Why do Formula 1 car tyres have no tread: advantages and drawbacks of treaded and treadless tires

We can find a lot of people among us who are passionate about racing events like Formula 1 and MotoGP. Many of us may have noticed the use of treadless tires in these types of racing purpose vehicles. 

Why does the racing vehicle use treadless tires most of the time?

Use of tread in tires 

We know the pneumatic tire is an important invention in the automobile, which helps to provide a smooth ride for vehicles in any terrain.


It is important to provide better traction and good power delivering capacity to consider it as a good tire.

When thinking about vehicle traction, we can find how important is the treads which are used in tires. But we know that the vehicle gets its maximum traction and stability when all the tires touch properly with the road surface. 

It means the vehicle stability and traction increase with the increase in the contact area of the tire with the road surface. 

Then, why treads? Does it (tread) decrease the contact area between tire and road?

In normal road conditions, the treadless tire provides better traction than the treaded tire, because of the larger contact area between the tire and the road surface.

But in situations like wet roads and loose surfaces, the treadless tire slips over it. This is because of the water or loose soil creating a layer between the tire and the road surface. 

In these situations, the treaded tire provides much better traction and stability than treadless tires.

We all know the shape of a treaded tire, when it moves through a wet surface, the water enters the gap between treads and the tread makes contact with the road. That's why the vehicle gets good traction and stability over these surfaces.

When comes to the loose surfaces, there also happens whatever happened to the wet surface. The loose soil enters into the gaps between the treads and the tread touches the surface.

Why are treadless tires in racing cars?

We can't see all the time these types of racing purpose vehicles using treadless tires, but most of the time. 

In these situations, their ultimate aim is to win the race. So they need optimum performance from the vehicle.

So they only think about the performance of the vehicle as well as the stability, traction, braking, etc. We mentioned above, the treadless tire improves the traction of the vehicle as a result of a larger contact area between the tire and the road.

If the traction improves, it also helps to improve the handling, stability, braking, etc. So the use of the treadless tire on normal surfaces, fulfills what they want from the vehicle. So the racing cars use the treadless tire most of the time.


But on rainy days or wet surfaces, the treadless tire performs weaker than that a treaded tire. The water layer present on the surface decreases the traction. The treadless tire will slide over it, which is not good for performance and safety.

So in these situations, the treaded tire is better to provide, good traction, stability, braking, etc. Except for these situations, racing purpose vehicles use treadless tires.

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