What should be done to increase strategies?

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    Younger Hamii

    Tyres? Fuel? that’s all the elements i can think of that impacts or determines strategies but it would be interesting to see if you Guys can think of several ways that strategies can be improved in this new era of Formula 1 where strategies have become so limited mostly due to the ban on Refuelling for 2010.Cheers!!!


    I think it would help if teams were allowed free choice of any compounds but were limited to three sets of each compound, making 12 total sets of dry tyres per weekend:

    3 x Super Softs
    3 x Softs
    3 x Medium
    3 x Hard

    You would eliminate the need to use different compounds during the race and give teams free reign with tyre choice during the race.

    If not, I think it would help if Pirelli were more aggressive with their tyre choices. They worked brilliantly at the start of the year, but by the end of the season the tyres had minimal impact on racing. No one was falling off the cliff any more. It was a shame really.


    I think regardless you’re going to wind up with teams coming to grips with the tires by the end of the year. That’s just the nature of the beast when you have some of the best and brightest engineers and strategists all clumped together working with some of the best technology. You can’t keep them guessing for long and eventually they’ll figure out how to configure the cars to suit the tires.

    But I definitely support @magnificent-geoffrey ‘s idea of using any compound, but you’re limited on all of them. I think I’ve made a similar suggestion at some point. But it would allow for a variety of strategies and cars could then use the ones that suit their car best, yet still be forced to consider how best to use them. For example, you can’t go in to the race blind and hoping the super softs will be the optimal. You have to use at least one set in practice to find out, which will leave you 2 for the race. Okay, well then what do you do for qualifying? Save the two for Sunday and opt for the Softs on Saturday? Moreover, it forces the drivers to be kind to them. You screw up and flat spot one set and there goes a third of your supply.


    I think the best way would be to make pit stops significantly longer. Impressive as the 3-4 seconds looks, it means the penalty for pitting is very low. Perhaps if the rules were changed so there could only be one person per tyre, or if everyone had to run out from the garage, then pit stops could take 10-15 seconds.

    The increased time penalty would make it much harder to justify a pit stop, as four stops could easily cost you over a minute in the race.


    Don’t allow pits stops (like in 2005). With Spain 2011-esque tyre degradation, let’s see who can make the Pirelli super-softs last an entire race. :P


    I like @magnificent-geoffrey‘s idea, if they want to have a mandatory pit stop rule, let the teams choose their compounds. I don’t like the idea of how Pirelli choose the compounds for ‘said race’ Either make it limited as @MG suggested or make some rule where the teams can use any two compounds they choose but with a stipulation where isn’t a huge disadvantage if one team hypothetically brought only softs and supersofts. If another team brought medium and hards, they may be at a huge disadvantage. Maybe my idea doesn’t make sense, but I say the teams should be able to choose the tires!


    I think we need to get our priorities right. What matters is the quality of the racing.

    If I’ve just seen a close race where the winner was in doubt until the end, I’m not going to complain if all the drivers pitted twice, once or not at all. Strategy is incidental.


    @KeithCollantine Absolutely. But would you not agree that unpredictability can be a significant factor in producing good racing? I think that if you liberalise the tyre restrictions, you’ll hopefully get a mixture of strategies, thus making things more unpredictable and resulting in better racing. So I think the goal of this topic is in line with that.

    Of course, none of us would have any problems with F1 being an entirely pitstop-free series if it resulted in unpredictable, close racing – but I can’t really see something like that happening in the modern era. I think the first half of this season showed us that, with this current formula, the less distance the rubber lasts, the more exciting the racing.


    As interesting as strategies might be, I believe that nothing can top the drama of drivers in closely matched cars engaging in wheel to wheel combat on track. An overtake in the pits doesn’t have the high tension of on track battles.

    Early in 2011 we saw late race battles for the lead as a result of tire strategy, about as dramatic as it gets. These varied strategies resulted produced cars close to each other on track with different levels of grip. However, as the season progressed, strategies among the front runners seemed to converge and gone were the dramatic late race charges and passes at the front. Even the midfield battles of the upper Q2 drivers’ preying on the low Q3 drivers went away when drivers who made it to Q3 would not even attempt a qualifying lap. Every team found roughly the same best strategy for the race when faced with the options presented.

    That is not to say that the problem with F1 is that everyone is too good at what they do, but with the current rules, it certainly hurts the racing to a degree. Unpredictability comes when many variables of a race are out of the control of drivers and engineers, whose job it is to control all of the variables. The variable of gear shifting has been reduced to nil, eliminating the possibility of overtakes resulting from missed gears. Engineers have gotten tire strategy down to a science, and they all result in effectively the same strategy. Drivers are so good that they don’t make many mistakes, and the cars are all highly reliable.

    Many most dramatic races we’ve seen in the last decade or so have been the result of the largest variable outside of the control of engineers and drivers, rain. Other great races happened because of big unknowns in tire quality (Canada 2010).

    A possible solution? Have Pirelli provide some practice tires for free practice, some average tires just to let the teams set the cars up. Everybody qualifies on special qualifying tires. On race day, there will be two types of tires, the grip and durability of both kept secret to the drivers and engineers until the race itself. Drivers and engineers are forced to make race strategies on the fly. Perhaps a bit artificial, but not any more artificial than DRS or having the top 10 qualifiers start with used tires.

    However, this would just be a band aid until the cars are fundamentally changed so that overtaking in an equal car is only highly difficult, but not impossible. F1 right now is like football/soccer with goals half as big and scoring is only possible when one team is fresh and the other is fatigued, but all players get tired at the same rate.


    Snipers firing at random drivers tyres. These have to be predetermined before the race weekend and if the shot misses and hit another drivers tyres, the driver whom the shot was originally aimed at has to change the other drivers tyre for them.

    In all seriousness, I would love to see more strategies, but if it means that drivers are in the pits every other lap then no. It’s a difficult one to pick at because if you delve too deep, your ruining the racing but if you don’t scratch the surface then you’ve achieved nothing. I feel what Perreli have done makes good racing. At the beggining we were seeing teams 4 stop but one team stopping once? I would love to see the tyre compounds stay extreme like we did at the begging of the season because teams couldn’t just sit on one set for as long as they dared because they would drop off but towards the end they were becoming more and more confident.


    Refuelling would be a great addition to the current rules! It may even close the gap, like in the case of ferrari they could have short fueled the car for their prime tire stint. I have always thought that f1 cars should be able to run at their fastest setups without having to setup for high fuel loads. More qualifying type laps per race would be great!!

    Another idea I’d like to see would be drs being used anywhere on the track during the race, even if it only opened say 50% and then the full 100% in the designated drs zones! We may see a lot more spin outs!! Or… A drs on the front wing also!

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Refuelling won’t do anything but turn the races into a series of glorified time trials.

    And you can’t have “half DRS”, either. When you open the rear wing, you cancel out all the drag generated by the wing. It doesn’t matter if you open it by a centimetre of by an inch; the results are the same.


    I agree with @keith-collantine in this regard. The racing is what’s important. I don’t really care on strategy variation not because they aren’t fascinating; but because other than changing conditions or safety cars, then it’s very hard. There is, under any set of regulations whatsoever, always a single fastest way for each circuit, car and driver to do a race distance; and I suspect teams will even have backup strategies for fastest race distance without giving up track position (for places such as Monaco) and fastest race distance with being able to overtake (such as Canada).

    The cars are designed by engineers too good to have enough variation amongst themselves to provide sufficient variation in terms of strategic opportunities IMO. Ideally you’d probably want a Sauber-like team which keeps on running a stop less thanks to tyre kindness, and the more-stop strategy to be faster (so that they’re actually faster than the car ahead of them that has stopped less, so they overtake) but the variation in terms of the pace vs tyre kindness compromise of the teams is nowhere near enough for that I don’t think.


    As some have said, race strategy should not be prioritised over the actual racing itself. However it is nice when driver and teams occassionally go for alternative strategies (Schmacher at France 2004), or strokes of genius which lead to great results (Barrichello at Britain 2008). If there is pit stops in Formula One like there are now, I prefer to see normal two stop races.

    James Brickles


    I love that idea of unrestricted tyre compounds.

    Remove the top ten starting on the same tyre compound and the two compound per race rule, but keep the same Pirelli’s and it gives one thing back that’s been missing – Flexibility and unpredictability in strategy.

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