Pirelli to trial 18 inch tyres

By on Friday, July 4, 2014
Pirelli Motorsport Media

Pirelli Motorsport Media

Pirelli is to trial an 18 inch tyre during next week's post-race test at Silverstone.

Formula 1 currently uses 13 inch tyres but the Italian manufacturer is keen to push through larger tyres, although will only do so if teams desire such a switch.

'Larger wheel and tyre sizes reflect modern market trends; with the adoption of a larger size invariably leading to even greater technology transfer between Formula One tyres and road car tyres,' read a Pirelli statement.

The tyres are set to be tested on the Lotus E22 next Wednesday.

"The 13-inch tyre is no longer relevant to the everyday road user, because even an 18-inch tyre is used by standard vehicles these days," said Pirelli's Paul Hembery.

"While 18-inch tyres would be a big step for Formula One, there are many other motorsport series that already use this size. So there’s scope to go even bigger than that in Formula One in years to come. In order to underline F1’s role as a test bed for future mobility solutions, we believe that it benefits everybody to have as close a link between road car tyres and competition tyres as possible: a belief we have held ever since we introduced the low profile tyre from competition to road use back in the 1970s.

"However, we’d like to emphasise that this move is not something that we are actively pushing for, as our role in Formula One is not to instigate changes. Instead, it’s to help teams and drivers make the most out of the equipment, regulations and resources they have at their disposal – whatever they decide that framework is going to be."

The test is for aesthetic, rather than performance, purposes but Pirelli insists they can produce the tyres, if required, within months.

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