Grand Prix veteran-turned-TV commentator Martin Brundle is drive an 18-inch-tyred GP2 car in Monaco today, as the Italian tyre manufacturer evaluates its Formula 1 future.
Brundle will return to driving the streets of Monaco for the first time in 19 years – when he spun out of the chaotic 1996 Grand Prix for Jordan – when he drives the GP2 test car between the Porsche Supercup qualifying session and GP2 feature race.
When Motorsport.com asked how the run came about, Brundle said: “Paul Hembery [Pirelli chief] dropped me a line saying did I want to drive the car on these new tyres, and I said ‘yep’.”
Brundle had his seat fitting in the GP2 paddock yesterday, and will have fine weather conditions for the run. The tyres were previously tested in private in Barcelona a fortnight ago.
GP2 tests have F1 implications
Talks are ongoing about a future direction for Formula 1 tyre specification after Pirelli’s current contract ends in 2016, and thoughts are being given to a change of dimension.
As well as an idea gathering momentum for there to be wider rear tyres, Pirelli has been considering whether or not a move to a lower profile type, with an 18-inch diameter wheel, would be beneficial.
Last year it conducted a test with Lotus at the post-British Grand Prix test at Silverstone, and work has been continuing.
However, it is more likely F1 will stick with the current 13-inch specification because of the cost implications to teams of changing to a different wheel size.