[Auto House Race] An F1 car is composed of more than 3,200 parts, and the wheel is the only part of this huge mechanical structure that is in contact with the ground. Tires have always played a vital role in the performance of racing cars. Looking back on the past, in the 62-year history of F1, the tire rules have undergone changes again and again; in the vicissitudes of life, there were as many as nine tire suppliers who followed the pace of F1. Retirement, some are short-lived, and some are still fighting in the arena. Next, let us open up the development history of F1 tires together.


◆The difference between F1 tires and civilian tires

Before understanding the history of F1 car tires, we might as well take a look at the difference between it and the tires used on civilian cars. Simply put, although both are called tires, they are only distant relatives. In the design of ordinary car radial tires, “durability” is more considered. The service life of a set of tires is usually more than 16,000 kilometers.

F1 tires are designed with more consideration of “lightweight and load strength”, and the strength of competition tires far exceeds that of ordinary tires. In F1 races, tires not only have to withstand the downforce of more than 1 ton of racing cars, but also withstand 4G lateral acceleration and 5G longitudinal acceleration, but the life of race tires is only one percent of that of ordinary tires.


Looking at the development of F1 tires from specifications: narrow grooved tires-bald tires-wide grooved tires-bald tires

The development of F1 tires has gone from narrow tyres with grooves in the 1950s, to bald tyres in the 70s, and then to the use of wide tyres with grooves again in the late 1990s. After 11 years, bald tyres returned in the 2009 season. .

At the beginning of F1, the tires used in racing cars were almost the same as those used in civilian cars. However, with the development of the event, the engine displacement of F1 increased from 1.5 liters to 3.0 liters, and the increase in horsepower corresponds to the soaring speed. In order to ensure safety and stability, the improvement of tire grip is imperative.

Bald tires have brought the development of F1 tires into a new era. This type of tire can maximize the ground contact area, so it will give the car a strong grip performance and allow the car to pass through corners at a faster speed. At the same time, a tire layout with narrow front wheels and wide rear wheels appeared on the car.

But when the speed of the car is getting faster and faster, the safety issue has become a new contradiction, so the FIA decided to modify the tire rules. In 1998, grooved tires reappeared, which caused a loss of 15%-20% of the level of grip achieved by the car. The tires at that time had 3 grooves on the front wheel and 4 grooves on the rear wheel. In 2000, the track’s fastest record continued to be refreshed, the tire rules were revised again, and the front and rear tires were adjusted to 4 grooves.

In 2009, the curtain of grooved tires came to a close, and bald tires once again stood on the stage of history. This is one of the measures taken in order to increase the chances of overtaking and improve the viewing of the car. However, today's bald tires are very different from those before 1998, and their overall performance has been significantly improved.

Along the way, tires have always provided strong support for F1. From simply aiming to improve performance, to limiting the speed of the car to ensure safety, to increasing overtaking to improve the viewing, the development of F1 tires and the development of F1 technology correspond to each other.

Look at the development of F1 tires from the brand: nine major suppliers follow the development of F1

Tire manufacturers have invested heavily in F1, undoubtedly hoping to increase their visibility through the influence of this event, so as to obtain more benefits in return. In addition, manufacturers also hope to obtain faster technological development in the competition with rivals.

List of F1 tire suppliers' results
Rank manufacturer Season Participants Wins Sole supplier Drivers Championship Constructors' championship
1 Goodyear America 1959-1998 494 368 113 twenty four 26
2 Bridgestone Japan 1976-1977
1997-2010
244 175 116 11 11
3 Michelin France 1977-1984
2001-2006
215 102 0 6 4
4 Dunlop UK 1950-1970
1976-1977
175 83 0 8 9
5 Pirelli Italy 1950-1958
1981-1986
1989-1991
2011-
217 61 17 7 1
6 Flint America 1950-1975 121 49 11 4 3
7 Continental Germany 1954-1958 13 10 0 2 0
8 Ingelbert Belgium 1950-1958 61 8 0 2 0
9 Avon UK 1954-1958
1981-1982
29 0 0 0 0
As of October 30, 2011

◆The most brilliant tire manufacturer in the history of Goodyear F1

Goodyear is the tire manufacturer with the most brilliant record in F1 history. Since the Honda team won the first championship for Goodyear at the Mexican Grand Prix in 1965, they have participated in almost all F1 races in the following 33 years. During this period, Goodyear won a total of 368 championships, 358 qualifying pole positions, and created 362 fastest laps.

However, in the mid to late 1990s, Goodyear faced a huge challenge from Bridgestone. Goodyear, which was still very successful in 1997, withdrew from F1 due to unfavorable research and development after the implementation of the new rules for grooved tires in the second year. The most bitter memory for Goodyear was the 1998 finale at the Suzuka Circuit in Japan.

At that time, Hakkinen, who used Bridgestone tires, and Schumacher, who used Goodyear tires, had hopes of winning the drivers championship, but Schumacher encountered the car stalled during the warm-up lap and had to retreat from pole position to the last one. Departure. However, when Schumacher struggled to catch up to third, his right rear wheel had a puncture. Schumacher regretted to retire and missed the drivers championship. 1998 also became Goodyear's last year in F1.

◆Bridgestone uses F1's golden signs to quickly enhance its value

Ten years ago, when Bridgestone first entered F1, it was still a little-known role, but they fully grasped the best development period from 1997 to 2010, and quickly became the most advanced in the world. Fast tire manufacturer. Bridgestone made full use of Goodyear's exit in F1, and subsequent competition with Michelin, until the insistence on the introduction of the single-brand tire rule, which quickly increased its brand value.

When Bridgestone needed to prove its strength the most, it produced reliable tire products. From 1998 to 2004, Bridgestone helped McLaren and Ferrari win the championship for seven consecutive years. At the same time, Bridgestone just caught up with the golden age of great drivers such as Häkkinen and Schumacher. At the same time, the new generation of drivers Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, etc., have also made achievements in the environment of Bridgestone. Excellent results.

Bridgestone no longer needs to prove anything in F1. They use the golden sign of F1 to maximize their value. After the 2010 season, Bridgestone announced its withdrawal from F1, which will not have a negative impact on them, because Bridgestone left as a winner.

◆Michelin's adherence to the concept of competition is full of contradictions with the FIA

Michelin has been involved in F1 in the 1970s, but at that time they could not shake the status of using Goodyear tires. In the 1980s, Michelin gradually showed its own strength, and they almost became the only tire manufacturer that could compete with Goodyear in F1 at that time.

Michelin returned to F1 in 2001, and helped Renault to win the constructors' championship twice in 2005 and 2006. However, the contradiction between Michelin and the FIA has become increasingly apparent, from the strike in the United States in 2005 to the refusal to join the so-called single-tire cost-saving camp because of the fact that the tires must have competition, which eventually led to Michelin's withdrawal after the 2006 season. F1.

The concept of Michelin is respectable, but it seems to run counter to the development of racing in the world today. Michelin also tasted bitter fruit in the international arena. In addition to F1, Michelin lost to Yokohama Tire in the WTCC bidding, and lost to Pirelli Tire in the WRC bidding. Today, except for Le Mans, GT1 and other events, it is already difficult for Michelin to enter the competition For the high-end event.

◆Dunlop fully supports the British team's drivers to create F1 myth

Dunlop is the world's earliest tire brand, and its history is nearly 50 years earlier than Bridgestone. In 1958, Dunlop entered the F1 arena. They adhered to the localization strategy, and their partners were basically British teams and drivers. During his participation in F1, Dunlop won a total of 83 championships, 75 qualifying pole positions, and created 83 fastest laps, as well as 8 driver championships and 9 constructors championships.

The 1960s was the most glorious period for Dunlop, especially the cooperation with the Lotus team and the talented driver Clarke achieved great success. After Clark was killed in an accident in an F2 race and the Lotus team began to sink, Dunlop worked with British drivers such as Hill, McLaren and Stewart, but failed to reproduce the glory of the Clark era. Since then, Goodyear began to rise and dominate the arena, Dunlop quietly faded out of the F1 arena.

This tire manufacturer with a long history and many developments in the world racing field was acquired by Sumitomo Rubber in 1984. In 1998, Sumitomo Rubber was acquired by Goodyear. Dunlop became a branch of its old rival and never ceased brilliant.

◆Pirelli has been the exclusive tire supplier of F1 for 3 consecutive years since the 2011 season

In 1950, at the beginning of the F1 race, Pirelli actively participated in this new race. The two strong teams Alfa Romeo and Ferrari used Pirelli tires, and they won the constructors' championship from 1950 to 1953. In 1957, Maserati also used Pirelli to win the championship. Due to the adjustment of business strategy, Pirelli withdrew from F1 in 1958. Thirty years later, between 1985 and 1991, Pirelli returned to F1 twice and participated in six seasons of competitions, but without gains.

After the 2010 season, Bridgestone, which has monopolized the supply of F1 racing tires for 13 years, officially withdrew, and the three major manufacturers of Michelin, Cooper and Pirelli competed for the qualification of new tire suppliers. In the end, Pirelli became the exclusive tire supplier for F1, providing tires for F1 for three consecutive years starting from the 2011 season.

After just a few months of research and development and testing, Pirelli has invested in the new season. After a few races, Pirelli made appropriate adjustments to the tire formula based on the accumulated data and feedback from the team. But because they are now a single tire supplier, the lack of competition means that they only need to find a balance between themselves and the needs of the team, instead of speeding up R&D in the fierce competition like Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin did. speed.

◆F1 other tire suppliers Flint, Continental, Inglebert, Avon

Continental Tire only participated in 13 races in the three seasons of 1954, 1955 and 1958, but won 10 of them. After adopting bald tires in the 1970s, Flint also made good progress. Before exiting F1 in 1975, Flint won a total of 49 victories. Two other tire suppliers, Ingelbert and Avon, also briefly appeared in F1.

Summary: In recent years, the FIA's practice of “using a single brand of tires to save costs” has hindered technological progress to some extent. F1, which has lost its competitive relationship with tire manufacturers, is no longer full of more variables and suspense as it used to be. However, a few manufacturers stick to the concept of competition and choose to withdraw from F1, while more manufacturers are willing to follow the development trend of world racing and continue to participate in it in exchange for greater commercial benefits.