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Pirelli: F1 "3 seconds faster" with 18-inch wheels

12-08-2018 10:47
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
Pirelli: F1 3 seconds faster with 18-inch wheels
Source: Pirelli Media

Formula One's tyre manufacturer Pirelli thinks that the new eighteen-inch wheels the sport will have could improve lap times by as much as three seconds compared to the current thirteen-inch wheels.

The new wheels will look to be making their debut in 2021. Pirelli are excited about the prospect, as the new wheels will look more like the tyres they sell for street cars, which will have a great impact for the Italians.

The GP2 were very close to having the same size of wheels back in 2016, but the racing class pulled out in the final stages of the deal. Mario Isola, racing director at Pirelli, thinks that the GP2 would've gotten much quicker if the deal would've happened.

"I'd say around three seconds [faster] - that's a lot," he told Motorsport-Total.

To know how much impact the new tyres will have come 2021 can't be measured exactly, as cars need to make a lot of changes to be able to have such big wheels. The suspension will need to be changed, mainly.

"To make a precise estimate we'll have to know how much downforce there is and how strong the engines are," Isola added.

Paddy Lowe, chief technical officer at Williams, is not convinced about the effectiveness of it all.

"On the road it's more fashionable, but in Formula One it just causes less grip and more weight."

Speaking of it being fashionable, we're still not sure whether we really like the big wheels. The 12-year-old in me is in love with the idea of F1-cars with big wheels, but the early pictures look a big goofy at times. What do you think?

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