Renault's Bell welcomes move to 18-inch wheels
Honda F1 website
Honda website

JUNE 9, 2018

Renault's Bell welcomes move to 18-inch wheels

Prototype 18-inch F1 wheel (left)
© Mark Karp

Top F1 engineer Bob Bell has welcomed news of the likely switch from 13 to 18 inch wheels for 2021.

In fact, the change to modern-looking wheels could arrive a year earlier in 2020.

"I think it would be a good step," said Renault technical director Bob Bell.

"It gives the cars are more modern look, and it should also attract other tyre manufacturers."

Force India's Andy Green, however, is not as keen.

"For me that's not formula one. But if they want to go that way, it's ok. To me it looks a bit Formula E," he told Auto Motor und Sport.

But Bell thinks a big benefit will be correlation between wind tunnels and the track, as currently the 13 inch tyres deform so much in the corners.

"With the 18 inch wheels, the problem is significantly less pronounced," he said.

"The biggest challenge will be to learn how to get the best performance from them. It's completely new territory for everyone involved."

Also planned in the near future is an expanded calendar, with Liberty Media even intending to push out the season finale to November.

"Once you get a sustained amount of races that are going well up into the 20s, we're going to have to bring in revolving crews and there's a huge cost to that," said Force India's Bob Fernley.

Haas boss Gunther Steiner added: "Starting earlier and ending later maybe gives us a little bit more freedom not to have the back-to-back-to-back like we will have in a few weeks.

"I think they (Liberty) are well aware that there is a saturation factor for the human element and for what the customer actually wants so I don't think they will exaggerate," he said.

(GMM)

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