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Why was F1 slow to use slicks? (merged)


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#1 ray b

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Posted 26 July 2001 - 23:58

drags used slicks in the 50's so did 1/4 migets and go-carts in usa
why was F-1 so slow to use them, early 70's i think was first use
what tyre co. did it first ? did they win with them first time out?
were they used as Q tyres first or race and Q?
were slicks used in indy or can-am before F-1 ?

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#2 BRG

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Posted 27 July 2001 - 11:50

I do not recall the exact timetable for the introduction of slicks, but I am sure that they came into the main formulae at more or less the same time. I do remember that there were a lot of technical problems in F1 with tyre induced vibrations at first and some work on suspension geometries and settings was needed. I think there was some reluctance to go to slicks at first in road-racing circles because of concerns about rainfall. In those days, a slick tyre was regarded as a bald tyre and the idea that you might be able to use it on a damp track seemed outlandish.

#3 mat1

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Posted 27 July 2001 - 12:02

Originally posted by BRG
I do remember that there were a lot of technical problems in F1 with tyre induced vibrations at first and some work on suspension geometries and settings was needed.


I seem to remember the problems with the vibrations in f1 occurred in 1971, and had mainly to do with the small diameter wheels/tyres that were the fashion at that time. The reason for the small wheels were aerodynamic and the search for low unsprung weight.

I don't think the vibrations were the result of slicks as such.

mat

#4 Don Capps

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Posted 27 July 2001 - 13:40

I think we discussed this in some form earlier. It is out there somewhere.....

Actually, the Firestone Indy tires were quasi-slicks for a number of yesrs, only three grooves on the outer edges starting at some point in the 50s. The first true slicks were those in drag racing, with M&H and then Goodyear leading the way.

As for GP (F1), I think that there was an Dunlop design from 1968 or 1969 that was close to being a "slick" -- it was devoid any thread, but had a zillion little "x's" all over it. It the the CR-something.

In 1970, I think that USAC was playing with the slicks, however, without looking at some info I can't say if they were used very much. Keep in mind that during this period Firestone and Goodyear were going at each other and Dunlop simply got elbowed out of the way. Their last successful season in GP (F1) was, what, 1969, perhaps 1970?

I am sure some of the smart guys can explain the technical problems that slicks had when it came to racing on other than a straight line, the vibrations caused by the tires was a real problem for awhile. Also, keep in mind that these were still crossply bias tires, not radials, and that meant that there was a bit more variance from tire to tire than the radials that followed. The USAC and NASCAR drivers figured out the business of "stagger" before the GP drivers did. However, once the light went on....

Interesting to consider that had Firestone continued to supply the same type of tire that the Lotus 72 was built around, it might have gone on even longer than it did. The change to Goodyear and the fact that the tires given to Lotus were not designed to optimize the 72's performance envelope makes its later performance even more remarkable.

#5 27neil

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 14:26

Could somebody please tell me when slick tyres were first used in a Formula One Grand Prix and by which team/driver.

#6 NeilB

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 14:36

Slicks started to become the norm in the early 70's, sadly I dont know exactly when and where they were used.

#7 Paul Taylor

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 15:48

I believe they were used pretty much by everyone in 1971. Having a look through the cars of 1970, I can't see many cars using them. I think De Tomaso did, looking at one picture of their car at the South African GP that year. Possibly Matra too.

#8 Ray Bell

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 21:31

This was the subject of one of those single-page (well, double spread if you count the picture...) articles in Motor Sport maybe two or three years ago...

The import of the story was the suddeness with which slicks finally arrived after about five or six years of almost being there.

Firestone, for instance, had tyres with tiny cuts all over the tread surface and no grooves in perhaps 1967 or 1968, which I think would have been the same as they had at Indianapolis for a year or three prior to that.

But the step to finally eliminate the tread altogether was for some reason difficult. When it was mastered, it was without fanfare, everyone just used them...

#9 David Beard

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Posted 16 June 2004 - 22:18

They had, of course, been used many years earlier in drag racing, karting, and on my dad's Ford Prefect.

#10 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 11:52

Originally posted by Paul Taylor
I believe they were used pretty much by everyone in 1971. Having a look through the cars of 1970, I can't see many cars using them. I think De Tomaso did, looking at one picture of their car at the South African GP that year. Possibly Matra too.

I'm sure the de Tomaso didn't use slicks at the 1970 South African Grand Prix. All the pictures of Dunlop runners I have seen show a very marked tread pattern. Stewart did try a new tyre in practice which was almost slick, just a few cuts, but he did not use it in the race. The Goodyear and Firestone tyres look to be much closer to slicks, but not completely. If Goodyear had a new tyre in South Africa, they would not be likely to give it to Matra who were in their first race on the tyres. Brabham or McLaren would be far more likely.. and, of course, Brabham did go rather well.

The, of course there's the mystery of the 1966 Ferrari when it was first presented to the press.

The history of tyre development, and its impact on performance, is one of the most important, yet wholly under documented aspects of the history of motor racing. It would be nice to think that one of our writer members could produce a book, but it won't make them rich. Is this an opportunity for some TNF collaborative research?

#11 David Beard

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 12:14

Originally posted by Roger Clark


The history of tyre development, and its impact on performance, is one of the most important, yet wholly under documented aspects of the history of motor racing. It would be nice to think that one of our writer members could produce a book, but it won't make them rich. Is this an opportunity for some TNF collaborative research?


Researching this Tyre History book would surely be a nightmare. Race reports have always been full of remarks like "hard compound" and "soft compound" without putting figures to the matter, Likewise construction...we often hear of a "new construction" without any explanation. I think there might have been a lot of kidology over the years. How could those 70s cars with whopping rear tyres and tiny front ones have been right?

However, I would like to understand better how we have ended up with sporty road cars with tyres like elastic bands, while F1 cars have great fat tall things. If it's a regulation, it should be done away with, so we could have low profile tyres with no radial "give", and suspension with movement in it.

#12 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 12:57

Originally posted by David Beard
.....However, I would like to understand better how we have ended up with sporty road cars with tyres like elastic bands, while F1 cars have great fat tall things. If it's a regulation, it should be done away with, so we could have low profile tyres with no radial "give", and suspension with movement in it.


Yes, tyre size is regulated in F1...

#13 dolomite

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 16:47

Originally posted by David Beard

However, I would like to understand better how we have ended up with sporty road cars with tyres like elastic bands, while F1 cars have great fat tall things. If it's a regulation, it should be done away with, so we could have low profile tyres with no radial "give", and suspension with movement in it.


The wheel rim diameter is deliberately limited to 13" in order to restrict the size of the brake discs.

#14 David Beard

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 16:57

Originally posted by dolomite


The wheel rim diameter is deliberately limited to 13" in order to restrict the size of the brake discs.


There isn't a rule outlawing inboard brakes though, is there?

#15 VAR1016

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 17:04

Originally posted by dolomite


The wheel rim diameter is deliberately limited to 13" in order to restrict the size of the brake discs.


But surely brake disc size is limited by the regulations anyway? And if not, then I am sure that it could be.

PdeRL

#16 Cirrus

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 18:39

As far as I remember, slicks first appeared in F1 early in the 1971 season. Quite soon after their appearance, teams experienced severe vibration problems, possibly due to the low profile tyres popular at the time, and the stiff sidewalls that went with them.

In 1973, "Wrinkle Wall" tyres enjoyed a brief period of popularity, the thinking behind them being that thin, flexible sidewalls (borrowed from drag racing) would give better traction. In my humble opinion, the real benefit was that a more compliant sidewall let a huge tyre sit on the road better. The fact that the tyre gave a significant amount of undamped compliance was masked by the relatively crude dampers of the time.

Then Koni produced their classic aluminium bodied, multi-adjustable damper, and things changed....

#17 Reyna

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 19:08

I'm not sure, but i think the first F1 race with slicks was at '71 Ontario Grand Prix, or South African GP.

#18 uechtel

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 19:51

From "Goodyear 250 Grand Prix Wins" by Alan Henry:

"...Goodyear was also the first to introduce slick-treaded tyres, in time for the inaugural French GP at Paul Ricard [1971]..."

"Grand Prix 1971" by Ulrich Schwab:

"depending on track conditions there were now 'low profile' tyres with either profiled or smooth surface, so-called 'slicks', with only few 'cuts' to check tyre wear."

#19 Don Capps

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 20:00

As many know, Firestone developed a semi-slick for Indianapolis during the 1950s, the only thread being the three grooves on the right edge of the tire. By the late-1950s, drag racers had figured out the advantages of slicks and M&H was one of the first to construct such tires along with the square contruction of the casing to take advantage of this approach. In 1964, Dunlop introduced the "doughnut" tires to road racing, albeit still with tread. In 1967, Goodyear introduced tubeless tires to GP racing despite the CSI insistence on having them, Goodyear having gone discovered that the inner tubes were really unnecessary with the introduction of the inner-liner in 1965. Even by 1968/1969, Dunlop had a tire which was nearly a slick, its "thread" consisting of a pattern of "x's" on the tire. By 1970, both Firestone and Goodyear were working on slicks for NASCAR and USAC use, and I think that both used such tires that year. I think that Goodyear had slicks for its customers at Ontario. However, I will check later today.

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#20 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 20:23

Might I suggest looking it up in the 'Autocourse' History of the Grand Prix car....?

DCN

#21 Wolf

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 20:58

Originally posted by David Beard
However, I would like to understand better how we have ended up with sporty road cars with tyres like elastic bands, while F1 cars have great fat tall things. If it's a regulation, it should be done away with, so we could have low profile tyres with no radial "give", and suspension with movement in it.


The simple answer is that sporty road cars have springs and decent suspension.;) As things stand, IIRC tyre accounts for about 30% of suspension of F1 car (I wouldn't presume suspension travel, but deformation of tyre suspends 30% of the force, but that's a guess). And I agree, with low profile tyres we wouldn't have F1 cars that are more akin to skateboards than to normal cars. Or, we'd have more drivers having their teeth shaken out and with cars more unforgivable than they already are (causing much more spins and shunts, making it even sillier than it already is). *shrug*

#22 Roger Clark

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 21:03

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Might I suggest looking it up in the 'Autocourse' History of the Grand Prix car....?

DCN

I did.

In this history of the Grand Prix car I feel there can be no place for an adequate story of the Formula 1 tyre development for it would by itself fill a sister volume.



#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 22:21

Eh? Page 87 - In the active Formula 1 context: "Slick tyres were introduced by Goodyear in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1971. Firestone rapidly followed suit at the Spanish Grand Prix....Slots or drillings were the only blemishes remaining in the tread surface, being designed purely to enable tread wear and remaining depth to be measured by the tyre engineers...also handy places to prod with...thermometer probes.... " :confused:

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 23:24

Originally posted by Cirrus
.....Then Koni produced their classic aluminium bodied, multi-adjustable damper, and things changed....


These had been around a while already, though I can't categorically name a date...

But I well recall that I had to send some back to Holland for repair during 1971, they having come from the McLaren M4a previously raced by Piers Courage.

That was a 1967 car, but it may have had these added during Niel Allen's ownership - 1968-69.

Of course, the steel-bodied 8211 series units had been used by Ferrari in 1958, already incorporating all the 'multi adjustments'... ie. adjustable spring abutments, separate adjustment to damping rates on both bump and rebound.

#25 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 01:12

Originally posted by Doug Nye
..."Slick tyres were introduced by Goodyear in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1971. Firestone rapidly followed suit at the Spanish Grand Prix....

I am highly reluctant to question Doug on any point of racing history. However, in the Goodyear book - 250 Grand Prix Wins 1965-1991 by Alan Henry (Goodyear/Hazleton; Page 65) the following:

"Goodyear was also the first to introduce the slick-treaded tyres, in time for the inaugural French GP at Paul Ricard (1971), and was now forcing a dramatic pace on the Grand Prix scene".

This statement is preceded by a recounting of the intensive development undertaken by Tyrrell and Goodyear with Stewart performing most of the development of the slick.

Pages 66/67 has a two page color spread of the Wee Scot leading from start to finish in 1971 at Paul Ricard on "Goodyear's newly introduced slick tyres". The implication is that the 1971 French GP sees the race introduction of the slick.

There was an intensive tyre testing program that was conducted in January, 1971 at Kyalami by Goodyear/Tyrrell/Stewart with 001 and is described in DCN's aforementioned "'Autocourse' History of the Grand Prix Car 1966-1985; Page 74 and "Ken Tyrrell" by Hilton; Page 48. There was also another tyre test with the slicks held in Interlagos in 1971 with a picture shown on Page 46 of "Ken Tyrrell" by Hilton with what looks to be 003.

Was the first use of the slick in a GP the 1971 French GP, with testing prior to that event, or was the Goodyear slick used in the South African GP? The limited photographic evidence that I can find, principally on Forix, appears to show the Tyrrell's on slicks from the beginning of the 1971 season, but the quality of the pics is not good enough to be positive.

Sometimes all of this information is enough to confuse a person!

#26 Roger Clark

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:13

Originally posted by Doug Nye
Eh? Page 87 - In the active Formula 1 context: "Slick tyres were introduced by Goodyear in the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1971. Firestone rapidly followed suit at the Spanish Grand Prix....Slots or drillings were the only blemishes remaining in the tread surface, being designed purely to enable tread wear and remaining depth to be measured by the tyre engineers...also handy places to prod with...thermometer probes.... " :confused:

:confused:
I was looking at the 1966-91 volume. In mine, Page 87 is the first page of the section on the McLaren M23. Page 94 is about tyres and contains the section I quoted.

#27 Vrba

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:03

The good question is why had it taken so long for the slicks to appear? They should have been logical choice for a dry weather tyre on tarmac from the outset, as it provides the biggest contact patch. Any grooves are surplus in such conditions (unless regulations require them, of course).

Hrvoje

#28 Ronaldo

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:48

..."as it provides the biggest contact patch"

But does it give more grip? As all skoolboys know, friction is independent of contact area.
It's not the tyre that provides the grip but the load on the tyre.

Does anyone know whether increasing contact area from the optimum leads to a reduction in grip?
Overwide tyres are known to be dangerous in the wet.

#29 Dave Wright

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 10:03

Originally posted by Ronaldo
..."as it provides the biggest contact patch"

But does it give more grip? As all skoolboys know, friction is independent of contact area.
It's not the tyre that provides the grip but the load on the tyre.


I was also taught as a schoolboy that coefficients of friction could not exceed one, but tyres don't work that way.

#30 Vrba

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 11:53

Originally posted by Dave Wright


I was also taught as a schoolboy that coefficients of friction could not exceed one, but tyres don't work that way.

Yes. As those tyres are sticky, the greater the patch area, the greater the adhesive force.
However, greater patch area means lower pressure on the patch....I don't know the impact of that factor on the friction force. Now, the tyres had different composition and characteristics 30 or 40 years ago, that's true.

However, the grooves/thread doesn't have any sense on a dry weather tyre. If there's a certain size of contact patch that provides optimal grip (no less and no bigger area than a certain one), it's better to use narrower slick than wider threaded tyre, if for aerodynamic reasons only....

Hrvoje

#31 Geoff E

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 12:04

Originally posted by Dave Wright


I was also taught as a schoolboy that coefficients of friction could not exceed one,


Even if that is true, the aerodynamic downforce gives a greater effective weight (which governs the maximum frictional force) but the mass is unaltered. Such a combination of forces can result in a deceleration greater than 1g.

#32 Vrba

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 12:06

Originally posted by Geoff E


Even if that is true, the aerodynamic downforce gives a greater effective weight (which governs the maximum frictional force) but the mass is unaltered. Such a combination of forces can result in a deceleration greater than 1g.

It has equally benefiting effect on cornering force ;)

Hrvoje

#33 dolomite

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 12:09

Originally posted by VAR1016


But surely brake disc size is limited by the regulations anyway? And if not, then I am sure that it could be.

PdeRL


Yes disc size is limited now but I think that was introduced fairly recently. Looking back at an old copy of the F1 regs that I have from 1996, in those days there was no limit on disc size, only on wheel diameter.
Arguably it is true that with today's regs now specifying a maximum disc diameter the need to limit the wheel diameter no longer applies.

#34 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 10:26

Originally posted by Vrba
The good question is why had it taken so long for the slicks to appear?

I think this is a key question. Treads were becoming less pronounced throughout 1970, and the final introduction of the slick was only a small step. The manufacturers must have been aware of the slick's advantagesso why was its introduction not sooner?

Doug says that Goodyear introduced the slick at Kyalami in 1971, and I am prepared to accept that, but I can find no mention of it in contemprary reports. Autosport and Motor Sport both say that Firestone had an experimental tyre, tried by Fittipaldi in practice but not used in the race. Both magazines say that the Goodyear users in particular suffered badly from tyres overheating and Stewart used G20s on the left, G24s on the right to compensate. According to Autosport, Hulme's "sef-levelling" McLaren was the only car able to run G24s all round in the race.

Denis Jenkinson's report of the Spanish Grand Prix says that all the Firestone tyres had a new tyre with no tread, and a picture of one of the Ferraris makes this clear.

With regard to the discussion about the frictional forces being independent of the size of the contact area , I thought that this applied to perfectly smooth and rigid surfaces, which tyres and roads clearly are not.

#35 Svend

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 11:26

It seems likely to me that because of the possibility to put more load on a tyre the temperatures went trough the roof and that that was the reason why the introduction of the slicks was postponed. I'm pretty sure I read an account of this somewhere, but can't seem to recall where.

#36 Don Capps

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 14:05

Last night, I plowed much of the same ground as Roger. An interesting aspect is that when the BT34 was introduced, its Goodyears were "slick" with the exception of small "cuts" scattered in a semi-pattern over the surface of the tire. These seem more of an afterthought than any attempt at a "pattern." It is apparent that these were available for Kyalami.

#37 Geoff E

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 14:33

Originally posted by Roger Clark
With regard to the discussion about the frictional forces being independent of the size of the contact area , I thought that this applied to perfectly smooth and rigid surfaces, which tyres and roads clearly are not.


Therein lies the difference between grip and friction. I've a feeling though, in my school maths days, that the term "perfectly smooth" had the same meaning as "frictionless".

#38 Roger Clark

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 17:05

Originally posted by Don Capps
Last night, I plowed much of the same ground as Roger. An interesting aspect is that when the BT34 was introduced, its Goodyears were "slick" with the exception of small "cuts" scattered in a semi-pattern over the surface of the tire. These seem more of an afterthought than any attempt at a "pattern." It is apparent that these were available for Kyalami.

This is the BT34 at its launch (photo from Autosport)

Posted Image

#39 oldtimer

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 19:38

Originally posted by Ronaldo
[BOverwide tyres are known to be dangerous in the wet. [/B]


Witness the1975 British GP.

I know, I know, this is the nth time I've raised that event, but you have to allow for age. :) As for slicks, never liked 'em, meself.

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#40 toprpm

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 01:46

I think that slicks were appearing at WDC tracks gradually. What it means? In 1969 there weren't any slick tires in WDC. This one we can say for sure. But in 1970 the situation changed. At tracks with a soft surface some teams, first of all Tyrrell, prefered not to use old tires, but used new tires without big longitudinal canals. New tires had short cuts only. I've done a search and found some pictures of Dunlop tires from Monaco'70, Spa'70 and Clermont-Ferrand'70. As for me the new Dunlop tires look like first slick tires. Why? Simply because they have the main idea of slick tires - use all tire's surface as much as it is possible. Also I found a photo (taken at Kyalami in 1971) of Good Year tires on Jo Bonnier's McLaren M7C. The tires are the same as on BT34 photo from Autosport. Evolution of slick tires was continuing and at Montjuich'71 we can see new type of GY tires on Chris Amon's Matra-Simca. At the same time Firestone produced new tires for Ferrari and they are almost without short cuts (only several technical cuts are remaining). Finally I found a photo of Peterson's March taken during Spanish 1972 GP at Jarama where we can see the next modification of Good Year slick tires. As before there are some technical cuts...

Monaco 1970, Dunlop
Spa 1970, Dunlop
Clermont-Ferrand 1970, Dunlop
Kyalami 1971, Good Year
Montjuich Park 1971, Good Year
Montjuich Park 1971, Firestone
Jarama 1972, Good Year

#41 Dennis Hockenbury

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 02:32

I must admit toprpm, the 1970 Dunlop's look very convincing to my idea of slicks. Great photos.

#42 Macca

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 09:35

I'm fairly sure there's a couple of photos in the 'Grand Prix Gift Book' of a BRM H16 in 1966 with tyres that have only short cuts in a slick tread; I'll have a look tonight.

Or Peter Morley might know ('cos the GPGB has pictures of the Shannon). :cool:


Paul M

#43 D-Type

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 09:42

A while back Motor Sport covered slicks as one of their Innovations[?] features.

Edit: I've just realised Ray has already mentioned this

#44 Peter Morley

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 10:19

Originally posted by Macca
I'm fairly sure there's a couple of photos in the 'Grand Prix Gift Book' of a BRM H16 in 1966 with tyres that have only short cuts in a slick tread; I'll have a look tonight.

Or Peter Morley might know ('cos the GPGB has pictures of the Shannon). :cool:


Paul M


Unfortunately I can't lay my hands on either of my copies of the GPGB right now!

I do remember seeing some tyres (Firestone maybe) that had a lot of small + shape cuts all over the tyre's flat surface - probably early 3 litre F1 or sportscar tyres (e.g. something from around 1966).
I never understood how they were meant to work, it just looked like someone had gone mad with the tyre wear indicating cuts used on a 'normal' slick.

I find it quite intriguing that no one can come up with a straight answer to what seemed like such a simple original question - ask when the first disc brake, aerofoil or flagellated wingding was used and within minutes you get an answer that includes the name of the mechanic's pet gerbil.

#45 TFBundy

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 12:58

Didn't DCN produce a picture of a 1966 Ferrari displayed on very slick 'drag racing' tyres ... ?

What is amazing is just how quick slicks spread [sic!]. By summer 1971 every F3 car and most Clubmen had invested in a set of new tyres - or at least a spoke shave ...

#46 MP1-4

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 14:03

I wonder if it is a slick tires...

Posted Image

Belgian GP, 1966, Peter Arundell, Lotus-BRM 43 (Provided by Rainer Nyberg)

#47 Macca

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 14:28

by TFBundy:

Didn't DCN produce a picture of a 1966 Ferrari displayed on very slick 'drag racing' tyres ... ?




Yes, but that was known to be a set of 'dummy' tyres straight from the mould, for the photo only. The car itself was barely finished and in bare metal - shades of the old Lotus launches in the carpark at Hornsey in the '50s, when the journos used to have to wait for the car to be finished.




Paul M

#48 BRG

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 14:43

I seem to recall that the introduction of slicks led to some/all constructors discovering a serious vibration problem due presumably to the greater grip and differing characteristics compared to treaded tyres. Did this delay some teams from switching over. IIRC, Tyrell and Lotus both had difficulties over this?

Also, I am sure that karts were using slick tyres well before F1 (or is my memory playing tricks again?)

#49 TFBundy

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Posted 20 July 2004 - 15:07

Originally posted by Macca
by TFBundy:

Yes, but that was known to be a set of 'dummy' tyres straight from the mould, for the photo only.

Paul M


Fairy nuff! Thanks! In my defence I realised they'd never raced the car on those tyres!

But isn't it the point that tyre makers though the late '60s were using steadily less and less 'tread'; perhaps only using it as a 'comfort blanket' for their own or drivers' psychological reassurance?

#50 Mike Lawrence

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Posted 17 November 2005 - 19:29

I have never understood why it took mainstrem motor racing so long to latch on to slick tyres. I was racing karts in 1961 and we used slicks. A company called Blue Peter did remoulds and we sent away our knackered knobblies, together with £1. 10s (£1.50) per tyre they came back as slicks.

The Americans were on to the idea before we were, and slicks had long used in drag racing, why did it take so long for everyone else to catch on?