Pirelli 18-inch tyre rendering

Pirelli reveal 18-inch tyre design ahead of test

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine


Pirelli have revealed how the 18-inch wheel and tyre they intend to test at Silverstone tomorrow will look.

Formula One cars currently run on 13-inch tyres, but Pirelli believe a switch to lower-profile rubber will make F1 tyre technology more relevant to road cars.

“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 motorsport director 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.”

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Image © Pirelli

134 comments on “Pirelli reveal 18-inch tyre design ahead of test”

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  1. Don’t like them at all. Prefer fatter ones.

  2. They look awful like seriously ugly.

  3. I seem to be in reverse trend, but I’m not excited about this prospect – the wheels and tyres don’t look so great to me… I’m still fascinated by these tyres!

    1. Hoh hoh haa! F1 needs some of those to really improve things! @fixy

  4. There will be challenges to make them accelerate like the 13’s
    the 13’s run at very low pressures, lots of give in the tyres,
    this helps traction,

    remember silverstone last year, teams asked by Pirelli to raise PSI by 2.
    this reduces grip, there will be the (1 of many) challenges ,

    Im guessing the low profiles will need to run higher pressures, (just a guess)

    think of drag racing tyres, big walls, low pressures, the flex gives part of the overall grip,

    I have some friends who drag race their street cars,
    they always remove the low profile street tyres for the strip as they offer far less traction than the higher profile tyres ,

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      8th July 2014, 21:33

      Great shot of why high profile tires are used in drag racing.

  5. Mr win or lose
    8th July 2014, 14:17

    These wheels are really awful.

  6. American F1
    8th July 2014, 14:17

    Another reason for the push to 18″ tires, the low profile tires do not require the tire warmers like the 13″ as the sidewalls heat much faster than the wider walls of the 13″ tires. Virtually every other series out there uses them, it makes no sense for the “pinnacle of motor racing” to be on antiquated tires…or “tyres” for all my British friends.

    1. Great point! With tire warmers being excluded by the upcoming rule changes, it makes me wonder if these 18″ers aren’t already a fait accompli.

  7. Neah.

    They don’t look bad at all, but I prefer the current wheels. I think 18” is too much. I know it’s not (enough) relevant for Pirelli, but if they wanted to get closer to the street cars size, why not a 15” or 16” rim ?? Would have been better for sure. We have Formula E for this kind of wheels… and I don’t like IT (IT = Formula E) at all.

  8. Pretty cool they added skid blocks to the car, makes it look much more exciting! ;)

  9. I like the look of them but i dont want them and i explain my negative points..

    F1 runs with 13″ inches for how long? its in all teams DNA how a car must behave with the current tyres and what the suspension needs to make the car sit in the tarmac. If this changed then we will see in the year that will introduced what is huppening this year with Merc engine but bigger. The problem stands in how the 13″ wheel work in comparison the 18″ wheel.
    The 13″ inch does at least the 1/3 of the suspension travel and if this changed then the analogy of the suspension travel will go almost fully on suspension so we will need new designs in suspensions etc.
    A car with a 18″ wheel can sit lower in the ground with stiffer suspension settings. This will be better in grip but worser for the curbs. A f1 car with this tyres will not be able to go now ON the curves as it goes now.
    A car with a 13″ absorbs hard impacts with the wheels.. we all have seen situations where a driver losing his brake point and goes all over the curb… what a 18″ wheel car will do in this situation? in my mind it will fly high more easily but also in landing it will be destroyed much faster (i speak for suspension and rims)
    F1 is not BTCC… not anything road car relevant… camber settings with 13″ wheels are less strict meaning that camber is changing according the tyre shifting in vertical axle when huge grip exists and the car behavior when loosing grip is a bit smoother even in our eyes seems hard. With 18″ the tyre will not be able to transform so we will have a situation in a corner where a car is in great grip but suddenly loosing traction damn faster than a 13″ even if the grip will be a bit better.
    Also i see another camber problem.. the 18″ will affect all the setups and the teams will need too much practise to fully understand and utilise setups…we will have cars that destroy the inner part of the tyre damn fast because of camber settings.

    I dont know guys… i dont know what they smoke in F1 Management but this is wrong.. totally wrong and changes the looks of F1 cars totally and makes them road cars which is unucceptable imo.

    Please Leave F1 as it is now at least.

    1. Please Leave F1 as it is now at least.

      Has been said every year since 1951.

  10. I love change in F1 and I’m surely not one of those “everything should stay as it was!” kinda guys but that looks horrible.

  11. I’d be interested in what would be the effects of the change in a crash. Would the tyre bounce less?

    1. With the much shallower sidewall, I’d say yes, but it’ll partly depend on the pressure too.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        8th July 2014, 19:05

        Tire pressure would be higher with a smaller sidewall.

  12. Finally!

  13. What I wanna know is, can the cars ride on curbs with these tyres without denting the rim?

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      9th July 2014, 3:20

      As long as the suspension is adjusted to be softer than when the car uses 13″ rims

  14. These look great, and it’s way past due. I’m excited for this change.

  15. Maybe they are safer… The reduced weight of the tyre can produce less damage if somebody hit them when sombody loses a wheel… Maybe there is less chance they come off the rim beeing lower profile

  16. Thee seems to be quite a consensus of positivity for the new tyres from fans.

    Now watch the rule makers refuse the change…

  17. LMP1 rules are open. Just state a maximum wheel diameter of 18″. Yet all of the teams choose 18″. If 13″ performed better why are there no LMP1 teams with 13″ wheels?

    I have a crazy idea…open up the formula…let the teams decide what’s best for performance. Spec a tire diameter and width, then let the teams decide what works best.

    1. As much as I would welcome that, you know how much more that would cost to have the tire manufacturer need to come up with a different construction and molding for every team?

  18. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
    8th July 2014, 17:10

    Those 18 inch wheels look aboulutely fantastic!

    1. Uzair Syed (@ultimateuzair)
      8th July 2014, 17:10


  19. Seems to me a move to low profile tyres has huge implications for everything from suspension design to aero to aesthetics. As things stand, with high profile types, much of the car’s suspension movement comes from the tyre side-wall. With low profile tyres, designers will have to engineer suspension systems with far more traditional geometry simply because the suspension is going to have to move much more. This should, for a start, get rid of the horrible looking drooping wishbones and the humped chassis. That, in turn, will fundamentally change all the aero design and put much more emphasis on mechanical grip. Seems to me, a move to low profile tyres will be one of the most positive and sensible rule changes for years.

  20. If the suspension transfer will now be taken up by carbon fiber wishbones which “already” fracture, wouldn’t this be unsafe given the current cars design?
    If these cars are going to run less sidewall and rely on double / single wishbone suspensions will the introduction of a torsion bar or some form of McPherson strut be in forced due to the duress the plastics will now be subjected to considering that the integral structure of these suspension elements will now need to be made, in effect Considerably weaker to accommodate these changes?
    Wont a more flexible car be weaker?

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