Pirelli begins 2021 Formula 1 tyre testing

Sergey Sirotkin on track with the 2021 Pirelli tyres

Pirelli has taken to the Paul Ricard Circuit in France to test its new 2021 specification 18 inch Formula 1 tyres.

Renault test driver Sergey Sirotkin performed the duties on track in a modified Renault RS18, with the early focus on the construction of the new tyre.

The Russian driver chalked up 94 laps of running on the new rubber during the opening day of the two-day test.

Formula 1 currently runs on 13 inch wheels, while Formula 2 is making the step up to the larger diameter rims next season.

Testing of Formula 2’s new wheels has been taking place in Hungary, where Pirelli recorded 139 laps of running earlier this week.

“We started the F2 tests with 18-inches,” Pirelli boss Mario Isola told the sport’s official website.

“That is going quite well, so hopefully we have the same result with Formula 1.

“I don’t want to call it a ‘shakedown’, because we are going to test for two days and we have a program that is quite big.

“We want to test different solutions to have a better idea,” he added.

“We have these three sessions (tests) to understand and assess the baseline for next year and then, obviously, we will have a full year of development next year to finalise.”

There are two further tests for F1’s 2021 rubber, with McLaren next month and then Mercedes at the end of the year.

Joining Sirotkin on track was Esteban Ocon, who drove a Mercedes as Pirelli worked on next year’s tyres.

Ocon’s outing was the last scheduled running for the 2020 tyre development, with Pirelli having lobbied unsuccessfully for a further test in October.

Testing of the 2021 tyres continues on Friday.

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