Mick Schumacher, Prema, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Switch to 18-inch wheels adds 30kg to Formula 2 cars

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In the round-up: Formula 2’s switch to 18-inch wheels, which they will race for the first time this weekend, has led to a 30kg weight rise.

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The addition of multiple new venues at short notice could add the unpredictability F1 craves:

If Canada gets rescheduled in October and actually does happen, I’m very very curious to see how the teams will cope to the low temperatures combined with rain and perhaps snow.

If we have a almost-snowy grand prix, along with the sudden appearance of Mugello, Algarve and possibly Hockenheim and Imola at the expense of Paul Ricard and Sochi that will bring more unpredictability as the teams have zero data, plus the crazy 85-plus lap ‘oval’ race in Bahrain as the second-to-last round then this season… and the smaller old-school championship that means points are more valuable than before and if something bad happens on a race for a driver it would take a significant toll on the standings, then we might actually have a much better, crazy and unpredictable championship than we originally planed and hoped.

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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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19 comments on “Switch to 18-inch wheels adds 30kg to Formula 2 cars”

  1. That +30kg cannot be just the wheels; 7-8kg per wheel.
    There will be less rubber so a saving of some 1-2 kg on each tyre (currently 9.5kg front and 11kg rear).
    Moving from 13″ to 18″ will increase the rim volume by almost 2x, but that doesn’t explain why weight should increase from 5kg to almost 14kg.

    1. @coldfly, I didn’t see any explanation before my eyes glazed over, but I suspect a more compliant suspension system may account for added mass.

      1. What the hell is the point in making the cars so much heavier for a change nobody even cares for, same goes for the change in F1, the FIA should do one they make everything scheiss

        1. Pirelli apparently cares. Even though F1 tyres share much in common with road tyres as they are slick tyres and have to undergo loads that would never be experienced normally.

          1. Should be *don’t share much in common.

          2. That’s just it, Pirelli can do one as well. There are other manufacturers who would happily make 13″ rim tyres for F1 and F2

    2. Agree with you 100% … unless the bigger diameter means bigger & heavier brake disks inside, but still can’t see a 7,5kg average increase per wheel.

  2. Another meaningless change that will only mean spending a lot of money for basically no gain in the quality of racing whatsoever.

    1. @fer-no65: And we F1 fans are excited that the FIA and Liberty are providing no gain in the quality of racing. Excited is just another word for disdain, right?

      Bernie might have left the paddock, but his ‘great for the show’, terrible for the sport legacy lives on.

  3. Re COTD, the calendar has been crying out for more variety so I hope this season lives up to that and is instructive for future seasons. It’s one reason why I think Monaco should stay on the calendar in the future, despite its many downsides.

  4. Maybe not snow, though. Yes, there’s a small possibility for snowfall, but unlikely. A race with snow would be an impossibility as Pirelli doesn’t have snow-tyres for F1-cars.

    1. @jerejj – how about F1 racing with snow chains – now that would be a spectacle I would be happy to watch :)

    2. @jerejj Pirelli does have snow tyres for F1 cars (Sotto Zero), they’re just not someone one would necessarily want to spend long racig on (they’re for demonstrations).

    3. First thanks Keith for the COTD !!!

      Secondly @jerejj just imagine the scenery…the Notre Dame Island covered with the red & orange leaves of the autumn with the magnificent Circuit Gilles Villeneuve going through the park, the air is chilly but teams are not unfamiliar to the cold days they usually test in Barcelona in February and instead of patches of standing water after a heavy rain we usually have, we now have patches of some leftover snow in some run off areas that will make drivers think twice about track limits…and as the race enters its final stage and we have a 3way fight for the lead between Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull it starts to snow, just a little bit, enough to make the teams wonder “wait, we haven’t done this again, do we fit intermediates or full wets?, what do we do?”… :P

      1. @black Barcelona in February is (for the most part) warmer than Montreal in October, though., but yes, there could be some leftover snow on some of the runoffs (if there would be light snowfall at night).

  5. tony mansell
    30th June 2020, 12:28

    Great, more weight ! All in the name of road relevance. Oh BOY ! Maybe lets just have done with it and make the cars higher, sit 5 people and call them SUV’s. Don’t forget the ski hatch and rack, wouldn’t want to go to Sainsburys’s with out them.

    1. And while we’re at it, let’s make a mid-race challenge whereby drivers have to reverse around a bollard in the run-off area, minus one point if they crash into it

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