Extra Friday tyres should be for all drivers, say teams

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Extra tyres for Friday practice sessions should be available for all drivers and not just rookies according to F1’s leading teams.

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.”

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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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23 comments on “Extra Friday tyres should be for all drivers, say teams”

  1. I fully an wholly agree with Kaltenborn. The idea was to combine having someone on track with that other problem of not allowing rookies enough time to learn F1.

    Now, I do get why teams like Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren would like to have these tyres as well, but that way we still won’t see any rookies learning the crafts.

    1. thats funny. I want to see drivers like kimi, fernando, vet etc driving on all sessions.

      Not some rookie that pay their way to get the drive.

      1. They won’t be required to let the rookies go for a run, but only if they want the extra tyres. I don’t really see a problem. The big teams just want to exploit it by having more track time with their top drivers, that’s hardly fair is it?

      2. Do you think that teams running the top drivers would actually run pay driver rookies? They would run actual talent.

    2. Completely agreed.
      I’m not surprised to see Monisha Kaltenborn fighting for Rookie’s rights, as it were. She’s been vocal about this a lot in the past.

      She’s quickly becoming one of my favourite principals (principalette?)

      1. easy to say that when Sauber can run another Telmex backed rookie to get more funding.

      2. So it was for me, until I realised she is running a company not a Formula 1 team. I actually cringe every time I hear her proposals nowadays.

        Their current situation is embarrassing. If they have to resort to such means to bring money in after a successful season, they might think of restructuring their marketing department instead.

      3. Principal is not a masculine word. She is a Team Principal.

  2. Maybe teams should be allowed to use their quali and race sets during practice? As long as the same number of sets from each compound get discarded like they do now I don’t think it would make that big of a difference.

  3. How about at least +1 set for everyone and +2 for rookies (from current allocations)

  4. petebaldwin (@)
    19th April 2013, 16:34

    Perhaps they could say that you have to run your reserve driver in a specific amount of sessions during a season? Extra tyres should definately be for all drivers though…

    How about a different tyre (a harder one) and give them one set that will last for ages. You won’t gain much in regards to learning the tyres but its a good one to put on to test parts etc?

    Not sure how it’d work in principal or whether teams would use it but it’d allow them to run and run (albeit it off the pace) but with an acceptable amount of grip to get something out of testing?

  5. the whole point of the extra set is to give an incentive to teams to run rookies and give them the experience, if they just give an extra set to everyone then none of the teams would change what they are doing, we may see some increase in fp1 running but that would be it,
    the thing that annoys me most is the frankly laughable excuse from the teams that as a fan I would not be able to understand why a rookie driver gets one more set its not exactly difficult to grasp as a concept, or that if I don’t see driver x,y or z that I am being cheated, it would be good to see new drivers, being able to compare them s the others and see who will or wont make it as an F1 driver…

  6. Well just like I said it a couple of days ago, the top teams are being selfish and against the idea that other teams have the advantage of more running, whether is rookies or super hard tyres, it’s still an advantage.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets dropped eventually but Pirelli will probably end up giving everyone an extra set of primes, just to please both the teams and Bernie.

  7. “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?”

    props to Kaltenborn for admitting that she’d prefer this codified in the rules, b/c otherwise even Sauber might not run a rookie in the car if it meant taking seat-time away from one of the race drivers or other regulars.

  8. I don’t get the logic behind the “spectators will find it hard to understand why Mr X has more tyres” being hard to understand.
    It’s as simple as “Mr X is new, and needs more practice.” End of.

    TBH I prefer watching Rookies, in Practice, at least, because they’re unknown quantities. Like Bianchi, they have the potential to surprise.
    I already know Hamilton and Alonso can do well and Top the tables…
    There’s not as much surprise watching them when they’re not actually racing each other.

  9. They can give them all extra sets of tyres on Friday but i don’t think it will encourage more running, From race drivers anyway.

    Back in the days before they had the tyre restrictions on Friday, There still used to be a period early in sessions when nobody went out because they all wanted to wait for the best track conditions which is where they gain the most useful data.

    The 3rd/reserve drivers getting the set sounds like a decent idea, However the problem with that is that this is likely to mean less running from the race drivers. I can remember sessions in 2006 where you only had the 3rd drivers doing any laps as the race drivers sat in the pits, Then the race drivers would come out & do a handful of laps in the final 10 minutes.

    You also have the problem now of running a 3rd driver & risking damage to the car which would put the race drivers program back if they haven’t got the car repaired for FP2. Thats why I doubt any of the top teams will run a 3rd driver, The bottom teams do it more because usually the 3rd driver usually brings a bit of extra cash.

    The lack of running in practice never used to be something anyone complained about, Not sure why its only now become an issue.
    Although I guess its more likely because more people are able to watch practice live now that more TV broadcasters carry it.

    1. I can remember sessions in 2006 where you only had the 3rd drivers doing any laps as the race drivers sat in the pits, Then the race drivers would come out & do a handful of laps in the final 10 minutes.

      I guess that is why Kaltenborn mentions it would work only if it was made mandatory to run freshmen in this session.
      But if we take that to the extreme wouldn’t it be better to find time for a 30- 40 minute session for rookies before we go onto an hour of FP1 running the regular drivers when the track is rubbered in a bit and cleaned up so teams do not lose too much time for their regular drivers?

      I agree that its strange to see people complaining about little running in FP1, as I don’t remember this session ever being crowded apart from when we had the 3rd car rules or when the afternoon and saturday were expected to be wet so it was the only time to get prepared for a race.

  10. The top teams put a nice spin on it with “the fans would feel cheated if Raikkonen, Vettel, Alonso, and Hamilton don’t run”, but it’s only one session, and they don’t have to do it every grand prix. I wouldn’t mind seeing some talented drivers have a go on Friday, and that’s especially what the top teams could do, especially once some of their drivers are out of the championship anyway.

  11. I think that giving extra tyres to rookies is a great idea. I don’t care if there is no Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton running for the first hour and a half of practice. I mean, FP1 is not super exciting and I’m sure that only F1 fanatics watch it. These fanatics would be very happy to see new faces. Personally, I would love to see Da Costa running in a Red Bull, Magnussen in the Mclaren, Valsecchi in a Lotus etc.

    It’s only a session, and it’s probably the least important one. So, why not?

  12. I think it’s a great idea too. And about what SD is saying: most people who go to an F1 race I’m guessing would have a pretty decent knowledge of F1. After all, it’s very expensive to go to if you don’t even like it, so I imagine that most people will adapt fairly easily.

    However, I have an alternative solution:
    An extra practise session (complete with extra tyres) for rookies ONLY on thurs/fri morn/whenever, so that no drivers have to give up their car. Teams can provide as many cars as they like, so if McLaren, Ferrari etc dont want to send anyone out, they don’t have to, but if Williams or Sauber want to send out three cars with rookies in then they can.

  13. I agree with the extra session or just bumping FP1 out to 2 hours and run the pups in the first hour with exhibition tyres or a set of hards. Then they can clean the track up a bit. Turn the engines down a touch and let them go. Run one pup per team to thin the traffic down. After the hour the pups go on the bench, pros (or pay drivers) go out , and practice keeps running with more driving time and a cleaner track.

    I think the problem with a third car is logistics and expense. But it is risky to use a race car so they would have to be prepped very well.

  14. there is a simple solution to this introduce qualifying tyres. it will be the same story today during quali we wont see any action until the last few minutes of each session as teams want to save there tyres come race day. if teams want rookies to gain experience they could add a session to Friday, this is just my idea.

    Friday: 1hr rookies only session early morning, then 2 1hr main drivers sessions with a hour break in between the two sessions.

    Saturday 1hr practice then qualifying but teams are given quali tyres.

  15. What bugs me about this is that restricting the extra tyres to the rookies is attempting to use the solution to one problem (Lack of running early in P1) to solve an entirely different one (lack of running for rookies and reserve drivers).

    My solution:
    Give the extra set to anyone who uses them in the first thirty minutes. Hold an additional “Development” session at every race, which the race drivers cannot participate in. This session could be used to give the third drivers and any prospective rookies a chunk of mileage, and teams would get the benefit of developing their cars more rapidly.

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