Re: Wheels and Tyres (or 'Tires' if you prefer...)


This may seem like a dumb question but why does F1 persist with small wheels and tall tyres, when all supercars and an awful lot of road cars have large diameter wheels with low profile tyres?

There must be a valid reason but feel I've missed something here for sure...

(And please don't reply "Because it's always been like that.")
Sorry Mr B - missed that.

Regulations aside - surely they wouldn't persist with some old fashioned set up for the sake of it, would they? If it really does contribute something in the way of grip or handling then why the heck have car manufacturers gone off in a different direction? Maybe the high profile tyres ARE the suspension - I dunno!:s
Its simply a ridiculous and outdated rule about having wheels similar to road cars. Of course, road cars have not had 13" wheels for just over 1 million years, but the rules are the rules. :dunno:

The 13" wheels actually cause problems and restrict performance, they are up for review in the next rule shakeup. The tyre actually gives more suspension travel than the suspension itself, meaning that the teams actually have less control over suspension than the tyre manufacturer. crazy, but most thing in F1 are :).

It also, by default, restricts brake rotor size.
I hope they do change the regulations regarding wheel and tyre diametre.The pinnancle of motor sport using a thirty year old rule.Ridiculous.:no:
I'm sure that when Bridgestone pulled out of F1, the question of whether to use bigger rims and lower profile tyres was a big part of the negotiating process between the FIA and potential new suppliers. Didn't Michelin bid only on the basis of moving to an 18" rim size?
I believe Pirelli's agreement allows for them to make the transition to larger rims at some point too.

Here's a good article from last year on the F1fanatic website in which the writer espouses the benefit of 15" rims:
I believe you're correct Chad.

Such a shame they didn't take the opportunity to switch then, although I understand it was too late to radically redesign all the cars in time?
How the heck could something as important as this slip through the net? If Ferrari, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and half a million other manufacturers have been producing large rims with low profile tyres to improve performance and handling then I despair of F1 if it's sheer "bloody-mindedness" that is holding us back! It's 2011 for goodness sake...


Can't have one without the other. The material used has no bearing whatsoever on the sizes... (Never mind.)

Once again, I have heard no logical reason why F1 hasn't kept up with the times and used MODERN wheels and tyres.
Unsaid and pure cynical speculation on my part...
Much as the change to small turbo's upsets Bernie because it will 'sound' wrong; no doubt a change to low profiles will also upset Bernie because it will 'look' wrong.

Part of the problem, as I see it, was that the issue of who was going to supply the teams wasn't made until significant time and money had been invested by the teams into this years cars. Also, I don't remember reading anywhere that the wheel / tyre dimensions had been shown to be different so the assumption at tender would be that they would remain the same. Only Micheline chipped in with the condition to change the dimensions.

To change such a significant aspect of the cars at this late stage would probably have stretched the finances of many of the teams to breaking point.

Despite that, I'm sure the change will happen at some point in the not too distant future.
I think you have it spot on Andyoak.
I knew, in the back of my mind, that there was a good reason that the low profile tyres / larger rims proposed by Michelin were not introduced for this season by Pirelli, and I'm pretty sure that was it. The teams would have had to scrap a lot of the work already done on this year's (and maybe even next year's) cars. :thumbsup:
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