Wil Hankook become the new brand for Formula One tires? For 2021, a complete new package will be introduced in the Formula One. The cars will look different, the engines will be different and probably the Formula One will say goodbye to the 13-inch tyres and say welcome to the 18-inch tyres. The question is who will supply the new tyres?
To be honest, I’m not a fan of the 18-inch rims, the cars are standing higher on their wheels and they look a bit hideous. Besides of that a complete new compound has to be made and intensively tested. In 2014 we already saw a glimpse of the future F1 car. Pirelli asked Lotus in 2014 to test the 18-inch tyres. Charles Pic drove 14 rounds on them at Silverstone with a best time of 1,44.728s.
It was rumoured of an introduction of the new tyres in 2016 or 2017. It didn’t happen and probably it didn’t because of the changes that will occur in 2021. Hankook spoke with Bernie Ecclestone, several times, in 2013 to become the exclusive supplier of tyres in the Formula One. After weeks of negotiating, it became clear that Pirelli would stay as supplier.
Now the rumours appeared again of Hankook’s new bid to become Formula One’s tyre supplier from 2020 on. The interest is there to become the supplier as Pirelli’s contract will end after the 2019 season, and as far I know no new contract has been signed yet. However, there is one problem. If Hankook would apply for 2020, it means they have to create a 13-inch tyre for just one season and to design a 18-inch tyre. To solve the problem the Formula One could go on 18-inch in 2020.
So yes a new company, why we don’t allow it to have more supplier in the Formula One as we used to have in the past? Hankook and Pirelli could be a good combination to make the field even more competitive (and we defiantly need this). Or any other company such as Bridgestone, Michelin, Vredestein etc.
Will Hankook become the new supplier, or will we have several suppliers from 2021 or 2020 on? Who knows? I do know I would love to see this happened… even though it means the cars are on 18-inch…