F1 News

Pirelli get their way: This is what will change with F1 tyres in 2026

Pirelli get their way: This is what will change with F1 tyres in 2026

1 April - 14:00

Ludo van Denderen

The 2026 season is fast approaching, but there is still no word on exactly what the technical regulations will look like then. Initially, a decision was supposed to be made by next July, but it is now clear that there may be a delay until October this year. What is clear, however, is which tyres will be used. Pirelli get their way in this. The tyre diameter will be reduced, reports Auto, Motor und Sport.

Originally, the idea was to reduce the size of the tyres from 18 inches to 16 inches. Pirelli were not in favour of this. The Italians believe that the risk of overheating is lower if the circumference remains roughly the same. Pirelli believes that the diameter of the tyres should, therefore, only be reduced minimally. Currently, slick tyres are 720 millimetres. This will be reduced to 705 millimetres at the front and 710 millimetres at the rear. This means slightly smaller front wheels than rear wheels.

Pirelli tyres also reduce width

The main aim was to reduce drag, which reduces cars' energy consumption. Therefore, it was decided to shrink the width of the tyres. At the front, the tyres go from 305 to 275 millimetres, and at the rear, from 405 to 375 millimetres. From 2026, the cars themselves will be only 190 centimetres instead of 200.

Pirelli, incidentally, did not think it was smart to bring the tyres to 16 inches for two more reasons. First, the company did not think a smaller tyre made sense from a marketing point of view. There was also a practical reason: the new tyre needed to be tested at short notice. But the current generation of F1 cars is not made for smaller tyres at all, so the teams would have to do a lot of work to be able to use their cars during these special tests.