F1 rules for 18-inch wheels were set for the new 2021 season but due to Covid-19 lockdown and global financial crisis debut of the bigger rim tyres along with other major rules changes is pushed to the F1 season of 2022.
Originally Italian based tyre manufacturer were getting 25 days of tyre testing, which were to be done over the course of 2020 season using Mule cars, all teams were to participate in this slick and wet tyres 25-day testing.
But to the misfortune of Covid-19 Pirelli could only conduct one test with Ferrari in February at Jerez after that the testing was put on hold and rules were pushed to 2022.
Planned locations for the Pirelli testing were Fiorano (Italy), Bahrain, Barcelona (Spain), Red Bull Ring (Austria), Silverstone (UK), Suzuka (Japan) and Paul Ricard (Franc), and included five days of wet running at the French GP venue.
18-inch tyre testing is now have to be done along the course 2021 season and tyre are be definitely be ready before the Abu Dhabi GP for a usual every year like tyre testing after the season finale.
But even though there is a plan and Pirelli have a whole year and reminder of this year as well, Pirelli boss Mario Isola is uncertain about the schedule and whether the testing would even be possible or not, cause of the rising Covid-19 cases and increasing restrictions.
"It will be very difficult to fit the 25 days of testing in next year's calendar," he said.
"We know for sure that we are going to start the season with COVID restrictions still in place.
"As soon as there is a draft of the calendar, we will try to put some days in it.”
"One option for example is to try and use as much as possible the Tuesday and Wednesday after events, so staying on the same track. This minimises the movement of the teams.
"We have to consider that quarantine will still be in place, moving from one country to another, this kind of stuff.
"We will try to do a clever and flexible plan for testing, but it is clear that without testing, we cannot introduce the 18-inch tyres, so we have to find a solution.
"It's not easy, but we will do our best. Together with the teams we will try to introduce a calendar for these criteria."
Another problem facing Pirelli is that only Paul Ricard is properly equipped for wet tyre running.
"For wet testing it's difficult or impossible to test on the same circuits," said Isola.
"Other than Paul Ricard, which is the only circuit with sprinklers, or in Fiorano, but in Fiorano we don't have a Grand Prix. So, for wet testing we have to make a plan that is not linked to one event."
Andrew Green technical director of Racing Point also echoed the Mario Isola’s views and said teams and Pirelli both are having a tough time and will have to sort out the schedule.
"We don't really know how next season is going to pan out yet," he said.
"But I can see unless we clear this pandemic quite quickly in the early part of next year, then 18-inch testing is going to become really difficult.
"I'm sure we will do something, but it's probably not going to be the testing schedule that we'd all like."
Quotation courtesy of Autosports.com