Formula 1 could be set to drop 18-inch tyres from 2026 as part of a weight-saving measure.
The weight of the F1 cars has been steadily increasing in recent years, leading to complaints from the drivers over how it has changed the handling of the machinery.
At the start of the turbo-hybrid era in 2014, the minimum weight of the cars was 690kg but that has increased by over 100kg in the time since.
The FIA has long noted its desire to make the cars shorter and lighter when the new set of technical regulations comes into play in 2026.
As well as adding weight, the cars have become substantially longer amid the introduction of new rules in decades gone by.
The FIA is attempting to combat the trend by implementing measures to dial back the growing dimensions of weight and length and one such area it can do so is its tyres - RacingNews365.com understands that conversations are set to take place in the coming weeks regarding the topic.
Pirelli introduced the 18-inch tyres last season alongside fresh aerodynamic rules, which brought background effect.
However, the new tyres alone added an estimated 14kg in weight, largely due to the increased size of the rim.
Leave it to the teams
Prior to the introduction of the new tyres, F1 used 13-inch rims for many years but Pirelli pushed the change to allow for easier transfer of data between F1 and road tyres.
While the FIA is looking at its own solutions, Mercedes’ Chief Technical Director James Allison believes the matter should be left to the teams.
“It isn’t super trivial to get the weight moving in the other direction,” he said earlier this year, speaking to media including RacingNews365.com.
“It is particularly tricky to dream up technical rules that are going to make the car much lighter.
“The way to make it lighter, I think, is to lower the weight limit and make it our problem. If cars are over the limit, then it forces us all to make some fairly difficult decisions about what we put in our cars and what we don’t.
“But not everyone agrees with that point of view. But that’s sort of, I think, the most guaranteed way to put downward pressure on the weight of the car.”