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Pirelli: Early debut for 18-inch tyres

Wednesday 09-July-2014 18:05

Pirelli have revealed that their 18-inch tyres could be ready for the 2016 season should the decision makers go down that road.

Pirelli trialed 18-inch rubber during Wednesday's second day of testing at the Silverstone circuit.

Lotus driver test driver Charles Pic completed 14 laps on the rubber with Paul Hembery saying Pirelli achieved their objectives for the day.

"We weren't looking for performance," Hembery said, "the priority was to show people what a Formula One car would look like with a change of rim.

"We will supply the people in the strategy group and F1 commission with images, so people can make a decision on the future regulations based on fact rather than computer-generated images: that was the real objective.

"We also confirmed what we knew: you have more rigid sidewalls, so you do have an integrity challenge; the car's sensitivity to camber will be very high; the front tyre will create a very aggressive turn in; there will be big variations in pressure. We need more detailed studies on that.

"For now, we were just confirming the things we know, and the areas you would need to start working on if indeed this is where the sport will go - and that is really now in the hands of the decision makers."

The motorsport's driver added that Pirelli could have the tyres on track in time for the 2016 season should the powers-that-be want.

"The regulations are talking about 2017 at the moment but we feel ready for 2016 if they wanted to bring it forward a year.

"The priority today was to show people what a current F1 car would look like with a change in rim.

"You know have images and we will supply the people in the Strategy Group and the F1 Commission with images so that they can make a decision on the future regulations on fact rather than computer-generated ideas."

He added: "These tyres are absolutely [a genuine starting point] - they would pass our normal safety tests and you could go running with them now if you wanted to."

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