Pirelli says it would be ready to supply 18-inch tyres for F1 in 2016 if the teams requested it.
Lotus tested Pirelli's 18-inch concept tyres on Wednesday at Silverstone, with Charles Pic completing 15 laps in the morning session. Speaking after the end of that running, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said there would be no rush to introduce a change in side but that the tyre manufacturer could do so within 18 months if requested.
“The regulations are talking about 2017 at the moment,” Hembery said. “We feel ready for 2016 if they want to bring it forward a year but we're not going to push it. We're just providing the information and the opportunity.”
However, with Pirelli's current contract expiring at the end of 2016, Hembery was coy as to whether the sport's reaction to the concept would impact on its desire to renew.
“We have always said we'll do what the sport wants. It's not something that we would oblige the sport to do to make us be in a position to present ourselves for contract renewal.
“It's an interesting avenue for us to explore because we're looking at other ideas as well if we do stay beyond the current contract length and it would work very well with a change in diameter. So it's an area where we would look to take a different approach in leveraging what we do in F1 and linking it more to the road car business.”