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Pirelli opposed to 2021 F1 tyre usage restriction

Pirelli opposed to 2021 F1 tyre usage restriction

Pirelli Formula 1 boss Mario Isola is opposed to a proposal to restrict usage of certain compounds in race weekend practice sessions in 2021.

Among the many suggestions that have been tabled in recent meetings is one that would see drivers not allowed to use one of the three compounds in free practice – in effect adding some uncertainty by creating a step into the unknown for race day, because teams will have no data.

A similar scenario already happens on occasion by default, for example when rain prevents teams from trying all three compounds on Friday and Saturday, or when a driver only has one set of hards for the weekend and ends up using them in the race without having previously run them.

"In 2021 we will have completely new tyres, that means that teams need also time to understand the tyres," said Isola.

"There was a discussion about the possibility to use only specific compounds in free practice, not to give the opportunity to the teams to collect too much information, to add a bit of unpredictability to the race on Sunday.

"But that means for teams with young drivers, that's a big disadvantage. It is maybe possible for 2020, because we have a size of a tyre and a type of tyre that is well known to the teams.

"But in 2021 with the 18 inches and a car that is completely new, we are in an area of unknown, it means that for young drivers it will be very, very difficult.

"They have no more tests, or reduced tests, and on top of that they cannot use three compounds in free practice, you can imagine how difficult it can be for a young driver."

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Isola is also not keen on a suggestion to force drivers to use all three available compounds in races, instead of two, as is currently the case. That would make two pitstops mandatory.

"There was a discussion about that. My feeling about that is it's not going to be approved, because giving an additional constraint, that means using all three compounds, you push the teams to go only in the same direction.

"If the target is to have different strategies we're not going in a good direction to have different strategies, imposing to use all three compounds."

Another possibility discussed was to allow teams more freedom to choose from the five compounds in Pirelli's range, instead of being given just three options for each weekend.

"That was another discussion, and we've offered our availability to give them additional choices, so basically to leave the teams free to decide what they want.

"Maybe in some races we need to put a limit, because if you take the C5 to Suzuka or Silverstone, it could be a too aggressive choice, but maybe some small teams do it just to get a better position for qualifying, and the race is damaged for sure, because with such a compound in a high severity circuit you can run three or four laps.

"So with some limitation, but we also offer the possibility to use more than three compounds, or to use different compounds, but that was not accepted."

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Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper