Pirelli scraps 1800 F1 tyres after Australian GP cancellation

Pirelli has been forced to scrap 1800 of its Formula 1 tyres after the cancellation of the Australian GP without a single lap being run – but they will have a second life as fuel for an Oxfordshire cement factory.

Pirelli scraps 1800 F1 tyres after Australian GP cancellation

With the current generation of tyres and wheel rims, Pirelli always has to write off tyres that have been mounted but not been used, because of possible damage when they are taken off the rims.

At flyaway races there is no choice but to dismount them, as transporting rims by air is the responsibility of the teams.

In Europe, unused mounted tyres can be transported by road still on their rims, and then re-used at the next race.

Pirelli is used to scrapping unused tyres at the end of a flyaway weekend – often having to throw away 560 wets if there are no weather issues – but the Australian situation is unprecedented in terms of wastage.

Read Also:

Complete sets of 1800 unmounted tyres have already arrived via sea in both Bahrain and Vietnam.

After the postponement of the two races, they will be kept on site in case the races are rescheduled, and if the events don't take place then they can be shipped to another late season event where the same compounds are used.

"We finished mounting the tyres on Thursday afternoon, and then we had to dismount everything," Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola told Motorsport.com in Melbourne.

"The tyres for Bahrain and Vietnam are already there, but it's not a problem. We use sea freight for most of the tyres, and they are in thermal controlled containers. It's like having them in a warehouse, it doesn't make any difference for them. If there is any change in the calendar we can use them.

"The only problem is for tyres that are already fitted, because in that case those tyres are going to be stripped.

"At the moment the limitation is that when we strip a tyre from the rim, we give a stress to the bead, and then obviously we are not confident to fit the tyre again, because of the level of forces acting on these tyres is huge. So we don't want to take any risk.

"For the European events we can carry them over, because if we don't use them we keep them fitted, and we load our trucks with tyres and rims.

"In the future, and considering that we will have a sole supplier and standard design for the rims, we will try to work together in order to find a way to fit and strip tyres and re-use them. But we need to make sure that we are not taking any risk."

Used and unused tyres are returned by sea freighter to the UK, where they are disposed of as fuel.

"We crush the tyres in order to fit them in fewer containers, and send them back to the UK where we recycle them in a cement factory close to Didcot. We burn them at high temperature, and we create energy, but not pollution.

"We are investigating many possible ways for recycling F1 tyres, but at the moment this is the way we recycle them after all our analysis."

In Australia last weekend Pirelli took special precautions to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

"We organised the fitting area to minimise to contacts across people, because the point is that Pirelli is in contact with all the teams, so we need to prevent spreading the virus everywhere if there is any contact. So we were trying to manage it in a clever way in the fitting area."

shares
comments
The phone call that sealed Australian GP's fate

Previous article

The phone call that sealed Australian GP's fate

Next article

How Formula E set an example for F1 to follow

How Formula E set an example for F1 to follow
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Australian GP
Author Adam Cooper
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Prime

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Portuguese Grand Prix driver ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warm-up. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021