New F1 tyre pressure sensors for 2022

Max Verstappen following his high-speed Azerbaijan crash

New tyre pressure sensors are set to be introduced into Formula 1 next season, offering Pirelli greater visibility during races.

The Italian tyre manufacturer hit the headlines earlier this year following two high-speed failures at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen both crashed out of the race, the latter while leading with just a handful of laps remaining, while navigating the long front straight.

In both instances, the rear-left tyre gave way and speared them into the barrier.

Investigations were carried out and conclusions drawn, implying the failures were a result of teams pushing the envelope with their tyres.

That was vehemently denied by both Aston Martin (Stroll) and Red Bull (Verstappen) while others called for transparency over proceedings.

“After the investigation was concluded, we sent our report to the FIA,” explained Pirelli’s motorsport boss, Mario Isola.

“We don’t have the possibility to monitor and police the running pressures and the running conditions, simply because we don’t have a standard sensor at the moment.

“These will be implemented in 2022, but at the moment it’s a sensor that the data [is] coming from teams.

“So we have to rely on measurement that the FIA can do directly.”

Following the Azerbaijan drama, a new rear tyre was introduced in time for the British Grand Prix.

A new Technical Directive was also issued, clarifying the requirements of teams in the preparation of their cars and tyres.

Part of that was a lifting of the minimum pressure, a move which was unpopular with drivers.

“When we spoke to the FIA, and we explained the conclusion of our investigation, they decided to implement the Technical Directive,” Isola explained.

New checks and controls were introduced as a means of supplementing the existing policing of starting pressure, making it more difficult for teams to subvert the regulations.

“We make some assumptions on not only parameters,” Isola reasoned.

“It’s important that tyres are operated within these assumptions as any other part of the car.

“That’s why with this new Technical Directive, or upgraded Technical Directive, we are happy with the result.”

Pirelli has recently concluded development testing of its 2022-spec slick tyres, designed to fit the increased 18” wheels.

A further test at Magny-Cours will finalise the manufacturer’s wet range.

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