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Are the 2021 wheel changes more significant than they appear?
Posted by: IanSmithISA
Date: 04/11/2019 11:58
Good morning,

Come 2021 F1 is going for bigger wheels and low profile tyres and as someone who is not a tyre or suspension expert I am wondering if these changes are more significant than they first appear?

As I understand it currently the deformation of the tyre wall is a major part of the suspension travel
and all of the teams have had years where they designed suspensions that takes this into account.

It would appear to me that the 2021 suspension is going to need significantly more travel to accommodate the reduced deflection available from the smaller sidewalls , possibly double or even triple the travel of the current setups?

It would seem unlikely that this can be achieved by keeping the existing designs and “tweaking a couple of travel limit screws”, instead this seems to be an opportunity for some teams to do something new and much better than the rest.

Added to the reduction in tyre deformation are F1 tyres going to need to be run at higher pressures than now?

It is certainly true of bike tyres that as you reduce the volume of air you need to increase the pressure to avoid sharp edges causing the tyre to deform so much that the wheel rim is in contact with the ground via some squashed tyre.

Looking at some of the kerbs in F1, including this weekend’s USA GP where the cars went outside of track limits and came back over a fairly high kerb there are some pretty sharp edges around the F1 track edges.

If there going to be a need for increased pressure to avoid this then does that mean even more suspension movement is going to be needed, possibly quadrupled?

I remember the US F1 team, the one that never arrived, talking about coil over damper suspensions as they were cheap to design and make, now there was a blast from the past, but is it now also the future?

Bye

Ian

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