One last dance for the 13-inch Formula 1 tire

For the last time in Formula One history, the 13-inch tire will say goodbye this weekend Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having been in Formula 1 for more than half a century. It comes as the sport moves to the all-new 18-inch Pirelli tires for next season.

In a special Pirelli touch, all of this weekend’s tires will have “Next year I’ll be 18” on the sidewall. Pirelli did this to say goodbye to the 13 inch tires while waiting for the new 18 inch tires which will be introduced next season.

13-inch tires have been in use for most of the sport’s existence, but it was in the 1980s when the tire was the definitive size in the sport. Pirelli’s first 13-inch tire appeared in the 1981 San Marino Grand Prix, or Derek warwick and Brian heaton used the tire for the Toléman team. The first victory with Pirelli’s 13-inch tires came four years later in 1985, thanks to Nelson piquet to Grand Prix of France running for Brabham-BMW.

In 1989 Pirelli introduced a new generation of 13 inch tires which were used until Pirelli left the sport in 1991. The P-Zeros of course made a comeback in 2011, when Pirelli returned to Formula 1 as the sole supplier of tires. Since Pirelli’s return in 2011, the Italian tire manufacturer has produced more than 400,000 tires from factories in Turkey and Romania.

Mario Isola Head of F1 and Motor Racing at Pirelli, is proud of all that Pirelli has accomplished over the years with 13-inch tires, and is delighted that the sport is embarking on a new revolution in 2022.

“This weekend will mark a pivotal moment in Formula 1 history with the final farewell to 13-inch tires which have been part of the pinnacle of sport for decades. Pirelli played a leading role during this time, just as it has since the inaugural championship in 1950. We are proud of all that has been accomplished over the years.

“At Pirelli, we have always focused on innovation to be a valuable partner in the championship. We saw this in 2011, when we accepted the first technical challenge that was offered to us to create high degradation tires. Then again when we created the tires for the very first F1 hybrid cars in 2014, and once again when we switched to much wider F1 tires – for the fastest generation of cars ever seen in sport. – from 2017.

“Now, thanks to the biggest rule change in decades, we are embarking on this latest revolution with brand new tires that are more like those used on the road by everyday motorists. This means that we have the best chance of transferring the technology derived from Formula 1 into our road car product. It’s time to thank the 13 inch tires for all the emotions they have given us, as we look forward to a new era with 18 inch tires.

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