One of the few throwbacks left in Formula 1 is about to depart. Over the course of its history so far, manual gearboxes, naturally-aspirated engines and ground effects have come and gone from grand prix racing. Soon, another familiar element will also exit stage left and join those past pinnacles of technology on the sidelines.
Oxymoronically, one of F1's most high-profile changes that have been announced for 2021 so far is the introduction of low-profile Pirelli tyres. That year, the wheel rims will extend in diameter from 13 inches to 18, bringing the tyres far more in line with their contemporary road-going counterparts. But at the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this month, feeder category Formula 2 revealed that it would make the same switch a season prior.
On the face of it, it's a well-timed switch that makes sense; any rookie hopefuls aiming to make their F1 debut in 2021 will have had - assuming they've gone through the FIA's prescribed path that includes F2 - a year to train on Pirelli's new products, making them far more viable prospects as the F1 regulations get their presumed colossal overhaul.