Formula 1 (F1) is set to stick with its 2019-specification Pirelli tyres next year after its teams unanimously voted to reject the new specifications that were being prepared for the 2020 season.
The 2020 prototype made its race weekend debut at Austin during free practice but earned negative reviews from drivers despite the spec being designed to reduce tyre degradation, provide a wider working range of temperature and lower overheating in dirty air.
As a result of the negativity surrounding the new specification, F1’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), tabled the option of continuing with the 2019 model of tyres.
Following this decision, the FIA announced the sport would continue utilising the 2019 specifications following the unanimous vote from its F1 teams. This is due to the fact that item 12.6.1 of the F1 technical regulations was met, which required such a decision to receive the approval of at least 70% of all competing teams within the sport.
An FIA released statement read: “The FIA would like to thank both Pirelli and all the teams for their work and collaboration to improve the tyres for the 2020 season and beyond. In any case, the lessons learnt will be invaluable for the further improvement of the tyres in the future.”
As a result of the decision, F1’s final season before a major change to regulations will remain largely uninterrupted as teams will now be racing on a tyre they are familiar with, as well as having the added benefit of not having to modify the designs of cars to incorporate the proposed 2020 specification tyres.
A statement released by Pirelli explained that the tyre manufacturer also had input in the decision to remain with the 2019 specs: “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.
“This 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, with the advantage of using a well-known product during the final season of the current regulations.”
With this being said, F1’s official tyre partner confirmed that despite its plans for the proposed 2020 model being scrapped, it would use its data when developing the specifications for the new 18-inch tyres which are set to debut in 2021.
Pirelli added: “The new solutions for the 2020 construction tyres tested last week in Abu Dhabi, 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.”