Renault join Ferrari’s call for softer tyres

Posted on

| Written by

Renault and Ferrari want softer Bridgestone tyres
Renault and Ferrari want softer Bridgestone tyres

At the beginning of the month Ferrari claimed Bridgestone’s choice of harder tyres was disadvantaging them.

Now Bridgestone has revealed its tyre choices for the final four races of the season and again it is bringing a harder set of tyres to one round – Interlagos, for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

And now Renault as well as Ferrari are questioning Bridgestone’s choice of tyres.

Pat Symonds said:

The selection for Hockenheim was definitely too hard. Also for Spa and Monza a step further on the soft side would be sufficient.

Spa-Francorchamps and Monza are the other two circuits (besides Interlagos) where Bridgestone is bringing harder tyres than it did last year.

McLaren are expected to stand to gain the most from the harder tyres – particularly at Interlagos, where it had problems with the super-soft tyres last year.

So why are Bridgestone bringing harder tyres? Perhaps the seven teams besides McLaren, Ferrari and Renault all want harder compounds. Bridgestone’s Hirohide Hamashima seemed to allude to this:

[Brazil] can be very hot, as we saw last year, and our data from the thrilling final race of last season showed us that this change would be beneficial for the teams.

But perhaps part of Bridgestone’s thinkin is a desire to play it safe. Rival tyre constructor Goodyear had a major embarrassment at the Indianapolis NASCAR race this year when the race was ruined by tyre failures. Tyres that are a bit too soft are more of a problem than tyres are a bit too hard.

Why do you think Bridgestone is bringing harder tyres – and what effect do you think it will have on the championship?

Author information

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...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

22 comments on “Renault join Ferrari’s call for softer tyres”

  1. The title says they want softer tires but the caption says “Renault and Ferrari want harder Bridgestone tyres”.

  2. Personally I think they should have the softer tyres on offer like Ferrari and Renault are stating, it is then always interesting to see who can last on the softs and who overcooks them (ie hamilton). The hard tyres are a bit pointless if all it means are that a few teams are not going to be able to drive properly and do poorly as a result

  3. Whoops – thanks Dan :-)

  4. I agree with Amy. Why not let the teams decide which compound works best for them. In fact, why not have a number of compounds on offer? It would almost be like having another supplier in the mix.

  5. OK, so maybe Bridgestone wouldn’t be happy having to supply so many options…but that goes with the territory when you’re a single supplier.

  6. correct me if i’m wrong, but there are only four types of (dry wether) tyres that bridgestone construct – super soft, soft, medium and hard.

    So if Mclaren are more competitive or harder compounds and Ferrari on the softer type why not just let the teams choose which ones they want rather then bringing a set for everyone.

  7. The fact is, we can’t change the ruler tyres this year anymore.

    Anyway, hats off to Hirohide and Bridgestone by trying to preserve the interest of the all teams and not only Ferrari´s ones.

    Been Bridgestone a Ferrari partner for a long years, even with the red cars illustrating his Ads, I admit that Hamashima and the supplier surprised me in any of their decisions this year, trying to bring much more equilibrium between safety and competitiveness to entire grid.

    Off topic: for me one the great mysteries of Formula 1 are the issue about driving style and set up skills. Any time that a guy from Autosport try to discover something on this field, answering the drivers or the engineers, all of them avoid the subject. The most valuable insight in the matter was made by Hamashima last week…

    mmmm.. I think I will suggest a post…

  8. Teams should able to decide for themselves what tyres they want to use for a race. Hopefully with the slicks of next year, the tyres will have higher operating windows.

  9. There was a recent discussion on tires, “Final tyre allocations good for McLaren?” on 9th Aug 2008!

  10. Just thought of mentioning it as the post lead to discussions on tires choices for individual teams! Keith has given a hyperlink for this in this post :)

  11. amy,

    you must not have been watching the Hungarian Grand Prix when Hamilton lasted nearly half of the race on a set of the super-softs and was catching Alonso from seconds behind him at the end. Hamilton can manage tires. With the harder compound tires, you have to push them harder to build up heat to get grip.

    Really, though, there isn’t a whole lot that the driver can do to save the softer compound tires. With the speeds at which Formula One cars are traveling and the grip that they have, you are going to get a lot of wear anyways as the tires are pushed into the track with a ton of force, which grinds them away. One of the Bridgestone engineers I have read in an earlier article that Kevin posted stated that the McLaren is currently generating more grip than the Ferrari, which certainly gives it more speed, but it also abuses the tires more (whereas the Ferrari is easier on tires). Furthermore, another Bridgestone engineer stated that the McLaren has an oversteering tendency, which will grind away the rear tires. Recall Silverstone this year, when Heikki had significant problems with rear tire wear and was having to work very hard to control the car; two times, it didn’t work. Lewis was making a number of steering corrections inside the car at Hungaroring for the same reason.

    Basically all that the driver can do to save tires is minimize sliding, and Hamilton is a pretty smooth driver in transitions.

  12. I think its complete wrong that teams do not have choice what kind of tyres they use. Bridgestone makes tryes but they not own F1 teams. Tyres are just one part of cars.
    I do not understand howcome FIA let some outsiders makes rules what kind of tyres teams HAVE TO use in races.
    Its really WRONG…grrrr…ugh i have sopken, well spoken even.

  13. Thinking of this from another angle – since there is only one tyre supplier and the teams have to go with whatever compounds the supplier brings along to any particular race, shouldn’t it be possible for the supplier to design tyres specifically for each circuit? It then makes more sense having just one supplier – and they have to do a certain amount of development to create the correct tyres for each race, instead of just a vague set of extra hard, hard, soft and super soft compounds which don’t necessarily suit any of the circuits.
    That way the teams would have to design and set up the cars with the tyres in mind, though they would know what they were getting to begin with. But what would be used to decide the ideal compound for each circuit?
    Perhaps this is too obvious a solution, as it would also mean FIA/FOM ensuring that the tyre supplier was talking to all the teams!

  14. DG – I think it would be possible for Bridgestone to design tyres for each circuit but they’d hate the expense.

    Part of me wonders if Ferrari hasn’t just made a mistake in reading the lie of the land. A control tyre is always going to be slightly harder than it needs to be because the tyre supplier doesn’t want loads of tyre failures. Perhaps McLaren have made the right decision in making their car harder on its tyres? In 2005, when tyres had to last a full race distance, McLaren did an equally good job of building a car that was very kind on its tyres.

  15. The way I see it is Renault don’t tell Red Bull they will be using their Clio engines at the next race, so why should Bridgestone tell the teams they will be using such and such a tyre?

    I know it’s an extreme example, but the point holds true.

  16. Keith – so Bridgestone would have to work a bit harder for their money. I think they have become very complascent this year, and are sitting back enjoying the free ride from the FIA.
    None of the ‘revised’ compounds they have introduced so far have made any difference to how the cars have performed.
    If they were making tyres to suit individual circuits, they would at least justify their right to decide what tyres the teams used

  17. Ferrari should consider a one-stop strategy for this race . New Track , street circuit , there will probably be a safety car or two , which will then further advantage them. Otherwise , hard tyres , it will be McLarens race.

  18. This race the tyres are as soft as they get. That with the heat predicted should play into Ferrari’s hands.

  19. Surely if 8 teams are not complaining then Bridgestone have called it about right?

    The safety of drivers and their reputation are the main things that matter, even though they have maybe put Ferrari’s (collective) nose out of joint, which is a brave move as Paige pointed out.

    Keith, thats an interesting point, Ferrari aren’t always right.

    The fact is, these are this years rules. That is the point of a limited formula- there are rules that everyone has to adhear to.

    Kester, I don’t think if RB went to Renault and said we want a more powerful engine than yours Renault would oblige, same STR and Ferrari, they get pretty much what they’re given , so your point is completely wrong.

    But maybe Flav will do that if they’re competing at the end of year;)

  20. Monopolies are never advantageous to anyone but the monopoly ie: the FIA and Bridgestone, they all have One ‘ForMula’.
    Let the teams test five sets of compounds for all the GP’s and let them choose two compounds per race.
    Well, plus a wet and inter.

  21. The teams should decide what tyre they want to use for every race, that would make it more interesting. F1 now is not really all out racing, there’s too many rules that spoils it. I admit rules are necessary but stupid rules are not.

  22. bernification – I have always had the impression that teams using Customer engines can only ever have the same specification as the Works team. If RBR asked Renault for a more powerful engine, they would only get it after the main team. And Ferrari have never allowed any other team to have a more powerful engine than them – its not good for the reputation!

Comments are closed.