Amongst one of the myriad changes being considered for Formula 1 in 2016 and 2017 is the notion of a “Wild Card” tire program that allows teams to have up to four wild cards to play at any four of 15 races where Pirelli will allow for free choice.
Circuits where safety simply wouldn’t allow for such aggressive tires compounds, such as Monza, would have no wild card option.
The FIA have confirmed that the teams will have greater choice with the tire compounds but the details are still being worked out. As for Pirellis, Paul Hembery said:
“It’s around that area,” Hembery told Adam Cooper. “The idea is to have certain wild card events and certain block-out events where it just wouldn’t be advisable due to safety reasons.
“I don’t think we’ve got the final situation yet, but we’re getting closer to a solution that the teams are looking for, gives the sport what it needs, and allows us to maintain a level of safety on the choices that are made.”
“There are a couple of proposals being refined. A lot of it has been chopped and changed and consolidated. We’ve got a bit of time yet, it probably needs to be September time before we refine it. A couple of new ideas have come out in the last 24 hours that are even more interesting.
“But it’s all going in the same direction, to give the idea of some choice, and to allow flexibility for the teams while giving a guarantee that the race can be run because they’ve got a product that can do the race distance.”
As part of the change Pirelli wants to have an extra tyre in the range, known variously as an ‘ultra soft’ or ‘super super soft.’
“One little step next year might be a super super soft,’ technically speaking a supersoft for the Monaco or possibly Singapore that goes one step further than what we have at the moment.”
Is this a good idea? Would it suffice for the much-desired multi-=supplier format that fans seem overwhelmingly in favor of? Formula 1 itself doesn’t seem too keen for a return to the tire war era and favor a sole-supplier but could the wild card option provide similar impact without getting the lopsided tire war performance gains we saw in the early 2,000’s?
On the other side of the coin, is this yet another construct or gimmick that fans can barely keep track of who has what and which tire compound is better where? Keeping track of the details of F1 can be difficult already with which team has how many engine components left before taking penalties and now we’d have to mentally track who has a wild card left etc.
What do you think? Thumbs up or down?
Hat Tip: Adam Cooper