Charles Leclerc Begins His F1 Season Early by Testing for Pirelli 18′ Tires

Published 02/09/2020, 4:37 AM EST


Scuderia Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc completed day 1 of Pirelli tire testing. The Monegasque had a solid day of testing at the iconic Jerez circuit in Spain. Leclerc is currently testing Pirelli’s new tyre options which will be introduced in 2021.

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Charles Leclerc tests 2021 tyres

F1 will switch to 18-inch tires in 2021. The sport previously used 13-inch tyres but will be making the shift due to aesthetic and technical reasons. This is coupled with major regulation changes coming to Formula 1 in 2021.

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Formula one switched to wider, bigger tires in 2017. The current generation of tyres measures up at 305/670-R13 and 405/670-R13 for the front and rear respectively. Additionally, Formula 2 will run 18-inch tyres for the 2020 season as a precursor to 2021.

Job done @circuitodejerez! @ScuderiaFerrari driver @Charles_Leclerc has just concluded his first-ever test of the new @F1 Pirelli #Fit4F1 18-inch tyres for 2021 with a total of 130 laps! Well done, Charles! pic.twitter.com/ejQQINsrUS

— Pirelli Motorsport (@pirellisport) February 8, 2020

 
Leclerc completed 130 laps using the 18-inch tyres for Ferrari. Leclerc was also happy to be back behind the wheel of an F1 car and didn’t hide his delight. Charles Leclerc will take part in one more day of tyre testing.

Ahhh, it's so good to be back in the car. 1st test day of 2020 done 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/N41egYxVsK

— Charles Leclerc (@Charles_Leclerc) February 8, 2020

In 2020, Pirelli will provide F1 with seven different tyre compounds. Two compounds can be used on a wet track and 5 can be used on a dry track. The wet weather tyres include the intermediates (marked green) and full wets(marked blue). The dry tyre compounds on the other hand – are labelled C1-C5. C1 is the most durable tyre, with the least grip; while C5 will provide the most grip but lack durability.
F1 will continue to use the traditional naming convention,i.e., soft, medium and hard.
Leclerc had a fairly decent season last year. The Monegasque picked up 2 victories in his first year in red. Furthermore, Leclerc signed a 5-year contract with Ferrari, keeping him at the team till 2024. A five-year renewal indicates the faith and trust the Scuderia has in the young Monegasque.

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Recently, Leclerc revealed one of his qualities which he believes is a blessing and a curse.
Speaking to Motor Sport Magazine, Leclerc said: “As soon as I’m in the car I have that killer instinct,
“I don’t want to finish second or third, fourth or fifth; those places don’t matter. I think it’s a strength but it can also be a weakness.”

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Ferrari will unveil its 2020 F1 car on February 11. Winter testing begins on February 19.

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Abhishek Bharadwaj

720 articles

Abhishek Bharadwaj is an F1 author and content strategist at EssentiallySports. Having joined ES in January 2020, he has over 700 articles to his name. While he was first introduced to the world of F1 in 2006, he started religiously following the sport in 2012 and has had an undying passion for it ever since.

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