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Russell tests larger 2021-spec F1 wheels

Mat Coch

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Monday 9th December, 2019 - 10:24am

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George Russell testing the 18-inch wheels pic: Pirelli Twitter

Testing of Pirelli’s 2021 specification Formula 1 tyres has continued courtesy of George Russell and Mercedes in Abu Dhabi.

Part of the sweeping regulation changes set to be introduced for 2021 includes a move to larger 18-inch diameter wheels.

The larger wheels were written into the regulations after first being tested by Lotus back in 2014.

They again broke cover on a GP2 car with Martin Brundle behind the wheel at Monaco in 2015.

Russell turned 100 laps of the Yas Marina circuit on the new specification wheels and tyres as part of the ongoing testing and development of the new rubber.

It was the first half of a two day test at the venue which last week hosted the official post-season F1 test.

Switching to the larger wheels is a significant change for teams.

The existing smaller diameter wheels necessitate a larger tyre sidewall, something teams have exploited as part of their existing suspension setups.

Moving to lower profile tyres will therefore see teams redesign their suspension systems as the tyre itself is less compliant.

It was that point which was long cited as a reason not to make the switch, which was finally pushed through last July.

Testing of the new wheels and tyres continues in Abu Dhabi tomorrow with Russell again set to be behind the wheel of the Mercedes.

pic: Pirelli Twitter

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