Formula One race cars to use wheel rims from this Japanese company
Japanese wheel manufacturer BBS has become the exclusive supplier of the new standard wheel rims being introduced in Formula One and NASCAR this season, reports Asia Nikkei. The apex motorsport is all set to witness a major change in terms of wheel design and size this season.
The Formula One race cars will ditch their traditional 13-inch wheels and replace those with bigger 18-inch wheels from the 2022 season. This marks a massive change in the Formula One race cars' wheel design in 30 years.
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The reason behind this change is not just improved aesthetics of bigger wheels, but relevance towards road cart technology as well. The sidewall reduction of new bigger wheels come as the biggest change, more closely resembling a road car.
This change in wheel rim dimensions and tyres means the Formula One race cars from this season will be handled differently. This technical change will make them more precise due to the far stiffer sidewall, which eventually will increase the safety of the motorsport.
The testing of the new bigger wheel rims has so far resulted in positive drive feedback. As reports suggest, the new bigger wheels ensure lesser tyre flex and less impact on the cars' aerodynamics. The increased stability means a lesser focus is required from the teams to address turbulence. This will eventually result in lower costs as well.
However, the switch from 13-inch to 18-inch tyres is expected to have a minimal impact on overall lap timings. Another change in the wheel is that the Formula One race cars will resume using wheel covers for the first time since 2009, as the new regulations mandate them to.
Italian tyre manufacturer Pirelli that produces tyres for Formula One race cars provided the teams to test new tyres in the test vehicles during the last season. This season, the Pirelli tyres wrapped on the BBS wheel rims will be deployed for their real test on the track.