Pirelli rubbishes fears of F1 being slower than F2 in 2021

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Pirelli motorsport boss Mario Isola has rubbished thoughts of Formula 1's new cars being slower than Formula 2 in 2021.

Next year will see the sport veer away from its current design philosophy of big wings and aero with more ground effect and a change to 18-inch wheels.

The more simple cars are expected to be several seconds slower than the current generation with Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer painting a bleak picture.

“My personal worry is that the cars are getting heavier, the downforce is going to be a lot less, so we’re going to be five, six, seven seconds slower than where we are," he said.

“We also need to have the ability to differentiate one car from another, otherwise they are all going to look the same and go seven seconds a lap slower.”

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In Abu Dhabi, the pole time in F1 was 15 seconds faster than F2, while in Monaco and Austria, the shortest laps on the calendar, that gap was 10 seconds.

But while the 2021 cars do have space to be slower and still comfortably beat F2, Isola suggested Racing Point's concerns are exaggerated.

“The regulations [next year] are not designed to have quicker cars in Formula 1,” he said. “[That] was the target in 2017, it’s not the target for 2021.

“The target is completely different, it’s to have cars that are race-able with more overtaking, more action on-track and less effect of the downforce when you follow another car. Those are all positive aspects for Formula 1.

“Probably the cars will be slower for a number of reasons: Less downforce and heavier cars – the plan is to have cars that are heavier than the current ones and the weight has an effect on lap time," he conceded.

“But that could be a few seconds. Not, for sure, slower than Formula 2. If a Formula 1 car in 2021 is two or three seconds slower than the current one and we have a much better show, I would say who cares?”