With so many changes in regulations coming to the 2022 F1 Season, it’s no surprise that many of the teams and drivers are hitting walls as they continue to develop their cars. But there’s one huge issue that many of the drivers are encountering, and it’s a strange one.
A main change to the cars that fans we’ll notice is an increase in tyre size. Moving from 13-inch to 18-inch Pirelli tyres will mean cars will be able to be on full attack without the fear of overheating rubber. But with wheel covers also making a comeback, drivers have revealed that they’re finding it hard to see the track.
“Visibility is kind of a bitch with this tyre, you can’t see much,” Lance Stroll told Motor Sport Magazine.
“So I expect it to be pretty tough to see where you’re going. That’s going to be very different – visually – from inside the cockpit.
“It’s a good thing I’m in my sixth season, and I’ve memorised a lot of the tracks because if this was my first season, man, it wouldn’t be easy!”
2021 World Champion Max Verstappen has also complained about the larger wheels:
“For me actually, the biggest thing is just the view in the cockpit with these big tyres. To hit an apex in some tight corners is a bit more difficult.”
Lando Norris also chimed in, explaining that street circuits will prove to be “extremely different” as he admitted that the FIA is looking for innovative solutions to deal with these issues.
“One of my friends who’s in F2 said that they have to put cones on top of the barriers in places because the barriers were lower than the new tyres that we have, and that they can’t actually see where the barrier is, because the car looks higher than the barriers,” Lando told RaceFans.
But What About The Weight Of These Wheels?
Another issue that no one has seemed to bring up is the high weight of these wheel and tyre combinations. Unsprung mass will kill a car, although we’re sure the teams have taken this into account. But what I’d like to see is how much momentum these wheels will have if they come off a car at speed.
Will we see more damage being done by runaway wheels? Will marshals and even fans be in more potential danger? We’re very interested to see what happens.