Bridgestone changes tyre choices for five rounds to produce more exciting races

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Teams' tyre choices are set to get trickier

Bridgestone has altered the choice of tyre compounds on offer for five forthcoming races on the F1 calendar.

The move is an attempt to re-create the conditions which produced an unpredictable and exciting race in Canada last week.

In the German Grand Prix drivers will have to use both the super-soft and hard tyres during the race for the first time ever.

It will also be the first time F1 has raced on the current configuration of the Hockenheim circuit using slick tyres.

Bridgestone has also changed its tyre allocation for the Hungarian, Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix compared to what were used last year.

At the Hungaroring the super-soft and medium tyres will be used instead of super-soft and soft compounds.

At Spa-Francorchamps and Monza Bridgestone will supply soft and hard tyres where last year soft and medium compounds were used.

And at Singapore the choice of tyres will be super-soft and medium – last year the teams had super-soft and soft tyres.

Bridgestone’s head of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima said:

The major interest of this allocation announcement is that we are bringing the hard and super soft compounds to Germany. The characteristics of the Hockenheim circuit allow us to bring the compounds from the extremes of our softness range.

This will give us very good data for evaluation and will be interesting for those who have called for a bigger difference between the allocated tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima

Complete 2010 F1 tyre allocations so far

Circuit2010 tyres2009 tyres
BahrainMedium / Super SoftMedium / Super Soft
Albert ParkHard / SoftMedium / Super Soft
SepangHard / SoftHard / Soft
ShanghaiHard / SoftMedium / Super soft
BarcelonaHard / SoftHard / Soft
Monte-CarloMedium / Super SoftSoft / Super soft
IstanbulHard / SoftHard / Soft
MontrealMedium / Super SoftN/A
ValenciaMedium / Super SoftSoft / Super Soft
SilverstoneHard / SoftHard / Soft
HockenheimringHard / Super-SoftN/A
HungaroringMedium / Super-SoftSoft / Super-Soft
Spa-FrancorchampsHard / SoftMedium / Soft
MonzaHard / SoftMedium / Soft
SingaporeMedium / Super-SoftSoft / Super-Soft

Allocations announced previously in italics

Do you think the change in tyre options will produce more exciting races? Is this a good move by Bridgestone? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say

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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...

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66 comments on “Bridgestone changes tyre choices for five rounds to produce more exciting races”

  1. Interesting move by Bridgestone. Of course I hope it’ll produce more exciting races, but most likely it won’t change too much. I think that Montreal is just too much of an unique circuit to reproduce these conditions anywhere else. On the other hand, let’s hope that it won’t backfire and we have some farcial race.
    But let’s be optimistic for now ;)

  2. Well reproducing Canada would be difficult, but the most important thing is to change the ’15 / 50 lap’ strategy for some more variations.

    1. Could make it worse, 5 laps on super soft 50 on hards.

      1. If the hard tyre works properly then that could be the case.

      2. Or the 1 stoppers could get smashed by Webber who will do 3 stints on super soft, beating everyone else by 5 seconds a lap.

        Ahh to dream…

    2. Why not just go back to Montreal, instead of going to Hockenheim and the Hungaroring?

      1. Because the Hockenheimring still produces half-decent racing. (Hungaroring doesn’t).

      2. If F1 goes back to Canada, I doubt the people starting on the harder tyres will make that same mistake again. So then everybody will be on the same strategy and the whole “tyre miracle” will be gone.

  3. I find the remark from Hirohide Hamashima about the choice for Hockenheim giving them good data for evaluation interesting.
    As Bridgestone does not plan to be in F1 for the next couple of years, what would they want to evaluate? Is it possible, they think about doing the same combination for Spa, Monza or Singapore?

    Or just for the rest of the races that do not yet have the tyre choice announced?

    1. I read it as allowing them to evaluate how this new strategy with the tires works, so they can make a final decision for the other races of the season.

  4. Boo. Contriving a race with an expressly lousy tire that everyone must use once is not improving the racing. Do we really want a tire that lasts for 7 laps? Are we now having to force-feed “strategy” into the races to fend off processions and “passes in the pits” notwithstanding the refueling ban?

    1. But that is the whole idea of having a step between the compounds, isn’t it? I find it unlikely that Bridgestone would stop that after seeing it finally, sort of, have an effect in Montreal!

      The best we can hope is that the softer compound will be so much faster that it is a viable strategy to use it for possibly two stints, but still a risky one because the compound does not last very long. Then we might again see different tire choices.

      The fact that Valencia will likely have little overtaking means teams do want to gain places with tire stops though.

      1. If they got rid of the rule for a mandatory pit stop we might get a race between the stoppers and the non stoppers.

        Of course, in Valencia, It would backfire.

  5. Surely they could not use the soft and supersoft at Hungaroring because of the regulations specifying that they use two compounds that are not sequential in durability/hardness, i.e. there was meant to be a gap? Or am I getting confused? Lets hope it brings some interesting strategy choices, could be interesting, could be a failure!

    1. Robert McKay
      21st June 2010, 15:30

      There’s no regulation on that per se, it’s just been a Bridgeston general policy I think.

      1. That’s right. There were several occasions last year when consecutive compounds were used.

      2. Ah all is explained, these forums are very useful; thanks for the clarification!

  6. William Wilgus
    21st June 2010, 14:50

    I agree with DaveW, but will go further: It makes no sense to me to force teams to use two different tire compounds during a race. What’s the purpose?

    1. Great to see Bridgestone changing the compounds for Singapore/

      I believe 2009 saw the prime performing better than the option?

      1. I believe the whole idea with two tire choices is so people still mention the tire manufacturer, ie advertising.

        There is a standard fuel provider in F1, but I doubt many people know who it is?
        Now if you brought pack refueling and said everyone has to do two stints on different fuel mixtures, we would all know the fuel provider.

        1. I don’t think thats right. I remember reading that there are more than one fuel provider as McLaren uses Exxon Mobil and Ferrari uses Shell.

        2. There is no standard fuel provider – Ferrari use Shell, Renault use Elf, etc…

          1. Renault use Total don’t they? mclaren use Mobil 1 :)

          2. Keith and Sato are both right. Renault use Elf, but it’s already been rebranded as Total after a buyout.

    2. completely agree here. This is a great move by bridgestone and i’ve been an advocate of increasing the marginality between tyres and getting rid of the compulsory pitstop. This way, some will run on the hard tyre all race and then suddenly come into contention right at the end. Here’s hoping

      1. Exactly. We have lost the plot on the tires. Remember that a key supposed benefit of the refueling ban was exactly this scenario. Instead, we have the same strategic structure as we had with refueling, and likewise we have teams covering each other in terms of stopping points just as before. And, oh noes, passing in the pits. What Bridgestone need to do is bring tires that theorectically allow different numbers of stops potentially to be similarly competitive over a race distance. They still haven’t done it. They are focused on the scenario where car A zings by car B—because for some reason car B is on the wrong tire at the wrong time in the race. Until they do, refueling-ban racing is just a shadow of the preceding format.

  7. I think that a bigger difference between the tyre allocation in itself won’t necessarily improve the racing I think the key will be that if the cars can’t make one set of tyres last so long.

    If one set of tyres only lasts 10 laps but the other set could last all the race, then it will be the same situation we have had already this season.

  8. great for hockenheim having a massive difference in tyres but why not apply this to ALL of the remaining tracks? instead of having super-softs and mediums for Hungary, why not have super-softs and hards???!!!

    bridgestone say it’s because they need softer tyres for the low grip track but surely the point is to have a poor tyre compound for the race (ie. bring the hards!).

    1. Maybe that decision is part of the evaluation they mention?

  9. Makes no sense at all to me.Just a contrived means to “improve the show” nothing to do with racing at all.
    You cannot reproduce the the Canadian race spectactular artificially.
    It was not only tyres that produced that.The track,ambient temperature changes from day to day,teams strategies failing, or working in that particular race.

  10. I can’t see how this will create more variety in strategy, surely all the teams will still do more or less the same thing???

    What Montreal really proved is that we need tires that aren’t as grippy as the current spec tires…

    1. Exactly – the only reason Canada was exciting was because Red Bull got it wrong! I doubt they will make the same mistake twice…

    2. Maybe it will see some drivers deciding to try something different. Buemi claims his choice to go for Primes and defer his mechanics helped him do this great race.

  11. Robert McKay
    21st June 2010, 15:33

    Given that we already knew about the other four races, the only race in which there’s a Canada-esque reaction is Hockenheim. But it will be interesting to see how the strategy plays out there.

    Having said that, I agree with sato113 above – if you can go two compounds apart for Hockenheim why not elsewhere, and why does it matter if hards don’t suit at Hungaroring, surely that’s the point…?

    1. Given that we already knew about the other four races

      The Hungary, Belgium, Italy and Singapore compounds had been announced earlier?

      1. Robert McKay
        21st June 2010, 23:21

        No, you’re right Keith, they weren’t. Apologies.

        For some reason it just seemed in my head like that had already been said :-D

    2. cheers! yeah that should be the point- having as big a compound gap as possible and a tyre that doesn’t work well at all. are bridgestone just plain silly? or am i missing something here.

  12. I doubt if this will help for better racing.
    The problem in Canada was the graining and the tarmac.
    When this isn’t so much the case, I think most will have the same tactics and no big differences will be made.

  13. I think we’ll have more emotion. However, it is as some reports say up there, I do not understand why this measure has to be taken in all the remaining races.
    Hockenheim will have some effect this, the room temperature is also variable;. In Canada it was one of the things that gave the hint of excitement in the race last week.

    But also there is the question of whether all strategies in normal races are equal, as Adrian said.

    I think Bridgestone really want is that tires deteriorate more quickly, to have more wear, more stops, most unexpected things.
    And I think she will accomplish this.

  14. There has been complaining about the tires being too suited to the tracks, effectively, since the start of the year, which resulted in all teams using the same strategy.

    Now Bridgestone are trying to change that a bit and people talk of artificially spicing up the show. Since that was really the only point of those two tire compounds, to get people to notice tires making a difference, I would say that is irrelevant: until now the artifice was there, but it did nothing to improve the show. Now it might finally have some effect, making it have a point.

    I am looking forward to see how that post-German GP evaluation turns out for Bridgestone. And I hope that if it did not work they will decide to just take one compound to each of the rest of the races :)

    1. maybe they will do the same next year, bring only one compound of tyre to all races.

      It sure saves everyone the trouble of analysing which tyre to use each weekend and saves on development cost. I am sure the teams would disagree though.

  15. Surely all we’ll see will be qualifying on the softer option, then racing with the harder tyre to the finish. I know more races should be like Canada, but the idea of manipulating the tyres in a desperate attempt to recreate that doesn’t seem quite right to me. Plus, if they really wanted to make a difference they should surely just take the softest 2 compounds to each race.

    1. They still have to bring tyres that are safe to use. Witness the Michelin-Indianapalis debacle.

      I don’t see what all the fuss is about. If Bridgestone can do this and still keep the drivers safe, then why not? It’s no more artificial than regulating aero, how wide and high the wings can be or whether or not you can use a double diffuser or KERS etc. etc.

      1. I think it’s different because aero rules apply to all the cars the same, whereas the tyres create more artificial-looking racing by trying to force competing cars onto tyres that are very different.

        I suppose if it does work without always being too large a focus of a race, then it’s fine. But I just don’t think it should be solely relied upon to spice up racing.

        1. It’s still the same for everybody. Everybody has to use the two compounds at least once during the race. How or when is up to the individual teams/drivers.

          I think all the teams should be free to get their FIA approved tyres from whoever they want. Two different compounds per manufacturer per race and let the chips fall where they may. Why should the tyres be the same for everyone? All the other components of the car are different per team, why not the tyres?

          1. I know it’s the same for each team, but it’s done partly in the hope that different teams use different strategies so that cars end up on radically different tires at the same stage of the race- like Red Bull vs McLaren at the start of Canada. So although the rule fundamentally applies the same to all teams, it tries to set up conditions where teams are running very different packages as certain stages of the race. In this respect it isn’t similar to aero regulations which stay consistent for all teams throughout the race. It’s trying to create those conditions with the cars running differently which seems wrong to me. I’m all for it happening normally, but not when its been too massively manipulated.

            There have been a few articles on here about why a tyre war might be bad for F1. In principle I like the idea of teams choosing their own tyre, but I don’t think it would be very beneficial for F1.

  16. Eh, safety? Increased tyre wear and closer, intenser races with people (drivers and teams) consequently taking more marginal calls and higher risks surely equals some blow outs at some point in the season. Just saying like.

    Other than that, kind of okay, though seems gimmicky. McLaren better sort out their pit stops.

  17. I hope it works… but wasn’t one of the biggest factors about Montreal how clean the track was? I heard a lot of discussion about how there was no rubber on the track.
    What if the circuits where scrubbed clean during the race weekend? Apart from making the track less predictable for the drivers, wouldn’t this also reduce the advantage difference between the racing line and off-line, therefore making passing easier?

    1. That’s an interesting idea, cleaning the circuit during the race weekend, and reducing the level of grip on the circuit resulting from rubber build up from other races. I think you’re right regarding passing, if the grip level on and off the racing line is close to equal then drivers should be able to use the non racing line to make a pass without hitting the marbles.

  18. In general bringing tyres much further apart should allow for alternative strategies and that should be a ‘good thing’.

    I suspect what it will mean though is that the top ten will end up on super-softs and will be 5 or so seconds per lap faster than those who start on hard tyres. The SSs will fall apart after seven laps by which time the top ten will be so far ahead that they will have a pit stop in hand and from thence the mediocrity ensues.

    While the theory may be that some top ten teams will then switch to hard and go the distance while others will do numerous extra stops but race hard the whole way, I suspect there will be a clear strategy choice that most will end up following.

    Happy to be proved wrong though and, let’s be honest, it can’t really make it worse can it?

  19. At least after the Turkey – Canada races everybody thinks again about taking knee jerk actions ( )

    The tyre strategy might be a step in the right direction, something we discussed at the start of the season, but deemed Bridgestone not to want to go with it. Great they give it a chance now.

  20. Great news. Thank you bridgestone…

  21. Is it only me who thinks the playstation generation is taking over?
    Drivers should race in cars prepared by teams who feel they have done the best they can. Not to have one of the most important factors messed about with. What next clown cars with side panels falling off.

    1. the “playstation generation” as you put it are the future viewing public, future racing drivers, future engineers, future heads of the FIA. In fact, said generation already have an F1 world champion in lewis hamilton….

      The fact is if left to its own devices the cars would follow each other around in a line at 700mph and that wouldn’t be exciting to watch over and over again.

      Stop being an old man, one day you’ll look back at the current season with rose tinted glasses.

      1. It’s got nothing to do with age, it’s got to do with keeping within the parameters of the sport. Why not give them power up’s and rockets to fire. This season has been very good so far but us ”old men” remember many of them and have seen how you can also mess up the sport.

  22. If they want to “improve the show” by changing the tyre choices, I say let them do it. Far better than the “fuel corrected” we had to hear last year.

  23. I don’t really know if the super-soft/medium combination is the solution. Sakhir and Monaco had the same specifications. Surely the track(surface) plays a huge part aswell.

  24. Sounds arificially, like some ‘reality’ TV show: “and now, to make things different and more interesting, we’ll give you skates instead of tires”. From this point of view it seems right to have more than one tire supplier – it would be more serious :P But on the other hand – let them try, we have nothing to loose :P

  25. Seems interesting Bridgestone shakes up the tire choices as McLaren and Red Bull pull away from Alonzo and Massa.

    1. Ooh, conspiracy! I doubt that has much to do with it though.

  26. Yorricksfriend
    22nd June 2010, 7:40

    I want to see a race, not a tyre war. This is a bad idea and a poor decision.

  27. Alex Thompson
    22nd June 2010, 8:39

    If only Bridgestone had realised this at the beginning of the season with the rest of us :-(

  28. Am I the only one to consider ridiculous the introduction of such an artificial mean to have an interesting race?
    If this is the idea, why not force the teams/drivers to go 20 laps on diesel/ethanol or whatever and the rest with gasoline? Or 15 laps with street-standard brake discs? Or 25 laps without one spark plug?
    I truly appreciate B’stone’s effort to bring something new to improve the show, in particular after what we saw at Canada, where the rubber resistance was a key factor. But to introduce things like this is a joke, IMO.
    Let the teams and drivers choose whatever tyre they want, so we can see two, three or four different race strategies on the track.

  29. I think the Soft/Hard combinations or SuperSoft/Hard are likely to produce super qualifying laps on Soft followed by a pit stop on lap 3 and the rest of the race on the super durable Hard.
    I doubt the Soft will make enough difference to make in worth while to stay on them and make an extra stop.

    I’m not all that convinced marginal tyres are the answer to everything. Another Bahrain type knee jerk reaction but in the opposite way. Sure, a guy on good tyres can overtake a guy on nackered tyres, but what we want is 2 guys running at the same speed having a realistic chance of getting past each other.

  30. Allow the teams to use one compound for the race, at their discretion. Start the race on the compound you qualified with. Let’s see who can get the most out of the longest lasting tire, and who will have to stop for new tires.

    Mandating use of two compounds should go the way of refueling: Out!

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