What Kind of Tires Do They Use In Formula 1?
Formula 1 cars are known for speed but need reliable tires to get them across the finish line. Over the years, the competition has had its cars equipped with many different types of tires. In this article, we’ll look at the tires used in Formula 1 races worldwide.
What Is the Official Tire of Formula 1?
Since 2011, Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli has been the official and sole supplier of tires for Formula 1. Pirelli was one of the few tire manufacturers to supply tires during Formula 1’s inaugural season in 1950. The company continued to provide the competition with tires until the 1959 season when Dunlop eclipsed them and soon became the sole tire supplier for Formula 1 for three years. Pirelli returned to the competition during the 1980s but soon withdrew before making a resurgence in 2011.
Types of Formula 1 Tires
Since some tires perform better in different conditions and situations, Formula 1 drivers can choose between various tires to race with. In total, there are seven different tire compounds in Formula 1, which are classified under three types: soft, medium, hard, and wet compounds. The softer tire compounds will allow the car to go the fastest but wear out easily. In contrast, the harder compounds allow for a stronger and more durable tire, yet a slower speed for the car. The wet tires are designed for use in rainy conditions.
Formula 1 teams have to be prepared for everything, including rain. Pirelli manufactures two types of wet tires for the competition, intermediates and full wets. Intermediates are better in light rain, while full wets are used when the track is damp with heavy rain.
Prepping the Tires
Before the race, the tires need to be thoroughly prepared and taken care of to ensure maximum performance. As such, teams have developed strategies to get the most out of the tires. One of these strategies is to wrap the tires in a heating blanket to keep them warm.
The reasoning behind this is simple: the warm tires get a better grip on the track than the cold ones. Warm tires stick to the track easier than cold ones, which is a big boost for drivers when maneuvering around the corners of tracks.
Due to this, pit crews will keep the tires wrapped in heating blankets for several hours before the race begins. The blanket contains electrical heaters plugged into an outlet to keep the tires at the right temperature.
Another important part of the tire is how much air pressure is in it. Air pressure is directly related to the temperature of the tire. As the tire temperature increases, so does the air pressure in the tire. Tires with high air pressure are more durable and last longer, but they don’t get as much grip on the track as low air pressure tires do. Conversely, tires with low air pressures may provide more grip and faster acceleration, but will ultimately wear out faster than a tire with high pressure. This creates a challenge for pit crews, forcing them to decide exactly how hot they want the tire to be and how much air pressure should be in it in order to maximize performance.
What brand of tire is used in Formula 1?
The brand of tire used in Formula 1 is Pirelli, an Italian tire manufacturer. The company has been the exclusive tire supplier since 2011. The company also produces tires for motorcycles, bicycles, and cars. Pirelli was founded in 1872 in Milan, Italy, and still serves as the location of its headquarters today. In 2021, Pirelli introduced new 18-inch tires to be used in Formula 1 races, replacing the 13-inch tires previously used in the competition.
Why are the tires of Formula 1 cars covered?
Formula 1 tires are covered primarily to keep them at the desired temperature before the race. The tires are covered with blankets that have heaters inside of them, which are then connected to a power outlet to warm up the tires. Tires with a higher temperature perform better on the track than they would with a lower temperature. This is because warm tires have a better grip, allowing them to stick to the track easier.
Why do Formula 1 cars use bald tires?
Formula 1 cars use bald tires because they provide a better grip on the track when it's dry. Bald tires are called as such because they don’t have the same grooves that normal tires have. Tires with tread, on the other hand, have less grip on the track, but do well when the track is soaked with rain. Fortunately for Formula 1 drivers, they can switch between the bald and wet tires depending on the weather conditions during the race.