Tyres

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
It has often been said that one of the reasons for the lack of overtaking is the single tyre rule which was introduced in 2007.
In the dim and distant past there were mutliple tyre suppliers and no restrictions on compounds, which introduced several other variables into races.

What might have worked well at one circuit didn't necessarily work well at another resulting in unusual (by today's standards) pit stop strategies and results.

Goodyear was the main supplier for almost 40 years up until 1998 and have the most wins, drivers' and constructors' titles to show for it.
Why did they pull out?
Was it due to costs or something else? Did they just want to focus on North American based series'?

Why did the FIA decide that a single tyre supplier was the way forward?
Again was this due to costs or was it politically motivated?

Considering most of the teams were running Michelin tyres at the time it's a surprise they withdrew rather than try to win the contract.
Was this because of a perceived bias towards Bridgestone who supplied Ferrari or was it due to the deeper problems between Michelin and the FIA?

Michelin has had a difficult relationship with the sport's governing body (the FIA) since around 2003, and this escalated to apparent disdain between the two parties during the 2005 season. The most high profile disagreement was at the United States Grand Prix and the acrimony afterwards. Michelin criticised the FIA's intention to move to a single source (i.e. one brand) tyre from 2008, and threatened to withdraw from the sport. In a public rebuke FIA President Max Mosley wrote "There are simple arguments for a single tyre, and if [Michelin boss Édouard Michelin] is not aware of this, he shows an almost comical lack of knowledge of modern Formula One". Another bone of contention has been the reintroduction of tyre changes during pit-stops from 2006. Michelin criticised the move claiming "this event illustrates F1's problems of incoherent decision-making and lack of transparency."
In the extract above, Max Mosley stated "There are simple arguments for a single tyre".
What are those "simple arguments"?
Presumably cost related as I can't think of any which benefit the racing.

What's clear to most people is that a single tyre has removed some of the elements from the "racing".
That is all too apparent with the introduction of the rule that 2 different compounds must be used in each race, 1 of which is less than suitable.
This is nothing more than an attempt to introduce an artificial element to make up for the lack of different suppliers.

I suspect it will never happen but I for one would welcome the return of multiple tyre suppliers and the removal of any and all restrictions on the compounds that must be used.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Brogan said:
Michelin has had a difficult relationship with the sport's governing body (the FIA) since around 2003, and this escalated to apparent disdain between the two parties during the 2005 season. The most high profile disagreement was at the United States Grand Prix and the acrimony afterwards. Michelin criticised the FIA's intention to move to a single source (i.e. one brand) tyre from 2008, and threatened to withdraw from the sport. In a public rebuke FIA President Max Mosley wrote "There are simple arguments for a single tyre, and if [Michelin boss Édouard Michelin] is not aware of this, he shows an almost comical lack of knowledge of modern Formula One". Another bone of contention has been the reintroduction of tyre changes during pit-stops from 2006. Michelin criticised the move claiming "this event illustrates F1's problems of incoherent decision-making and lack of transparency."
Don't you just love Max Moseley when confronted by a good argument! There are simple arguments for multiple tyre suppliers, Max! Try these on for size!

  • F1 is a competition
  • Motor racing implies racing
  • You didn't even use a single tyre after 2006 - you used two tyres with one company!

The fans show an almost comical lack of understanding of modern Formula One when they suggest the top two points though - anyone want to service CVC's debt?
 

Boyle

Race Winner
Contributor
"he shows an almost comical lack of knowledge of modern Formula One."

The typical Mosley line if ever there was one!
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I'm risking a serious RSI to my "mouse" hand at this rate but here are the number of tyre suppliers per season since 1981.

Key: Based on average number of overtakes per race in each season.

Same as previous year or don't know
Down on previous year
Up on previous year
81 and 82 - 4

83 and 84 - 3

85,86,89,90,91,97,98,01,02,03,04,05,06 - 2

87,88,92,93,94,95,96,99,00,07,08,09 - 1


Since 1981, Avon, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Pirrelia and Michelin have supplied tyres.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Brogan said:
Goodyear was the main supplier for almost 40 years up until 1998 and have the most wins, drivers' and constructors' titles to show for it.
Why did they pull out?
Was it due to costs or something else? Did they just want to focus on North American based series'?
From memory, I think they felt that they'd got as much publicity from F1 as they could, and (perhaps more importantly) weren't prepared to commit the same level of resources that Bridgestone were.

Brogan said:
Why did the FIA decide that a single tyre supplier was the way forward?
Again was this due to costs or was it politically motivated?
The argument was primarily made on the basis of costs - they reckoned that at least half of the testing teams were doing was tyre-related. It's also easier to control cornering speeds with a single tyre supplier (in some seasons of the Michelin/Bridgestone war they gained 2s-3s from tyres alone)

Brogan said:
Considering most of the teams were running Michelin tyres at the time it's a surprise they withdrew rather than try to win the contract.
Was this because of a perceived bias towards Bridgestone who supplied Ferrari or was it due to the deeper problems between Michelin and the FIA?
Michelin said they were in F1 for the competition - specifically to develop their product, and to beat their rivals. Neither of these were going to be possible under the single tyre regs. Arguably they also felt that following the Indianapolis problems they wouldn't have been awarded the contract anyway.

Brogan said:
In the extract above, Max Mosley stated "There are simple arguments for a single tyre".
What are those "simple arguments"?
One argument I've often heard is that the tyres are too fundamental to the performance of the car - a car can be the best aerodynamically and mechanically, but on the wrong tyres it's nowhere. Really this was Ferrari's problem in 2005. In this way, the tyre choice disguises the true performance of the various cars and drivers.

Of course, this can easily be extended into an argument for single chassis, and I don't subscribe to it myself. More compelling are the cost reduction and safety arguments (but even then, there are other, in my view better, ways to achieve the same goals).
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Thanks GM.

GordonMurray said:
One argument I've often heard is that the tyres are too fundamental to the performance of the car - a car can be the best aerodynamically and mechanically, but on the wrong tyres it's nowhere. Really this was Ferrari's problem in 2005. In this way, the tyre choice disguises the true performance of the various cars and drivers.

Of course, this can easily be extended into an argument for single chassis, and I don't subscribe to it myself. More compelling are the cost reduction and safety arguments (but even then, there are other, in my view better, ways to achieve the same goals).
This is kind of where I was heading with the original post (I think :unsure:)

We already have a single tyre supplier, engines have been frozen (and a single engine supplier was almost forced through) and the technical regulations are so strict that the cars are virtually identical.

Surely the way forward is to allow teams the freedom to choose tyres (and engines) as they see fit?

Unfortunately as I said, it's never going to happen.
The FIA are already talking about a single (or standardised) engine for F1/F2/WRC and probably WTCC too soon.
In my opinion, F1 isn't that far away from a single make series...
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Indeed. It's difficult to see those things that have been frozen being un-frozen in the near future - at least not in F1 as it is currently constituted. It's all very well saying that these measures have been taken due to the recession, but will they be undone once the economy picks up? I hardly think so - that would be like Labour repealing their anti-terror legislation.

The FOTA teams have talked in general terms about the importance of technological development, and a spec chassis is not going to happen as long as the manufacturers are numerically dominant, but they each seem to mean something different - green fuels, KERS, electronics or whatever. Nobody seems to be calling for more tyre suppliers or unrestricted engine development.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
will more tyre suppliers improve the actual racing?

that is the one thing that matters and i have my doubts. this season we had a team which looked like it would wipe away the whole podium for the hole season, and tyres can do the same. if one tyre supplier hits the jackpot and comes up with a true winner then we as fans have had it.

one of the reasons why the teams are so close this season, in my view, is cos of the fact they all use the same tyres. right now we still don't have much racing but i am sure this situation is not caused by the tyres. this is one of the points where the FIA in my view got it spot on.
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
GordonMurray said:
The FOTA teams have talked in general terms about the importance of technological development, and a spec chassis is not going to happen as long as the manufacturers are numerically dominant, but they each seem to mean something different - green fuels, KERS, electronics or whatever. Nobody seems to be calling for more tyre suppliers or unrestricted engine development.
i think the teams are only too happy to keep as much of the car's success as possible in their own hands. tyres are a critical factor, so its better to share with the rest then to go for your own supplier and have a chance to pull off another US GP.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Well that puts paid to my theory :D
Just breaking out the years where there was an increase in overtaking from the previous year we get:

1989 and 1987 - up from 1 to 2 tyre suppliers

1984, 2003 and 2006* - No change from previous years tyre suppliers

1999 - Down from 2 to 1 supplier

*2006 can be considered a special case because the previous season tyres were designed to last the whole race and pit stop tyre changes were banned so for 2006 it can be regarded as brand new tyre suppliers.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
bogaTYR said:
will more tyre suppliers improve the actual racing?
...one of the reasons why the teams are so close this season, in my view, is cos of the fact they all use the same tyres. ...
It's also, in my humble opinion, a big factor in why there isn't much overtaking - There needs to be a performance variable to allow one car to overtake another. Make elements the same, and one-by-one you lose that variable.

Max's theory seems to be remove all variables apart from the human element, and then the best human wins. Maybe so, but in pure terms, that human will be quickest in qualifying, and so lead all the way. This is then extrapolated all the way down to last place, giving you a procession. Yes, the grid is separated by 2 seconds, wonderfully competitive, but it makes no odds if the car behind you doesn't have any kind of advantage at any time in the race, he won't get past you.

Racing theory shows that a quicker car has to be behind a slower car for racing (read overtaking) to occur. To do this, you need performance variables, and gains offset by disadvantages to put the quicker car behind in the first place.

You hear from journalists, old pro's, commentators and armchair racers like ourselves on here refer to various times past as the glory years, but what did they have?

Different tyres, different sized engines, turbos v non-turbos, front engine v rear engines, constructors+cosworth v in-house grandees, in each case you had "mine's quicker cos I've got this, but it also slows me down because it needs more of that"

Anyway, I appear to be rambling now, but you get the drift. We have the best drivers in the world, and in the most part, they are all pretty evenly matched. Make what they drive the same, all you're left wth is a human advantage insufficient to make a pass.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
According to Jarno Trulli Bridgestone appear to be creating variables within their own tyres:

This year we have had a lot of troubles to predict and also during the weekend we have had tire handling problems, warming them up, and not very good consistency so far,” said the Toyota driver. “The performance is good but sometimes we could not find an explanation on one car or another
Full article at http://www.racer.com/2009/07/trulli-mystified-by-tyre-behaviour/

Methinks he doth protest too much...
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
Left field, I know, but if the governing body of cricket insisted on slazenger bats, tennis had nike shoes and rackets etc. would this make them better sports?

The whole point of a team is to let all parts be part of the success, so that the racing can compete at many levels and evolve at a faster rate.

If we wanted standard tyres, engines, chassis etc., it would fundamentaly become a driver competition (we already have a few of those, and the drivers all want to evolve into F1 as it stands!), so then why would we make the race last IRO 200 miles? If the race goes on too long you introduce variables such as weather, third party errors, circuit debris, all of which will "unfairly" accept the result. Maybe the Mosely way forward if to have a 10 lap individual time trial, and then a series of knockout 5 lap races in pairs. Points for each separately and at the end of the season Bernie gets his most wins rule to decide a tie.

Sounds idiotic to me, but then also sounds like the logical evolution of restricting the competitive variables... :givemestrength:
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
You make a great point.

If the athletics federations insisited on only 1 type of trainer for every athlete would it change sprinting in any way?

Tyre performance has a fundemental effect on the set up of a formula one car. Just witness last weekend when the brawns could not get near the RBRs because they could not get their tyres to perform to the car.

I would imagine that the costs of tyre development are huge as is everything else in F1 and I suppose that with two companies in competition they would spend even more money trying to out do each other. Then there are issues such as we had with Ferrari almost ring fencing all Bridgestone tyre development to provide tyres specific to their needs above other teams.

On the flip side of the coin technical development is one of the cornerstones of F1 and shouldn't be restricted.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
Does anyone know what the details of the bid was that enable Bridgestone to get the contract?

There's been so much exposure and slander within F1 recently you have to ask, is a single supplier for any component in the intrerest of the sport, a body or and idividual?
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
frog-n-flymo said:
Does anyone know what the details of the bid was that enable Bridgestone to get the contract?
thats easy... none whatsoever cos they were the only tyre company going for the contract.

"No other tiremaker stepped up, leaving Bridgestone Corp. as the lone applicant to be the sole tire supplier to Formula One.

Bridgestone signed a three-year deal to be the official tire provider for the 2008 through 2010 seasons; because Groupe Michelin will withdraw from the series after this season, Bridgestone will also be the sole supplier for the 2007 F1 season. Federation Internationale Automobile (FIA) announced the decision to go with Bridgestone on July 5.

Some F1 watchers expected at least one, and perhaps two other tire companies to make bids.

But Michelin, which presently supplies tires for six F1 teams, did not part quietly. “The change of Formula One rules bringing about a monopoly in tires is completely contrary to principles,” Michelin said in a press statement. “Formula One should be a place were advanced technologies compete as a means of improving motor sport." "
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
bogaTYR said:
...Michelin said in a press statement. “Formula One should be a place were advanced technologies compete as a means of improving motor sport." "
Tut tut, Michelin showing a comical lack of knowledge about modern F1 there, clearly. I mean, what would they know about motor racing when compared to the lawyer Max Mosley*?



*I'm aware he was a driver (failed) and co-owner of March, but that was on the legal and financial side, not running the race operations itself
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Muddytalker said:
Michelin showing a comical lack of knowledge about modern F1 there
Yeah, comically, Michelin thought it was a sport and not a way Bernie has found to soothe CVC's debts!
 
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