Will new tire rules work? Key says maybe for this year

Toro Rosso’s James Key is looking forward to the new tire rules for 2016 and he reckons it could add an interesting twist to the season even though it sounds a little confusing and will most likely be more difficult for fans to follow:

“I think because teams are now free to choose a little bit what they want to do, you can play to the strengths of your car and you can play a bit to the strengths of the circuit you are going to,” he said.

“So you can take a few risks maybe. It will certainly add a bit of variety to the season, and actually having three tyre choices at some tracks makes quite a big difference as to how you go through the strategy.

“So I suspect this year at least we will see some interesting results.”

It may prove to be more interesting if fans can understand, and broadcasters make it clear, on which strategy teams are using etc. One of my main concerns is centered on the ability of teams and their genius employees and strategists to quickly exploit the situation and find the optimum rendering the whole concept a moot point. James speaks to that as well:

“It will be interesting to see how it works out,” said Key.

“They can be quite complicated, so you guys [the media] will have to work harder to get the message out there.

“But you have always got to be a bit careful that there isn’t one optimum solution because everyone will end up at that optimum and it will become normal.”

That’s the trouble with being a regulator of F1, you have to really get your ducks in a row because these boffins will take your regulations and hand them back to you in shambles.

A couple of years ago, Pirelli seem to have tried to be very elusive with their tire compounds and injected themselves very deeply into the strategy of F1 as a larger part of the equation. We ended up with blown tires at Silverstone as the teams were pressing the limits of the tires and the game of wits was now between teams and Pirelli. The following year, Pirelli decided to pull back from getting as entangled as they were and were then accused of making a tire that was too conservative.

This year, Pirelli seem to be taking another step into the tactical side of the sport but leaving some of that decision to the teams. Let’s hope it works and doesn’t simply create more work for Pirelli in lugging more compounds around the world only to have all the teams pick the softest tires.

It’s also worth noting that he says that maybe for this year it will be interesting. I assume he means that the unknown will be this year and then it will be a known entity so really the novelty is fleeting.

Hat Tip: Motorsport


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Paul KieferJr

Harvard Law: “Under the most rigorously controlled conditions of pressure, temperature, volume, humidity and other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases.”

Tim C

I hadn’t heard that before, but that’s awesome

Paul KieferJr

Got that from a book that was printed about 30 or so years ago: “Murphy’s Law and Other Reasons Why Things Go Wrong.”

Jack Flash (Australia)

There was a time, a romantic age ago now it seems… where Formula tyres were about the cutting edge of speed, endurance and grippiness under the constriants of the particular racetrack layout facing the protagonists on any given weekend. Several tyre manufacturers butting chests and seeking the “top-dog” mantle. Step forward 15 years… and now one Control Tyre supplier is dumbing down the tyre provision to the behest of the Sports Regulators, and throwing the performance equivalent of “Mom’s Taxi” boots on the field to “see if they can make any show of it”. Makes you wonder where it is… Read more »