Charles Pic says a switch to 18-inch tyres in the future “will be a big challenge” after testing the concept for Pirelli.
Lotus was conducting tyre testing for Pirelli on Wednesday at Silverstone and ran the 18-inch concept tyres for a number of short stints in the morning. Pic said there was a major difference between the concept tyre and the current 13-inch tyres which would require a lot of work for the teams to deal with if they were introduced.
“I think if we go one day to this type of tyre it will be a big challenge,” Pic said. “First for the team because they will have to build a completely new car around this because the philosophy is completely different and you would need to build all the car around this type of tyre.
“I think it will also be a challenge for the driver because they are completely different. On the looks side it's looking for sure different, so I think some people will like them and some people not.”
Explaining the differences he felt when driving the car, Pic said the biggest impact was on the way the car works aerodynamically.
“Overall grip was very lower and we were five or six seconds off the pace. Mainly for the reason that the car is made for the tyres we are running now and not of the 18-inch, so all the aero is not working well around [the tyres] and you are losing massively the grip and the car is not working well around this kind of tyre. But the main goal was to give some data to Pirelli and that's what we did.
“It's true that they are more reactive and more nervous. On top of that you lose a lot of aero, it's really a lot. It's not like you are in Monza configuration it is less than that because of the aero you lose oon this type of tyre. The combination of this means I was five or six seconds off the pace and if you look at the handling it is of course not good, but it wasn't the point of the test.”