Pirelli deny 'panic' as F1 teams set to test one-off tyres for Zandvoort banking

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Pirelli says new front tyres developed specifically for Zandvoort's new banking are not a sign of "panic".

Formula 1 returns to the Dutch circuit for the first time since 1985 this year and, in an effort to increase overtaking, a new 18-degree banked final corner has been created to allow the use of DRS onto the main straight.

But while no doubt spectacular, it does create a whole new challenge for Pirelli and to try and ensure they are ready for that, a special tyre is to be made available for use during next week's second winter test.

"I'm going to tell the teams that we're going to test prototype front tyres in the next session," said Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola told Motorsport on Friday.

"This prototype had been designed with a slightly different construction because we are still analysing data coming from Zandvoort. We made some analysis on the banking and the plan is to use these tyres with a slightly higher pressure.

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"So in preparation for that, because we are not fully aware of everything and we do not have final data on the circuit, on the tarmac roughness and so on, the idea is also to test a slightly different construction here. It's working in a slightly different way – it's more resistant."

This comes as Pirelli has already had to alter the tyre pressures to adapt last year's product for this year's cars after teams voted not to use the new tyres the Italian supplier had developed for 2020.

And of course to hear Isola admit there are some uncertainties over Zandvoort and its new banking only further brings back memories of Indianapolis 2005, where only the six Bridgestone cars raced after Michelin suffered failures on the oval section.

"It was discussed with the FIA and agreed with the FIA. I don't want to hear comments like 'panic, panic,' there is no panic. It is part of a serious and professional process where we need to be ready in case," the Pirelli chief insisted.

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"Finally we may go with the normal tyres, with the appropriate prescriptions, but we prefer also to test the driveability of a different construction, and we have the opportunity here in Barcelona during the pre-season test.

"In the regulations, it is written that during the race weekend we can test an additional prototype, two sets per car. We are going to give two sets per car of additional prototypes here at the next test. We'll supply the whole set, but just the front tyres are different."