F1: Pirelli debuts 18-inch tire concept

Written by Jordan Lenssen on .

Lotus Pirelli 18 inch F1

Pirelli strapped its latest 18-inch F1 tire concept onto the Lotus E22 for day two of testing at the Silverstone circuit today.

The prototype is a dramatic increase from the current 13-inch tire, but the Italian manufacturer hopes the new technology will lead to greater performance gains using a stiffer sidewall for better structural rigidity and more even tire pressures. Front and rear widths remain the same, at 245 and 325 mm, while the weight is approximately 4 kilograms heavier than the current spec.

Pirelli 18 inch F1 Lotus Pirelli F1 18inch tire concept

The proposal comes at a time when Formula 1 is seemingly moving closer to incorporating future road car technologies, despite F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s desire to remain separate.

In a Pirelli press release, the company states the new tire is “physically bigger, which makes it much more relevant to the Ultra High Performance tires that are seen on the road.”

The tire’s future ultimately depends on a vote from the teams, although Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery says, “If the teams decided that they wanted us to proceed in this direction, we have the capability to carry on development in this area and come up with a production-ready version in a comparatively short space of time.”

 

 Photos courtesy of Pirelli & Lotus F1/Lotus F1 twitter

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