F1 » Kate Walker: The potential pitfall of big wheels in F1

Kate Walker questions whether now is the right time to be looking at a potential change to wheel sizes, which has a bigger impact on car design than you might think...

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July 09, 2014 11:53 AM

Yes, they do look great and much more up-to-date. But.. as was mentioned, it's not just a case of bolting them on like you could a road car!
I can see Pirelli's angle, but I think someone at Pirelli has not really thought it through... (as regards necessary suspension changes & the associated costs etc)
With hindsight, it would have been better to bring these new wheels in for this season ie in with all the other changes... Pirelli admit they're common in other series, so again, I say "why the delay?"
Left hand not knowing what right hand is doing at Pirelli?


July 09, 2014 12:28 PM

Can I suggest renaming the title of this to 'The obvious consequence of big wheels in F1'?

There is nothing in the article that represents any potential, only pointing out the well understood ramifications of less of the suspension work being performed by the side wall. On reading the title, I was hoping this was going to be a thorough analysis of what the suspension changes might actually be, how the change might affect lateral movement and tyre heat.


July 09, 2014 2:35 PM

I am not sure that, given this year's change to the formula to make it more applicable to (ultra-high end performance) cars, you have any ground to stand on going against an 18" wheel. At the least, it will drive the promotional value of F1 - bringing in more money and interest.


July 09, 2014 5:10 PM

mrfill: If road cars are anything to go by, I can understand the drivers being unhappy. Low profile tyres = sore bum

And empty wallets, think my Audi S3 had 4 punctures due to potholes.


July 09, 2014 6:22 PM

Well researched and accurate article Kate and if the cost of R&D on the 18" lumps isn't a political issue I don't know what is. Large wheels are on road cars for style and because they increases profits for the manufacturers and tire makers, period.


July 10, 2014 1:43 AM

interesting how the "governing bodies" always change the required specification to comply, but bitch about the cost of formula 1, changing the rules costs money and should not be left to the "governing body" as they don't have the engineering expertise to pre
scribe a new formula

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