Pirelli racing chief Mario Isola believes Formula 2’s switch to 18-inch tyres for the 2020 season will help identify any potential issues ahead of the size change in Formula 1 next year.

F1 will make the change from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres for the 2021 season as part of a wider overhaul of the technical regulations.

The size change will first take place in F2 this year, with teams set to complete three days of pre-season running to get used to the new-spec tyre before the opening race in Bahrain on March 21.

Speaking to Crash.net at Autosport International, Isola explained that while the construction and specification of the F2 tyres is different to that used in F1, the switch in 2020 would help identify any future problems for the 2021 change.

“Formula 2 is different. As usual, we make a different product for Formula 2 for a number of reasons: the level of performance, the fact they are not using tyre blankets and so on and so on,” Isola said.

“It’s a good way to anticipate potential issues that we have with Formula 1 in 2021. Obviously having a full racing season with Formula 2 is good to collect data, to understand how it works.

“The Formula 2 development plan was quite concentrated, because we started in March or April, and we finalised the product in December, so it was quite compressed, but it was very positive.

“In terms of performance, Formula 2 18-inch tyres are in line with 13-inch tyres. That is a good result, because I’m not expecting to have slower cars next year. Maybe at the beginning they needed some time to set up the car, but as a general expectation it’s not to have slower cars in 2020.

“This is also a good element to analyse for Formula 1, because in Formula 2, the car is not going to change, so we have a proper tyre comparison between 13 inches and 18 inches.”

 

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