- Pandemic delays switch from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres
- Pirelli now has more time to work on the new specifications
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) and Formula One have agreed a one-year extension with the global motorsport series’ exclusive tyre supplier, Pirelli.
The deal was originally signed in 2018 and slated to last until 2023, but that has now been extended due to the delay in new technical regulations.
Pirelli planned to make the switch from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres in 2021, however the Covid-19 pandemic has forced these plans back by one year. The extension means that Pirelli now has more time to work on the new tyres before the series next tender process.
"I want to thank F1 and Pirelli for their collaboration, flexibility and commitment to our sport during this most difficult period," said FIA president Jean Todt.
"Covid-19 has presented us with significant challenges across all aspects of our businesses, but by working together in a sensible, pragmatic way, we have been able to ensure that the long-term stability and strength of F1 remains undiminished.
"The shift to 18-inch wheels and tyres will certainly provide a more exciting image for F1 cars, but it has also presented a significant technical challenge requiring a lot of investment and development on behalf of Pirelli as they continue to deliver tyres that will perform at the highest level.
"In light of this, and the necessary postponement of the new regulations as a result of the pandemic, it is only logical to extend the supply of tyres accordingly".
Elsewhere in Formula One, Aston Martin have announced that they will share safety car and medical car duties with Mercedes for the 2021 season.
Aston Martin and Mercedes have tightened their relationship in the past year, as Mercedes have increased their stake in the British luxury car brand to 60 per cent.
A specially modified Aston Martin Vantage has been built at team headquarters in Gaydon to control on-track race pace when there is an incident or hazard.
The 2021 Formula One season begins on 26th March at Bahrain International Circuit.