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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

F1 set to desert doable swap to 16-inch tyres for 2026

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The smaller rim measurement was into consideration largely as a part of ongoing efforts by the FIA to cut back the general weight of the 2026 automobiles.

Nonetheless, the change was opposed by Pirelli each for causes of practicality and due to the potential advertising affect.

F1 switched from 13 to 18 inches in 2022, mirroring the development of the broader automotive trade, and a discount is seen as a backwards step when it comes to each the picture of the game and expertise switch.

A brand new measurement would additionally require main modifications to Pirelli’s manufacturing course of, which must be undertaken in time to launch a full check programme with F1 mule automobiles in 2025.

It will additionally create an extra problem for the groups on high of every part else that they must cope with heading into the brand new period.

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The 2026 rules have been mentioned by groups and the FIA at a latest assembly of the technical advisory committee.

Whereas the end result has not been introduced formally, it was agreed to stay with 18-inch rims, however with a barely totally different tyre measurement and form.

“We’re near the ultimate model of the sizes,” Pirelli F1 boss Mario Isola informed Autosport.

“Clearly once you design the wheel, it’s a must to take into account all of the bundle, brakes, wheel, suspension, tyre, so I consider we’re near the ultimate sizes.

Pirelli tyre and wheel element on a McLaren MCL38

Picture by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

“We’ve got to vary as a result of the brand new automotive is totally different, and in any case, we’ve got to design a smaller tyre.

“The dialogue is between 16 and 18-inch tyres. And our desire is to remain on 18-inch tyres. And I consider that there are legitimate causes to remain on 18-inch, with smaller tyres, however nonetheless the identical rim.

“That is what we’re discussing, only a bit smaller diameter, a barely decrease profile and barely narrower tyre.”

Isola downplayed the doubtless weight saving from a swap to 16 inches.

“There is a component that’s weight,” he stated. “And clearly that impacts all of the bundle, and in addition the wheels. The distinction between 16 and 18 and a slim 18 shouldn’t be enormous. So the burden factor is there.

“Nevertheless it’s not the one factor. There is a component of efficiency. As a result of clearly for those who have been to go to 16-inch tyres, a lot smaller, the chance of overheating is way greater. A smaller diameter implies that you disperse the warmth another way.

“And so there are various components that if we needed to design a tyre that’s consistent with drivers’ expectations. For efficiency, the 18-inch tyre is best than the 16.”

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