Ever wonder what the inside of an F1 tire looks like? The big, meaty bubbles of air and rubber are some of the most important pieces of a Formula 1 race car, providing all the contact to the track. This guy cut one in half to see exactly what they're made of, and came back with some interesting results.
Scott Mansell of the Driver61 YouTube channel got his hands on a worn Pirelli tire taken off an F1 car, and took a handheld circular saw and split it in two, revealing the inner materials you don't normally see on TV. The tire seems to be made out of three main sections: The bead where it meets the wheel, the sidewall, and the contact patch.
The bead is the thickest, least flexible section, using bands of steel embedded into the rubber to grip itself to the wheel. There's also ridges molded into the rubber to help grip the wheel in high friction scenarios, ensuring the tire doesn't slip and spin on its mounting point. The sidewall is much thinner, and made purely of rubber. It's built to flex under high load. The contact patch is the part that actually touches the road, so it needs to be tough enough to handle impacts (but not so tough that it can't flex at all). It has thin steel bands throughout.
Mansell explains it all here, all while inhaling toxic tire smoke and getting rubber all over his clothes.
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