Milan, Italy – The Federation International de l'Automobile (FIA) and Formula 1 have extended Pirelli’s exclusive tire supply contract to F1 by a year, following Covid-19 disruptions during the 2020 season.
The contract, awarded in 2018, originally covered the supply of 13-inch tires for the 2020 season, followed by three consecutive seasons of 18-inch tires between 2021 to 2023, according to Pirelli.
However, due to the pandemic, tire development tests were cancelled by FIA and Formula 1 and new technical regulations, which included 18-inch tires, were postponed from 2021 to 2022, Pirelli explained in a 5 March statement.
As a result, the current rules now state that 13-inch tires will be used during the 2021 season, with a move to 18-inch tires in 2022.
The timing change in the contract, Pirelli noted, will reflect the original intention of the 2018 tire tender and remain within the overall technical framework.
“Pirelli… are working very hard to make sure that their products will represent the best balance between performance and durability in the new technical context,” said Stefano Domenicali, Formula 1 president and CEO.
The shift to 18” wheels and tires has presented “a significant technical challenge requiring a lot of investment and development on behalf of Pirelli to deliver high-performing tires, said Jean Todt, FIA president.
“In light of this, and the necessary postponement of the new regulations as a result of the pandemic, it is only logical to extend the supply of tires accordingly,” he added.