Formula 1

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One of Formula One's key rule changes for 2021 revealed

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Under the leadership of Ross Brawn, a team of engineers is overseeing the projected new rule package in 2021 that will see F1 switch from 13 inch wheels to 18 inch wheels.

One F1 insider told Motorsport.com that it is now "more likely than not" that the move will be made.

In response, FIA race director Charlie Whiting said: "I would say so. It is part of the package that we are discussing."

This idea is not new to the world of F1, with many people and drivers advocating for the switch and even trying it out themselves.

Multi-national company Pirelli have even demonstrated concept tyres, Charles Pic running them on a Lotus at Silverstone in 2014, and Martin Brundle trying them on a GP2 test car in Monaco in 2015 are just a few examples.

What stands as the factor in the way of the change is that many have argued it has a major impact of suspension design, consequently leading to greater development costs.

A sizable amount of teams have publicly pushed for the change to take place in 2020 rather than 2021 and experiment it on the current cars in use, however, that remains unlikely as the consensus reveals the change would be logical to join the large package of other changes in 2021.

Pirelli's current supply contract is set to expire in 2019 and a move to 18 inches would be built into any future tender, which will be open to rival manufacturers.

The implication for newcomers joining the supply of the market will is that they will have to manufacture 13 inch tyres for one year in 2020 before ultimately changing their design to the 18 inch one in the following year.

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Pirelli CEO Marco Tronchetti Provera has confirmed his company's willingness to begin production on the new tyre design.

"We are open," he said. "Obviously they have to find the right regulation, and have the teams ready to adopt it.

"There are a number of issues of aerodynamics, of suspension and so on. When the teams are ready, we are ready.

"For us it is always technology. We are happy with 13, we are happy with 18. Tyres are more visible, the bigger they are, the better it is. But the technological challenges are different."

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The priority for Pirelli will be to organise a suitable test program, which will subsequently require a "mule" car or cars with modified suspension.

"We said that we are ready to do whatever they ask, with the proper time and testing. This is our position.

"We have to make a proper plan. In the past we made different tyres, we made wider tyres, we are always trying to follow what are F1's requirements. But we'll need a proper car to test. It's a similar situation to 2016, with the wider tyres."

Whether the manufacturing of the new 18 inch tyres begins in 2020 or 2021, the F1 community is prepared to bring on the change and as are the fans eagerly waiting to see how it impacts the sport.

Topics:
Felipe Massa
Sebastian Vettel
Max Verstappen
Daniel Ricciardo
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton
Ferrari
Mercedes
Red Bull
Formula 1

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