Tyres - What's the problem?

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
With the season just one race old and with very little to be learnt in such a short space of time why is it then that Martin Whitmarsh feels the need to press the panic button? Does he have a point? Is there really a problem with the tyres this season or is it better to wait for the new supplier to come in next year anyway?

http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/82145

I'm of the opinion that once again people are trying to cover up one mistake by making another. If there was more than one suppliar in F1 then there would be more variation in compounds and strategies. By mandating 2 pit stops how will that improve anything? They may as well never bothered to drop fuelling if that was the case.

I do agree with Whitmarsh when he says that tyre wear rates seem too low but then why would Bridgestone want to design a tyre that wears out at all. When supplying tyres to every team on the grid they have to be certain that the wear rates are as consistant as possible for all 12 teams. After that it's up to the teams to maximise the grip levels. These tyres are always going to be at the conservative end of the spectrum.

I believe the best option would be to let the teams decide what's best for their weekend by giving them the option of all 4 of Bridgestones compounds and scrapping the rubbish two tyre compounds during the race rule.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
cider_and_toast said:
I believe the best option would be to let the teams decide what's best for their weekend by giving them the option of all 4 of Bridgestones compounds and scrapping the rubbish two tyre compounds during the race rule.
I couldn't agree more and I've been saying that for a long time.

Scrap the stupid "must use both tyres" rule and let the teams decide which tyres and strategy they want to use.

As we've said over and over, by strictly defining the design rules and regulations, all we've ended up with is a spec series in all but reality.
Is it no surprise that the performance of the cars is so closely matched and therfore there's little overtaking?
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I have to agree with everything that has been said in the previous postings. What F1 needs is more areas for teams to strategize, not fewer.

However, having multiple tyre suppliers is not a panacea--remember the debacle at Indy?
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
Totally agree on opening up the rules on tyre choice/changes. McLaren is also (apparently) amongst the 3 teams who are keen on a mandated two stops which is another totally ridiculous idea. Bridgestone were given a brief to produce a tyre which could last a whole race. They did this - and after one race, the possibility is they'll have to scrap those tyres altogether - which saves money in exactly what way?

The other problem is that the press have dug their heels in and claimed the first race to be boring. The temptation for F1 is going to be reactive and simply change the rules to try and avoid more negative press. The reality is that this race was not duller than at the same circuit in previous years (but I agree some of the conservative strategies did not help, and appear to be counter to the actual racing).

I personally think they should never have banned refuelling - but now they have, let's stick it out and see how the rest of the season pans out.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
I certainly believe that the teams failed to react to the fact that the tires weren't wearing out as fast or as much as predicted. A number of teams could have been far more aggressive, particularly McLaren. With a gap of 15 seconds to close down, they should have given Lewis another set of option tyres. He'd have caught the Ferraris in no time but he wouldn't have been able to overtake them. However in light of their overheating problems he might well have caused them blow up! :thinking:
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I don't think it's just they tyres though - the whole culture has come down to saving aspects of the car.

Save fuel, so we don't run out before the end. Save the brakes. Save the tyres. This is all just affecting a single race. Then we have to save the engine and save the gearbox for future races. No team/driver is going to go all out to win under these circumstances, because there is too great a risk of throwing away track position in the current race or compromising qualifying in a later one. So we end up with dull races that turn out to be nothing more than a procession for 2 hours.
 

genji

Banned
fat_jez said:
I don't think it's just they tyres though - the whole culture has come down to saving aspects of the car.
Saving/nursing the car is what we want, though, isn't it? I do, anyway.

A driver who has driven his tyres out should be vulnerable to one who has done a better job of preserving his. Someone who wears his brakes down gets slower and his position is at risk from someone who can brake later. Drivers in cars with thirsty engines either need to carry the extra weight at the start or run thin towards the end. All these factors lead to racing, and these are the kinds of things I hoped banning refuelling would bring about. Same with the engine and gearbox - go flat out now to win today's race knowing you might be compromised later in the season.

The only problem with all of this is that all the teams are forced to run the same pit-stop strategies by the tyre rules. If they didn't know that the teams around them also had to stop then preserving their tyres (or whatever) might not be the best option for them.

I thought it was alright, yesterday. F1 is like that sometimes. I'm seriously surprised at the number of people (drivers, team managers, fans on forums, etc.) who are contemplating/demanding change today, even though I'd be happy to see all of the restrictive tyre rules go in order to introduce greater variety in strategies. And I'm staggered that FOTA are going to have a hastily arranged telephone conference on Thursday to discuss how they can react. It defies belief that after one race the rulemakers want to change the rules again. If they didn't know what their rules would produce, how can they trust themselves to change them for the better now?
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
genji said:
A driver who has driven his tyres out should be vulnerable to one who has done a better job of preserving his. Someone who wears his brakes down gets slower and his position is at risk from someone who can brake later. Drivers in cars with thirsty engines either need to carry the extra weight at the start or run thin towards the end. All these factors lead to racing, and these are the kinds of things I hoped banning refuelling would bring about. Same with the engine and gearbox - go flat out now to win today's race knowing you might be compromised later in the season.
You're kind of reiterating what I've just said. None of the teams/drivers will put themselves in the position where they are vulnerable to what you've just written, which leads to boring racing.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
genji said:
fat_jez said:
I don't think it's just they tyres though - the whole culture has come down to saving aspects of the car.
Saving/nursing the car is what we want, though, isn't it? I do, anyway.

A driver who has driven his tyres out should be vulnerable to one who has done a better job of preserving his. Someone who wears his brakes down gets slower and his position is at risk from someone who can brake later. Drivers in cars with thirsty engines either need to carry the extra weight at the start or run thin towards the end. All these factors lead to racing, and these are the kinds of things I hoped banning refuelling would bring about. Same with the engine and gearbox - go flat out now to win today's race knowing you might be compromised later in the season.
Very true. Only the point of saving your tyres for later is so that come the last 10 laps, you give it some welly and go for it. No-one did that.
Further, the tyre degradation didn't happen, so there was no penalty for going like the clappers early on anyway.
Lastly, when everyone has to use both compounds, you work out the best compromise, which is what everyone else will also do. But if you are given a choice, without obligation to do something against your preferred choice, then you can decide on a strategy, and possibly one that will differ from someone else.

Once we can get to this stage, we/they then need to look again at why the cars cannot follow one another. Or to put it another way, the teams need to bite the bullet and design cars that can be overtaken. I would recommend standard front and rear wings (with a limited degree of flap movement from race to race), along with the DD ban for next year.

It's time for these so called big players to grow some balls, look outside of their plush motorhomes and make some brave decisions.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Actually, I think it's time for the teams to go back to mechanical grip instead of aero grip. Regulations governed the amount of grip the tyres could generate, so the teams turned to aero grip instead, which leads us to our present situation where one car cannot get close enough to another one without losing downforce.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
I agree, and a standard base-level of aero grip would see to that, along with widening the front and rear tyres.

I can foresee Bridgestone whinging about another width change, but they have no competition, so what else are they spending R&D money on?
 

genji

Banned
fat_jez said:
You're kind of reiterating what I've just said. None of the teams/drivers will put themselves in the position where they are vulnerable to what you've just written, which leads to boring racing.
It was the next bit that was the point: no teams need to put themselves in that position because they know their competitors need to stop again. If they didn't then the racing would be a lot better. At risk of falling into the trap of judging the new rules after a single race, I would say the ban on refuelling and mandatory pit-stops can't work together. It should be one or the other.

fat_jez said:
Actually, I think it's time for the teams to go back to mechanical grip instead of aero grip. Regulations governed the amount of grip the tyres could generate, so the teams turned to aero grip instead, which leads us to our present situation where one car cannot get close enough to another one without losing downforce.
That's the ideal solution but from the fact that we have so much tinkering and messing about with the rules you'd have to assume the one thing the teams will not give way on now is aero dependency. FOTA are only interested in designing cars that can win from the front.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
I think the drivers need to take more responsibility for pitting, as they are the ones that know how well they have conserved their tyres. Jenson Button was told to pit next lap even though his tyres had loads of wear left. He did as he was told but what he should have done was say "BS, I haven't conserved all this way just to pit now, I'm going to tear some rubber up before I pit!"
 

genji

Banned
snowy said:
I think the drivers need to take more responsibility for pitting, as they are the ones that know how well they have conserved their tyres. Jenson Button was told to pit next lap even though his tyres had loads of wear left. He did as he was told but what he should have done was say "BS, I haven't conserved all this way just to pit now, I'm going to tear some rubber up before I pit!"
Maybe, but at that stage everyone else was already pitting and were on fresher rubber, hence faster. Of course, if he didn't have to pit at all then perhaps he'd have qualified on primes and preserved them...
 

snowy

Champion Elect
The banning of Double Deck Diffusers will definately have a big effect on the ability of cars to follow one another and possibly improve overtaking. The FIA should have stomped on it from day one as perhaps they should with stalling the rear wing, because I suspect that causes quite a disturbance in the air for a following car to deal with... :thinking:
 

genji

Banned
Muddytalker said:
I would recommend standard front and rear wings (with a limited degree of flap movement from race to race), along with the DD ban for next year.
But then you're getting depressingly close to a spec formula. A standard ECU is, I think, a good idea but I'm not for equalised and frozen engines. I think it's good that McLaren have managed to do something interesting with the rear wing this year. Homologating or supplying the aero elements sounds alien to me.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
genji said:
Maybe, but at that stage everyone else was already pitting and were on fresher rubber, hence faster. Of course, if he didn't have to pit at all then perhaps he'd have qualified on primes and preserved them...
It would suggest there was far too big a gap between the two compounds, 15 laps into the race a fresh set of supposedly harder compound tyres was 2 seconds quicker... there was definately something wrong there. Surely a conserved set of soft tyres should give you better performance than that? :s
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
But as we've mentioned before, they are spending fortunes on designing something like

which is probably about .05s quicker than
, but 0.05s slower than


When in fact, they probably aren't that massively more effective than any of these



The difference is that these last 3 are less sensitive, and so will be less affected when following another car. Repeat for the rear wing.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
snowy said:
The banning of Double Deck Diffusers will definately have a big effect on the ability of cars to follow one another and possibly improve overtaking. The FIA should have stomped on it from day one as perhaps they should with stalling the rear wing, because I suspect that causes quite a disturbance in the air for a following car to deal with... :thinking:
I'm not so sure about that.

Didn't the teams prove that the DD diffusers caused no additional problems with turbulence and following cars when it all blew up last year?

Read sections 37 and 41 of this document: http://www.fia.com/en-GB/the-fia/court_appeal/judgments/Documents/ICA-14-04-2009-a.pdf
 
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