A little over a month ago I wrote an article called Four crucial things F1 fans must be told during races in 2009.
Today Bridgestone has announced how it will distinguish between its different types of tyres, which was one of the four things on that list:
The method of distinguishing between the two compounds on event will be through means of green bands painted on the edges of the tyre sidewalls of the softer tyres at a race. This marking allows the compounds to be visually distinguishable by fans at the circuit and those watching on television. The green colour has been chosen to show Bridgestone’s continued support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.
This is good news: fans won’t be in the dark about which driver is using which tyres, as happened at the start of 2007.
But painting the tyres green to show some vague sign of “support” for efforts to improve the efficiency of cars is lamentable greenwash – just as it was when it first used them at Fuji last year.
It is blatant hypocrisy from Bridgestone. If they hadn’t pushed for a rule effectively making it compulsory for drivers to change tyres during a race, not only would the distinction between compounds be unnecessary, but the cars could do the entire race difference on a single set of rubber (as they did in 2005) saving hundreds of tyres. That would be a genuine contribution to making F1 less wasteful. This is just window-dressing.
Whatever you think of using F1 as a means of promoting environmental awareness and developing green technologies, I can’t see how either side of the debate can be happy with Bridgestone’s green tyres.