Pirelli rolled out new, prototype 2020 tires for Formula 1 to test out in Abu Dhabi following the end of the season last month. That’s George Russell, doing some testing in the Merc, above. The result of the test?
Computer says no. The proposed designs were unanimously rejected, and teams opted instead to keep the 2019 specification rubber for next year.
This of course means the teams won’t have to change the designs of their 2020 cars—the proposed new rubber had a different profile to this year’s tires—and continue their own development. No doubt at an advanced stage, considering it’s the end of 2019.
Pirelli also said it gives the teams a bit more stability, because 2019’s tires are a known quantity. However, lessons learned from the proposed 2020 tires will be carried over to the 2021 tires (do try and stay awake, please)—lessons like lower tire pressures, which will compensate for the “increased performance expected from the next generation of cars.” That’s better.
Will they allow the drivers to go flat out for longer, though? That’s certainly been a call made by numerous drivers for a long time now—indeed, the modern F1 era is dominated by tire-management issues. If F1 wants to bring the cars closer together, the cars need to be driven flat-out.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.