All other things being equal a 45 series tyre will produce slower lap times than a 60 series tyre. Note I'm only talking about lap times, not steering feel, which does not make a car faster.
Can you provide a link to these tests, showing smaller wheels and high profile tires have better lap times, because that is not my understanding.There have been tests, TopGear and other magazines, etc. and all cars are faster with the smaller wheel and higher profile option that a manufacturer sells their cars with. Ferraris, Alfa Romeos down to Holden Commodores.
In this test, in a magazine called Grass Roots Motorsports, they tested a 16x7.5 a 17x8-inch and a 18x8-inch, the 17x8 wheel produced slightly better lap times
"We tested three sets of tires and wheels starting with the Plus Zero upgrade of 16x7.5-inch wheels and 205/55R16 tires. We then jumped to 225/45R17 tires on 17x8-inch wheels followed by 225/40R18 tires on 18x8-inch wheels."
Wheel size: 16x7.5 inches
Tire size: 205/55R16
Mean lap time: 43.353 sec.
Wheel size: 17x8 inches
Tire size: 225/45R17
Mean lap time: 43.155 sec.
Wheel size: 18x8 inches
Tire size: 225/40R18
Mean lap time: 43.339 sec.
We test plus sized wheels with low profile tires to see which combination offers the best performance and comfort.
I do understand that the greater mass of bigger wheels & tires can hurt acceleration (especially off the line) and braking times.
Personally I like 15in wheels.