The new, larger tyres Formula 1 has introduced for the 2022 season will restrict drivers’ views more than before, said Max Verstappen.
F1 wheel sizes have increased from 13 inches to 18 this year. The tyres sizes have also grown from 660mm to 720mm.
Speaking at Red Bull’s 2022 car launch today the world champion said his experience of driving it in the simulator revealed a new challenge posed by the tyres.
“For me actually, the biggest thing is just the view in the cockpit with these big tyres,” he said. “To hit an apex in some tight corners is a bit more difficult.
“The driving just feels like the car has a bit less grip, but you will get used to that. That’s why we have the the practice days you can get used to the sliding and locking and stuff like that,” he continued. “But I think it should be fine, it’s just getting a bit more used to to the view in the cockpit.”
Verstappen said he was eager to get out on track in the RB18 “because I really don’t know how it’s going to feel like. I’m really looking forward to that first moment when you drive out of the pit lane and you do your first few laps.”
Red Bull’s chief engineer Paul Monaghan said the new wheels have also contributed to the increased weight of the cars, which have rised by 40kg to 795kg for 2022.
“The thinking is road relevance, it’s that majority of road cars now have to be big wheels, but also come with pretty low profile tyres,” Monaghan explained. “We’ve come up on the wheel size to 18 inches as a line in the sand.
“It’s certainly put a bit of weight onto the car, the tyre is bigger overall, so it has a fairly significant aerodynamic effect.
“And then you’ve got the characteristics of the big tyre to try and understand as well. We sort of got reasonable knowledge of last year’s ones. It’s a bit of a new drawing board for us, isn’t it?”
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