New 18-inch pirelli tires: what it means for formula 1 teams

Pirelli brings new tire dimensions to the 2021 formula one season: what that means for teams when designing cars and whether racing will get better

(motorsport-total.Com) – part of the new vehicle concept for the new 2022 formula 1 season are also the 18-inch rims, which have been the subject of repeated talk for some time now. Tire manufacturer pirelli had to develop and produce a completely new product with a significantly shorter sidewall for this purpose.

Rie 13- and 18-inch Pirelli tires compared

Pirelli sets 2022 on new 18-inch tires zoom download

And that’s what teams and drivers will probably have to get used to the most when it comes to tire behavior compared with the previous model.

First, the driver’s vision is more impaired than before. Not only the rims were increased in diameter, but also the entire tires. When mounted, the new tires are 60 millimeters larger than before. This, of course, makes it more difficult to see over it from inside the car.

In addition, visibility will be further compromised when we add the new deflector that will be mounted above it.

Aerodynamicists will also be challenged by the changes, as the lower profile tire will behave differently than the previous rubber. The dynamic behavior of the tire leads to inconsistencies that you definitely want to get under control.

In the recent past, a number of aerodynamic tricks have been used to reduce the tyre squirt to mitigate the well-known walg effect. However, with many of these features either removed or severely restricted, teams have had to find new ways to deal with the resulting change in tire stiffness and sidewall height.

Deformation of the tires

The new tires roll differently than the old zoom download

Pirelli has long had the task of making the sport more entertaining. Thermal degradation has been identified as a way to create strategic differences between teams and drivers.

However, as part of the revision, the drivers had asked for this aspect to be given less prominence. You want to be able to drive more freely without fear of having to manage the tires so much during a race.

In years past, it was common to drive well below the car’s actual potential to prevent the tire from overheating and requiring an additional pit stop. All the driver had to do during a stint was stick to a lap time delta. With older tires, the car was on the road faster than with an additional pit stop and fresh tires.

If you then take into account the time lost by overtaking other cars or lapped drivers, the turtle tactic was suddenly much more attractive than the full-throttle hare tactic.

However, pirelli’s approach to the development of the new tires and the impact of the redesign of the car could change this strategy.

The stiffer tires with shorter sidewalls will feature a new design to address some of the temperature issues teams have faced at the tire shoulder. This should lead to lower management.

Hunting for performance

The teams have worked hard in the past era to address some of these issues, and have found performance reserves in numerous places – be it in the strategy for the tire cover, the design of the rims, the brake ducts or the suspension.

All of these elements will need to be redesigned for 2022. Don’t forget that the aerodynamic balance of the car will also change as a result of the switch to a more underbody-focused design.

Heating blankets for tires

Tires will no longer be allowed to heat up as much from 2022 zoom download

While current regulations indicate that tire ceilings will be permanently banned from 2024, the most important change from 2022 is that the maximum temperature of ceilings will be reduced from 100 to 70 degrees celsius.

This could affect how drivers drive out of the pit lane or approach the race start, as they may need to warm up the tires first instead of managing their temperature immediately.

However, the way the tires are handled may change in any case, because while many teams have increased suspension elements and used more extreme pushrod-on-upright solutions to help with various aerodynamic efforts in recent years, these have been removed along with the hydraulic solutions.

Mercedes suspension

The suspension of the mercedes W10 in detail zoom download

Instead, teams will return to classic spring suspension, which will naturally affect the behavior of the car and give the driver a different feedback and feel.

Switching to BBS as the sole rim supplier means that all the advantages they had in controlling heat transfer between rim and tire will also be lost. The large cooling fins seen on mercedes in recent years are no longer possible.

Larger brakes

It should also be noted that the size of the brake discs will also change in 2022. The standard diameter of 278 millimeters used since 2017 for the front and rear discs will be replaced by new dimensions.

At the front, teams can choose a disc size between 325 and 330 millimeters, while at the rear a disc diameter between 275 and 280 millimeters is permitted.

The brakes also get new dimensions zoom download

These changes obviously affect the design of the brake discs and their proximity to the larger rims, with additional design considerations also going into the brake channel design.

This could be a way for the teams to gain some small advantages over their competitors.

But even if the possibility of developing designs as complex as in the past has been drastically reduced, the transfer of heat generated during braking could still prove crucial for the temperature management of the tires.

Mclaren was seen with this large brake drum zoom download

As can be seen from the design of mclaren’s test carrier, there is the possibility of enlarging the brake drum to adapt it to the size, as would have been done in the past. However, the teams could also see the advantages of a slightly smaller drum and a larger space between it and the rim.

As anticipation builds for the 2022 season and we get to see the cars for the first time, we’ll no doubt be raving about the different aerodynamic approaches the teams have taken in light of the new rules.

but teams and drivers will hope that they have done everything right in the aspects that can influence tire performance.

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