F1 teams reviewing Pirelli target letter for 2020-21

The FIA has sent a new Pirelli tyre target letter to all the Formula 1 teams, and is now awaiting feedback before its contents are frozen and it’s signed off.

The letter covers both next year and 2021, the first season with the new 18-inch tyres that are a major part of the future rules package.

Following months of discussions all parties have agreed on three main targets of a wider working range, less overheating, and low degradation.

Details such as the specific numbers for the latter could yet be modified, depending on the feedback of the teams.

“They have the target letter now,” said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola.

“And we are happy to receive their comments as soon as possible to see if we can address some of the requests. The process is ongoing. And obviously in this target letter we also cover 2021, so there’s double work on that.

“We worked a lot on the target letter, together with the FIA and F1, because it’s not easy to measure the targets and define the targets. Sometimes people believe that it’s just a matter of writing a number on a piece of paper, but it’s not like that.

“You need to understand the numbers, you have to understand how to measure the targets, otherwise it’s useless, and we are working hard on that. And we probably need to review the target letter in the future to adapt it to the conditions that we will experience with 18ins tyres and so on.

“The idea is to go on a low degradation tyre, more resistant to overheating, so drivers can push the tyres and so on.

“Then we have to define exactly what we mean with that. If we say that we have three compounds at each race with zero degradation, it’s useless because everybody’s just using the quickest. When we say low degradation tyres we have to put numbers on that.”

Isola said that the parameters for 2020 and 2021 are related, but not identical, given the massive change in the dimensions and construction of the 18-inch tyres.

“Yes, some of the targets are very similar, some of the targets are more for 2021, to have something that is comparable when we move to the new size, to understand the level of performance, to understand there are some parameters that they want to consider in order to make the design of the car that is in line with the tyres that you are developing, otherwise you are disconnected, and it’s not good,” he said.

Asked when the teams have to reply, Isola said: “We don’t have deadlines. What is important now is to freeze the targets for 2020, because we are running out of time. And then we have a bit more time for 2021.

“We will start track testing in September, but it’s the first real test with the 18 inch tyre, so we need to understand where we are in terms of product, so we have a bit of time to define the targets for 2021.

“But considering that the plan is to freeze the regulation in October, we should also freeze the target letter in October.”

As previously noted, Pirelli has only one more 2020 track test – with Mercedes at Paul Ricard in September – before it has to finalise next tyres for a group test in Abu Dhabi in December.

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