Formula 2 cars will use 18-inch Pirelli tyres from the 2020 season, ahead of Formula 1’s planned switch to the same size compounds a year later.

F2 will act as a test bench for Pirelli’s tyre development of the new 18-inch tyres ahead of their introduction to F1 from the 2021 season.

Pirelli will work with F2 to conduct an intensive test programme during 2019 ahead of their 2020 debut.

“We are delighted to introduce 18-inch tyres to grand prix weekends next season, a full year before they race in Formula 1, as the next chapter of our pioneering and proactive partnership with Formula 2,” said Pirelli chief Mario Isola.

“This move will assist us greatly as we develop a new generation of Formula 1 tyres for 2021, and also benefit next year’s Formula 2 drivers themselves as they gain early experience of the future tyre size in Formula 1.”

Sefano Domenicali, president of the FIA single-seater commission, added: “The FIA Formula 2 Championship marks the final step in young drivers’ careers as they strive to achieve a place in Formula 1, and with these plans to introduce, test and develop a new tyre profile next season ahead of its introduction into F1, we are showing that Formula 2 is not only the place to prove the top driving talent, but also the latest technologies.

“Former F2 drivers have been very impressive so far in the 2019 F1 season, and the more we can make Formula 2 aligned with the technical and sporting philosophies of Formula 1 the better prepared young drivers will be to come and take on motor sport’s top challenge.”

F1 chief technical officer Pat Symonds reckons the move is a great opportunity to develop the new tyres prior to their introduction into F1.

“The FIA Formula 2 Championship has already proven to be the best possible feeder series for young rising talents who aspire to succeed in Formula 1 and now it’s going to used as a feeder for technology,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for our sport that the tyre development for 2021 can be done not only during bespoke testing but also in a racing environment. The amount of data that Pirelli and Formula 2 will be able to collect in the next 16 months will be very important for the next generation of Formula 1 tyres.”

 

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