Pirelli maintains a low profile at Silverstone

Charles Pic gave the low profile tyres their first outing

Charles Pic gave the low profile tyres their first outing

The debut of Pirelli’s low profile concept tyres was the highlight of today’s testing at Silverstone.

Charles Pic ran 14 laps on the 18ins tyres at the wheel of the current Lotus E22. With few adjustments made to accommodate the very different wheel sizes – and the lack of suspension movement provide by the tyre – he was well off the normal pace. However, the point of the exercise was mainly to allow the sport’s key players to judge the appearance of the new tyres.

Pirelli is keen to make the switch in order to encourage road relevance, and says that it could be ready to supply the new rubber as early as 2016.

“In our view, the new tyres looked stunning fitted to the Lotus,” said Pirelli F1 boss Paul Hembery. “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.

“We’ve heard a lot of opinions already and we look forward to canvassing other opinions in the coming weeks and months. Even though performance wasn’t by any means priority here, the new tyres still behaved exactly in line with our expectations, so we’re clearly potentially at the beginning of a huge development curve, with the wheel and tyre size rules having remained unaltered for many years.”

Pirelli says that the stiffer sidewall helps retain the structural rigidity of the tyre, and it’s also easier to maintain a constant pressure, as there is less air inside it.

Pirelli adds: “The new tyres tested today have the same width as the current 13-inch tyres (245mm at the front and 325mm at the rear) but a diameter that is bigger by 30mm. The weight is approximately the same as the 13-inch tyre, because although the diameter is bigger, there is a smaller sidewall. The total weight, including the rim, is around 4 kilograms heavier.”

4 Comments

Filed under F1 News, Grand Prix News

4 responses to “Pirelli maintains a low profile at Silverstone

  1. Jay

    They look TERRIBLE. I will not be watching F1 if they proceed with them.

  2. ” to allow the sport’s key players to judge the appearance of the new tyres.”
    Do you think maybe the “KEY” players in the sport could have tested the new engine sound before, too?

  3. Stone the Crows

    If the width of the tyres remain the same and the diameter increases that should also increase the contact patch which is very good for the performance side of Formula One, but will that gain be diminished a bit because of the increase in unsprung weight? Similarly, the increased diameter will require significant aero testing by the teams to assure compatibility, but then stiffer sidewall may help with aero, in that the profile of the tyre will be more predictable. Interesting, though I hope the teams are not going to yet again spend millions just for appearance sake as it is with giving the appearance that F-1 is eco-friendly and ‘relevant’ rather than being the epitome of motorsport.

  4. danielsussex

    Cant see it teams going for it tbh. Maybe compromise at 16″.

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