The 10 F1 teams along with the FIA and Pirelli are to decide on the 2020 tyres next week through vote as 2019 spec could stay on.
Already during the US GP weekend, there was unanimity in the F1 paddock about the performance of the new 2020 tyres. The concerns were shot down as the conditions weren’t too good to stage it and the Abu Dhabi run was said to be the final test.
With the two days of running done and dusted in a much better condition and a tried and tested circuit, the concerns around the 2020 F1 tyres seem to remain as all the drivers who spoke on the matter felt it to be slower than even the 2019 spec.
The construction of the 2020 tyres is different to 2019 as Pirelli banked on making it more for the races rather than focus on qualifying. It is supposed to be run on low pressure but nothing seem to be working as much as all teams have mixed response to different sets.
Mario Isola regarded the C5 compound – which is the softest – as the most improved tyre from 2019 but Haas tester Pietro Fittipaldi felt that the last year’s C5 was better. There are varied opinions but the larger picture coming out is that the 2020 F1 tyres are slow overall.
The debrief on Wednesday at Yas Marina F1 circuit – where FormulaRapida.net was present as well – had Isola admitting to concerns, while revealing that Monday (December 9) is the deadline to decide whether they will continue with the 2019 tyres or move to 2020.
The Italian stressed that if it is the 2019 F1 compound then it will be all the sets used this year and if 2020 then that as there will be no mix of compounds. For now the 2020 tyres are homologated already and for it to change, seven teams need to push for that.
Only if seven F1 teams sign that they want to continue with the 2019 tyres, the FIA will then make the change. “The target is not to have a tyre that is quicker or with the highest peak of grip,” said Isola to media including FormulaRapida.net.
“But to have a tyre with more consistency, less overheating and a wider working range of the compounds. This is the target the teams know exactly what we are looking for so I am sure we will have good feedback in terms of the quality. Then we are open to any decision.
“We have received mixed feedback so far because some of them found an improvement in some characteristics of the tyre or some compounds but not an improvement on some other characteristics, or in some cases the new tyres are not working at the expected level.
“So that’s why it will not be very easy to understand the real performance of the tyres. The current cars are very sophisticated, it’s very difficult. Every time you change a little bit — and the tyres are an important part of the car — the feeling and the reaction is huge.
“So we need to sit down, look at the data, cross the data with the drivers’ feedback which is also an important part of our job, and finally understand which is the best solution together with the rest of the sport.
“For the moment the FIA has homologated the 2020 tyres so this is the product for next year, unless after the test and each team has given feedback to the FIA there is a decision taken by at least 70% of the teams to stay on the 2019 F1 tyre.
“In that case next year’s tires will be the 2019 ones. We have no concerns because the 2019 product is very good. We had an exciting season with a lot of action and good racing so I’m not worried about staying on the 2019.
“In that case, what is important for Pirelli is to understand why we had a different result during our tire development tests compared to the final test. That is important to improve our process and our systems for the future.”
Here’s how Day 1 of F1 Abu Dhabi Pirelli tyre test undergo
Here’s how Day 2 of F1 Abu Dhabi Pirelli tyre test undergo