Forumula One tyres are a high performance racing tyre deisgned specifically for use by Formula One cars. The tyres have undergone significant changes throughout the history of Formula One, with different manufacturers and specifications used in the sport. A Formula One tyre is often designed to last for, at most, 200 kilometres and - like everything else on a F1 car is constructed to be as light and strong as possible. Even so, F1 tyres are far tougher than those on used on ordinary road cars, which may be able to last for 20,000 miles or more, but would not stand a chance against the rigours of F1 racing. Often different type of tyre compounds will be avaible to teams, such as hard and soft or special tyres for use in wet conditions.
History[edit | edit source]
Over the years Formula One tyres have evolved and changed many times. The first tyres used in Formula One during the 1950's were tall and thin and featured tread. Generally both the front and rear tyres were the same size. By the early 1960's tyres had become wider and flatter. In the mid 60's rear tyres started to become larger than the front tyres.
Slick racing tyres were first introduced during the 1971 Formula One season by Goodyear. This increased the size of the contact patch between tyre and track providing more grip than the treaded tyres used previously. During the 1970's the size difference between rear and front tyres increase with rear tyres becoming wider and front tyres smaller. In 1977 Michelin introduced the first radial tyre. This would eventualy become the normal tyre due to their construction giving them a more constant ride height which was important due to the ever increasing reliance of aerodynamics.
By the 1980's there were several different companies providing tyres which would lead to fierce competition to make the best tyre. Due to this special tyres for use in Qualifying began to appear. These tyres would give lots more grip but would only last for a short amount of time. During the 80's and early 1990's tyre shapes and sizes began to equal out again with both rear and front being similar sizes. In 1985 tyre blankets were used for the first time. These are blankets that are used to warm tyres up while they are in the pits and when the car is on the grid. Without this prior heating the tyres would take on avergae two laps before they got to their prime working temperature.
In 1998 grooved tyres were introduced with 3 grooves in the front tyres and 4 grooves in the rear tyres. Between 1999 and 2008, regulations required the tyres to feature a minimum of four grooves in them, with the intention of slowing the cars down (a slick tyre, with no indentations, is best in dry conditions due to the larger contact patch). They could be no wider than 355 mm and 380 mm at the front and rear respectively and the maximum diameter was 660 mm (670 mm for wet tyre).
In 2005, tyre changes were disallowed in Formula One, therefore the compounds were harder as the tyres had to last the full race distance (around 300 km). Tyre changes were re-instated in 2006, following the dramatic and highly political 2005 United States Grand Prix.
Slick tyres were reintroduced at the beginning of the 2009 season along with aerodynamics changes intended to shift the balance towards mechanical grip in an attempt to increase overtaking.
Manufacturers[edit | edit source]
Past manufacturers include:
Tyre manufacturers by season[edit | edit source]
Records[edit | edit source]
Ordered by number of races won. These results are correct as of the end of the 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix.
|First win||Last win||World Championships|
|1||Goodyear||1959 – 1998||494||368||113||1965 Mexican Grand Prix||1998 Italian Grand Prix||24||26|
|2||Bridgestone||1976 – 1977
1997 – 2010
|244||175||116||1998 Australian Grand Prix||2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||11||11|
|3||Michelin||1977 – 1984
2001 – 2006
|215||102||0||1978 Brazilian Grand Prix||2006 Japanese Grand Prix||6||4|
|4||Pirelli||1950 – 1958
1981 – 1986
1989 – 1991
2011 – Present
|258||102||68||1950 British Grand Prix||2013 Brazilian Grand Prix||9||3|
|5||Dunlop||1950 – 1970
1976 – 1977
|175||83||0||1958 Monaco Grand Prix||1970 Belgian Grand Prix||8||9|
|6||Firestone||1950 – 1975||121||49||11||1950 Indianapolis 500||1972 Italian Grand Prix||4||3|
|7||Continental||1954 – 1958||13||10||0||1954 French Grand Prix||1958 Argentine Grand Prix||2||0|
|8||Englebert||1950 – 1958||61||8||0||1955 Monaco Grand Prix||1958 British Grand Prix||2||0|
|9||Avon||1954 – 1958
1981 – 1982