Ferrari’s Stefano Domenicali said he was behind the idea to provide an extra set of tyres to encourage more running in the first practice session, as long as it was “not only for rookies but for everyone”.
“It would be difficult to explain to the people that are in the grandstands that Mr X had an extra set of tyres to run and Alonso, Hamilton or whatever it is, is not running because that extra set of tyres is just for the rookies,” said Domenicali during today’s press conference in Bahrain.
“If we have to do something, and I believe it is a good idea to be honest, we should do it for everyone in order to increase the number of running on Friday morning.”
McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh agreed: “It was originally discussed that there could be an extra set of tyres for rookie drivers but I think that’s quite difficult.”
“At the end of the day if the people who we’re thinking about in the grandstand, I think they come to see, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button, that’s who they want to see. If we all put out rookie drivers they’ve not heard I think they’d feel cheated in some way.”
Lotus’s Eric Boullier also said the tyres should be available for “everybody and not just rookie tyres”.
However Monisha Kaltenborn of Sauber said the rules should require teams to use rookie drivers in order to give them more experience: “I think it’s a good idea because it gives you first of all a good reason to really get in youth drivers.”
“And I think it also should be done in such a way that it should be not just an option but a regulatory thing coming in that you have to do this because otherwise I think not many teams would really make use of this kind of an option.
“We see it with ourselves if you have already a rookie drivers who’s one of your regular race drivers do you really want to take away time from them to still get another one in. So I think if it just comes in as an option we really would have to think of it, do we make use of it or not?
“But on the other hand it’s extremely important as we can see with such drivers that if they have more opportunity they’re simply better prepared. So it would be a difficult call for us if it’s just an option. I would prefer if it goes down in the rules that you have to do this.”
2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
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- Karthikeyan (no, not that one) takes Predictions win
- Top ten pictures from the 2013 Bahrain Grand Prix
Image © Marussia