Tyres form the last section of the transmission system wherein a part of the engine's output is used up to provide the motion of the automobile. Formula One tyres play a significant role in the performance a Formula One car. The tyres have undergone significant changes throughout the history of Formula One, with different manufacturers and specifications used in the sport.
By regulation, the tyres feature a minimum of four grooves in them, with the intention of slowing the cars down. A slick tyre, with no indentations, is best in dry conditions. Both front and rear tyres are typically 660 mm in diameter. They can be no wider than 355 mm and 380 mm at the front and rear respectively. Slick tyres are rumoured to be reintroduced as of 2009 but the FIA regulations (though they can be changed) still have Formula One using "grooved" tyres in 2008.
There are several factors affecting the performance of formula 1 cars' tyres that should be considered before designing it. These factors include the road conditions, temperature, humidity, contact area with the ground and a few others. In tyre design, there are three main considerations - the profile and size, the tread, and the compound.
Racing tires are highly specialized according to vehicle and race track conditions. Tyres are specially engineered for specific race tracks according to surface conditions, cornering loads, and track temperature. Tyres have also been specially engineered for drifting. Racing tyres are often engineered to minimum weight targets, so tires for a 500mile race may run only 300miles before a tyre change.
In 2005, tyre changes were disallowed in Formula One, the compound was harder as the tyres had to last the full race distance (around ...