Pirelli ‘focussing on 19-inch wheels’

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery says they are more interested in developing tyres for 19-inch wheels having tested an 18-inch version earlier this year.

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Hembery: Pirelli focusing on 19-inch tyres not 18-inch (Crash)

“We are doing a lot of work – probably focusing on 19-inch now, if I am really honest with you. We are carrying on our work internally on those developments and so from our point of view it goes ahead.”

Verstappen op drempel Formule 1 (De Telegraaf, Dutch)

Red Bull’s motorsport director Helmut Marko has reportedly taken an interest in Max Verstappen, son of former F1 driver Jos Verstappen, who is currently second in the European Formula Three championship in his first season since graduating from kart racing.

Symonds: Williams form no flash in the pan (F1)

“I do think that is a bit of wishful thinking from Eric [Boullier] as well [saying that Williams only perform on certain tracks]. Don’t get me wrong, I do recognise the differences for us at places like Austria, but I still believe we have the third quickest car, and if we use it and develop it properly we will be third quickest at most circuits.”

Button impressed by Williams revival (Autosport)

“They’ve lost a lot of points this year through incidents or just not getting everything out of the car, which is good for us, because otherwise they’d be miles in front!”

F1: Fernando Alonso suggests Mercedes have been the biggest surprise of the season – and have set a new benchmark (The Independent)

“We were all struggling [in testing], but straight away they were okay, and now from 11 races they’ve won nine and nearly always been on the front row.”

How should the Formula 1 media report on the sport? (James Allen on F1)

“In 1978 it was questionable whether one should travel to Argentina to cover the World Cup. In 1936 it was even more questionable going to Berlin for the Olympic Games. The role of democracy is to permit citizens to ask each other questions on the world around them. That also applies to sport..and any barrier to this right is a brake on the freedom of expression.”

G-drive Show (YouTube)

A Red Bull F1 show car catches fire during a demonstration run in Russia.


Lewis Hamilton: “I had the pleasure to go to the White House and meet the president of the United States and first lady thanks to my lady Nicole Scherzinger. I’m proud of you babe for being the global ambassador for the Special Olympics.”

Comment of the day

You’re know you’re an F1 Fanatic when you relish the special feeling of getting up at the crack of dawn for a fly-away race:

I understand why people prefer using a single time zone but just to be awkward I like the oddness of early races. I have made weekends out of inviting friends over to sleep, or stay up all night and we all get up at some idiotic time in the morning to watch a race. That has been part of the excitement and charm.

On the night races I find the lights harsh, there’s no characteristic to the track and everyone looks a bit shell-shocked! I watch Le Mans through the night and love it, but part of the charm is they have headlights, the night driving is part of the challenge, and its amazing watching the sun come up over the track, but I don’t get that buzz with F1 night races. I am pleased that Australia has stuck to their guns on this one.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Katy and Paul Gawne!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is via the contact form or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Porsche power held sway at the Hockenheimring 30 years ago today – although the engines in the dominant McLaren cars had been paid for and were branded by TAG.

Early leaders Elio de Angelis (Lotus) and Nelson Piquet (Brabham) both dropped out due to mechanical maladies, letting Alain Prost to lead Niki Lauda in a McLaren one-two.

In a generally unexciting race, Ayrton Senna suffered a fright when his Toleman’s rear wing failed at high speed:

Also happy birthday to Esteban Gutierrez who is 23 today!

Images © Lotus/LAT, FIA F3

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Pirelli ‘focussing on 19-inch wheels’”

  1. I can certainly believe that Max Verstappen is on the cusp of being added to RBR’s junior driver program (I seem to remember him hanging around Red Bull’s garage at a recent GP). He does seem to be a super talent.

    However, it’s ridiculous to suggest that they’d put him in F1 next year, as a 17 year old, ahead of Sainz Jr, Gasly and Lynn (assuming there’s a vacancy at STR).

    It seems to me to be combination of a typically over excited journalist and a slow news period.

    1. @tdog But on the other side of things, how may projected Kyvat to be driving this year?

      Just goes to show that you never know what will happen next year. I personally think JEV is gone unless he happens to win the next few races…

      1. Kvyat had years of single seater experience. Verstappen only has this very season.

        I fully agree with @tdog on this one.

  2. 18″-19″ to be different! who cares, just make them durable enough to allow the drivers to race at close quarters, Pirelli.

    1. Amen to that @hohum!

    2. Seriously!!! Totally agree!!!

  3. I was unsure of how the 18″ rims looked in the original images released, but damn they look good in that photo…

    1. I seem to be the only one who doesn’t really like them that much… The arguments put up about moving to the larger rims as making the F1 cars more relevant I find hilarious, such a ridiculous claim, as if the cars don’t have massive wings and open cockpits the wheels will make such a negligible difference in the scheme of things. In my opinion the rules should be focused around making the cars faster, not slower and then using road relevance as a ridiculous excuse for over the top cost saving measures. As long as the wheels allow the cars to go faster, I’m fine with them, but already it seems the teams won’t be allowed to exploit the extra real estate these will bring so it seems there won’t be a huge gain. I’d much rather that the FIA focus on making the F1 cars faster than the V10 era, this is the pinnacle of motorsport not the test bed.

      1. More relevant to the marketing dept.

      2. The pinnacle has always been a test bed.

        1. not really. how will developing a tyre that lasts 100km at 200kmh average in a car weighing 600kg have anything to do with a road car weighing 3 times as much averaging 40kmh in traffic and needing to last atleast 2 years. if f1 was ever a testbed it should have run turbo diesels in the 90s. the so called pinacle has less relevancy then lemans and touring car series.

          1. anything that looks to have been developed in f1 and filtered through to road cars was already coming anyway. i am surprised they are still using spark plugs, there is new technology coming to road cars with no spark plugs with far more optimal fuel burning.

          2. Exactly – the technological transfer is non existent, as most tyres for the road have completely contradictory requirements to a racing slick tyre. Just as one example, in motorsport you do not have to worry about concerns such as noise emissions from the tyres, whereas tyres for public use do have restrictions on noise emissions.

            Take Michelin boasting about the fact that teams can triple stint tyres at Le Mans – asides from the fact that it suggests their tyre performance has declined, since a few years ago it was possible to do four stints, that is still only a paltry 530 miles. Is information from a sportscar at Le Mans that only does 5-10% of the distance a typical tyre lasts and requires a fundamentally different performance from the tyre really of any use to anyone outside of motorsport?

          3. No really. you don’t get anywhere in F1 with tried and tested technology, you don’t even get away with Marchs technology in November, unless you are developing and testing something new you are going backwards.

          4. yes, but most of the cars don’t generate more than 2000kg of downforce, nor have a lateral loading of 5G. those things are quite exponential, so if a tyre can last 100km with those condition, it surely can last 10000km in a normal circumstances.

          5. @hohum, there is a difference between developing something and developing something with relevance to the wider automotive world.

            F1 has a certain adeptness at the former, but the latter is something that the motorsport industry is quite poor at. Newey himself, when publicly asked what he thought was the greatest innovation in motorsport, stated that he thought that motorsport had produced no innovations – as he put it, “Formula 1 is an end user of technology developed outside of motorsport”.

            The famous “F duct” that McLaren were using a few years ago? That turned out to be based on aviation research from the 1950’s. The high pressure fuel injection systems in use in F1? Developed by outfits like Bosch for the automotive sector – in fact, there was a period where Audi had more advanced fuel injector systems on their road cars, due to tightened emissions regulations, than they did on their diesel LMP1 cars.

            Speaking of which, it is worth noting that, to a certain extent, some parts on some cars are a lot older than you might think – Brembo has indicated that, until the enforced changes this season due to the introduction of new energy recovery systems, most teams were using the same braking systems for multiple years. Similarly, advances in gearbox technology more or less petered out towards the end of the V8 era – the only major development was Williams’s lowline gearbox in 2011, but that proved to be a disaster and they actually went back to a 2010 spec design for 2012.

            Newey, meanwhile, described the RB9 as more of a RB7B car, since a number of components had not changed since the RB7 – the chassis of the RB9 was essentially identical to the RB7. Even some of the major teams tend to recycle elements of chassis design quite frequently, since to start from scratch on an entirely new chassis is a major effort – it’s one reason why some outfits, like Sauber, were perhaps not so well equipped to deal with the transition from the V8’s to V6’s.

            The teams only have a finite amount of resources, so teams pursue the routes that offer the most rewards – so in that scenario, some aspects do tend to be left at a certain development level once the team decides that the yield is not worth the expenditure.

          6. Before making sensible comments it is strongly advised to check some books on vehicle dynamics, especialy tire design.

          7. @kpcart, new high hysterisis compounds can be tested for grip, wear, temperature tolerance etc. and having established those parameters they can then predict with more certainty its value for blending into harder wearing compounds for road use.

        2. ANON, you are making the mistake of only looking at the recent past, F1 at its worst due to the development bans and restrictions, and then your idea of relevance only extends to direct transfers of major systems, before the homogenised era engineers were pushing RPM into the stratosphere, not because they wanted to make road cars that reved to 20,000 rpm but because they wanted to improve efficiency and reliability in road engines capable of reving 20% higher than they currently sell.

          1. Given that I was quoting the development of technologies from the 1950’s, I disagree that I am solely looking at the recent past.

            Incidentally, since you mention the high revving engines, from an efficiency standpoint revving to very high rpm’s is actually a terrible idea, since frictional losses are proportional to the square of the root mean piston speed.
            The reason why there was a race in increase the rev limit of the engines was because that was the sole method available to them to increase the power of the engines by increasing the mass flow of the fuel air mixture through the cylinder.

            Efficiency wise, the V8 engines weren’t as impressive as you think – the estimated Brake Mean Effective Pressure (BMEP) rating, which is designed to be a displacement independent comparison of the efficiency of a reciprocating piston engine, of the V8 engines was thought to be barely higher (1.3% higher) than the last generation of NASCAR V8 engines (the variants which were still using carburettors) due to the high parasitic pumping losses and frictional losses at full throttle.

            Asides from that, the trend in F1 was completely the opposite direction to that of the broader automotive sector, where efficiency has been sought through the use of turbocharging and energy recovery systems, which F1 then adopted. Since you brought up the V8 era, it’s worth noting that the most successful system – the Mercedes system – actually used off the shelf motors that were built by Zytek for the automotive sector, such that the transfer was entirely from the road to the track instead of the other way around (Toyota, when they pulled out, were scathing of F1, complaining that much of the technology they used in F1 was surpassed by their road going division around a decade earlier).

      3. @williamstuart if it wasn’t for the article, I may have not noticed them. They’re fine at 18″ to me.

      4. I would rather the FIA concentrated on making the F1 cars faster than the V10 era, this is the pinnacle of motorsport not the test bed

        I disagree and find this emphasis on using technology to make the cars ever faster ” cause it’s the pinnacle inn’it ” annoying, If we want the fastest lap times possible we don’t need the latest technology, we can get enough from the last century to exceed the physical limits of human drivers, unlimited fuel flow turbo engines, fan induced downforce, ground effect skirts, computer controlled suspension, anti-lock brakes, traction control and automatic transmissions, they were all done last century and they were banned for good reason but if you built a car using all those features even Max Chilton could do laps faster than any F1 car ever built. We need to keep reducing the amount of technology available in order to keep the skill of the driver relevant.

        1. petebaldwin (@)
          5th August 2014, 11:18

          @hohum – Exactly. I’m sure someone could design a car that drives itself faster than the current F1 cars go but you lose what is great about F1.

          It’s not how fast they go, it’s about the quality of the racing. Would it improve things if they lapped 2 seconds a lap quicker? I doubt anyone would even notice.

        2. @hohum: It’s a tricky balancing act. High tech is one of the attractions of F1, but at the same time you have to restrict the amount used, and still be able to sell it as the top category.

      5. “William Stuart” SAID:
        I’d much rather that the FIA focus on making the F1 cars faster than the V10 era, this is the pinnacle of motorsport not the test bed.
        they could easily let them go faster if they could do the the same rev’s,
        the idea is to keep them slower which is safer,
        if you let the cars go faster track would have to be transformed to except the extra speeds,
        don’t get me wrong i would love to see them go faster but it is too costly all round…
        ever since i started watching F1 it has always in someway reduced speeds,
        yet the teams have always managed to go faster with some new invention,
        these cars could be doing 400ks down the straight if the allowed them,
        a crash at that speed could see bodies flying out off cars and that would not be except able..
        the cars are already going down the straight faster than last year, but due to 1/2 the down-force the drivers have to drive the cars round corners which is making for better racing, but slower track times,
        all good in my book, makes for a far better spectacular race all round, i think most other agree as well if you have a look at the ratings…

        1. I wonder if it is relevant for F1 to go to 19’s simply to catch up. All other racing series use low profile tires, as do all performance road cars. It seems most people today agree F1 is grasping at straws trying umpteen concepts/gimmicks/gadgets to maintain global viewership via ‘the show’ and I don’t think that is aimed at those of us already watching. So if it is about new viewers I think it cannot hurt to have F1 cars on tires that look like current racing/performance tires.

          1. As i’ve said before the move to larger tyres is about much more than road relevance & is something both Bridgestone & Michelin also wanted when they were in F1 as well as something Pirelli have wanted since they joined in 2011.

            Right now F1 is pretty much the only category still using such small wheels so an F1 tyre supplier can share nothing between F1 & other categories they compete in.
            They have to produce F1 specific tyre molds & F1 specific compounds/construction.

            For example when Bridgestone became the sole tyre supplier in 2007 they pushed for a switch to 15″ slick tyres so that they could look at sharing some of the tyre technology between F1 & Champcar/Indycar which ran 15″ slicks (Indycar still does).

            Last year when Michelin were looking at F1 they wanted 18″ tyres so that they could share tyre tech between F1 & WEC where the cars currently run 18″ tyres.

  4. Re:COTD I live in the eastern US, and from a timing standpoint, my favorite races to watch are the ones held in Europe. Getting up at 6 or 7AM is no big deal, and with everything wrapped up by 10 o’clock or so, it leaves the rest of my Sunday to go out for a nice motorcycle ride! The races from Asia/Australia, on the other hand, can be a bit of a struggle.

    1. I agree, when I was in Florida I could watch the race (8am local start) and still meet up at 10am with friends for breakfast.

    2. As some one from Australia the worst time zone for race’s are the Americas. Because where so far ahead of the states your race along with brazil isn’t till 5am Monday mourning our time. it always bugs me when I hear people complaining about the time of day they have to watch a race at least all the race’s are still on the weekend for you guys, it sucks having to miss the end of a race because you have to start work on a Monday mourning. I have long thought it would be a good idea to have the north and south American race’s on the Saturday so that they are during the weekend for all the world, would it really be so bad for the uk to watch a race on Saturday night, so that the Australasian market can at least have it on the weekend.

      1. I think some Western races could be moved a bit earlier in the morning or maybe like you said, Saturday races later in the evening, potentially night races.

      2. I too am from Australia and I think it would harm the Melbourne GP to have the race any later on a Sunday night then it already is. The race already finishes late enough on a Sunday that I believe if it were a night race it would deter people from going as most of us that go have jobs to go to on Monday Morning.

      3. Having qualifying in the middle of Friday wouldn’t do the home audience any favours.

    3. I also live in the Eastern US, and I have to agree; wake up at 3am to watch the race, and I can still catch a nap and have the rest of the afternoon free.

      Plus, I’ve always thought there was something special about waking up at ridiculous times to watch the races.

      1. @j-rva Same here, living in NY, I wake up at 4 or something to watch some flyaway races. If it is 1 or 2am though, I can just stay up through the night.

      2. I’m also in NY and do the same. This year I have a newborn, so it’s pretty easy to be awake for the races!

    4. Same here. Europe is a nice way to start the day. Unless, literally the first thing you see one day is your favorite driver smash into the barriers during qualifying.

    5. Seriously I don’t know how you guys do it, I have the Mountain time zone equivalent in my country and could never get a routine working for me.

      I used to miss lots of races pre-2011 that’s when I got my DVR, thanks Sky+ lol
      Obviously it’s not for everyone but it was the perfect fix for me.

      1. yeah here in New Zealand being the first to see the light on any new day,
        if you can afford SKY TV sport, i can only justify it, because my wife is into F1 now so that’s sorted,
        yep our Europe races start at 11-55pm Sunday night finish around 2-30am Monday morning, so you have to been keen to stay up and watch em,
        we also have all the live broadcasts of Qualifying which just adds to the interest..
        loving this season more than ever..

  5. Mark in Florida
    5th August 2014, 1:48

    Pirelli make them 22s and chrome and it will add some bling to the race. Come on does a race car need that much unsprung weight to deal with? Soon the wheels will be made out of carbon fiber to offset the weight. Where did the cost saving plan go to :/

    1. Why aren’t the wheels made of carbonfibre yet?

      1. Presumably because magnesium alloy is more appropriate.

    2. Given that the rubber in the sidewall of the tyre is heavier than the magnesium alloy of the spokes, I would have expected larger wheels to be lighter than the 13s with a tyre fitted.

      1. @mazdachris, that has always been my thinking too, I wish we could get definitive figures.

  6. shame on you, Keith, how could you forget the 1957 nurburgring gp? shame on you! :D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8GewTBczsQ

    1. Ah yes, if a race ever deserved a 10 out of 10 is this one, lucky few who were able to see man and machine in perfect harmony at this track in 1957.
      I’m sure several drivers in many cars have done it over the years trying to beat laptimes etc, but this was different Fangio was fighting for a victory, for the world championship, taking so many risks he even admitted being careless. The fact that he survived it at all shows how much talent this man had.

      1. surviving an F1 season in those days were quite an achievement, let alone get the WDC or the incredible 5 WDC tally! Here in Argentina Fangio is revered with almost the same awe than Maradona so, he’s a big deal here…

    2. @matiascasali This is a baffling comment. What makes you think I’ve forgotten it?

      1. you didn’t post “on this day on f1” :D

  7. 19” wheels ?!?! What’s this, the Flinstones ? Better be 22s !

    1. with spinners! dont forget the spinners ;)

  8. James Allen’s article is spot on. As David Tremayne rightly points out, media actually made fans excited about the new cars, while Red Bull’s Mateschitz, Ferrari’s Montezemolo and Ecclestone were criticising F1. And “negativity” is not bad per se, if it means identifying problems and looking for ways to solve them, then it helps the sport get better.

    Republishing teams’ press releases and singing their praises is not journalism. F1 media should search for truth, be competent and independent, that is all I expect from it.

    1. Don’t know why my comment went here, it was about the teams & drivers feature which seems broken, comments which just disappeared?

      1. I can only choose one. Even if I mark multiple drivers and teams, after saving it’s just one… and yes, I marked multiple by pressing ctrl.

  9. Regarding the piece in the Telegraaf: yeah, the Telegraaf is a pretty sensationalist Dutch newspaper (I think you can compare it to The Sun). I doubt Helmut Marko would offer a seat to someone with half a year of experience in single seaters. And I also doubt whether Verstappen’s father Jos would let that happen.

    1. @andae23 Some other websites said the rumor originated at an Italian website, though. In any case, Jos hasn’t denied the Red Bull link and has been in constant praise of how mature Max is.

      I think this is one of those rumors crazy enough to be true, regardless of leaving at least 2 drivers out in the old and potentially ruining Max’ career..

      1. @npf1 Don’t think it would be a good idea for Max to jump into F1 next year. But we’ll see – I don’t see it happening, but I’ve been proven wrong many times before. ;)

        1. At max (ha, pun intented) he would be named “reserve driver” or something and doing WSR or something IMO @andea23

    2. It sounds more like what the author of that piece would like to see happen rather than what is actually likely to happen – like Jan Magnussen, Jos has indicated that he doesn’t want his son to make the mistake he made by jumping into F1 before he has matured in junior series.

      I can possibly see Red Bull offering him a place in their Young Driver program, but more likely with an eye to promoting him to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series, with Sainz Jr the more likely candidate to replace a driver at Toro Rosso.

      1. Actually, Jos has said in several Dutch media outlets today he thinks it would be okay to ‘plunge Max into the deep.’ Jos seems to be going for his old method of ‘saying A while doing B’…

  10. Is Jenson angling for a Williams seat next year?

    1. How ? Switching places with Bottas ?

      1. Apparently Boullier is Chasing Bottas.

        1. LOL. Bottas and Magnussen. That would be fun. Blind leading the blind.

          TBH. I am not sure whether Jenson even WANTS to stay at McLaren…

          1. or in F1 for that matter…

          2. Come on, Bottas has been doing okay. But then again, his teammate is Massa.

  11. Great job with the word cloud Keith. I had to zoom a lot to find Alonso on it. The minimal radio between Alonso and team is surprising. Do they really talk less? Or FIA doesn’t broadcast them?

    1. A lot of Alonso’s radio is in Italian, which the FOM typically doesn’t broadcast.

  12. Prediction: Jenson Button driving for Williams 2015 & 2016.

    1. And Vandoorne to replace him. Nice

  13. In all seriousness, while young Max has been very impressive for his first racing series that isn’t go karting, there’s a number of stories that I’ve heard that im quite annoyed about. Firstly, while he has been impressive, there is no way it would be fair and realistic to get him into STR before Sainz Jr, Gasly or Lynn because they’ve had to do a lot more than Max to make it to the Red Bull Junior Team or even a test in a Formula 1 car (only Sainz Jr has test a F1 car).

    Secondly, hes turning 17. Hes way too young to even be ready for F1. Yeah, sure, hes quick but 1 racing series can never be a judging point. And whats even worse (from an Australian’s perspective), he wouldn’t legally be able to drive by himself on the road, he’d still be a learner driver.

    And lastly, if Max’s performances gets him noticed by Red Bull for a race seat, then what about Marvin Kirchhofer from ART GP in GP3. Aside from karting and GP3, hes only competed in 2 other junior formula championships and he won both of them. If he can do that and be beating hes more experinced teammates and even get his 1st win at his home GP and have great as well as consistent results, why hasn’t any F1 team offered him anything?

    1. @mattypf1

      While I’m not defending the idea of Max to debut next year (I’m against it, to be honest), Red Bull has never been about fairness. Ask Brendon Hartley or Michael Ammermüller. Not to mention Kyvat was picked over Da Costa and Sainz as well, despite both of them having more experience in more powerful cars.

      There have been other drivers who only ran F3 for a full season and one winter series (his father, amongst others) and we all know being a GP2 or FR3.5 champion is no guarantee for success in F1 (ask Fabio Leimer or Robin Frijns). As for drivers licenses, Scott Speed could get his at 16 and that ‘experience’ didn’t help him much. (For the record, he’d also be a learner driver here, but he could get his license, meaning an adult with at least 10 years of driving experience would have to accompany him at all times in a car until he turns 18 and magically has responsibility).

      As for Kirchhofer, he’d hardly be the first driver to win, be consistent yet never end up in F1. Robin Frijns won 3 championships in a row, yet has little F1 experience to show for it. While guys like Bottas, Hamilton, Vettel and other F3 winners have gone on to win in F1, what does Davide Valsecchi have to show for himself for winning GP2? F1 isn’t fair and personally, I’ve lost count of the number of drivers I thought were going to make it into F1, while some driver I’ve barely heard of or impressed me took a seat at a midfield team.

      Again, I don’t want Max to make his debut next year, but this is one of those crazy stories that might just happen. Look at Kvyat last year, nobody expected him to make the jump from GP3. Look at Raikkonen, who got a provisional super-license because Mosley thought he would be dangerous. At the same time, look at guys like Maldonado or Van Der Garde, with plenty of single seater experience, yet make plenty of silly mistakes.

      1. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of Brendan Hartley, he was treated quite poorly actually. The points you prove are very reasonable and I have no reason to argue with you at all. And if you didn’t expect Kyvat to make it to F1 from GP3, then I bet you never expected Marcus Ericsson to get into F1 after coming 6th in GP2 (his best result out of his 4 full time seasons in GP2)

        1. @mattypf1 I don’t know, Ericsson didn’t surprise me, drivers like Karthikeyan have made me plenty cynical these past few years..

  14. Here in UTC+7 races are either in the afternoon (Asian/OZ races), 7 PM (European rounds), or midnight (The Americas). None are at dawn.

  15. Here in UTC+7 races are either in the afternoon (Asian/OZ races), 7 PM (European rounds), or midnight (The Americas). None are at dawn.

  16. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
    5th August 2014, 13:01

    Max Verstappen is an increasingly interesting story. With both Red Bull and Mercedes interested in his F3 exploits, significant paddock figures appear confident that we are seeing a future star, not just a karter enjoying the balance of an F3 car designed with benign torque delivery and to oversteer progressively; very much a junior chassis still. However the fact that Mercedes and Red Bull are fighting over him is a credible argument in his favour. Strangely I don’t think it’s a battle Helmut Marko can win, with Max knowing that whilst Red Bull have Kvyat, Vergne, Sainz, Lynn and Gasly to juggle, the dejected exit of Sam Bird to sportscars leaves Mercedes without a) a reserve driver and b) an empty list of supported junior talents (Mercedes’ association with Jazeman Jafaar is merely through Petronas; he has no other link to the team). It’s a no-brainer, Max…

  17. Does moving to 19″ wheels do anything other than ascetics? Like, are there any performance advantages gained from bigger rims and lower profile tyres?

    1. What performace advantages… when FIA tries to make the cars slower and slower ? I’m pretty sure the reason behind the change is based solely on aestethics.

      1. It’s go to be aesthetics — who would believe Pirelli if they said they could get 6g cornering rather than the current 5g — but I don’t like the spidery, airy-fairy look of them and much prefer the powerful, hunky look that we have today.

        1. @paul-a But you already watch F1. This might be about attracting and maintaining new viewers…the youth that might wonder why such fat tires when they just saw some other racing series on TV, not to mention a Porsche go by on the street, with 22’s. Can you imagine a Ferrari or Lamborghini etc on F1 style tires?

          Also, for us existing fans, even if we bemoan changes in appearance of the cars from one year to the next, eg. noses, we tend to get used to them and then when you look back at previous seasons’ cars, they looked outdated. Methinks we would get used to 19’s pretty quickly. We’d love them if they enhanced the racing, and would soon forget about the ‘hunky’ look.

      2. why do you say a 19″ rim will make the cars slower?

    2. As i’ve said before the move to larger tyres is about much more than ascetics & road relevance & is something both Bridgestone & Michelin also wanted when they were in F1 as well as something Pirelli have wanted since they joined in 2011.

      Right now F1 is pretty much the only category still using such small wheels so an F1 tyre supplier can share nothing between F1 & other categories they compete in.
      They have to produce F1 specific tyre molds & F1 specific compounds/construction which they have no relevance to anything else they produce.

      For example when Bridgestone became the sole tyre supplier in 2007 they pushed for a switch to 15″ slick tyres so that they could look at sharing some of the tyre technology between F1 & Champcar/Indycar which ran 15″ slicks (Indycar still does).

      Last year when Michelin were looking at F1 they wanted 18″ tyres so that they could share tyre tech between F1 & WEC where the cars currently run 18″ tyres.

      A switch to larger tyres would also help with the banning of tyre warmers which seems to be something Pirelli (And Bridgestone going back a few years) & the teams want to do as the larger tyres build temperature a bit faster than the current 13″ tyres.

  18. Because overall tire/wheel diameter is fixed in F1, a switch to a larger diameter wheel will result in a narrower sidewall in the tires. With all other specifications are the same as before, this will result in a stiffer tire and better grip. I’m not sure, and I’m not going through the calculations because I’m lazy, but I doubt the weight of the new tire/wheel will be significantly different than the old so a change in un-sprung weight should be minimal.

  19. lets get some 22’s on there chromed out with spinners! neon lights under the sidepods and nitro boost with fire!!!! yeah!!

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