Pirelli interested in 19-inch tyres for F1

Lotus E22 gives 18-inch F1 tyres at Silverstone test 2014
Give an inch, and Pirelli will make its F1 tyres even larger. In the video it released to introduce the 18-inch size it later tested at Silverstone, Pirelli stated that “the new 18-inch tyre represents a starting point for future evolution. This technology could lead to even bigger sizes in years to come.” suggests that we may not have too many years to wait for even larger F1 tyres, and says words to this effect come from no less an authority than Paul Hembery.

The Pirelli motorsport director told the tyre maker is more interested in the 19-inch size than the 18-inch, even though the latter could be read for use in 2016. “We are doing a lot of work – probably focusing on 19-inch now, if I am really honest with you,” Hembery said. “We are carrying on our work internally on those developments and so from our point of view it goes ahead.”

Larger F1 tyres, whether 18 or 19-inch, will only be introduced with the consent of the Formula 1 teams. Paul Hembery is well aware that their implementation would require significant vehicle modifications. “I believe quite big changes would be needed to adapt to a product that is so substantially different,” he commented after Lotus F1 Team reserve driver Charles Pic tested the 18-inch tyres at Silverstone on 9 July. “We confirmed what we knew: you have more rigid sidewalls, so you do have an integrity challenge; the car’s sensitivity to camber will be very high; the front tyre will create a very aggressive turn in; there will be big variations in pressure.” (tyrepress)

  • Boycottthebull

    Its seems to be a compulsive disorder now to make open wheel F1 racing cars to be more like road cars. They are not meant to be and should never be. Sure sometimes technology may flow down but they are not meant to be road cars. If thats what people want from their race cars they should be watching GT Sports cars. These thin spoked large wheels in an open wheel car are ridiculous. There are going to be so many smashed rims. When the cars are banging wheels where a smaller strong rim and large amount of rubber provided a buffer if these new silly things go ahead your going have to create protective guards for them. Its simply going to be dangerous and bits of wheel will be flying everywhere all because it has to look like some modern pimp mobile.

  • KevinW

    Someone needs to be focusing with equal or greater emphasis on the wheels they will use. Adding a lump of un-sprung weight to each corner of the car seems a long way to go for a marketing campaign, er… relevance update…. Then, how much will be spent in solving the changes in suspension and chassis dynamics, including the effect stiff sidewalls have on bump, camber, and caster effects in steering. There has already been notes that the tight packaging and weight of the current cars cannot now absorb the suspension travel necessary to run a stiff short sidewall, so there is going to be massive changes in the packaging everywhere. All of this with no likely gain in actual race performance. Oh… the wonders of road car relevance, will they never end.