Norris fears issues at Monaco, Singapore with 18-inch tyres

Date published: February 19 2022 - Jamie Woodhouse

Lando Norris looking serious. Abu Dhabi, December 2021.

McLaren’s Lando Norris has joined the group of drivers expressing concerns over visibility with the new Pirelli 18-inch tyres.

It is all-change for the 2022 Formula 1 season, with cars designed to heavily modified regulations running with 18-inch tyres, replacing the previous 13-inch compounds.

Eight of the 10 teams have now launched their 2022 challengers, while Alfa Romeo have been on-track with their C42 as the new season approaches fast.

But a common point being made by the drivers is that these 18-inch tyres are having an impact on visibility, especially when it comes to hitting the tighter apexes.

Norris then picked out the Monaco and Singapore street circuits as venues which are going to become especially challenging with these larger wheels.

The first group shakedown with these new cars will take place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from February 23-25, before the Bahrain pre-season test from March 10-12.

The McLaren MCL26 is launched along with other McLaren cars. February 2022.

“We won’t have much time to get used to the peculiarities of the new race cars,” Norris is quoted as having said by Speedweek.com.

“Each driver only gets a total of three days in Spain and Bahrain. That’s not much when we have to get used to a completely different driving style.

“The look is also different, starting with the bigger wheels with these fairings. And that could become a problem at some tracks, like Monaco or Singapore.”

Formula 2 has been using 18-inch tyres since 2020, so Norris spoke with a friend in the series to find out their experiences.

Indeed, they confirmed to Norris that cones were needed at some venues to define the track limit due to the restricted visibility.

“In Formula 2 the bigger wheels were introduced before, and one of my mates said: on certain tracks, the track boundaries had to be fitted with traffic cones because the top of the barriers could no longer be seen from the cockpit because of the big wheels,” Norris revealed.

“It all takes some getting used to, including the extent of the front wing.”

 

Formula 1 will remain in Bahrain after the pre-season test, with the Bahrain Grand Prix set to open the 2022 season on March 20.