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Full to the rim - Pirelli and Lotus try experimental 18 inch tyres at Silverstone

Published by Christine

Pirelli and Lotus try experimental 18 inch tyres at Silverstone
Pirelli S.p.A.

Pirelli teamed up with Lotus on the second day of mid-season testing at Silverstone to try out a new-look tyre. With the focus on aesthetics, rather than performance, the Italian tyre manufacturer introduced 18 inch rims which Charles Pic ran for 14 laps around the British track. Speed wasn't the key performance indicator, which was lucky because the car finished tenth of eleventh cars.

Nevertheless, Pirelli's motorsport director Paul Hembery was happy with the first outing of the new rubber: "In our view, the new tyres looked stunning fitted to the Lotus, and the reaction has already been felt all over the world. These are just a prototype concept, but 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."

There are no firm plans to introduce the new concept tyres to Formula One, but larger rims have been talked about for several years. They would bring F1 more in line with road cars, and allow for a new avenue of tyre development.