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Pirelli Debuts New 18-Inch Concept Tyre
Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has recently debuted its new 18-inch concept tyres at an event held at Silverstone racetrack. Lotus F1 Team reserve driver Charles Pic completed 14 laps of the Silverstone circuit in the current Lotus E22 equipped with the new 18-inch tyres.
Pirelli explained that the lap times were not the focus, as the concept tyre was designed principally to showcase aesthetics rather than performance. Instead, the objective was to gauge reaction to the very different new design, which in general was very positive.
âIn our view, the new tyres looked stunning fitted to the Lotus, and the reaction has already been felt all over the world,â commented Pirelliâs motorsport director Paul Hembery. âThese are just a prototype concept, but if the teams decided that they wanted us to proceed in this direction, we have the capability to carry on development in this area and come up with a production-ready version in a comparatively short space of time.â
The new tyres were apparently designed and built in accordance with Pirelliâs premium strategy in Milan. The key technical advantage of an 18-inch tyre is a stiffer sidewall that helps maintain the structural rigidity of the tyre and also makes it easier for the tyre to maintain a constant pressure â as there is less actual air inside the tyre.
In addition, the new tyre is physically bigger, which makes it much more relevant to the Ultra High Performance tyres that are seen on the road, leading to greater technology transfer.
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