Have you ever wondered why are Formula 1 tires shiny? There is a reason they look the way they do. Tires are one of the most important components on a Formula 1 car and they play a crucial role in how the car performs on track.
It is therefore vitally important that they are manufactured to perform as optimally as possible. In this blog post, we will discuss the reason why F1 tires are so shiny.
Why are Formula 1 tires shiny?
The answer is simple. The shiny surface of the tire is down to how the tire material sets in the mould while it is being manufactured. Pirelli has changed the way they produce their tires, moving from using an all-steel mold to one made out chrome.
The shininess of the tires is the result of the super-soft tires coming out of the chrome mould which can be a difficult process due to how sticky they are. There are sometimes small imperfections in the tire surface because of this, however the new moulds help to resolve this issue.
These new tires were tested out in Formula 2 races first and it has shown that it helps its softest tires maintain a better surface.
The shine on a tire however does not last and as soon as the tire is put onto a car in a race, the shine has worn off by the time the car has reached the end of the pitlane.
The shine may remain for longer on the shoulders of the tire where the tire only occasionally comes into contact with the track, however this will too wear off relatively quickly.
Who makes Formula 1 tires?
Pirelli is the exclusive tire supplier for Formula One, taking over from Bridgestone in 2011. They supply all teams with the same specification of tire, meaning that each team has to make do with the same rubber compound. This is to promote equality and prevent any one team from having an advantage over another.
Pirelli has a long history in motorsport, supplying tires to Formula One drivers as far back as 1951. The company has also supplied tires to other racing series such as the World Rally Championship, the British Touring Car Championship and the Indianapolis 500.
Pirelli is based in Italy and has manufacturing facilities all over the world, including Brazil, Turkey and China.
How many different tire compounds are there in Formula 1?
Pirelli supplies three different types of tire to Formula One teams, with each team having access to the same compounds. The three compounds are the hard, medium and soft tires. The hard compound is the slowest and most durable of the three, while the soft compound is the quickest but it wears out more quickly.
There are also two wet options available, Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet tires.
The medium compound is somewhere in between the two and it is often used as a compromise between the hard and soft tires. In some races, teams will only have access to two of the three compounds, with Pirelli choosing which ones to bring based on the characteristics of the circuit.
For example, at the Monaco Grand Prix teams are only given the soft and supersoft tires because the street circuit is very demanding on tires.
What is the difference between dry and wet Formula One tires?
Dry weather tires are made from a harder compound rubber than wet weather tires, meaning they last longer but take longer to reach their optimum operating temperature. Wet weather tires are made from a softer rubber compound to maximise the grip in the wet and slippery conditions.
How do F1 tires vary from normal road tires?
Formula One tires are made to be as light as possible while still being able to withstand the high temperatures and loads generated by a Formula One car. They are also much wider than road car tires, measuring around 355mm at the front and 405mm at the rear.
Formula One tires do not have a tread pattern like normal road cars tires. This is because the main purpose of the tread is to disperse water and so it is not needed on a dry track. The lack of tread helps to maximise the contact patch of the tire with the track and improves both grip and traction.
For when it is raining and the track is wet, teams will use the specially designed wet tires which will have tread designed to evacuate water and minimise aquaplaning.
The construction of Formula One tires is also different to road car tires. They are made up of several layers of different rubber compounds, with each layer designed to perform a specific task.
What happens to used tires after a race?
When a race is over, tires are taken off the cars and the excess rubber is scraped off the tire. The tires are then cleaned and inspected before being sent back to Pirelli.
Once the tires have been sent back to Pirelli, they are dissected and analyzed. Pirelli uses a special machine to test the tires and collect data about their performance. The machine applies loads and forces to the tire to simulate different race conditions. The data from this analysis is then used to help Pirelli develop new tire compounds for future races.
The tires are also recycled and turned into things like flooring matting or karting tracks.
Why are Formula One tires so expensive?
Formula One tires are very expensive because they are made from a special compound that is designed to withstand the extreme speeds and forces that are involved in Formula One racing.
The tires also have to be able to provide the maximum level of grip in both dry and wet conditions, whilst lasting as long as possible. All of these factors make Formula One tires some of the most expensive in the world.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about why Formula One tires are so shiny. We hope you found this blog post informative and that it has helped you to understand a bit more about the sport of Formula One.
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