Pirelli has announced that it will test an 18-inch tyre concept at the Silverstone in-season test next week.

The low-profile tyre - which Pirelli would like to introduce due to its relevance with its road tyres - will be tested by Lotus on Wednesday as part of its tyre test program. Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said any potential move to 18-inch tyres is many years away but wanted to understand how the cars would look visually compared to the current 13-inch tyres..

"We've always said we will do what the sport wants, and there's been a lot of discussion what it would look like on a Formula One car," Hembery said. "So we thought it would be worthwhile creating - particularly for the F1 Commission and the Strategy Group - some images of a current F1 car with some 18-inch tyres.

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"18-inch is a solution which is quite commonly used in motorsport. Probably going forward, 19 or 20 (inch) would even be the direction that you would want to go because then you create a unique product.

"It's one team and the idea is more to do with the look, because it's not in the regulation, it's not going to happen for two or three years. So it's part of enabling people to understand what it would do to the look of the car. We will have to make some minor changes to the car to enable us to do it but we thought it was a worthwhile exercise. It's the sort of thing that everyone keeps talking about but nobody has actually seen so we thought let's have a look."

And Hembery confirmed that the test had not come about following a request from the teams.

"No, it's something for us. To sit in meetings where they are talking about the future of the sport and hearing 'maybe we need to go to larger diameter tyres' then we thought 'well, people talk about it so what does it actually look like?' So we thought we'd give people something to look at.

"If I'm really honest it's a running promo as much as anything. We're not looking for performance obviously, it's not in the rules. So we thought we would give people something physical to look at and you can decide. You might go 'wow, that would be really amazing, we should be looking at this'."