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Old 12-22-2005, 07:33 PM   #1
dakwrx
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Default Wheel diameter in F1

I was just wondering if anyone knows why F1 cars use such small diameter wheels? ("Wheel bead diameter must lie between 354 and 358mm" in the 2008 FIA F1 regulations)

Maybe to keep the brakes small?
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:50 PM   #2
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To keep costs down
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:04 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nKoan
To keep costs down
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakwrx
I was just wondering if anyone knows why F1 cars use such small diameter wheels? ("Wheel bead diameter must lie between 354 and 358mm" in the 2008 FIA F1 regulations)

Maybe to keep the brakes small?
The question is why do you think they'd need a bigger wheel????

What do you think a larger wheel is going to offer???

I don't worry, their brakes are just fine....
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nKoan
To keep costs down
I hope that was a joke...
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:12 PM   #6
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I thought it was this...

Quote:
- Maximum wheel diameter increased to 640mm front and 710mm rear, with maximum widths of 365mm front and 460mm rear (Article 12.4) with slick tyres.

Reason: To increase “mechanical” grip to compensate for reduced aerodynamic downforce to facilitate overtaking.
EDIT: This post doesn't make much sense... what I was trying to point out is that every reg is part of a balancing act to force F1 cars down a path that makes sense to the governing body. Taken in isolation, each one may seem a bit strange.

Last edited by leecea; 12-22-2005 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8
I hope that was a joke...
it may be true. they're shifting to 8 cylinder engines to keep the cost down.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8
I hope that was a joke...
Partially a joke, partially cause I'd almost believe that the FIA would say such a thing in earnest.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:16 PM   #9
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also they may be doing it to keep speed down, smaller wheels/tires generally mean less grip.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subber
also they may be doing it to keep speed down, smaller wheels/tires generally mean less grip.
No, narrower wheels and tires reduce grip, not height.

Taller wheels/tires create a lot of drag, in fact most of the drag on an F1 car comes from the wheels in open air.

If anything, they want to run smaller wheels, as teams have tried to do in the past before the size was mandated. Heck, teams even ran 4!!! smaller front tires to get better aero.

Upsizing the wheels an inch or so would not increase cost, at least not anywhere near the level of the V8 engine mandate. But again, no team is going to increase the wheel height because of the aero affects.

I'm not sure why everyone on here thinks taller wheels = better performance. SOunds very "fast and furious" to me.

Their brakes and tires are all designed around the smallest wheel possible within the rules, not the biggest. Smaller wheels also mean less weight.

Take a look at wheel sizes for serious formula cars. There is no reason to run taller wheels on such light cars. They can get all the width for grip they need, and keep the wheel small and light for aero reasons.

Last edited by REX8; 12-22-2005 at 08:34 PM.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:06 PM   #11
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I remember the Tyrell 6 wheel F1 car. One of their ideas was to run four really small front wheels for better aero.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:28 PM   #12
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i dunno if this is what you meant, but they use high walled tires because on an F1 car, the tire walls are the suspension. the suspension is so stiff, that most of the give when riding bumps is in the tire walls. an f1 on low profile tires would break to pieces running over the inside edge of a corner.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homer09
i dunno if this is what you meant, but they use high walled tires because on an F1 car, the tire walls are the suspension. the suspension is so stiff, that most of the give when riding bumps is in the tire walls. an f1 on low profile tires would break to pieces running over the inside edge of a corner.
Yes the tires are perhaps the most important part of the suspendion, but your statement isn't really true. If they ran lower profile tires, they could get back the compliance that was lost in the suspension settings themselves. AKA, if the tire had less give, the suspension would be adjusted accordingly.

But your point is still well taken. I still just don't know why everyone thinks a taller tires yields better performance??? If you have the freedon of design to create a tire with a higher sidewall, that is still stiff enough to withstand the lateral loading of the car, there is ZERO reaon to increase weight height and weight. It would create no benefit.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REX8
Yes the tires are perhaps the most important part of the suspendion, but your statement isn't really true. If they ran lower profile tires, they could get back the compliance that was lost in the suspension settings themselves. AKA, if the tire had less give, the suspension would be adjusted accordingly.

But your point is still well taken. I still just don't know why everyone thinks a taller tires yields better performance??? If you have the freedon of design to create a tire with a higher sidewall, that is still stiff enough to withstand the lateral loading of the car, there is ZERO reaon to increase weight height and weight. It would create no benefit.

yeah i meant the car would break apart if the suspension settings were left untouched.

but rex, taller wheels are so much nicer, and therefore faster
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:17 PM   #15
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wheels were made smaller initially to reduce brake size, to reduce speed, but then came carbon brakes,

F1 changes rules to keep speeds down/make it more competitive whatevers, then the team engineers design around it, then they change rules again, then they re-engineer around it again, F1 is more of a manufacturer's race in my opinion
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:03 PM   #16
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I am not suggesting that wheel size should be larger to look cool or even to enhance performance somehow itself , I just think that running such small diameter wheels looks old fashioned from the perspective of such a large tire aspect ratio compared to modern road cars and most race cars.

It also seems to me that a larger wheel/smaller tire might actually weigh less than the current tall tire (sidewall). The larger wheel then could have enormous brakes that would decrease stopping distances. As was said above, any compliance in the tall tire sidewall could then be made up by softening the suspension itself.

Actually, what got me thinking about this was the "super-slow-motion" action shots of F1 cars bouncing off the curbing in the Speed Channel coverage this year. Those tall tires were wiggling all over the place!!
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:29 PM   #17
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teams use wheels they are allowed to use, the size itself is just part of the rules, it's kind of like asking why no team uses a twin turbo v12 setup with 1500 hp,or why the team doesn't just build a 300kg car, know what im sayin? yes, the car would be alot faster but its just in the rules that they cant run anything wider/bigger
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:47 PM   #18
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simply it was to limit speeds.

smaller brakes, bigger sidewall etc. all helped to contribute to slower cars. It unfortunately doens't lower the cost. the high end teams just would dump more money into the parts that are limited each year to bring them back up to high performing levels.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakwrx
I am not suggesting that wheel size should be larger to look cool or even to enhance performance somehow itself , I just think that running such small diameter wheels looks old fashioned from the perspective of such a large tire aspect ratio compared to modern road cars and most race cars.
the tall tire is there suspension...for several reasons...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakwrx
It also seems to me that a larger wheel/smaller tire might actually weigh less than the current tall tire (sidewall). The larger wheel then could have enormous brakes that would decrease stopping distances. As was said above, any compliance in the tall tire sidewall could then be made up by softening the suspension itself.
the braking distance can't be decreased anymore than the tire will allow...the tires are you limit on braking...if the brakes can lock then you have more brake than is needed...a bigger brake at that point only makes for lessening heat and wear issues...
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakwrx
Actually, what got me thinking about this was the "super-slow-motion" action shots of F1 cars bouncing off the curbing in the Speed Channel coverage this year. Those tall tires were wiggling all over the place!!
yeah, you saw their "suspension" doing its job


I really wonder what a F1 car would look like/be capable of if the rules were lifted...just make the GP car you can...

Last edited by Homemade WRX; 12-23-2005 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX


I really wonder what a F1 car would look like/be capable of if the rules were lifted...just make the GP car you can...
mind boggling, i think at that point drivers would be getting killed left and right and they would be like "woah dude, slow these things down"
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:42 AM   #21
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A tire makes for crappy suspension because there is no dampening. Using a larger wheel but same size diameter tire would be faster once the suspension was adjusted.
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Old 12-23-2005, 04:27 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade WRX
I really wonder what a F1 car would look like/be capable of if the rules were lifted...just make the GP car you can...
We'd have to have robotic drivers since we can build cars faster then human perception and muscle strength.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:50 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dussander
A tire makes for crappy suspension because there is no dampening. Using a larger wheel but same size diameter tire would be faster once the suspension was adjusted.
incorrect, the tire is both a spring AND a damper.
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Old 12-23-2005, 03:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nKoan
We'd have to have robotic drivers since we can build cars faster then human perception and muscle strength.
yeah, I know that...just wondering about the cars technology and specs
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Old 12-23-2005, 04:18 PM   #25
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Not an engineer, but,

Regarding F1 tire sidewall heights, I thought that taller sidewalls allowed teams to run less tire pressure, thereby increasing contact patch for more grip.

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