Hembery pleased with 18 inch tyre test

By on Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembery says he is pleased with the results of the company's demonstration of 18 inch concept tyres.

Formula 1 races on 13 inch rims but Pirelli undertook an evaluation on 18 inch rims with Lotus on day two of the third in-season test at Silverstone.

Hembery said that Formula 1 is discussing switching to 18 inch tyres for 2017.

"We said the priority today was to show people what a current Formula 1 car would look like with changes in the rim and that was shown today, you now have images, we’ll supply people in the strategy group and Formula 1 commission with images and they can make a decision," he told journalists including F1Zone.net.

"We weren’t looking for performance, we confirmed what we knew – the front tyre will create a very aggressive turn in, so the driver turning in will have a very direct response from the front tyre, we know there’ll be sensitivity to camber, things to work on if indeed this is where the sport will go, [it's] now in the hands of decision makers.

"If they want to do 13 [inches], we’ll stay with 13, if they want to go bigger, 18, 19, 20, who knows. Certainly the opportunity is there if the sport wants to do it.

Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

"The regulations are talking about 2017 at the moment, we’d feel ready for 2016 if they wanted to bring it forwards a year. We’re not going to push it."

Hembery also hinted that Formula 1's feeder series, GP2, could switch to larger wheel rims for 2015.

"Teams might go into a panic about that one," he joked when asked whether the switch to 18 inch rims could occur in Formula 1 from next season.

"It clearly needs a substantial amount of work and development, we’re going to start a development programme 18, 19 inch with GP2, a GP2 car," he said. "Probably a question for them is power steering. That’s something we’re going to progress, we’ll work intensively on that over the next six months. Watch this space."

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