Ferrari is reportedly set to stage a test session at Jerez next week, focusing on the new 18-inch wheels that will be introduced in 2022.
Formula 1 currently uses 13-inch tyres provided by Pirelli. The planned change is part of a new set of technical specifications being introduced next year to help boost on-track competition.
The new rules and regulations were originally expected to be brought in for 2021, but that was pushed back by a year because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
However F1 director of motorsports Ross Brawn is insistent that whatever happens this season, there will be no further delay and that the changes would definitely be implemented in 2022.
- Read also: Pirelli reveals tyre compounds for 2021 F1 season
To help ensure this happens on time, the FIA has agreed to increase the number of testing days Pirelli can have with all the teams in 2021 to 30.
Motorsport.com is reporting that Ferrari will be first up, carrying out the first 18-inch tyre test on Monday February 22 in Spain.
With Jerez not equipped to facilitate simulated wet weather conditions, the team will be limited to running the slick versions of the prototype tyres. It’s not yet known which driver will be behind the wheel.
Last year Charles Leclerc took on the role, but this time it could provide a good opportunity for Carlos Sainz to get some extra experience ahead of his maiden outing for the team following his transfer from McLaren over the winter.
Ferrari will be using a specially adapted version of their 2019 contender, the SF90. Only once the season gets underway in Bahrain at the end of March will teams be allowed to use their current cars in subsequent tyre tests.
That concession is partly due to McLaren’s switch to Mercedes engines this season, meaning they can no longer run older cars designed to accomodate Renault power units.
Pirelli has also announced the tyre selections that it will be offering to teams in 2021, with drivers once again not getting to make an individual choice in compounds because of the schedule uncertainty arising from coronavirus.
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