F1 will get ‘red tyre rule’

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Oriol Servia, Montreal, Champ Car, 2006After much debate the F1 governing body has finally agreed to ensure that the two different types of tyre compounds used at Grands Prix this year will be visibly different so spectators can distinguish between them.

The new sporting regulations require every driver to use one set of the two different dry weather compounds available at each round at least once during each race.

Where this rule is used in other series, such as Champ Car, the softer of the two compounds has a distinctive red sidewall so that anyone watching the race can tell whether a driver is on the softer or harder compound. It is thought the distinguishing feature to be used in F1 will be large white circles.

At first teams were opposed to the rule on the grounds that it would allow their rivals to deduce their tyre strategies. It has apparently taken several weeks to explain to them the rather obvious point that if everyone can see what tyres everyone else is using, no-one is disadvantaged more than anyone else.

Thankfully, common sense has finally prevailed.

Quick, someone take advantage of this rare outbreak of lucidity to get them to agree to dropping the qualifying ‘fuel burn’ phase and refuelling…

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 5 comments on “F1 will get ‘red tyre rule’”

    1. For a moment I thought I’d come to the wrong place. Then I remembered your announcement that the site was getting a new “face”. Very nice, too – looks good and very well organised.

      As for getting them to change the rules in other areas, come on, one brief burst of sanity does not indicate a complete recovery. Be grateful for small mercies. ;)

    2. I dont understand whome they were trying to fool saying ‘stategies would be leaked’ by the rule… Considering the amazing computation power that the teams posses it wouldnt be hard to determine who is running which tyre compound a sector out of the pits… The ‘red’ tyre rule or ‘white’ tyre rule based on what Bridgestone decides is the best way probably to go to keep the viewers on thier toes considering the recent statements by top drivers that the rev limiting engine model will make overtaking difficult…

      All said and done I cant wait for the season to start :)

    3. Has anyone made any predictions on how this rule will affect team strategy? Will it be better to use soft rubber in the first stints and save the hard rubber until the cars are spaced out at the end of the race and the track is fully rubbered in, or will it be the other way around? How track dependent will this strategy be? Also, would this strategy possibly reverse for some teams that happen to run faster on the option tire than the prime tire?

    4. It’s an interesting question and without wishing to cop out of answering it, it’s going to vary from track to track depending on how different tyres work with different fuel loads.

      There are a couple of exceptional circuits where we can make early predictions, though. Monte-Carlo demands the softest tyre possible, so drivers at the front will have to qualify and race on it. But whether they choose to switch to the harder tyre on their second or third stint will be crucial.

      Conversely, exceptionally hot races at abrasive circuits will make the soft tyre a disadvantage – in which case expect some seriously short first stints.

      That’s just coming off the top of my head though – the Pat Symonds of the world will no doubt be formulating more cunning strategies already…

    5. I disagree with this rule wholeheartedly. Apart from forcing commentators the world over to say the word ‘Bridgestone’ at least every 10 minutes during a race, this rule only brings in one more artificial variable.

      Can someone on the FIA please tell me what exactly is wrong with pure racing? If the problem they’re trying to resolve is a lack of overtaking then crack down on aerodynamics. If the cars are too fast, then restrict the engines even further. Don’t make a mockery of the World’s premier motor racing series by forcing each driver to do several laps on poor tyres. What’s next? Drivers having to do one lap in every 12 on a push bike??

      I’m a racing purist. I watch F1 to see the best drivers in the best cars. Racing drivers should race, not have to “overcome obstacles put in place by the governing body to put on a better show”. For every race this rule livens up it will destroy its fair share of exciting races as well.

      It’s odd but I have a distant memory of the FIA wanting to hear the opions of the fans nowadays.

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