Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Pirelli tyre test, Fiorano, 2016

Wider 2017 F1 tyres seen for the first time

2017 F1 season

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Pirelli’s wider 2017-specification Formula One tyres have been seen in action for the first time as Ferrari have begun testing them at Fiorano today.

2016 and 2017 F1 car designs compared
How the 2017 rules will change car design
Sebastian Vettel sampled the wider rubber at the wheel of a Ferrari SF15-T which has been modified to simulate the increased downforce levels expected from next year’s cars.

Ferrari is due to conduct wet weather tyre testing at the circuit today, however Vettel began the test with an installation run on dry-weather slick tyres.

The new rubber features a tread patch which is 25% wider than that which is currently used in F1. The front wheel width will increase from 245mm to 305mm and the rears from 325mm to 405mm.

Pirelli has also said next year’s tyres will not degrade in performance as quickly as the current compounds.

Esteban Gutierrez will take over from Vettel in the car tomorrow, testing the wet and intermediate tyres. Red Bull will then continue Pirelli’s 2017 testing schedule at Mugello, running the slick tyres.

Pirelli has previously shown the 2017 tyre dimensions on a static display car.

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Keith Collantine
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  • 109 comments on “Wider 2017 F1 tyres seen for the first time”

    1. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st August 2016, 9:16

      They look awesome!!!

      1. why is ferrari alowed to test aerodinamics?????

        1. Because the ‘F’ in FIA stands for Ferrari.

          1. “Ferrari, Red Bull and Mercedes will be supplying the modified 2015 cars to a precise specification established by the FIA that simulates the performance anticipated for next year, principally including more downforce, a wider track and bigger tyres.”

            http://www.pirelli.com/corporate/en/press/2016/07/06/pirelli-announces-test-calendar-with-new-wider-formula-1-tyres-for-2017/

          2. And with Ferrari being the ‘F’ in FIA has resulted in zero WDCs & WCCs since 2008….yep, very helpful indeed ;)

    2. Those things really are huge. They’re surely going to create quite a bit more turbulence.

      Also interesting to see how Ferrari are simulating the higher downforce levels for next year – a wider (Formula V8 3.5-esque) rear wing plus what looks like eighties-style ground effect skirts down the side.

      1. It sure shows some of the angles teams might be taking. Those tyres will surely see more teams trying to use a tow in Qualifying!

      2. Exactly what I thought when I first heard the news. I also think we might get even less number of passes if any at tight tracks like Monaco.
        I don’t know if the cars were ever this wide in the past.

        1. The cars will be 2,00 meters wide next year. Don’t see much of a problem there with passing as they were that wide pre 1998. I guess the tires will move closer to the car in that case.

          1. I do know they were wide in the past but in the 90’s when I started watching I did not pay much attention to the exact width of the cars until later as the years went by and I became more interested in the sport.
            But these rear tyres just seem very huge.

            1. Most of the 90s they were 2.0m wide, until 1998 when they were narrowed to 1.8m wide (which is the current width).

            2. The cars with the huge tires and 2 meters wide cars had more passes in Monaco(or elsewhere) than the narrower cars of later years. these 20 cm are far less of a problem than F1’s reliance on the aero. That’s what causes the dirty air and prevemts the overtakes

            3. @montreal95 More passes? Sorry, but that’s pure rose-tint. Passing has always been sparse at Monaco.

            4. @psynrg I meant more passes compared to post-1997, not that there were a lot of passes. In the context of the discussion about the width of the cars it serves to prove that those 20cm are not the problem. Aero is, pure and simple

      3. Wasn’t F1 also at one point planning to go to low profile tires? As someone else pointed out already, these look like balloons: but this width with a lower sidewall profile would look sharp as well as providing a lot more mechanical grip.

        That would of course require even more changes to the suspension behaviour because of the reduced sidewall flex. But I’m sure the chassis engineers would figure it out pretty quickly….

        1. Low profile tires tyres would provide less grip, as there is less flex in the sidewall. If the tyre can’t move laterally, it slips. The only reason fast road cars use low profile tyres is because they look cool and they create less size variation (they have to fit into a tyre well)

          1. I’m not sure that’s entirely accurate. Road cards use low profile tyres because:

            A) There is less tyre wall delection which gives a more predictable handling platform, especially when there are so many different types of tyre an owner can fit. It keeps the car designers in as much control of the car’s dynamics as possible

            This also means that the tyre won’t roll onto its side wall and lose grip. It also won’t ‘creep’ under load. All of these things are bad and all happen with high profile tyres. Just go try some back to back at high speed. Low profile tyres are generally more predictable.

            B) Dependant on tyre design reinforcement etc. It can be lighter.

            C) it increases the contact patch with the road. A higher profile tyre is rounder than a low profile tyre and therefore has less of the tyre in contact with the road, hence why f1 tyres have a ridge at the top of the balloon of the tyre to try to manufacture as large a contact patch as possible.

            1. There have bee many articles in recent years pointing out that the low profile argument is untrue. Anything lower than a 50 aspect ratio is for show (unless you are using the rim size to fit big brakes, but that is a different argument). A 50 aspect ratio has sidewalls stiff enough to negate the handling problems of flexing sidewalls etc. but with still enough flex to grip and ride properly.

            2. don’t agree with you TdM – all that can be done with smaller rims, it is mainly looks… look at ridiculous cars like Chrysler 3000c – people like “pimp” factor. what has been proven – and also by f1 with its first test with low profile tyres, is that lower profile offers less grip. I hope that f1 never does the “Pimp my ride” look with low profile, but stays true to motor racing.

        2. @k-l-waster, there would be more changes than just the suspension geometry, although that in itself would be a major change.

          As there would be a net increase in the mass of the wheel, you would also have to redesign the wheel tethers, since the peak loads applied to the tethers in a crash would subsequently increase. The chassis would also need to be redesigned in turn to accommodate a revised anchor system to redistribute those tether loads.

          James Norris, you’re right that aesthetics is often as much, if not more, of a consideration when designing a car – I’ve seen a few tyre engineers complain that the tyre size for the car was chosen by the marketing department and then passed onto the designers to make it work. Equally, because low profile tyres are associated with sportier vehicles, the tyre manufacturers like them because they can charge more for them, thereby increasing their profit margins.

    3. Those look delicious. I like it.

    4. And presumably there is still some width increase to add to this?

    5. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
      1st August 2016, 9:38

      Combined with the extra width next year and delayed halo we are going to see some good looking cars.

      1. Finally!!

      2. As you mention Halo… they tested it by firing a tyre at it.
        Was that a ‘small’ current tyre or a much bigger (and I imagine heavier) 2017 tyre.
        I imagine the former. I hope someone at the FIA is actually paying attention on that front.

    6. Looks classic!

    7. They look lovely indeed. If only we could go back to the higher noses like on the F138, I loved that car.

      1. Sadly that was one of only two or three good looking cars in a grid of 12. The others looked horrible.

      2. Fudge Ahmed (@)
        1st August 2016, 14:21

        Not sure if trolling. The F138 and all the other high nose cars looked horrible! Second in unattractiveness only to the penis noses of 2014.

        SF15 was the best looking F1 car of the entire post 2008 era imho.

        1. @offdutyrockstar agree! and with the wider tyres it looks even better.

        2. My vote would be for the F60… looking back, the aero and wings were so basic!

          1. I don’t think these tyres look out of place at all. Looking forward to the 2017 cars.

            Has anyone got any pictures of the model mentioned above? Would like to compare.

            1. Found some. F138 is horrible! SF15 is quite cool for a modern F1 car.

            2. Looked at the car galleries on here. Yes I think in the last 10 years the F60 from 2009 is about the best in my opinion.

    8. It looks great. Hope it performs well.

    9. Shame they make the front wing wider again.
      Would look so much better with 2016 spec front wings plus probably less tire cutting / end plate damage

      1. Agreed, i’m really not sure on the new even wider and swept back front wing, it’s going to look far too big. The current front wings are still too wide; it was ideal when the front wing was in line with the front tyres’ inner sidewalls.

        1. LovelyLovelyLuffield
          1st August 2016, 17:23

          The front wings looks good to me, but jeez, cut it out with the Gillette razors.

          And it brought back a realization: 2009 regs could have led to a full-on low-downforce, low-turbulence package for F1. Instead…

    10. Not really digging these balloons.

    11. They look really nice. Only point which is poking me is that with the turbulence, following a car will remain difficult meaning greater dependence on DRS.

    12. They look awesome! Finally, we’re gonna see possibly the first beautiful looking cars since the end of 2008!

      1. @ultimateuzair Since 2007 IMO. 2008 cars had too much ugly appendages for my liking

      2. Wonder if they took any measures for next year to prevent the current ugly noses for

    13. The tires in the early 2000’s were wide too and they didn’t use DRS..how did that happen.

      1. They didn’t pass.

      2. The tires were the same width as today in the early 2000’s. The cars were the same width. The racing was awful

        1. Are you forgetting that the tyres were grooved and not slicks as they will be in 2017? These cars will have much more mechanical grip, which will almost certainly help when following another car.

    14. ColdFly F1 (@)
      1st August 2016, 10:47

      Ferrari is due to conduct wet weather tyre testing at the circuit today

      Will be a busy day for Bernd Mayländer.

        1. Fudge Ahmed (@)
          1st August 2016, 14:22

          +1

    15. It might not be a popular opinion, but I think they look awful

    16. The 2015 car looks a little weird with the modifications to the front and rear wings, LOL.

    17. 80’s-tastic!

    18. BREAKING NEWS: Ferrari found all the downforce it hasn’t gained since Barcelona.

      1. @wallbreaker Hahaha
        Now they only need to find a way to disguise the extra width , some “cloak of invisibility” and they’ll win everything until the end of the season!

    19. Didn’t we already see them on Wehrleins W05 during the mid season Silverstone test?

      1. No. They tested 2017 compounds at Silverstone, but on tyres made to the current dimensions.

        1. Ah, my mistake then.

    20. To my eye they look like Bridgestone-esque balloons instead of like Michelin square edge ones. Maybe that will suit the Ferrari better next year?

      1. Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. The car philosophies moved so far off and away from the early 2000’s that you can’t say such a thing with any certainty. We can hope though!

        1. @motor sorry forgot to add a name in the reply

    21. That rear win genuinely looks fantastic! I look forward to next year more

      1. @strontium So do I but I’m afraid the racing will be worse, with increased aero

    22. Mechanical grip is the best type of grip, i am quite hyped about these. Bring downforce a bit down, increase the mechanical grip and that should give us some epic racing again.

      They are huge, can we hope for some better pictures? These dont really show them all that much.

      Gosh the G forces will be ripping their faces off under braking :)

    23. With bigger tyres and a less degrading tyre will we notice more driver skill rather than just car?

      1. That’s what we hope.

    24. The tires won’t degrade in performance…so evenly matched cars will just form one trains, wanna see more true racing. No more DRS…go back to the 2000’s excluding 2009, those were times of real true racing and not just one team dominating

      1. Yes, because Ferrari didn’t at all dominate 2000-2004. Nope. Never happened.

        1. @forzarogo, as you say, people forget the fact that Schumacher produced some of the most dominant seasons the sport has ever witnessed in that era (dominant as Mercedes are these days, percentage wise Ferrari were just as dominant, and at times even more dominant, in the early 2000’s).

          1. And what was worse was that MS’s teammates were under contract to not compete. No racing between the two drivers on the top team.

      2. Also, the tires will degrade. Just differently than they do now. More from tread wear than from being so temperature sensitive.

    25. So far for a ‘summer break’.

      1. @hanswes FYI summer break proper doesn’t start until the weekend though. From this coming Saturday it’s a total 15 day shutdown that no work is allowed to be done on the cars and no workers at the factory until a week before Spa

        1. Aah, ok, got it!

    26. How would pit crews deal with such massive tyres? 2 points of interest :

      1. Slower pit stops due to the sheer bulk
      2. Possible physical injury chances may increase, so pit crews need to maintain more muscle / strength

      1. Yeah good point – those rears must weigh quite a bit!

      2. Sub 2 seconds tyre changes.

      3. I’m sure these guys can handle a few more pounds of weight.

    27. Nice!!!

    28. After so many years, they begin to look cool again.

    29. I have no idea what the implications for a cars handling would be, but looks-wise I think it would be cooler if the front tires remained at their current size. I loved the look of the F1 cars from the 70’s and 80’s, and (for me) the massive difference in size between the front and rear tires was a big part of this look. As near as I can figure, the width of the front tires used to be approx. 60% the width of the rears, and currently they are approx. 75%. Leaving the front tires alone would bring it back to around 60%. Obviously this won’t happen, and there are surely very good reasons for the current width ratio (modern downforce levels?), but a guy can dream!

    30. I really like the looks! But, and it’s a huge “but”, they should’ve just made the tires bigger but hadn’t tampered with aero. With increased portion of mechanical as compared to aero grip we would be almost guaranteed better racing. Now. it looks like we’ll witness a beautiful procession

      1. @montreal95 My understanding is that of the gain in downforce much will come from ground effects wrt the floor and the rear diffuser, not the wings.

        The way I see it, at least these wider cars and tires present more potential for the regs to be tweaked for less professional racing if indeed they get it wrong initially. And…we may see ‘beautiful processions’ but hopefully they’re better than the ugly ones we see now. By that I mean processions simply because the tires get ruined when followIng a car closely or after a few passing attempts. The tires limit the drivers from pushing and fighting. So if we must have processions hopefully we will at least see cars closer to each other and able to stay that way and actually fight each other for more laps, the drivers taxed, rather than just sitting one or two seconds back biding their time.

        1. @robbie I’m not sure I agree about most downforce coming from the underbody. But I really hope you’re right!

          1. @robbie Sorry, I meant “most downforce increases coming from the under-body”. Why are they increasing the wings then? And the diffuser is one of the worst offenders in creating turbulence behind the car.

            But the question I’d asked is more fundamental: Why do we need more aero at all? Bigger tires, more power, same aero. Simples! But of course that’s never the way in F1…

            As I said above, I sure hope you’re right. If F1 makes a mess of itself again, I’m not sure about its future

            1. @montreal95 Not that I am an expert on this by any means but my understanding is that they want more aero because they want faster cars. The wider front wing is as much to match the wider cars as anything, from an appearance standpoint, and there will be a neutral zone across the centre of the front wing. The lower rear wing is also just as much for appearance sake as anything.

              While you might be right about the diffusers creating turbulence, I think the idea is that if the rearward car is sitting in dirty air it will be less affected than the cars are now not only because of the wider sturdier tires but because it too is getting downforce through ground effects. So of course the front wing is going to be less effective in dirty air as always, but with wider sturdier tires providing mechanical grip and the chasing car still getting some downforce from it’s floor and diffuser in spite of being in dirty air, there should be closer racing and drivers less afraid to attempt passes without ruining their tires.

              And as I say, I think that even if they don’t get the balance quite right initially, the potential is there in the tires and the ground effects, but I also think in the thinking…seems they know they need to get away from the limiting tires they now use for example, and that cars still to this day and even with DRS are handcuffed in dirty air and processions are still a problem.

            2. @robbie But, again, bigger mechanical grip+increased power+identical aero=increase in speed, is it not? And without endangering the racing. So why bother with aero changes? To keep Newey happy and not bored? Poor Adrian, I was so sorry(not sorry) for him these past 3 years

              Again I’m trying to stay positive and hope that you’re 100% correct, but can’t help but think that it’s another wrong turn, and if next year this opportunity for a change for the better is wasted in we’ll witness another procession, probably dominated by RBR, F1 will have no one to blame but itself and its governing structure. We’ll see next year, it’s all speculation until then

            3. @montreal95 Yeah that’s fair comment. I’m assuming they feel the need for downforce to increase speeds, but I absolutely agree with you that I wish they would leave that alone by not increasing it. F1 is unquestionably addicted to aero downforce, which answers your question why bother with aero changes, but I’m hoping they are swaying toward adding downforce through ground effects in conjunction with aero, since they certainly won’t be getting rid of wings.

              Another thing I’m hoping for relates to something Jacques Villeneuve said 20 years ago when they introduced the grooved tires that he thought was the wrong direction…I’ve paraphrased this before and here it is again…’give us back the big fat slicks of the 70’s which created so much drag you had to run less wing to maintain any kind of respectable straight line speeds. That would take care of two issues in one…more mechanical grip, and smaller wings making for less dependency on wings…less negative effect in dirty air.’

              So with any luck, and no matter the look of the new wings, wider in front, wider and lower in back, perhaps they will run less rake on these wings in order to not get overwhelmed by other cars on the straights. Less wing rake, more ground effects, more mechanical grip=lower lap times and closer racing. Fingers crossed.

    31. I really want a scale model of this test car.

    32. S (J.C) Etienne
      1st August 2016, 18:34

      Looks already better. Can’t wait to see the new cars of 2017 with the lower rear wing, the aggresive front wing design looks and those wide tyres….yeeeeeeah like it man

    33. Any pictures of the batty Keith?

    34. Can someone tell the Pirelli photographer to ease up on the saturation and contrast? Are they trying to hide something in the blackness? What are they hiding?? Is it the secret of eternal life??

    35. Just love these big tyres. The’re awesome

    36. I had not really caught earlier that Fiorano has that kind of backdrop.

    37. One year on, the SF15-T just simply look amazing. I don’t know if the car itself added to the beauty of the new tyre/wing design in general.

      Well let’s hope there are stunning cars next season, not entirely a Ferrari fan but the Ferrari red is a beautiful car color, so here’s to a gorgeous Ferrari in 2017.

    38. Looks like a great start for next year. Now for some increased sound effects.

      1. A current (well last year) car with those tyres looks strange. I think its just my brain used to the current dimensions. Can remember thinking the same when they changed the car width in the 90’s as well.

    39. Michael Brown (@)
      2nd August 2016, 5:07

      Why did they increase the width of the front wing? It’s still the same width in proportion to the rest of the car but these wings suck in turbulence and now they’re going to suck more.

      1. Not necessarily. They have a big neutral section in the middle.

    40. Very nice. Looks tasty, very tasty. Now I just want to see a biturbo v8. Mmm.

    41. They look great.

    42. it looks slightly better to me. not by much though.

    43. You could land a Jumbo jet on those things!

    44. Not sure about the fronts. Big rears always look good though.

      Same goes for tyres.

      Oh come on someone had to!

    45. I don’t like it but I wish all the best for the new regs. I think the problem with the cars proportions are only half resolved, the cars ought to become shorter, that’s the main thing, honestly to pursue the ideal performance the cars would naturally become shorter and lighter but they’ve gone longer and heavier, because F1 cars unlike endurance cars have to hold enough fuel for 300kms whilst the endurance cars pit every 30 mins.

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