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Pirelli to test 18-inch tyres in Silverstone Formula 1 test

Lotus will test with 18-inch tyres at next week's Formula 1 test at Silverstone as part of an experiment by Pirelli.

Following discussions about a change of tyre size for 2017, Pirelli has agreed to run a trial with the larger wheel and tyre size next Wednesday.

The aim is for the test to deliver a proper answer as to whether or not the look of the new tyres is an improvement over the current 13-inch tyres that have been used in recent years.

The tyres will be tested with Lotus's 2014 car.

Pirelli's head of R&D Maurizio Boiocchi said: "The tyre you will see next week is principally designed to demonstrate aesthetics rather than performance.

"But the speed of our reaction means that we would have a production-ready example within months if required.

"In the meantime, we look forward to hearing everybody's views about our latest concept and we hope that people enjoy seeing something out on track that is a little different."

PIRELLI NOT CONVINCED BY 18-INCH TYRES

Although Pirelli is planning the 18-inch trial, it is not convinced that F1's tyres should be that size in the future as it would prefer them slightly bigger.

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said: "If F1 wants to do something dramatic, then probably 19-inch is best.

"The reason for change should be because it adds something different to F1. With 18-inch, we do them on rally cars, and GT cars, and we should look to do something quite unique.

"But if the sport decides to stay with 13-inch that is for them to decide, not us."

CONSTRUCTION TWEAKS TO BE TESTED

Pirelli tyres

Pirelli is to evaluate some construction tweaks as well next week with a look to potential changes for 2015.

Hembery added: "We have been working particularly on the tread area because we see an area where perhaps we have a concentration of heat build-up.

"So we want to try to change what is going on in the centre of the tyre.

"We have seen this season that perhaps the hard tyre has been a little bit too conservative, but we will base our judgement on what we see at the end of the season because there could still be big jumps in performance from the cars.

"I am quite sure that there will be some minor changes [for 2015], maybe looking at working ranges as some have maybe been a little too high and 10-degrees out of kilter."

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