Please.... Not another tyre war

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
So after the processional first race in Bahrain, there have been many comments about the current state of F1. Any true F1 fan would have found the first race, not boring, but rather interesting and slightly frustrating.

At least, this was the case for myself... As I have read in various papers however, this will not keep the armchair fan interested.

Everyone is starting to talk about the need to take drastic measures to improve the spectacle, but in my opinion, any drastic rule changes can not be made hastily, such action is likely to turn a procession into a farce, a thing that F1 can not afford.

The most sensible suggestion that I have heard is the one made by Martin Whitmarsh, about introducing a mandatory 2 stop for the teams, thus allowing drivers to race a race, and not think about conserving their tyres. If we are honest though, even with new rubber, and the ability to fully race, the overtaking situation will not improve, there may be slighting increased opportunity for a few laps per race, and more jumping during the pit stops, but this will not solve the problem.

A possible thought of my own, is opening all 4 compounds up to the teams, at every race. Also introduce a rule saying that any team doing more than a 1 stop strategy should be allowed free reign in tyre choice, with no constraints and no need to use both compounds. Will this work? Probably not, but it is an idea...

McLaren have been quoted as saying they could easily have gone 25 laps into the race in Bahrain on the super-soft compound. Why? Bridgestone's tyres are simply too good. However, we will not see Bridgestone making more marginal tyres, drivers complaining about destroying their tyres is simply not good for business, as this is Bridgestone's last year in F1, why would they feel the need to risk a potential PR disaster?

Simply they won't, its a much safer choice to simply make tyres that perform well, in all conditions, and retire gracefully at the end of the season.

This brings me on to next year, 2011, and the main point of my article. Who will be manufacturing the tyres? I really believe strongly that bringing multiple tyre manufacturers back into the sport is a bad idea. People have been throwing the idea around, but honestly, is it a good idea? Do we want to see a repeat of Indianapolis 2005, where only 6 cars can compete? Do we really want the situation where a car and its driver win, not on their own merits, but on how well a tyre performs at a given track, on a given day, in given conditions?

This is what will happen with multiple manufactures, and how many will be have 2, 3, 4 maybe?!

Past tyre manufactures include:
Avon
Continental
Dunlop
Englebert
Firestone
Goodyear
Michelin
Pirelli

How will this work? Will Michelin be back? As the most recent tyre manufacturer in F1 (disregarding Bridgestone). If we do have multiple manufactures, will they be able to keep pace with Michelin? After all Michelin have the most recent experience, and much more data than any of the other manufactures. I think the answer to that is no, and that Michelin cars will have a significant advantage.

I know this is all conjecture, but it is a point I feel strongly about, and it makes me want to repeat myself....

Please... Not another tyre war!!!!
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
I'm sorry, but I have to disagree with a lot of your suggestions.

Enforced pit-stops is not (IMO) a sensible idea, nor will it improve the racing. As Jacques Villenueve pointed out, and as the stats on this board show, Bahrain was no worse than most of the races last year and before, when actual racing and overtaking decreased as pitstops became more prevalent. Over the same time, driver aids followed by aerodynamic efficiency have become the prime factor in car design. I have no interest in sprint/stop/sprint/stop/sprint and a guy winning from 7th on the grid, without overtaking anyone on track, simply because his GRAND PRIX car is quicker than the rest but only over 1/4 of a GRAND PRIX distance x 4

I fully agree with opening up the compounds, let the drivers/teams choose what they want to race on, and just use one set of tyres if they want to. My reasons for this have been expressed elsewhere on the forum.

I'm also for allowing more tyre suppliers. With no in-season testing anyway, I wouldn't expect a tyre war similar to Michelin v Bridgestone of a few years ago, development will have to be in the lab, which is what Bridgestone do now anyway. Further, Michelin would not have much advantage over newcomers as the last time they provided tyres for F1 they were grooved. It would be a pretty level playing field. In addition, you would see the difference in performance from one provider to another, with different wear rates, which is another factor in giving us the faster car catching a slower car scenario called racing.

Indianapolis was a one-off, not happened before, not happened since, on a circuit fairly unique to F1. And again, it was with grooved tyres, not the slicks we have now.

Winning is all about making the most what you're driving, and that includes tyres. Different characteristics breed variation in performance, tyres expecially. Drivers can influence tyre performance as well, and the better drivers will still bring it home quicker than those who mismanage their tyres. A sole tyre provider stunts competition, and removes another performance variable.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
MajorDanby said:
The most sensible suggestion that I have heard is the one made by Martin Whitmarsh, about introducing a mandatory 2 stop for the teams
In my opinion that is the worst possible "solution".
All that will do is split each race into thirds with drivers leap-frogging each other at the pit stops by a combination of fast in lap+slow out lap.
In other words exactly the same as last year when there was refuelling.

I have to disagree and state that I think a tyre war would be a good idea.
We need more variation, not less.
Right now F1 is like a spec' series and with the extremely restricted design rules, there really is nowhere for the designers to go and nothing to do on strategy.

Introduce another tyre supplier.
Give them free reign on the type of tyres they design and supply.
Let the teams choose their own strategy and the number of stops they want to make; be that no stops using a super hard tyre or 4 stops using a super soft tyre.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Come on guys we can't fall apart here, we're the last bastian of sanity in a world gone mad! :crazy:

PS: Mandating two pitstops as suggested by Martin Whitmarsh really would be rubbing salt into an open wound!
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Brogan said:
MajorDanby said:
The most sensible suggestion that I have heard is the one made by Martin Whitmarsh, about introducing a mandatory 2 stop for the teams
In my opinion that is the worst possible "solution".


Fair point, as you say we don't want races split into thirds, however, I get the feeling that the FIA may be pressured into making some changes to the rules in season. I'd just like to state that the most sensible suggestion has come from Whitmarsh, not that I necessarily agree with it.

The problem is with the media as it always is, building up this season to be the best in years, unfortunately in the cold hard light of reality this may not be the case. Granted Bahrain is not the best race to judge the rest of the season on, but if we get into the European calendar and the races follow a similar path to the first there will be intense pressure on the FIA to make some changes.

What will happen at this point? The only suggestions I have heard is from Whitmarsh, and from Bernie, who is still pushing his short cut rule, although how he thinks that will work I don't know...

For other tyre manufacturers to enter the game they will have to start from somewhere, and will have to work closely with the teams, they need time, they need money, and we will need some equality between the different suppliers. Something that I just feel we will not get.

When Michelin entered the game, their tyres were far inferior for at least a couple of seasons. Can F1 really afford to have teams struggling purely due to their contract with the tyre manufacturers?

Certainly, I don't think it will be possible to introduce new suppliers to the sport, if Bridgestone is still there. Everyone will need to start from the same point.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Some fair comments there MajorDanby.

I think we need to see at least 3-5 races before deciding whether the new rules are working or not.

Believe it or not, there were actually 21 passes during Sunday's race.
Granted a lot of them were on the new teams and there are now 24 drivers but all in all, the ratio is still higher than last year.

As you and others have said, there was so much hype and expectation that anything short of the 60 passes at Shanghai last year was always going to be a disappointment.

P.S. Great avatar LOL
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I've not got much to add, except to suggest that if Lotus or Virgin want to be on the podium in the next couple of seasons, a tyre war would in fact be the only way to achieve this. While a tyre war may leave a team struggling, it may also be the only opportunity to vault a smaller team to the front - as Minardi found with Pirelli in 1989-90, and Arrows/Prost with Bridgestone in 1997.

And didn't we love those tales of the unexpected?
 

gribbli

Points Scorer
Valued Member
I'll say what i always do which is get rid of qualifying so that we can have the race on Sunday instead of the day before.

Obviously something like that wont happen any time soon so a little more realistic would be to stop turning it into a glorified version of a low end formula, cookie cutter cars where the only major difference is the paint job.

I don't know whether anyone has noticed the trend, but to me it seems that the last couple of years of rules changes appear entirely geared towards throwing away some truely idiotic rules brought in in the last 20 years.
This cant happen overnight, so all we can hope is that the continue in this fashion.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Potentially, good news!. Michelin in talks to return to F1, and...

Although a replacement standard tyre supplier would require the FIA to go through an official tender process, it is believed there is a chance the governing body will simply open up the entry criteria to allow any qualified manufacturer in - reigniting an F1 tyre war.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Now that would be great!

A return to the old days with different strategies and some tyres doing better than others at certain circuits.

Not sure how it fits in with the FIA's cost reduction plans though...
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Brogan said:
Now that would be great!

A return to the old days with different strategies and some tyres doing better than others at certain circuits.

Not sure how it fits in with the FIA's cost reduction plans though...

Without testing during the season, there's less scope for a full on tyre war though?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Not sure how it fits in with the FIA's cost reduction plans though...

I was thinking about that myself. I guess it depends on what arrangements the teams make with the suppliers. Let's say for example that a team approaches Dunlop to make bespoke tyres for their cars. There are two ways that it could go, Either Dunlop make the team tyres as a "works" deal where they are effectively free but Dunlop obviously get the publicity and advertising or the team agrees a fee and buys the tyres and support and then the costs will be down to the teams negotiating skills.

With more than one supplier able to step up to the plate you would like to think there would be some sort of financial competition as well. If supplier A offers to make tyres for 2 million a season, supplier B says well we can do it for 1.5 etc.

I have no idea how many tyre suppliers are left out there that would be willing to take on an F1 team but it's got to be better than the present situation.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
One thing I've learnt about F1 in the past few years is that if you tell them they can't spend £10m on the engine, they will spend £20M more on the wing. If you then tell them they can only spend £5M on the wing, they will spend £30M more on the mirrors. The removal of a tyre war has done nothing to reduce overall spending.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
rufus_mcdufus said:

*Ahem* :whistle:

Muddytalker said:
Potentially, good news!. Michelin in talks to return to F1, and...

Although a replacement standard tyre supplier would require the FIA to go through an official tender process, it is believed there is a chance the governing body will simply open up the entry criteria to allow any qualified manufacturer in - reigniting an F1 tyre war.
 

Desmond

Rookie
Seems like there will inevitably be a tire war next year but I'm not sure how this will fit well in Bernie's agenda since tire wars often ramp up costs than reduce it, contrary to conventional thinking. I suppose if we keep current regulations to no testing, then that could reduce costs but also dramatically increase the chances of another 2005 Indianapolis.
 

Andrea_Moda_Rules

Podium Finisher
Mandating two pitstops per race = Bad

World Tyre War 2 = just has bad

For me the worst thing about the Bridgestone and Michelin era was what was starting to happen towards the end of Michelins tenure and that was that Drivers didn't win races, Not even cars won races but it was the tyres.

For me personally It was one of the biggest detractions of the time you simply can't have tyre brands as the deciding factor in a race. It would be like Tyson Gay beating Usain Bolt because Tyson Gay had nike shoes and Usain Bolt has Adidas.

I personally feel it would be a step in the wrong direction, the way tyre technology is now to have more then one company in the sport.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
Andrea_Moda_Rules said:
Mandating two pitstops per race = Bad

World Tyre War 2 = just has bad

For me the worst thing about the Bridgestone and Michelin era was what was starting to happen towards the end of Michelins tenure and that was that Drivers didn't win races, Not even cars won races but it was the tyres.

For me personally It was one of the biggest detractions of the time you simply can't have tyre brands as the deciding factor in a race. It would be like Tyson Gay beating Usain Bolt because Tyson Gay had nike shoes and Usain Bolt has Adidas.

I personally feel it would be a step in the wrong direction, the way tyre technology is now to have more then one company in the sport.

Alternatively, is it right that Tyson Gay has to wear Nikes despite running better in Adidas?
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Never mind Michelin, Cooper Avon have stepped into the equation. Teams hope to have as decision on next year's supplier by Spain. Whether this will be delayed by a minor volcanic eruption remains to be seen.

Source: Autosport
 

Matthew Little

Points Scorer
fat_jez said:
Never mind Michelin, Cooper Avon have stepped into the equation. Teams hope to have as decision on next year's supplier by Spain. Whether this will be delayed by a minor volcanic eruption remains to be seen.

Source: Autosport

That might be an interesting selection. Both Avon and Cooper have experience in single-seater series'(Avon if I recall supplied tires to A1GP and Cooper likewise to the former Atlantic Championship) and it would be a marked change from past suppliers such as Goodyear, Bridgestone and Michelin(although I honestly wouldn't mind seeing Firestone throw their cap into the ring......).
 
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