Some people view the glass as half empty, others as half full.  I prefer to look at things a different way – the glass is twice the size it needs to be, could we use a smaller, lighter glass?  So instead of complaining about the inadequacies of Pirelli tyres how about looking for different approaches if F1 is to use these tyres?

The 2013 specification Pirelli’s suffer if too much load is put through the tyre and they degrade rapidly.   Just adding downforce won’t necessarily help, as the added load contributes to the thermal degradation of the tyres, even if it does help reduce the sliding and wheelspin.

So with the tyres now so critical could the regulations on the rest of the bodywork be relaxed?

All F1 cars now look very similar.  If they were all left in bare carbon fibre, or all painted the same colour how many of us could reliably identify every chassis on the 2013 grid?   This identikit look isn’t because the shape has been honed after years of development into the most efficient, it is merely because the rules allow so little freedom that all cars have to look like that.  (OK the regulations don’t insist that cars look like the early 2013 Caterham, but I hope you can see my point).

Years ago this wasn’t the case, in 1976 the rules merely gave the maximum dimensions (length, width and height) these were taken by measuring the widest, longest and tallest cars at the end of the previous season.  The result was cars that looked dramatically different from one another (as you will be able to when watching the forthcoming ‘Rush’ film later this year, even if you don’t remember them from the time).

With the tyres now being reasonably effective at limiting the maximum downforce, can the regulations regarding bodywork and weight distibution be relaxed? After all, Red Bull couldn’t win in Spain despite appearing to have more downforce than anyone else.   Could we then see a variety of different cars on the grid.  It would also give teams more opportunity to adjust their car to suit the various tracks that they race on.

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An indirect approach (marshmallow tires) to limiting something as complex as the aero influence sounds a lot more difficult than a direct approach. Yes, in Spain it limited RBR but on other tracks or days they will still want more downforce than everyone else. If the FIA wanted to limit aero, they could do it much more easily via the bodywork rules. Pity they don’t.


I think part of the frustration regarding tires for many observers and fans (and probably teams) is that no seems certain why some cars are easier on their tires than others. In a complex sport with brilliant engineers and, often, equally brilliant writers and analysts, no one can say “why” the Lotus and Mercedes are so different. It’s a dark art. I think there’s a difference between tires that degrade at different rates (predictably) to create strategy options. But what we have now is simply confusion. If I want to be entertained by mystery I’ll go to a movie. If… Read more »


From the start, all this sounds like a right idea regarding tires and aerodynamics but I still think you’ll see 20 F1 cars cut from the same template on the grid. The difference between the present and past are the tracks. In the past, F1 raced on a greater variety of race tracks which had many characteristics needed for drag, downforce and mechanical grip. But now, F1 operates on a majority of similar looking(I’m talking Tilke) tracks that don’t have long straights for drafting or right angle or hairpin turns for passing. And Tilke’s best designed track Istanbul is no… Read more »