Contact Patch -

The contact patch is the area of the tyre that is in contact with the track surface. This is the area that provides the car’s mechanical grip that the drivers push to its absolute limit. 

When the forces exceed the grip, the contact patch is broken and the car no longer has grip. Or in other words, it is in a skid or a slide which will result in lost time, a lost position, contact with another car or a crash.  

Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan