Formula 1 Decides Against Transitioning to 16-Inch Tyres for 2026

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The consideration of a smaller rim size for the 2026 Formula 1 cars was primarily aimed at reducing the overall weight of the vehicles, a move supported by the FIA. However, Pirelli opposed this change, citing practical concerns and potential marketing implications.

The transition from 13 to 18-inch rims in 2022 aligned with industry trends and represented a step forward in both the sport’s image and technology transfer. Reverting to a smaller size would have necessitated significant adjustments to Pirelli’s production process, requiring time to conduct full testing with F1 mule cars by 2025.

Moreover, implementing a new rim size would have posed an additional challenge for teams amidst the myriad changes accompanying the new era of Formula 1. Discussions regarding the 2026 regulations took place between teams and the FIA at a recent meeting of the technical advisory committee.

Although the official outcome has yet to be announced, it was collectively agreed to retain the 18-inch rims while introducing a slightly different tire size and shape.

Mario Isola, Pirelli’s F1 chief, provided insights into the ongoing deliberations, indicating a preference for maintaining the 18-inch tire size with modifications to diameter, profile, and width.

Isola emphasized that while weight reduction was a factor, performance considerations also weighed heavily in the decision-making process. The smaller diameter of 16-inch tires posed challenges related to heat dispersion, potentially leading to overheating issues during races.

While the transition to 16-inch tires was considered, the consensus leans towards retaining the 18-inch size due to a combination of technical, performance, and marketing factors.

Also read: Mercedes-Maybach’s Luxury Performance Vision Unveiled


By Preksha Sharma

being me means you've got to love cars, coffee and gilmore girls. sorry i don't make the rules.

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