Pic: Concept tyres very different

By on Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Lotus F1 Team

Lotus F1 Team

Charles Pic says that Pirelli's 18 inch concept tyres feel significantly different to the current 13 inch rims which are raced on in the sport.

As part of a trial, Lotus reserve driver Pic tested Pirelli's 18 inch rims at Silverstone on Wednesday.

The Frenchman nonetheless believes that due to the new nature of the tyres, it is impossible to fully analyse their potential.

"They are very different," he said. "The goal was to try and run them and see how they were reacting, I think it’s not the type of tyre if we would one day race the 18 inch.

"Overall grip was very low, five or six second off the pace, mainly for the reason that our car is made for the tyres we are running now and not for the 18 inch. All the aero is not working well around it and you are losing massively the grip and the car is not working well on this type of tyre but the main goal was to give data to Pirelli.

"It’s true that they [18 inch tyres] are more reactive and nervous and then on top of that you lose a lot of aero. Not even like you are on Monza [in terms of downforce levels] because of this type of tyre."

Pic believes that switching to 18 inch rims, which could happen from the 2017 season, will present a challenge to teams and drivers.

"If we go one day to this type of tyre it will be a big challenge, first for the teams as they will have to design a completely new car for this," he said.

"I think it will also be a challenge for the drivers as they [the tyres] are completely different."The reaction you get in the steering wheel is more nervous, each time you get a snap [of oversteer] is quicker, this is coming from this type of tyre."

Pic also commented on the aesthetic appeal of the larger tyres.

"Honestly I thought they were a bit too big, but maybe it was because it was the first time I saw them on the car," he said. "They were really big compared to the car!"

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