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Pirelli chief Mario Isola believes the Italian tyre giant’s time in Formula 1 will benefit its full-time FIA World Rally Championship comeback next season. The Milan-based firm returns to world rallying’s top tier for the first time in a decade as 2021 kicks starts a four-year single supply agreement, similar to the one it has retained in F1 since 2011. “We learned a lot during our time in Formula 1 and we are still learning,” Isola told WRC.com. “We can bring this knowledge back to the WRC in the logistics and the way we are working as well as for the tyres themselves. “Pirelli has always had an incredible heritage in rallying, it’s part of the company’s DNA, so to be back there again is really important for us.” Testing on Pirelli’s 2021 WRC tyres will start as soon as Europe emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown. Again referencing the early development work carried out in F1, Isola added: “If I look at F1, we have a lot of work that is done in advance before going on track thanks to simulations. A rally car is different. “Simulating the performance on gravel or different surfaces is difficult, but we can make some work around that. It could be a good starting point. But hopefully we can start earlier to test and validate our product.” While Pirelli hasn’t supplied WRC factory teams since the end of 2010, it has maintained a presence in the series and now supplies WRC 2 and Junior WRC. Isola said: “We have a product. We already supply all WRC 2 cars, so we have a product available for four-wheel drive cars. "We are working on the durability of this tyre as well as the performance. We are confident looking forward to next season.”
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