F1 vehicles have a strong grip which indicates that installing F1 tires on your car will improve its performance on a track, right? If you know anything about smooth racing tires, you’ll know that the answer is no, but that didn’t stop Driven Media from trying anyway.
The test begins with a Caterham on a track. Track tires would warm up with the car and provide perfect performance in dry circumstances for a track day special like the Caterham, so this would be an ideal combo. These are, however, F1 tires, and they’re the usual soft Pirellis with massive sidewalls designed for small wheels. They have F1-level pre-heating, downforce, straightaway speed, mid-corner speed, and monitoring, but they only last about thirty minutes.
Since there were so many challenges to overcome, the Driven Media team rarely tackled them. They had the brilliant idea of custom-milling an OEM hub to fit the odd-shaped tyres, which resulted in a set of single-lock racing wheels on the car. However, the tires provided little to no track traction. So instead, they went for a drive around town. It fared much poorer in that environment.
Any vehicle equipped with racing slicks is unfit for city driving. You’ll successfully compromise Caterham’s remaining roadworthy qualities if you make those F1-spec slicks. Even tire blankets couldn’t keep the tires warm enough to drive around town comfortably.
In a parking lot, a bright green Caterham with F1-spec tires indeed draws attention, so if you’re willing to do something unlawful and risky for a cool element, the switch has officially been made.