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Taller new F1 tyres for 2022 make drivers’ view “more difficult” – Verstappen

2022 F1 season

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The new, larger tyres Formula 1 has introduced for the 2022 season will restrict drivers’ views more than before, said Max Verstappen.

F1 wheel sizes have increased from 13 inches to 18 this year. The tyres sizes have also grown from 660mm to 720mm.

Speaking at Red Bull’s 2022 car launch today the world champion said his experience of driving it in the simulator revealed a new challenge posed by the tyres.

“For me actually, the biggest thing is just the view in the cockpit with these big tyres,” he said. “To hit an apex in some tight corners is a bit more difficult.

“The driving just feels like the car has a bit less grip, but you will get used to that. That’s why we have the the practice days you can get used to the sliding and locking and stuff like that,” he continued. “But I think it should be fine, it’s just getting a bit more used to to the view in the cockpit.”

Verstappen said he was eager to get out on track in the RB18 “because I really don’t know how it’s going to feel like. I’m really looking forward to that first moment when you drive out of the pit lane and you do your first few laps.”

Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said the new wheels have also contributed to the increased weight of the cars, which have rised by 40kg to 795kg for 2022.

“The thinking is road relevance, it’s that majority of road cars now have to be big wheels, but also come with pretty low profile tyres,” Monaghan explained. “We’ve come up on the wheel size to 18 inches as a line in the sand.

“It’s certainly put a bit of weight onto the car, the tyre is bigger overall, so it has a fairly significant aerodynamic effect.

“And then you’ve got the characteristics of the big tyre to try and understand as well. We sort of got reasonable knowledge of last year’s ones. It’s a bit of a new drawing board for us, isn’t it?”

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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31 comments on “Taller new F1 tyres for 2022 make drivers’ view “more difficult” – Verstappen”

  1. Oh gosh, if he found it difficult to miss other cars last year…

    1. Try to keep it clean.
      @bradders, a bad start again.
      Aiming for trollmaster?

      1. Only pulling your leg :)

        1. More like pulling yourself, @bradders.

          1. Well, that’s classy @gpfan. Sure that doesn’t go against the commenting policy here at all.

            Thanks for insinuating that. And some people say that the commenting section here has gone downhill. Fancy that.

      2. Oh the hypocrisy. If this was a certain other driver saying this you would be all over it like a rash, critising and taking pot shots at said driver.

        1. Who is “said driver”?
          Or do you meant sad driver?

    2. Maybe taking aim will be more difficult? Here’s hoping for clean racing this year.

  2. “To hit an apex in some tight corners is a bit more difficult.

    Well no change there then for Stuka Max…

  3. I fear this blind spot may one day lead to a seriously dangerous scenario:

    The driver can continue to see the ground well enough by looking either side of their tyres, allowing them to position the car accurately. But going round a specific intermediate radius of corner, it will now be impossible for them to see that they’re approaching a slower moving car on the racing line until it’s way too late. Previously, the drivers couldn’t look down over the top of the tyres, but could at least peer over horizontally, so could see the top half of the other car approaching. But now, in the large angle blocked by their tyre, the driver will only really be able to look up at the sky.

    I really have no idea what the rulemakers were thinking. This was such a great opportunity to finally get rid of the ridiculously tall tyre sidewalls, but they’ve introduced this dangerous blind spot and kept almost the full sidewall height for no good reason as far as I can tell. It can’t be because they didn’t want to disrupt the cars’ historical design knowledge too much, as the aero is already so massively altered by other changes. I was looking forward to seeing shorter stiffer sidewalls that force the teams to design front suspension that actually has to be able to travel a bit more than the historical range of +/- 5mm. But this small reduction in sidewall height won’t really achive that. Proper suspension would do a far better job of soaking up bumps, as tyres have next to no damping, and just act like perpetually bouncing springs.

    Does anyone know if the test loads of the retention cables inside the front wishbones are being significantly uprated to manage these heavier tyres? If not, that’s another danger introduced.

  4. What sizes have gone up from 660mm to 720mm? AFAIA, widths have remained unchanged, i.e., the same as since 2017. Perhaps this reference is about the height I can’t quite figure.
    Anyway, the cockpit view gets slightly affected, albeit I’m sure everyone can push as hard on a flying lap as before.

    1. @jerejj Wheel diameter I believe.

      1. @mashiat I thought diameter is specifically about wheel rim inch size, although basically the same thing as height.

    2. It’s the diameter of the tyre itself (as opposed to the wheel)

    3. The 660mm on the old tires, and 720mm on the new ones, are the overall outside diameter of the tire, not the wheel. Or in other words the height from the ground to the top of the tire. The chassis, and the drivers head, will still be the same height above the floor of the car. So the new tires will stick up an additional 60mm in the field of view from the cockpit. They are ridiculously big, 720mm is about the height of a normal dining table.

      1. An additional 30 mm, not 60.

        1. 720-660=60
          That’s the added diameter.

          1. So this sentence isn’t true

            So the new tires will stick up an additional 60mm in the field of view from the cockpit.

            They stick up an additional 30 mm.

        2. @warheart. We can agree the tires are 60mm taller, right? Measured from the ground up that is simple math, 720-660=60. Good.
          Now concentrate and picture this. The driver sit at the same height above the floor of the car as before. And the floor of the car is at the same height above the ground as before. So the drivers eyes are at the same height above the ground as before. But the top of the tires are 60mm higher. So how exactly would the tires be only half of the additional diameter into the drivers field of view as you insist?

  5. the new wheels have also contributed to the increased weight of the cars, which have rised by 40kg

    I think you will find that the correct word is “Risen”

    1. Give it a rest. It was obviously a tipo.

      1. Typo.
        I think you will find that the correct word is “Typo”

        1. Should a sentence not end with a point.

          1. That is called a “full stop” erikje … not a “point”


        2. @nullapax I think you shall find that like you, that was a joke.

          1. Oh dear – we are resorting to personal insults are we?

            Fair enough.

  6. Perfect opportunity to take advantage of being the most technologically advanced racing series with in car cameras, helmet huds and lidars.

    But will they? Nope…

  7. I’m really not sure why they have changed the wheel size and tyre width. What are they gaining by this?

    Road relevance is mentioned but these cars are nothing like you or I drive. So why is road relevance important. I guess it does save a small amount on manufacturing costs?

    1. @phil-f1-21 it’s still road relevance. The cars might be totally different, but manufacturers always try to use as much of the technology they develop in F1 for their commercial products. The old 13 inch wheels with massive tyre sidewalls are not even closely similar to current commercial road tyres.

  8. I wonder if this point was raised during the testing of the tires?

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