Why are F1 Tires Shiny? [Explained]

Tires are the legs of the vehicle. If you drive a sports car, this is a very important part that can help your car to be driven fast.

But why are F1 tires shiny? You may be wondering about the purpose of this thing.

Due to the mold that Pirelli uses, F1 tires become shiny. It is made with chrome that gives a shiny surface to the tires.

Molds are used in the manufacturing process. Pirelli, the main manufacturer of F1 tires, uses this strategy to make the tires better.

Though the shiny surface can disappear after the first lap. It is not reflective of the grip of the tire.

It will not have the consistency that it needs.

Mario Isola, the boss of Perelli said that this alteration simplified the compounds of the tire. They do a new coding system for the tires that can get rid of their imperfections.

They can improve the make of the compounds. This improvement gives a new look to the tires.

They use chrome treatment and they have tested it since 2018. They introduced this technology because the tires are sticky.

When they are vulcanized, you can see imperfections. But with new molds, they can be better.

They also look nicer. In terms of technology, they are better.

The surface becomes shiny. But you should know that they will not have less grip.

Nothing will be changed. You can still drive as fast as you can.

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The camber will be the only reason if they slow down. The new set of tires will not affect the speed.

You will just see that it is shining on the external side. You will not have to worry that it can be difficult to drive.

If you want to know more about this topic, you can watch the following video:

YouTube video

How are Formula 1 Tires Formed?

Formula 1 tires are not just ordinary pieces of rubber. They are given a good amount of technology that can inspire awe in anyone.

Here are the steps on how Pirelli tires are made:

1. The Design of Tires

Pirelli engineers do some good research before making these tires. They study the components carefully so that they can provide a good compound for the tires.

They need to satisfy a high standard for the tires. Computer simulations are used to create parameters.

This simulation software monitors and creates the grip for the tires. It is in charge to give durability.

It ensures its high performance on various tracks. The prototype will be tested after simulations.

It will be run to know if the tires can handle the actual race. If the prototype passes the test, the tires will be produced.

2. The Manufacturing Process

When the prototype passes, different components will be listed so that the tires will be formed. Compounds should be used so that you can drive the car on the road.

Different demands should be met. The materials for the tires are artificial fibers, synthetic rubber, and natural rubber.

Step One – Big steel cords are formed together to create a cable configuration. They are also called bead wires.

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Step Two – Then the carcass of the tire will be manufactured. This is the skeleton of the tire that gives the best strength to the tire.

The tire can take high pressure because of this. The carcass can withstand 80% of lateral movement.

It can carry a good amount of load.

Step Three – The bead will be connected to the tire belt. It is made up of rayon, fiberglass, and steel.

These materials are crisscrossed at an angle. The belt prevents the F1 tires from having punctures.

It gives the right shape to the surface of the tire.

Step Four – Now, the outer part of the tire will be made. This is the shell which is called the treads.

Some tires have a tread pattern. While other tires are “slick”.

Step Five – All the components will be assembled. Using a mold with chrome, they will pass through an oven.

This oven has the right temperature which can give the tire the right strength. This is the vulcanizing process.

The mold will be let to cool down. The tire will be off from the mold.

Here you can see the shiny F1 tire.

Step Six – Lastly, it will be time to check the quality of the tire. There can be a rigorous process after the tire has cooled down.

The first process is the visual check. Imperfections should be checked.

You have to make sure that the tread pattern is perfect.

The second process is you will scan an X-ray of the tire. You have to know if the internal structure of the tire is properly formed.

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The last process is you will weigh the tire. You should put it on a scale to confirm that it has the right weight.

The range should be according to the standards of the design engineers.

3. The Bar Coding

The tire should pass the quality control process. It should be bar-coded.

The barcode is needed so that Pirelli will monitor where the tire will be delivered. It should be received by the teams who will race.

Pirelli should track the number of laps that it can complete. It has to monitor its wear.

It takes five hours to complete form an F1 tire. It is done in the production line.

Many tires are built in here.

If you want to know about how F1 Tires are made, you can watch the following video:

YouTube video

The Manufacturers of F1 Tires

Different manufacturers have supplied tires for Formula 1 races. They are the following:


They provided tires for 7 seasons. They stopped supplying in 1982.

There are talks that they will return in 2010 when Bridgestone has planned to leave. But this never happened.


They provided tires for 16 seasons. They started supplying it in 1997.

They started at the Japanese Grand Prix. They left the work in the season of 2010, making Pirelli the sole manufacturer in 2011.


They supplied tires for 3 seasons.


They supplied tires for 23 seasons.


They became the manufacturer of tires for F1 for 9 seasons.


For 21 seasons, they supplied tires to F1 races.


For 35 seasons, they provided tires to F1 games.


They had worked with F1 for 14 seasons.

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They have been the sole provider of tires for F1 for more than 10 years. It started in 1950 until 1958.

They returned in 1981 together with Avon, Michelin, and Goodyear. They stopped in 1987 and returned in 1989-1991.

They were back being a provider in 2011 until the present day.

The Compounds of F1 Tires

Pirelli tires have five slick compounds:

C1 It can withstand the highest energy loading tracks. The circuits have abrasive surfaces, good corners, and great temperatures. These tires are tough and durable. It does not heat up quickly. It tends to wear less over time.
C2 This is suited for great speeds and great temperatures. It is good for high energy loads. It can withstand a wide range of circuits. It has great adaptability and flexibility.
C3 This is a versatile compound with a middle range. It gives great adaptability. It can be the softest or hardest compound. It is widely used for F1 races.
C4 This is suited for tight bends and turns. It heats up easily and comes to its peak faster. The softer ones overheat more easily.
C5 This is the fastest and softest tire. It is best on tracks with a mechanical grip. It has the least tire life than the others.

Additionally, there are two wet tire options. They are the following:

  • Cinturato Green Intermediate
  • Cinturato Blue Full Wet Tire

Are F1 Tires Hard?

Even with the hardest materials, F1 tires are soft. They are designed to be that way to have a better grip on the tracks.

They have gripping power because they heat up quicker. The result is good friction on the race tracks.

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The forces on the side make the tires slide which can give grip on corners. The rubber is malleable or sticky whenever the race car glides.

Even hard rubber tires can become sticky and soft. Though soft tires can offer a better grip, they wear out faster.

So, it is needed to keep the tires at normal temperature. You can avoid overheating when this happens.

What Do F1 Tires Have in Common With Regular Tires?

F1 tires are much different than regular tires. They have different purposes and functions.

They do not have anything in common.

Regular cars are built for transportation. Their tires should be long-lasting and can adapt to different road conditions.

They are used in traveling for various reasons. So, road car tires should be durable.

F1 tires are used in high-speed driving. They are specifically made for race tracks.

They are solely designed for good performance.

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