A new F1 era is on the horizon: Renault test 18-inch Pirellis

Renault F1 team and Pirelli motorsport have released footage of test driver Sergey Sirotkin leaving his pit garage with 18-inch wheels on a Renault 2018 F1 car.

The test is ahead of changes that have been expected to come into the sport since 2014, and new wheel sizes were announced as part of the 2021 specifications.

As F1 embarks on a serious overhaul in two years time, might we be witnessing the future?

This isn't the first time we have seen larger wheel rims on a turbo-hybrid F1 car.

Since the conversation began about ditching the somewhat outdated 13-inch rims, there have been a handful of test and demonstration runs to gauge feedback from drivers, teams, and fans as to whether this is the route to go.

Photo: F1i.com

In 2014 french driver Charles Pic took to the wheel of the Lotus during a mid-season test to trial the alternate size.

With road relevancy being considered important to modern F1 cars, the 18-inch rims is definitely worthy of making an appearance.

Last weekend at Monza, Ross Brawn and other F1 big wigs revealed the concept wheels/tyres that Sirtokin is most likely testing today, and former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi took part in a demonstration run.

Formula 2 was announced as adopting the size for 2020, one year before F1 and most likely as part of extensive research before the switch takes place.

Photo: Autosport

The tyres are arguably part of a bigger shift in the sport and one that, in my opinion, is in the right direction.

Photo: RaceFans.net

When was the last time you saw a 13-inch wheel on a road car? This is a fantastic opportunity for brands to display their designs on motorsport's biggest stage, and attract fans to their local garages to get the rims they saw on the TV.

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