In 2010, Formula 1 went to Canada to race. They did so on a resurfaced track on tires that Bridgestone said were struggling, due to the new surface, to get into the optimum heat window.
At that time, F1 was becoming a little, dare I say, processional and this tire issue—which could have gone 2005 US GP bad—managed to upset the apple cart so much that everyone thought it was terrific. The irregular degradation of the tires was seen as a quick way to possibly change things up and make the racing more exciting.
As such, the powers that be decided to offer a sole-supplier tire tender and while Michelin was initially interested, they bowed out saying, effectively, we’re not about to make dodgy tires…we don’t make dodgy tires.
Pirelli decided they would throw their hat in and they too said “we don’t make dodgy tires either” but if F1 wants special HD tires, then we are happy to accommodate because we’re just that good at it.
I’ve never been a big fan of the HD tire and yet it is still here. My tolerance of it is fueled by the thought that it is the same for everyone in all situations, unlike the lamentable DRS. While we have these HD tires, there were some recent comments in the press by F1 about possible track changes.
To that, I said it was easier to change the cars than ask all the track owners to make major changes to their property as they don’t have the resources to do so. Besides, F1 track designer extraordinaire, Herman Tilke, has already been designing most of the new circuits for the current aerodynamic impact today’s cars have—ripe with 45 degree turns etc.
Now it seems that these track changes are something that F1 technical boss Ross Brawn is going to be focused on according to Liberty Media executive Greg Maffei. Greg says that Ross is going to…
“work on things like making it more exciting on track. And there are a host of really simple things there from when tracks get resurfaced, or tracks are rebuilt or renewed, that you have the right kind of surface so there is tyre degradation so that there are enough tyre changes to make it an interesting story. That you have the right changes, turns and chicanes where there is likely to be overtaking. So there are things around that.”
This comes on the heels of the recently resurfaced Barcelona track and the bespoke tires Pirelli brought that caused some controversy given Ferrari’s inability to get on top of the new compounds. Is this a simple Canada 2010 notion all over again?
Are we suggesting that tracks should all be resurfaced like Barcelona so we can “spice up the racing”? Color me reactionary but this is not a good idea. We are getting pants-on-head silly now if we think taking the HD tires concept even further would be a good idea. Did Indy 2005 not teach us anything?
I’m struggling to find wisdom in some of the comments coming from Liberty Media folks over the last 12 months if I am honest. It’s strange to buy a sport you seemingly know very little about and then try to add bright lights, baubles and cheap parlor tricks to make it more like a Mario Kart video game.
The social media wave of Formula E couldn’t be more fabricated and in your face with Jean Todt positively beaming from the electric paddock and yet this fossil fuel bastard called F1 is left lumbering around trying to be both electrified sustainability wrapped in a video game veneer with tires that suck in an effort to be like the NFL and “spice up the show”. Please stop.
Could everyone just take a moment here and get your filthy hands off my desert? For heaven’s sake, fans aren’t asking for any of these contrivances with their sport. They just want reduced aerodynamic reliance, closer racing, real engines that could have hybrid KERS and a decent sound and some better fan access to the teams and paddock. How damned hard is it to understand that? Surely this isn’t rocket surgery.
Hat Tip: Independent