July 19, 2024

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Here’s What Happens To F1’s Old Wheels At The End Of The Season

Here’s What Happens To F1’s Old Wheels At The End Of The Season

A photo of F1s new 18-inch wheels

Where is that male likely with that tire?
Photo: Andrej Isakovic (Getty Photographs)

Formula 1, like any race sequence value its salt, will get by means of a whole lot of tires above the training course of a season. There are ten teams on the grid, every single with two cars and trucks that each have 4 wheels, so that’s at least 80 tires for a start. And for decades, just about every of these tires has been equipped to a 13-inch rim. But this year, the activity switched to normal 18-inch wheels utilized by every team in the paddock.

And this swap bought me wondering, just how lots of wheels are there in an F1 paddock every single race weekend?

Well, let us begin by counting the tires. We have by now acquired at least 80 tires that have to have at minimum 80 rims. Then, there are the spare wheels brought to just about every race for cars and trucks to run various tyre compounds, and that’s a additional 13 full sets for each and every car.

That is due to the fact Pirelli will ship two challenging, three medium and 8 delicate tire sets for each individual automobile about a typical grand prix weekend. In the three races wherever there is a Dash occasion, like this weekend in Imola, “the amount is reduced to 12 sets divided as follows: two hard, 4 medium, six soft,” according to a Pirelli spokesperson.

They additional that “almost all teams have a sufficient variety of rims to be capable to have all 13 sets equipped suitable absent.”

And that suggests that in a supplied race weekend, there are all-around 1,040 wheels in the paddock. As well as, some groups might have extras to match any soaked and intermediate tires just in situation. That is a great deal of wheels.

In the previous, these have been chunky, slick tires wrapped all around 13-inch rims. Groups turned to suppliers like BBS Motorsport and OZ Racing to build bespoke rims that suit with their aero deal, so there has been wide range throughout the grid.

But, in 2022, F1 ditched the 13-inch rims it had been jogging with considering that the 1980s in favor of new 18-inch wheels. What’s far more, these rims will be standardized throughout the grid – this means there are now at least 1,040 identical wheel rims in the paddock around a grand prix weekend.

A mechanic inspects sets of F1 wheels.

Wheel very good things.
Photo: Buda Mendes (Getty Photographs)

And, the moment yet again, this got me pondering. With 1,040 wheels in use across the 22 races held in 2021, what happened to them all (which is 22,880 tires)?

Like pretty much every component on the 2021 F1 autos, the old wheels are now obsolete. They cannot be applied with the new vehicles, they just cannot be made use of with the new tires and they just cannot actually be fitted to any road likely car. So what transpires to them all?

To get to the bottom of this, I achieved out to BBS Motorsport, the German wheel producer now tasked with making F1’s standardized wheel rims.

It turns out that the issue of what to do with all the outdated wheels is one thing teams have faced every single year.

Carsten Norden, director of sales and promoting at BBS Motorsport, explained: “In the earlier, practically all teams produced new wheels from just one time to an additional, which presently then turned the previous year’s configuration to turn out to be out of date.

“A have-in excess of of wheels into the upcoming year definitely was the exception to the rule in past several years.”

Norden extra that the former wheels were being “individually made for and hence exceptional to each and every single group,” and that intended that they have been manufactured-to-purchase as just about every crew essential. This, they said, lessened the quantity of obsolete wheels remaining at the stop of the time.

So, F1 groups have experienced a couple wheels leftover that required disposing of each and every 12 months.

A photo of Lewis Hamilton in his 2008 McLaren F1 car.

McLaren ought to have plenty of sets to wheel out the MP4-23 from time to time.
Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana (Getty Visuals)

That still left them with a handful of spares knocking all around for when they want to wheel out an aged car or truck for showcases and events. And the other remnants of the previous year had been also marketed off as memorabilia, or applied in shows by team associates.

But what about in the long term? How will the transfer to standard rims affect the market for F1 wheel espresso tables?

Effectively, I have undesirable news for you.

Because the wheels are standardized throughout the groups for at least the next time, 2022 will mark the first time that old F1 wheels can be saved and operate again subsequent calendar year.

Yep, immediately after 40 yrs of 13-inch rims, the 18s now operate on F1 cars will be the to start with to past for more than a period. Isn’t that excellent?

Understandably, Norden states this is a “new situation” for BBS to be in. The groups will be able to collect up their rims and, at the time inspected for problems, in shape new tires onto them yet again, and once again, and all over again. This can proceed appropriate up until finally F1 decides to modify its wheel rules at the time again.

So, if you did want to get your arms on an old F1 rim to flip into some tasteful decor, you much better get started seeking around now before provides of aged inventory commence to dry up.