Curiosity, in this case, brought out the grinders and saws. One YouTuber decided he’d have a look at what the inside of a Formula 1 tire looks like, all in the pursuit of knowledge.
The tire is a standard issue Pirelli F1 tire that teams use, and right away, it’s clear they’re tough. It requires a lot of grinding to take the outer rubber down to what lies below. After a lot of smoke and sparks, we see there’s a steel rim that runs around the inside of the tire as part of its construction. When it comes time to actually slice it open, the same steel rim proves difficult. The shoulder section and sidewall of the tire is an easy cut, as Pirelli and F1 teams give the cars plenty of room for flex.
Finally, we have a tire cut open. We see the steel rim that runs around the inside of the tire, which keeps the tire on the wheel and provides the support. Next, there’s radial wire that runs along the sidewall, but it disappears in the shoulder of the tire, only to reappear on the surface area.
What’s surprising is how thin the actual slick rubber portion of the tire is, although we should point out that this is a used tire and not a fresh example. Obviously, there’s wear from its use on the track.
There are also ridges inside the tire that come in contact with the wheel where the steel bead is. The science behind this is to ensure the tire has the maximum amount of grip to the wheel as possible under the extreme braking forces during a race. Otherwise, the tire itself could slip into the wheel, which may lead to an out-of-balance setup. Grab a closer look in the video.