Pirelli concluded their 18-inch tyre test at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on Monday with Alpine F1 Team test and reserve driver Daniil Kvyat. The 18-inch tyre will replace the current 13-inch tyre for the 2022 FIA Formula One season. Over the course of the test programme, Pirelli completed a total of 4,267 development laps.
The development campaign for the new 18-inch tyres was a comprehensive operation from start to finish, involving more than 10,000 hours of indoor testing, more than 5000 hours of simulation, and more than 70 prototypes developed virtually, which resulted in 30 physical specifications tested on-track by the drivers. A total of 4267 laps were driven, making up more than 20,000 kilometres: around half the earth’s circumference. The numbers of sets used was 392, equivalent to 1568 tyres.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING commented saying:
“With this latest wet test we finally close our development schedule for the new 18-inch tyres. 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. 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. 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, 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.”