Formula 1: 13-Inch Versus 18-Inch

On the street, a wheel and tire combination can absolutely make or break both the looks and handling of an automobile. But what about on a race car?

Despite being the most advanced race cars on the planet, Formula 1 machines have always stuck with the fat tire and small wheel combination that disappeared from road cars long ago. That might be changing though. As this video demonstrates, Pirelli has recently been testing an 18-inch Formula 1 tire which could possibly replace the 13-inch standard currently used in the series.

While the video points out some of the technical and performance benefits of the larger wheels, it’s the look that will certainly get most race fans talking. What do you think? Should F1 switch to 18s or stick with the classic style of the 13s?

Mike Garrett
Instagram: speedhunters_mike



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Absolute yes to 18". It seems that nowadays it's all about developing road cars through F1, so the 18" would be a natural choise.
In my honest opinion it looks fresh, and something that my eye would love to get used to.


They should stay wit the 13s. All go, no show :D


I think 18 is too big for me. Generated heat can increase air pressure in the tire, and bigger wheels with same tire diameter are more sensitive to pressure increase because smaller air chamber. 15 are possible choice


Looks like someone from Pirelli's design team played a little with 3D software, made animation, showed it to his friend in marketing department and we got this video as a result. Not a single, solid, concrete thing mentioned in which 18 inch would clearly be better than 13 inch wheel.

robert armantrout

Not to open a big can of worms here, but wouldn't the shorter sidewall lead to a more communicative drive?  On a street car, this is true...  Maybe the shorter sidewall would lead to safer driving with regards to being able to feel the road?  Just throwing it out there.


robert armantrout I would have to disagree. I had 15 x 5 with 175/65/15 inch steelies on my car and then threw some 17 x 7,5 with 205/45/17 inch alloys on.
the good: more grip in corners
the bad: noticeable lack of acceleration.
In theory adding more mass = more weight. I dont see an 18 inch tire ever weighing less than a 13 inch tire with the same construction.
Also, the argument that F1 cars dont share much with roadcars is a bit ridiculous. whens the last time you saw an open wheel street car.
IMO Formula 1 tests theories and principles using a basic and optimal 'formula' (stripped out,single seat etc.) and the results are then transfered to roadcars.


To be honest, I don't like it. 18 inch is way to big for a F1 car, it doesn't look right. They say it will improve road tires, but how expensive are those going to be? I'm sceptical about it.


looks a bit too 'pimped' for me


vroomtothetomb robert armantrout vroomtothetomb, your comparison of a 15x5 steel wheel to a 17x7.5 wheel, with appropriately upsized tires, has little to do with the mass/weight difference that will be experienced in F1.  Pirelli didn't say anything about changing the width...certainly not by 50% as in your example.  F1 also runs the lightest wheels/tires available to mankind.  I'm certain your 17x7.5 wheels weren't magnesium (or whatever unobtanium alloy F1 is currently using).   The same goes for tires.  Pick up an 18", commercially available, passenger tire.  Then pick up an 18" slick.  Plus if F1 changes the rules to allow an 18" wheel, it'll be for every team.  That means any loss/gain of performance based solely on the new wheel/tire configuration will be unilateral and would effectively be zero.  

Everything you posted is filler leading up to your point/opinion that you just like fat tires better.  It's pretty reasonable to deduce that the winner of an auto race is the car/driver with the highest average speed.  I think grip would outweigh acceleration/deceleration when considering average speed.  I.E.  if you don't have to slow down, you don't have to accelerate.


Those 18's look like some kind of bad cartoon caricature. Race cars should look like race cars, form following function - that's why we all think they look so bad-ass. Keep the 13's


robert armantrout 
The cons outweigh the advantage of a stiffer sidewall.  A bigger wheel would be heavier, but most detrimental would be the effect of poorer aerodynamics.
Bigger wheels = bigger frontal area (is that the right term?) = more drag.  And F1 is all about aero.


I could see the benefits in terms of diametric expansion of the tyres at high speed.  Just look at pre-season testing of several F1 teams trying to figure out the dynamic gap between the front of the rear tyres and rear tray!  Less sidewall, less rubber, less expansion.  Perhaps there would even be a benefit from a thermal standpoint.  However, I feel the greatest downfall in increasing tyre I.D. would be the harmful effects of low speed grip.  Personally, I believe the large sidewalls and tyre deformation assist F1 vehicles around the tight, low speed bends where mechanical grip supersedes the minimal effects of the aero bodywork.


Stay in 13"... it's openwheele, not GT race car :(


@Chris vroomtothetomb robert armantrout 
The analogy of comparing an off the shelf 15 inch wheel and tire to a off the shelf 17 inch wheel and tire is valid, because your response and criticism seems to want to compare an off the shelf 13 inch wheel and tire to a aerospace 18 inch wheel and tire.  The difference between the off the shelf item is going to be comparable by ratio to the difference between what F1 will have created for their 13 inch wheel and tire to what they create for their 18 inch wheel and tire.
More importantly, the ignored part of the weight difference is the fact that the mass will be moved farther from the axis of rotation.  A 13 inch wheel has a 10 inch inner rim.  A 18 inch wheel has a 15 inch inner rim.  With the larger diameter wheel, it takes more metal, and that metal is moved farther away from the wheel bearing.  Mass times distance from the axis.  That is the lever arm.  Even if the wheel and tire combination weigh exactly the same, the mass is moved 1/3 farther away from the axis of rotation, and it takes 1/3 more force to move the wheel and tire around in a circle.

Further into the details, there is a reason that they do not make 30 series race tires: Heat dissipation.  That sidewall prevents heat buildup in the tread face and keeps the tire from disintegrating.  Put those cars on lower profile tires and tire failures will go up.

And looking at the tire testing done comparing same upsizing wheel while keeping the same tread width, they have consistently shown that available lower profile tires may provide a fraction of a second advantage, at the expense of consistency, forgiveness of driver imperfection, and excessive twitchiness.  You move the limit a tiny bit farther over, but the drop off the edge of that limit is exponentially taller.


small wheels forever!


@mmx They actually made a real one and tested it on the Lotus E22 -_-


If it provides a competitive advantage, the species will evolve.The fact that aesthetics is even discussed is making me facepalm so hard. If it were up to some of you, the engine would still be in front.


No mention of the fact that a great deal of an F1 cars suspension travel comes from the sidewall. Could be significant ramifications in reducing that, however I would imagine that these could be overcome by the clever chaps in the industry. Advantages might include brake cooling.... As for looks when the switch to narrow rear wings happened I was not convinced, but now hardly notice it on a Sunday. Wheel and rubber combos have changed over the decades, and I am sure they will again.


All I'm going to say is... YES, PLEASE!


People seem to forget this is F1. Most here probably only have experience with mass produced wheels and tires (no matter how light they may be). Imagine you have a blank slate to start from with both wheel and tire, a hundred engineers on staff whos sole purpose in F1 is engineering the car to be lighter, stronger, faster, and thats just the team. Imagine all the engineers in pirelli and the different wheel manufactures.

I think whatever negatives there may be with going to an 18" wheel will be taken out by all the people behind the scenes whos job it is to do so for our potential benefit.

I say bring on 18"s...and more power too please watching races from 04-05 is more entertaining to me. Oh, and if the drivers could stop complaining so much during the race that would be great.


@Seriously vroomtothetomb robert armantrout
i understand the physics involved in rotating mass.
That being said, and I agree with what you said, there is less rubber with the larger wheel.  So while the mass of the wheel would extend further from the axis of rotation, there is less mass from the tire rotating around the same axis.  If we had accurate data about the weights of the wheels and tires then an actual comparison of rotating mass(es) could be done.  The last few sets of tires I've purchased have been heavier than the wheels they were installed on.  So if the rubber tires are heavier than the wheels, it would follow that more wheel would reduce total rotating mass and POTENTIALLY reduce the rotating mass at the outermost edge of the wheel.


@Chris vroomtothetomb robert armantrout finally someone said it. Ive had 16" and 18" wheels from the same manufacture and design. The 18" were 2ish lbs heaver but the combination was almost a 1/2 pound lighter than the 16".


I can see it now.  All the F1 teams will have carbon fibre wheels just like the ones Koenigsegg have developed.


13s. Unless DUB becomes a title sponsor.


18's, 'cuz getting a hold of a used set for a local track day would be awesome.


18. Not only does it look much better (I'd go as far as saying that it makes the difference between the car looking stupid - as all F1 cars currently do - and pretty good), but it might also bring back multiple tyre suppliers. For example, Michelin have said they'd only consider coming back to F1 if it went to 18s, as that's relevant to road cars (and would let their F1 and P1 tyre developments profit from each other)


Like Howrare a sport where millimeters can make a huge difference in how the car performs the engineers will have their work cutout for them.


The advantages off the bat, from an engineering standpoint to go with 18in wheels are lower inertia wheel/tire combo and stiffer side walls.  It could also help the damping of oscillations from the tire, which would improve mechanical grip


Now that Formula E has come about why not let that push electric motor technology and they can have 18" tire development too as a way of getting sponsors / fans interested. For those that say F1 should have 18's because its closer to road cars, should they also have two seats?
Let F1 go to purely turbocharged versions of the V6's that they have now, no fuel flow limits, maybe jump to 15" or 16" with no tire warmers if they're really want to switch it up, and get back to what F1 should be. It would be easier and cheaper for more teams to compete and everyone would benefit.


As an ex-f1 engineer I for one would oppose. The thing is that it's not so much a weight issue, since they will roughly be the same weight if the same as current rules apply (660mm for tire diameter measured from the ground to the top of tire). Magnesium or rubber should not make much of difference. The sidewalls should be stiffer with the 18" variant, as they tend to be less high. And there-in lies the problem: You don't want a too stiff tire wall. It's more of a suspension then the suspension of the car itself. Next to that it's a less then ideal solution if you look at tire life. It's heats more, it's less forgiving (it's stiffer).

Road cars only use bigger wheels because the cars get bigger and bigger, Ever looked at rims and wondered why the wheels are so much bigger then the brakes inside them? That's the only reason why you need bigger wheels in the first place. It's more of a marketing strategy then anything else.

Pirelli is biast in this as well: The tires will be way cheaper to produce. And thats probably the only motivation for the move to 18"


ovais909 I was refering to the posted video, they could mention some benefits they observed or expect, not a bunch of vague marketing talk.


13 or else the series would have to be called F1DUB scene world championship and the cars would have chrome wheels with shinny things on the spokes, an F1 car is made to the job, not to look nice and cool. This is almost like mountain bikes, suddenly everyone changed to 29 inch wheels and i'm still not convinced of the benefits, except that it looks more like a dirt bike. Cars would look like a quad bike with normal car wheels, it's plain stupidity, F1 races suck because of many different things and looks are not to blame. Blame the pilots, the teams, the organizers for thinking all kinds of stupid rules to "improve" the series.


fortytwoeyes I agree. F1 cars might as well be spaceships for how they look. You can't relate them at all to cars you see on the road, and that seriously kills my excitement about watching F1. Not only should they move to 18 inch wheels, but they should require a minimum of 4 degrees of negative camber on all F1 chassis. GET SOME STANCE IN THERE! If the cars looked cool, maybe more young people in the US would get interested in watching F1, considering that Stance if by far the most popular form of build style now.


@Johnjusto You CAN go to a larger rim and decrease unsprung weight. You also are able to decrease the polar moment of inertia, which is the resistance to acceleration about an axis. I'm not saying it's guaranteed or that it happens that way with every tire/rim combo, but it is possible to make those improvements with the right engineering when moving to a bigger wheel tire combo. Don't write it off so easily, there really can be measurable performance improvements.


Kevski Style Polar moment of inertia improvements? To say "magnesium or rubber should not make much of a difference" is a bad way to think about this. The geometry is going to play a huge role. also: density of rubber: 1.2 g/cm^3, magnesium: 1.74 g/cm^3. magnesium is nearly 50% more dense.


FunctionFirst lol, and converting your car to single lug hubs?


@Uffington you say that with zero justification as to whether 13's are actually better than 18's. Thats not even a question that could be answered off the top of anyones head, there is a lot of analysis to be done before the best choice could be made. I say let the best rim be chosen, whatever the engineers decide that would be.


goatlamb you don't get F1 do you.


eccramer fortytwoeyes This comment is so ignorant I'm not sure where to begin.
Firsly, F1 cars run plenty of negative camber, if you ever watched a race you would see how much they run on the front head on - heaps. Secondly, don't ever mention "stance" to a race engineer or driver, they will laugh in your face.

Thirdly, if you want them to go as fast as they do, they will never look like road cars.


this.guy.said God forbid the drivers complain when their hearts are at 200bpm for two hours and they are sitting 1cm off the ground while needing to process multiple streams of information at once in a sweltering hot cockpit. So easy to say don't complain as you sit on your couch.


robzor Kevski Style : Actually thinking in density is a bad of thinking about this: I know that there is difference in every material. But your figures show that of pure magnesium and pure rubber. But do you really think that pure rubber or pure magnesium is used in both instances. You probably don't want to light a fire or have hot brakes inside magnesium is you do that. Therefore density an only be a guestimation, so should be left out of it. Furthermore, Wheels are made way thinner then tires should be made, so it shouldn't be a weight issue. 
Tires pick up and dissipate all the stress and vibration. When you change that one criteria to something which will do a lesser job of it, it's a bad thing to say the least....


@Johnjusto not once was appearance aspect mentioned in the video. This isn't being done for looks whatsoever. It's a step forward in terms of engineering and performance, you might've known that if you'd taken a moment to actually watch the video.


In terms of video, no it isn't mentioned, at least, not explicitly, on the comments below of people supporting the change, yes, lots mention that. Even GT cars use 18 inch and LMP used to have 16 inch and could easilly use bigger wheels because tyre walls are part of the suspension setup. If a change like this is good for the sport, please bring back all the other stuff that was banned like electronically controlled suspension, if were having DUB styled cars, might as well be able to raise or lower the suspension for stance purposes, and don't think i'm a hater, i love stance, big wheels, VIP styled cars, etc, etc, etc, but theres a time and a place for everything, and F1 is not the place for styling cues.
There isn't a single proof that the change would be better for the cars and the races, all they want is an excuse to fu** up the series again with another stupid change that brings nothing better to the sport.
What F1 needs is a retro change to even less aero dependency, more close racing, drivers with bigger balls and less telemetry/ simulator driving, and not another excuse for the big teams to start spending millions on research and development of a technology that is allready known and used on road cars , And no, where not gonna have better 18 inch tyres for the road because the F1 cars use them, what we might have are more expensive 18 inch tyres with the excuse of F1 technology being used.
Concentrate the changes on turbo power and hybrid technology for road cars, because that contrary to "popular belief" is the future of all things car related, whether we like it or not.


The video say NOTHING technical. Bigger wheels=higher polar moment. Its simple physics. Why is that good? Given equal tech, how could you possibly reduce unsprung weight or reduce polar moment? Its just a fad. Most serious track guys run smaller wheels on the track and bigger ones on the street - bigger looks better, smaller performs better. Big wheels on a mountain bike are to be able to go over obstacles better - it reduces performance and cornering, but better over rough terrain. Lots of confused folks here.


I see this will set more importance to the damping of the car. As discussed in the Racecar Engineerin some time ago currently F1 is regulated to passive suspension systems which drastically limits the possibilities of controlling load transfer in corners. If close to 60% of the suspension deflection is actually tyre deflection and in the other hand you could loose 20% of your downforce just by 15 mm change in ride height. Given the role of aerodynamic grip in cornering, there has to be very stiff springs to not loose too much downforce which affects to the amount of control suspension has over the wheel. And if you have stiff main springs you also need stiff roll bars to have control over load transfers so basically wheel rates are rock solid. Add to that the tyre spring rate is function of tire pressure and again tyre pressure is function of tyre temperature. Here stiffer tyre would give back some of that suspension travel for engineers to play with.


mezza345 this.guy.said Ill rephrase.They can complain all they want, I just dont want to hear it. If they didnt like what was going on they could back out or shut up and figure their way around the problem. Complaining and bickering shouldnt be apart of the solution. These people are professionals at what can be considered the top of every motorsport, with Hundreds of millions of dollars behind them and in some cases millions that theyve raised on their own and they complain like children. Thats not entertaining. How many times have you sat down to watch children argue?


this.guy.said mezza345

If you don't want to hear them showing emotion and passion in the thing they love doing most in the world, don't watch it. I find it very enjoyable to see how passionate they are.


I'd bet that the densities are very close. As far as magnesium goes yes it would be a magnesium alloy. I guess my only point is that it's silly for anyone in the comments to just write off 18" wheels when the issue is so complicated. Let the engineers doing the analysis with actual numbers do the deciding. I'm not necessarily "for"them.


robzor : I was that engineer....


So let the guys who ARE currently have their day in the sun. I'm an engineer at a big aerospace company. I'm trusted with multi-million dollar machines everyday. My point is they are the ones with all the data and info about the current cars and access to the info for what these rim and tire set ups would be like. They are the only ones with all the info tp make the decision. To say it's the wrong choice without all the info they have isn't the right thing to do. As a former f1 engineer you should know that better than anyone.


robzor : True, but as you know, in the past michelin was the one who came up with that idea in the first place. I've allready investigated that idea when I was in F1 with Toyota. And even back then, it was only because of cost concern. Less tire means less cost for them.  

And I won't say it couldn't work, but with current suspension setup cars would lose about 1-3 seconds per lap as a guestimate, although it could be more from what I understand from the people still in F1 due to aerodynamics. Apart from that it's a more dangerous car to drive. A stiffer tire has less of a gray area if it goes wrong. Not to mention more suspension failures.

Why would anybody in their sane mind want that?


13 is underage.
18 is legal.

but really, F1 should be the best - so why not go straight to 22s?

joking aside, it should be enough dramatic to switch from 13 to 14, 
given how big the experiences & setup databases are with the 13 inch slicks.

not to mention 15 or whatever bigger...

so IMO there's only one reason behind this - a certain well-known team has 
"issues" this year, so why not reshuffle the entire field and start over with 
learning from scratch, zero setup knowledge etc..?

not to mention that NO MATTER how big the downforce is, a 600 kg.racecar 
with low-profile slicks would be almost impossible to drive on the limit, taking 
in consideration tyre wear, typical F1 race distance (fuel load changes) etc.

even a hillclimb 600kg singleseater car would be darned tricky to setup and drive 
with such small sidewalls.

to me it looks like a good "diplomatic" move by Pirelli & ???? to "lobby" for 18, 
so as to "bargain" a midway agreement for 14 or 15-inch tyres later on (which 
will anyway fulfill their intention - to reshuffle and start over from scratch in terms 
of the staggering, shocking competitive differences that arose recently with 
the "thinking adaptation" that new F1 rules brought).

and yes, bigger brakes will probably be used, making brake-feel far less scary  
then the "on/off switch feel" that the current, burger-sized carbon discs offer (therefore 
making the F1-driver market far bigger... which is also sad in a way.).

Turbo and Silence was enough.. too much perhaps... this would be a joke.


Kevski Style That's a lot of English spelling mistakes for an engineer. Are you from northern-Europe?

Andrew Rogerson

18 inch? Why not, but wait until next year - get some more development time and let F1 settle after the big changes this year


I much prefer the big tire look.


mezza345 eccramer fortytwoeyes Slightly off topic but, I never understood the aesthetic appeal of negative camber apart from keeping wider wheels from poking too much.


robzor FunctionFirst would SO be worth it to run these baller rimzZz


Kevski Style robzor 
So if there is less sidewall, wouldn't the engineers just change the SUSPENSION? I would hope they could think of that.....I mean, it is adjustable, right? Tell me if I got this wrong here.


cooki_monsta Kevski Style : I'm Dutch actually. And Toyota F1 was based in Cologne, Germany. Apart from that I'm not to concerned about my spelling on the internet. Especially since its done on a phone ;) I do have duall citizenship as I also have a Canadian passport though....


D1RGE EXE Kevski Style robzor : 

Have you ever looked up the full technical regulations of F1? probably not, since otherwise you wouldn't ask such a thing? Of course it's ajustible, but there are strict rules involved. Furthermore, since F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, it's ment to support the current loades of the 13" wheels, where the tires are more of a suspension system then the suspension itself. And it's really not about the up and down movement of the suspension, but more about the latteral movement en during braking that problems occur.

So yes, your wrong. 

Let me put up an interesting question: Does the whole F1 get broadcast in the US? And who of you watch it on a regular basis in the US?


Kevski Style kevin? leuk dat je ook hier wel eens kijkt.. altijd goede artikelen.. maar nu moet je niet gaan opscheppen dat je voor toyota hebt gewerkt ;)


Kevski Style D1RGE EXE robzor I download torrents of all the races the day after and sometimes can find them live streamed. Normally they only broadcast Monaco and the USGP.
I would assume that if they take out the play in the sidewall, there must be more allowed in the suspension to retain grip. As now, I know there is more in the sidewall than in the suspension travel. Take that away and how will the cars stay on the track? I guess what I am saying is, I doubt they would just throw 18s at the teams and say, "deal with it". But then again, these are the best engineers in the world....i have no problem seeing what the engineers could come up with to compensate for the more rigid tires.


Kevski Style cooki_monsta Someone had to ask! :)


I don't agree using 18'' tires in F1. What next?


The F1 cars look sillier and sillier every year. But that doesn't really matter as they are meant to go fast. Most of the silly appearance is of course coming from the regulations (especially this year). They would look totally different if the regulations would be more open. But they probably wouldn't still be pretty.

So if bigger tires are somehow better I don't see any reason to stick with the current size. I'm quite sure that suspension engineers don't like the idea if you ask it from them now but after they have built some chassis versions with the new tire size they are probably quite fine with the new size.

Some of them might even prefer the new size as then they can have more control in suspension tuning. If 60% of suspension deflection is handled by the tire then that means that the suspension engineer can now only have control of 40% of the suspension deflection. Many of the basic rules for designing an F1 suspension will change but eventually the engineers should be able to use the offered advantages.


RenoRotary Tbh, the "relevance to the road" argument is a load of shit -  99% of road cars don't have front wheels a foot wide or rears 14" wide do they? It's all justifcation for another agenda.


berryvbeek Kevski Style : het doet inmiddels heel erg zeer in mijn hoofd om te raden waar ik jou van moet kennen, maar ik kom er niet uit....?


D1RGE EXE Kevski Style robzor : Thats just it: Thats normally not the case. Besides, a little play in the sidewall is needed, because otherwise you would get suspension failure in no time. Think of cracking carbon and you know where thats going.

And sure, the rulechanges make it interesting for an engineer, because they get challenged. But the simple truth it: We can bend a lot of rules, but not Physics. Sure, they can make the suspension beefier, but that will add weight. Why would you want that? It'll make everything worse then it was before. 

The only sane reason to go with 18" is to reduce cost as a tire manufacturer. Thats all.

And thats whats the real problem with a lot of things these days: Marketing Cowboy's....


mezza345 this.guy.said I watch Formula 1 to be amazed on a regular basis, not for a soap opera. I dont mind emotion, its normal. Were all human sometimes its uncontrollable, but I think theres been a little much this year thats been made public.


I think 16s/17s would look better and still have the improvements mentioned in the video...


oh god. i would never ever  watch F1 ever again.

73 cant even make good F1 tires now they want to go to 18 inch. Oh yea great idea lets cover up a mistake with another one.


I think by going to 18" Wheels it will be going more towards street Wheels that mostly will be used by common cars today.

By following the trend to the normal industry it might even get cheeper to produce F1 tyers or concepts.
Remembering when I was Young 13" was standard on most japaneser cars and small german cars.
Nowadays it easely is 17" Wheels that is the most common. and the first Upgrade size is 18" Wheels.

Looking to STCC and WTCC I belive they also use 18" Wheels these days or 17" witch makes this even more sensebale.
I say og for it. not just course of the fact that 18" inch Wheels are more common on normal cars but there is more to consider here.

Bigger Wheels make it possible to have bigger brakes and to be honest it is a massive acheivment to make brakes less than 13" to stop a F1 car lap after lap in high speeds. So by having bigger Wheels you may have bigger brakes so they might be easyer to cool down.

Safety is important to think about and this year there has been some issues with brakes.

So og for it I say.


Kjelliken There are rules limiting brake rotor diameter now, so it's not really a concern.


alpinaweiss LMP675 cars had no problem on low-profile 18" wheels and tires, and they were 675 kg (less than current F1 cars).


TeroK Damping will actually be a little easier, since the current tires have virtually no damping yet contribute greatly to the overall ride rate (spring rate just takes the spring into account, wheel rate includes the suspension geometry, and ride rate further includes the effect of the tire).  With that 13" balloon tire wanting to bounce around, you need all sorts of trick damping to make it work.


@Spinnetti In many cases, real racing wheels are lighter than the rubber, so weight and inertia might decrease.  The alloys used in F1 wheels are definitely not the same as what you or I would be able to afford to put on our cars. ;)


Kevski Style D1RGE EXE robzor It's a wonder Le Mans Prototypes can even last an hour let alone 24 at Le Mans with those evil 18" wheels!  Seriously though, they'll likely bump overall diameter up from 660 to 690 or so.  I would bet they would end up around the same diameters as prototypes, since there's a wealth of data available there, and they seem to have converged on the 690-710 mm diameter range.


Really? Does anyone ANYONE realize larger wheels actually slows a car down? Not to mention on a street car worsens the ride and the tires are more expensive. Show cars w 18+ inch wheels? Sure if that's your thing but if u care at all about performance your not using large diameter wheels. And as for benefits of going to 18 inch wheels in the video didn't hear a single specific benefit. If u watched the fast and the furious and think u know about cars do some research.


Such as? Specifically? Lol there's literally no benefit to larger wheels.. even pirellis video couldn't come up w one lol


At last! Someone talking sense on this subject. F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of Motorsport, not a follower of fashion. Large wheels on road cars are being driven mostly by styling trends and the need to accommodate ever larger brakes to stop ever larger cars. F1 cars weigh 650kg all-in, as opposed to nearly 2000kg for many so called sports cars these days. Bigger wheels mean higher unsprung mass, which means they don't want to change direction or accommodate bumps, making the car more difficult to control ( difficult to steer, difficult to put power down under challenging conditions). Form is drive by function, this why F1 cars use smaller wheels.
Road cars should learn from motorsport, not the other way round. Road cars have to make huge design compromises that F1 cars don't, that's why most everyday road going 'sports cars' don't use many of the technologies employed by the pinnacle of Motorsport eg; F1 derived, double wishbone suspension and inboard dampers. There isn't much that F1 can learn from road car technology when it comes to performance, unless cup holders are made mandatory for 2015. Pirelli only want to see 18inch wheels so that they can sell more road going tyres, not because they will improve performance.


Classic all the way, no need to "rice" it out.


greenroadster Cupholders.


malcolm33 Very true. For example, a 15x7 +38 Kosei K1 Racing wheel weighs 13.5 pounds, but the Bridgestone Potenza RE-11A in 195/50R15 size is around 20 pounds.


mrwicksy RenoRotary Nor the proper suspension.


eccramer fortytwoeyes That already happened back in late '90s, it was called "rice", but instead of taking inspiration from F1, it was the touring car championships - single wiper conversions, touring wings, large diameter wheels, graphics and bright paint jobs, etc.


apex_DNA And air conditioning

Jonathan Engeleit

i don't think it really matters whether they make the tires bigger, they just need to stop making tires a part of the race all together.  The passing should happen only on the track and never on the pit lane.  For most of its history formula 1 did not need to change tires so how is it that we can consider them the pinnacle of racing technology if they've gone backwards?


MilesHayler f1 has never meant to look the best ....... every shape/form will follow some specific function


KhaledElhussien MilesHayler The introduction of vanity panels, the banning of additional wings...


Tires will run out faster. Pirelli will sell more tires to Formula 1. Maybe they are not selling enough tires out there. Shitty tires btw.


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It is difficult to believe the arguments for staying with 13" wheels. Redesign the suspension? Are you kidding me? If anyone believes that the engineers do not have that done they lack any real world thought (Formula E!). The use of lower profile tyres should require, at the most, a change in spring rate. With less unsprung weight and less sidewall flex these two elements alone should enable current compounds to last marginally longer. The lesser side wall flex should also give the driver a more relevant road feel. Then the argument on brakes and ducting giving more aerodynamic advantage. That is a problem? And with the wheels being used as a conductive element to cool the brakes, the additional amount of alloy (Highly suspect Magnesium here?) in an increased amount of airflow with the materials used in brakes should make it easier to move that heat and cooling it to a lesser temp BEFORE it gets to the tyres! Tyres will hold the heat much longer. With larger wheels and brakes the ducting along with the increased space in the wheels may well enable carbon fiber wheels to further reduce unsprung weight requiring even less cyclic motion in the suspension.

Or just take it back to the '60's.


- DTM 18 INCH 
      - WRC 18 INCH or 15 INCH (gravel)
        - WTCC 18 INCH
        - FIA GT3 18 INCH
        - LeMans 18 INC
        - Formula E 18 INCH
           - NASCAR 15 INCH (those cars don't corner so they don't need "less sidewall flex" )

        - FORMULA 1 13 INCH ??

Almost all race cars use 18 inch or above. F1 uses 13 inch due to brakes regulations, so they could not use bigger ones.... at least this was one of the reason in the past... It is the road cars that should go back to 16 and 17.