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Digital Subscriptions > F1 Racing > February 2017 > BIGGER IS BETTER


The official line is that fatter tyres equal faster racing. But it just so happens that they look pretty impressive as well. F1 Racing investigates the thinking behind 2017’s coolest rule change

2017 is a season of many technical and sporting changes; some subtle, others potentially game-changing. But amid the complexity of Formula 1’s revamp, what’s captured the imagination more than anything else is the introduction of big, fat tyres. F1 changes its rules for any number of reasons; this is the first time it’s done so to make the cars look cool.

Ffirst, the numbers. The rule-of-thumb increase is 25 per cent: the rear tyres grow by 80mm, from 325mm to 405mm; and the fronts expand by 60mm, going from 245mm to 305mm, with track width and wing dimensions increasing correspondingly. There has been plenty of talk about rim sizes, with Pirelli unveiling prototype F1 tyres on 18-inch wheels at the 2015 Monaco GP, but for 2017 the rims will remain at 13 inches. The intention with the wider tyres is to increase the size of the contact patch and therefore the amount of grip available. Cars will be quicker through the corners, generate higher G-forces and, it is hoped by the stakeholders, cut lap times. And, we stress again, look cool.

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About F1 Racing

F1 2017 STARTS HERE This season’s new machinery will be better to look at and faster and more physical to drive, testing drivers’ skills as never before. But have all the implications of the changes been fully anticipated? Was the sport really so broken that it required such a massive ‘fix’? And what changes are F1’s new owners planning to make, assuming they get to buy it at all?