Formula 1 is open to the idea of debuting Pirelli’s 2020 prototype tyres towards the end of the 2019 season and could even use them in races.

Pirelli is allowed to supply teams with two sets of prototype tyres to be used in free practice sessions during a grand prix weekend, but the Italian manufacturer’s tyre head, Mario Isola, suggested F1 could change the regulations to allow for 2020-spec tyres to be used in races at the end of the season.

“It is possible because the current regulations allow us to do that, so we can supply two additional sets of prototype tyres for evaluation during Friday.” Isola said during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend.

“And there was also the discussion to slightly change the regulations to understand if different tyres can be used during the race weekend, not just in free practice.

“This is, as I said, a completely new idea and it has to be evaluated and discussed and the FIA should come with a wording to propose.

“But we are open to evaluate that and we will continue our development test for the next weeks, but if we also have the opportunity it is a good opportunity to test the product for next year during the season.”

A number of F1 teams were pushing for Pirelli to revert to 2018’s thicker-gauge tyre construction following Mercedes’ dominant start to the campaign, but the move failed to gain enough traction during a team vote held in the Spielberg paddock ahead of the race.

Pirelli held a tyre test specifically for 2020 tyre development directly after the race weekend in Spielberg, while a further test is scheduled following the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

“We continue our development for 2020,” Isola explained. “As I already said, the main target is to have a wider working window for next year’s compounds.

“So, both in Austria and after Silverstone we will test new compounds, new philosophy, new types of compounds in order to achieve this target, in order to finalise the new construction for next year - because the current cars are really faster and faster.

“That means they are putting more energy into the tyres and we have to cope with this energy and all the modification of the construction is to make them work better, and the compounds to have a wider working range and no issues with the aero map, and no blisters and overheating.

“Obviously the target is always to reduce overheating because it’s something the tyres don’t like, so I would say the two main targets are keeping that… safety is a target that is always there, we cannot consider a tyre that is not safe for Formula 1.

“The targets are to have a wider working range and less overheating for next year.”

 

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