It's goodbye to F1 2019, hello to F1 2020
The 2019 Formula 1 season finished with Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but vital preparations are set to get underway tomorrow (Tuesday) that will influence the 2020 season.
As per the regulations, and a repeat of recent years, all 10 Formula 1 teams have stayed on at the Yas Marina Circuit for two days of testing.
It is a proper opportunity for the teams and drivers to get accustomed to the 2020 tyre compounds that have been in development through 2019.
A prototype of the 2020-spec C4 compound was evaluated by the majority of the grid during practice in Austin in November, though it received negative feedback.
It prompted suggestions that the 2020 tyres were at risk from being abandoned but teams agreed to go ahead with the Abu Dhabi test, with Pirelli believing the unseasonably cool conditions in the United States had an adverse effect on the outcome.
Each team will field one car and will have 20 sets of tyres each for the course of the two-day test, which will run from 09:00 to 18:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Pirelli will choose 12 of those sets on behalf of the teams – including C3s and C4sfrom both 2019 and 2020 to allow back-to-back comparisons – while teams have free choice for the remaining eight sets.
Under Formula 1 regulations Pirelli will revert to the 2019-spec tyres for 2020 if seven of the 10 teams are of the same opinion that the new compounds are not an improvement.
Most of the 2020 race drivers will be in action, with Esteban Ocon officially joining Renault today (Monday), allowing him a run in the R.S.19.
George Russell will be testing for Mercedes in place of World Champion Lewis Hamilton, who has clashing sponsor commitments elsewhere.
In addition to the race drivers Sean Gelael (Toro Rosso), Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas) and Roy Nissany (Williams) will also be in action.