Pirelli ‘focussing on 19-inch wheels’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

Charles Pic, Lotus, Silverstone test, 2014In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says they are more interested in developing tyres for 19-inch wheels having tested an 18-inch version earlier this year.

Which drivers and teams do you support?

Here’s how to show who you’re supporting on F1 Fanatic:


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Hembery: Pirelli focusing on 19-inch tyres not 18-inch (Crash)

“We are doing a lot of work – probably focusing on 19-inch now, if I am really honest with you. We are carrying on our work internally on those developments and so from our point of view it goes ahead.”

Max Verstappen, F3, Van Amersfoort, Red Bull Ring, 2014Verstappen op drempel Formule 1 (De Telegraaf, Dutch)

Red Bull’s motorsport director Helmut Marko has reportedly taken an interest in Max Verstappen, son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, who is currently second in the European Formula Three championship in his first season since graduating from kart racing.

Symonds: Williams form no flash in the pan (F1)

“I do think that is a bit of wishful thinking from Eric [Boullier] as well [saying that Williams only perform on certain tracks]. Don’t get me wrong, I do recognise the differences for us at places like Austria, but I still believe we have the third quickest car, and if we use it and develop it properly we will be third quickest at most circuits.”

Button impressed by Williams revival (Autosport)

“They’ve lost a lot of points this year through incidents or just not getting everything out of the car, which is good for us, because otherwise they’d be miles in front!”

F1: Fernando Alonso suggests Mercedes have been the biggest surprise of the season – and have set a new benchmark (The Independent)

“We were all struggling [in testing], but straight away they were okay, and now from 11 races they’ve won nine and nearly always been on the front row.”

How should the Formula 1 media report on the sport? (James Allen on F1)

“In 1978 it was questionable whether one should travel to Argentina to cover the World Cup. In 1936 it was even more questionable going to Berlin for the Olympic Games. The role of democracy is to permit citizens to ask each other questions on the world around them. That also applies to sport..and any barrier to this right is a brake on the freedom of expression.”

G-drive Show (YouTube)


A Red Bull F1 show car catches fire during a demonstration run in Russia.


I had the pleasure to go to the White House & meet the president of the United States & 1st lady thanks to my lady @nicolescherzy , thank you:) I'm proud of you babe for being the global ambassador for the special Olympics #specialolympics #honour #1stblackpresident #obama

Lewis Hamilton: “I had the pleasure to go to the White House and meet the president of the United States and first lady thanks to my lady Nicole Scherzinger. I’m proud of you babe for being the global ambassador for the Special Olympics.”

Comment of the day

You’re know you’re an F1 Fanatic when you relish the special feeling of getting up at the crack of dawn for a fly-away race:

I understand why people prefer using a single time zone but just to be awkward I like the oddness of early races. I have made weekends out of inviting friends over to sleep, or stay up all night and we all get up at some idiotic time in the morning to watch a race. That has been part of the excitement and charm.

On the night races I find the lights harsh, there’s no characteristic to the track and everyone looks a bit shell-shocked! I watch Le Mans through the night and love it, but part of the charm is they have headlights, the night driving is part of the challenge, and its amazing watching the sun come up over the track, but I don’t get that buzz with F1 night races. I am pleased that Australia has stuck to their guns on this one.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katy and Paul Gawne!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Porsche power held sway at the Hockenheimring 30 years ago today – although the engines in the dominant McLaren cars had been paid for and were branded by TAG.

Early leaders Elio de Angelis (Lotus) and Nelson Piquet (Brabham) both dropped out due to mechanical maladies, letting Alain Prost to lead Niki Lauda in a McLaren one-two.

In a generally unexciting race, Ayrton Senna suffered a fright when his Toleman’s rear wing failed at high speed:


Also happy birthday to Esteban Gutierrez who is 23 today!

Images © Lotus/LAT, FIA F3

Advert | Go Ad-free


86 comments on Pirelli ‘focussing on 19-inch wheels’

  1. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 5th August 2014, 11:38

    Here in UTC+7 races are either in the afternoon (Asian/OZ races), 7 PM (European rounds), or midnight (The Americas). None are at dawn.

  2. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 5th August 2014, 13:01

    Max Verstappen is an increasingly interesting story. With both Red Bull and Mercedes interested in his F3 exploits, significant paddock figures appear confident that we are seeing a future star, not just a karter enjoying the balance of an F3 car designed with benign torque delivery and to oversteer progressively; very much a junior chassis still. However the fact that Mercedes and Red Bull are fighting over him is a credible argument in his favour. Strangely I don’t think it’s a battle Helmut Marko can win, with Max knowing that whilst Red Bull have Kvyat, Vergne, Sainz, Lynn and Gasly to juggle, the dejected exit of Sam Bird to sportscars leaves Mercedes without a) a reserve driver and b) an empty list of supported junior talents (Mercedes’ association with Jazeman Jafaar is merely through Petronas; he has no other link to the team). It’s a no-brainer, Max…

  3. RyanDixon (@ryandixon) said on 5th August 2014, 13:05

    Does moving to 19″ wheels do anything other than ascetics? Like, are there any performance advantages gained from bigger rims and lower profile tyres?

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 5th August 2014, 13:19

      What performace advantages… when FIA tries to make the cars slower and slower ? I’m pretty sure the reason behind the change is based solely on aestethics.

      • Paul A (@paul-a) said on 5th August 2014, 13:40

        It’s go to be aesthetics — who would believe Pirelli if they said they could get 6g cornering rather than the current 5g — but I don’t like the spidery, airy-fairy look of them and much prefer the powerful, hunky look that we have today.

        • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th August 2014, 13:57

          @paul-a But you already watch F1. This might be about attracting and maintaining new viewers…the youth that might wonder why such fat tires when they just saw some other racing series on TV, not to mention a Porsche go by on the street, with 22’s. Can you imagine a Ferrari or Lamborghini etc on F1 style tires?

          Also, for us existing fans, even if we bemoan changes in appearance of the cars from one year to the next, eg. noses, we tend to get used to them and then when you look back at previous seasons’ cars, they looked outdated. Methinks we would get used to 19’s pretty quickly. We’d love them if they enhanced the racing, and would soon forget about the ‘hunky’ look.

      • matiascasali (@matiascasali) said on 6th August 2014, 0:20

        why do you say a 19″ rim will make the cars slower?

    • GT Racer (@gt-racer) said on 5th August 2014, 14:06

      As i’ve said before the move to larger tyres is about much more than ascetics & road relevance & is something both Bridgestone & Michelin also wanted when they were in F1 as well as something Pirelli have wanted since they joined in 2011.

      Right now F1 is pretty much the only category still using such small wheels so an F1 tyre supplier can share nothing between F1 & other categories they compete in.
      They have to produce F1 specific tyre molds & F1 specific compounds/construction which they have no relevance to anything else they produce.

      For example when Bridgestone became the sole tyre supplier in 2007 they pushed for a switch to 15″ slick tyres so that they could look at sharing some of the tyre technology between F1 & Champcar/Indycar which ran 15″ slicks (Indycar still does).

      Last year when Michelin were looking at F1 they wanted 18″ tyres so that they could share tyre tech between F1 & WEC where the cars currently run 18″ tyres.

      A switch to larger tyres would also help with the banning of tyre warmers which seems to be something Pirelli (And Bridgestone going back a few years) & the teams want to do as the larger tyres build temperature a bit faster than the current 13″ tyres.

  4. IceBlue (@iceblue) said on 6th August 2014, 19:49

    Because overall tire/wheel diameter is fixed in F1, a switch to a larger diameter wheel will result in a narrower sidewall in the tires. With all other specifications are the same as before, this will result in a stiffer tire and better grip. I’m not sure, and I’m not going through the calculations because I’m lazy, but I doubt the weight of the new tire/wheel will be significantly different than the old so a change in un-sprung weight should be minimal.

  5. lets get some 22’s on there chromed out with spinners! neon lights under the sidepods and nitro boost with fire!!!! yeah!!

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.