuji on September 26 and 8 Hours of Bahrain on November 20.
Here’s the FIA report on Romain Grosjean incident
Here’s test schedule of Pirelli for 18-inch tyres
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