Pirelli’s unveil new Formula 2 tyres for 18-inch rims in 2020

by Pontus Lindroos
Mario Isola

Italian based tyre company Pirelli have unveiled their brand new tyres for the 18-inch rims for the 2020 Formula 2 season, to replace the previous tyres for the 13-inch rims before they will be introduced with Formula 1 from 2021 onwards, at the annual Autosport International Show in Birmingham NEC.

Pirelli has already supplied the new tyres for private testing but visitors to the show were able to get their first look of the final Formula 2 version.

The introduction of the 18-inch rims to F2 a year before F1 is a beneficial move on two distinct fronts as it will help Pirelli’s engineers to learn more about the larger size as the company prepares to supply F1 from 2021.

Mario Isola
Credit: Pirelli UK

The key parts of Pirelli’s agreement to supply the championship are to help young drivers to prepare for F1, developing tyres feature a degree of deliberate degradation to help the drivers learn about tyre management and to have drivers to use two different compounds of tyre during their feature races.

Introducing 18-inch tyres to F2 will provide the drivers and teams with additional challenges for the 2020 season, because the change in size is a lot more than simply a cosmetic difference. While the rims are larger, the tyres themselves have a smaller sidewall, and that will naturally lead to quite different characteristic,.“explained Mario Isola head of Pirelli’s F1 and car racing after the unveiling took place.

Teams will need to gather new data and even drivers with previous F2 experience will have to master the new characteristics of the latest tyres. A full testing campaign last year proved that the latest rubber is up to the job – now it’s down to the drivers and teams.

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