Formula 1 tires are some of the most technologically advanced and expensive tires in the world. They need to be incredibly durable and provide excellent grip on the track, as drivers reach speeds of up to 200 mph during a race.
In this article, we will take a look at how much do F1 tires cost, what materials they are made from, and some of the latest advances in tire technology.
How much do F1 tires cost?
A full set of Formula 1 tires can cost up to $2,700 and each team is allocated 13 sets of dry tires to use across the race weekend. This is split across two sets of hard tires, three sets of medium tires and and eight set of soft tires.
Each team also receives four sets of intermediate tires and three sets of full wets.
The amount of money that is spent on tire will depend on how many tires the drivers of each team will go through over the weekend.
This number will vary depending on how many rounds of qualifying each driver completes, how many pit stops and tire changes they make during the race, as well as the team and drivers strategy over the race weekend.
Changing weather conditions during the race can also cause drivers and teams to change tires more often, resulting in them using more tires, all impacting on the final cost.
It is normal for a Formula 1 driver to use 10 to 11 sets per race weekend. This means that per race each driver is using between $270,000-$300,000 in tires alone. There has also been a case where a team has managed to run all their tires and have ran out on a race weekend.
So how much do F1 tires cost for an entire season? The 2022 Formula 1 season is due to have 22 races. This means that over the course of the season a driver can use as much as $6.6 million worth of tires. For each team this cost is doubled for the 2 drivers, bringing the total to circa $12-13 million.
This number is an approximation and may be lower or also even higher depending on how many sets of tires are used.
What materials are F1 tires made from?
All Formula 1 tires have been made by Pirelli since 2011 and are made from a variety of different materials. This includes both natural and synthetic rubber as well as Kevlar and carbon fiber.
The different compounds of tires are what helps to give each tire its unique properties. For example, the softest compound is typically used for qualifying as it offers the best grip but will only last a few laps before it needs to be replaced.
Harder compounds are then used for the race as they can last much longer but do not offer the same level of grip.
Intermediate and full wet tires are only used in specific conditions and offer different levels of grip and durability.
They are also filled with nitrogen instead of air, which helps to prevent them from overheating during a race and maintains a more stable temperature.
Latest Formula 1 tire developments
Tire companies are always looking for ways to improve their products and this is especially true in Formula One. There are a number of different tire regulation changes being brought in for 2022.
This includes a new 18 inch tire to replace the outgoing 13 inch tire. It is hoped that these will help to improve the racing by making it more difficult for teams to gain an advantage through their tire choices and also make pit stops quicker and more interesting.
There have also been developments in the way that tires are made, with Pirelli now using a new type of synthetic rubber that is said to be more durable and offer better grip.
Another of the latest advancements by Pirelli has been the introduction of bio-degradable materials in the tire construction, helping them to achieve their target to become entirely carbon neutral by 2030, mirroring F1’s own sustainability strategy.
This is designed to help reduce the environmental impact of FOM as well as improve safety as any debris on the track will quickly degrade and not cause any major issues.
Formula 1 continues to show why it earns its reputation as one of the most expensive sports on the planet, with tires costing teams on average $2,700 for a set and around $12-13 Million a year in total.
For more reasons as to what makes tires so expensive, check out our guide on what “Why are Tires So Expensive”.
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