Oh joyous day! With the new regulations set to appear for the 2021 season of Formula One comes a new set of wheel and tire specifications. The sport is reportedly going to be switching to an 18" wheel package for all cars. With this new switch, the FIA will apparently be asking Pirelli for a more robust and dependable treadwear. While some choose to complain most loudly about the sound of the V6 turbo engines, I’ll stand up and shout about terrible tires all the live long day.
This change in tire wear is intended to encourage drivers to battle each other more fervently. The current Pirelli tires are built intentionally to wear quite quickly and only have a very narrow window of proper operation. By giving tires a longer grip life, drivers will have more time available to pounce on competitors without completely rooting their chances for the rest of the race.
The quick-wearing tires were built at the behest of the FIA in an effort to make passing easier between cars on new tires and cars on worn tires. As you can see from the painfully processional races that have been put on over the last handful of years, this mission never really became reality. So, it’s time for a change.
Nikolas Tomazis, the FIA’s head of single seater technical matters, told Motorsport.com, “We want to have tyres that enable people to fight each other without degrading or only giving a short interval for the person attacking to attack. What the current tyres are is a product of what has been asked of them [Pirelli], and I think we need to ask them to do different things to what they have been asked in the past.”
This is just another way that the 2021 F1 regulations appear to be shaking up the order of things. Which team will be best at building a car for these regulations? Time will tell.