Can a set of tyres from an F1 turn your normal street car into a high-performance machine? The guys at Driven Media decided to put this idea to the test and fit a set of F1 tyres onto their Caterham 270R. So, can tyres from an F1 car improve the performance of a track-capable road car, let’s find out?
If you’re a fan of Formula One then you’ll be very familiar with the sports obsession with tyres. Pirelli is the sole supplier of tyres in F1 at the moment and it's one of the few components that all F1 teams share. F1 teams pour millions of dollars, and countless man-hours, into the development of their car, but much like road cars, this engineering is all sent to the asphalt via the tyres.
F1 teams spend a great deal of time managing tyre temperatures to ensure the optimal levels of grip so their car can perform on the track. These finicky tyres are warmed with tyre blankets before use so that the car has a strong level of grip as it heads out the track after a pit stop. Much like an F1 car, these tyres are not designed for normal road use as they are highly specialised tools for a single task.
So how does a set of F1 soft tyres perform on a Caterham under light track use with a road test to follow. Well, much like the guys at Driven Media predicted, they couldn’t get the tyres warm enough to achieve optimal grip. These Pirelli tyres are designed to handle extreme temperatures while on track which means they aren’t optimised for normal driving temps. Even when the Caterham was driven around on track the featherweight track car wasn’t able to put enough force on to the tyres to heat them.
Although the tyres weren’t exactly good for performance, they did make the Caterham 270R look like a miniature F1 car. So, F1 tyres may not improve the performance of your car, but they will make it look cool.