Join DRAKE at STAKE F1 PARTNER
SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 11: Daniil Kvyat of Russia driving the (26) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda in the pit lane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring on July 11, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

Spotlight on F1 wet tyres, how do they heat up without blankets?

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 11: Daniil Kvyat of Russia driving the (26) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT01 Honda in the pit lane during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Styria at Red Bull Ring on July 11, 2020 in Spielberg, Austria. Spotlight on F1 wet tyres, how do they heat up without blankets?

Wet tyres, also known as “rain tyres” are used in Formula 1 and designed specifically to provide better traction and grip in wet weather conditions. How do they work?

The development of wet tyres for F1 racing began in earnest in the 1960s but the introduction was unveiled in motorsport dates back to the 1950s. In the 1980s, Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the governing body for F1, introduced rules to regulate tyre use in races, including specific provisions for wet tyres.

Wet tyres have a different tread pattern and compound than dry tyres, allowing them to displace water more effectively and maintain a better grip on the track. The grooves on wet tyres are designed to channel water away from the tyre surface and prevent hydroplaning, where the tyre loses contact with the track surface and the car becomes uncontrollable.

In F1, wet tyres are denoted by a blue sidewall, whereas dry tyres have a white sidewall while the choice of tyre to use during a race is determined by the race director based on track conditions to ensure fierce rivalry among constructors, allowing spectators to indulge in a thrill on FanDuel Sportsbook, and teams must adapt to the strategy accordingly.

In order to keep the tyre dry, some form of motorsports, such as in GT or touring car series use tyre blankets, but F1 relies on a combination of few schemes to keep the tyre warm and maintain their optimal operating temperature.

Heating F1 rain tyres is a big challenge

Tyres in blankets are lined up in the paddock

The most significant way is Pre-Heating as before the tyres are fitted to the car, they are often heated using special tyre warming machines that applies heat directly to the tyre to bring it up to the desired temperature before the car even hits the track.

Warm-up laps are used for ensuring the tyre don’t cool down too much before the start of the race and the process is to form a warm-up lap before the race begins with drivers can use the increased speed and movement to generate heat in the tyres.

Car set-up, tyre compound, and tyre pressures are also very important features to keep the wet tyre warm for improved grips, faster lap times, consistency, safety, and tyre life as ensuring driver’s safety and performance in wet condition depends upon these contingents.

The introduction of wet tyres changed the dimension of F1, allowing races to be held safely and effectively in wet conditions as well as allowed drivers to push their cars to the limit in wet conditions and the invention was marked as revolutionary.