Formula One will switch to bigger wheels and low-profile tyres for the next regulation cycle starting in 2021. It will switch from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres and this is set be part of the 2021 F1 rules package that is currently being formulated by a team of engineers, in conjunction with the FIA.
The FIA has issued a tender to be F1’s single tyre supplier from 2020, and in doing so published the proposed changes to the tyre regulations for the following season.
Already Italian tyre maker Pirelli has been pushing for the change for several years, and has even demonstrated concept tyres on a Lotus at Silverstone in 2014 as well as on a GP2 test car in Monaco in 2015.
The company believes that low-profile tyres, as already seen in the WEC and Formula E, have more in common with road car technology than the current 13-inch tyres.
Pirelli took over from Bridgestone as F1’s sole supplier in 2011 and has expressed a desire to continue in its current role.
The argument against a change has always been that it would have a major impact on suspension design, and hence add to development costs, but opinion has now changed in favour of the larger tyres.