MOTEGI RACING IN FORMULA 1 AND FORMULA E
and Motegi Racing must factor into their
design the likelihood of performance
gains from both the car and the tires
throughout the year. That said, in the
past, Force India has introduced in-season
design changes that necessitated the
manufacture of revised wheels. However,
due to the enormous cost and logistics
involved, this is the exception rather than
the rule. In a hypothetical world, where
cost and logistics are not an issue, Green
admits an F1 team would probably specify
different wheel parameters for every track.
What is true for both Force India and
NextEV is that the wheel plays a far more
pivotal role than it might appear from the
outside. Having a wheel partner who is
fully collaborative and invested in the
team’s performance is as critical as for
any other part on the car.
“When you work with teams like
Sahara Force India and NextEV, we are
truly a partner,” says Lucaora. “Together,
we see the car’s improvement through
every race, so we share information as
much as possible to double the power of
Lucaora notes how Force India’s wheels
compare from the start of the relationship
to their current, 2016 iteration.
“The first year, our wheels were much
simpler, and now we have a hollow spoke
wheel that would have been hard to imagine
at the start,” he says. “It’s important to note
that the development of the wheels follows
the development of the car, and as one
improves, so does the other.”
While it may not be obvious from the
outside, the attention paid to wheels by
these teams reveals just how integral they
are to the overall package. And what is true
for a street car is also true for a racecar:
To enhance performance, bolting on a
great set of wheels makes a difference.
Formula 1 wheels are made from forged magnesium,
which results in an incredibly light weight of
approximately three kilos ( 6.5lb). Magnesium wheels,
however, are impractical for street car use.
For Formula E, Motegi Racing has developed wheels
for team partner NextEV made from exclusive,
custom developed and 100 percent recyclable
aluminum alloy. The material not only delivers a very
lightweight wheel, but also has potential for use in
street-wheel applications. Plus, its recyclability is in
keeping with Formula E’s philosophy of sustainability.
According to Jody Groce, president of Wheel Pros,
the opportunity to experiment and to push the
boundaries of engineering that competition affords
is why the company races. As a result of the knowledge
and experience gained, the wheels it produces for
street use are constantly improved and enhanced, too.
Buena Park, Calif.-based Wheel Pros, the parent
company of Motegi Racing, oversees a performance
wheel portfolio that also includes iconic brands
such as American Racing and KMC Wheels.
Find out more at wheelpros.com
IMPROVING THE BREED
THE WHEEL PROS PORTFOLIO
“Where we really focus our
development is the center
of the wheel, in particular
on loads and airflow”
F1-inspired for the road,
Motegi Racing’s aluminium-alloy MR127 shares the
same narrow, multi-spoke
design as the MR333
used by Force India.
The MR130 street wheel
from Motegi Racing’s
Formula E and GT programs
for precise performance
under extreme conditions.
Motegi Racing’s current Formula E wheel (BELOW)
will give way to a new version later this season. It
will feature design innovations that take advantage
of the company’s high-tech machining capability.
BREAKING NEW GROUND