F1 tyre suggestion dismissed as decision reached over 2026 plans

Formula One, the FIA ​​and the 10 teams have agreed that tire size will remain 18 inches when new power unit regulations are introduced in 2026.

Towards the end of last year, it emerged that the FIA ​​and Formula 1 were looking at ways to make cars significantly lighter from 2026.

One proposed solution is to reduce the current 18-inch tires to 16 inches. James Allison, Mercedes technical director, was not impressed by the fact that Pirelli and Formula 1 were thinking about this rather than the teams.

“It's not easy to lose weight,” Alison told select media outlets, including: “It's not easy to lose weight.” Racing News 365 last year. He continued: “It is very difficult to come up with technical rules that will make the car much lighter. I think the way to make the car lighter is to reduce the maximum weight and make that our problem.”

“When cars go over the limit, it forces us all to make tough decisions about what we do and don't put in our cars. Not everyone agrees with this position, but I believe it's the best way to achieve weight reduction.”

During Pirelli's own tire testing at Suzuka recently, the focus was on next year's rubber. Mario Isola, Pirelli's Motorsport Director, informed selected media, incl racing news 365, What are the goals and future goals of the test?

“We wanted to finish building the tires needed for 2025,” Isola said. “We know how teams develop their cars and that the pressure that the tires have to withstand is increasing. Our next goal is to reduce the temperature rise to this extent.

“These two targets are mainly focused on 2025, but we are already looking at 2026 with an eye slanted, but that again is mainly focused on tire size and characteristics.”

Pirelli has been listening

According to Isola, Pirelli will focus as soon as possible on testing new tires for the 2026 season.

“We currently expect to start development of tires in 2026,” Isola added. “We hope to be able to start testing in September or October, so we can start gathering new information by then.”

For Pirelli, the coming period will be dominated by the completion of the 2025 tests. “We will conduct another wet tire test at Paul Ricard and we will test after Monza and Silverstone, among others. We hope to add to this a separate test at Mugello,” Isola added.

In contrast to Alisson's comments, Pirelli appears to have listened to the teams' requests to be more involved in the decision-making process.

According to Isola, 2026 has already been chosen. “We have agreed with the FIA ​​and the teams that we will stay with the 18-inch tires,” he said.

“This is due to a number of different reasons, the main ones being capacity and the nature of existing tires. We believe that a 16-inch tire will not be sufficient on both counts.”

Isola points to the proposed strengths that the new 2026 regulations should provide. From Isola's point of view, the planned 2026 regulations, combined with 16-inch tires, will not lead to good performance.

“When I look at the initially calculated performance of the 2026 cars, taking into account the increase in overheating and the expected loss of durability, it means we are raising tire pressures unnecessarily,” he said.

“That's why, after analyzing the data, we spoke with the teams and the FIA ​​and decided to keep the 18-inch tyres. The teams eventually agreed to that as well.”


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