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Pirelli affecting the championship?


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#1 Alexandros

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 16:44

A few days ago there was a news item that Pirelli won't be introducing any new compounds (=super hard) in the interest of fairness for the championship.

Given that each car has different characteristics on tire use, and some driver/car combination are harder on their tires, the introduction of harder compounds would definitely shift the balance.

BUT, there is yet another element here. It's not only whether they bring a super-hard or not... what if they shift the tire allocation by +1 hardness like they did in hungary for example... Instead of supersoft+soft, they brought soft+medium... the result was that kimi was doing 25 laps and putting FLs on the SOFTS... Now, is that "fair"? When the tire-eating combinations do not suffer from wear due to the tire allocation going +1, there's a whole sort of issues arising... like the qualify performance of the less-tire-eating combination who can't get the tires up to temp for the quali lap and then this affects their race.

This whole thing reminds me of 2002 when Michelin was bringing harder tires and then Williams got the upper hand and Mclaren+Renault cried like babies... when Michelin brought softer, Williams tires were fading during the GP and they were being overtaken by the Mclarens... Essentially Michelin was "regulating" team performances. IIRC the FIA allowed teams to have their own tire ranges so that this won't happen, but here we are again, having the tire manufacturer in a position to affect the outcome.

The only way to ensure fairness, in my view, is if all tire allocations are announced in February, prior to winter testing - so that the characteristics of each new car is not known. At most it should the annual tire allocation should be announced by March - after winter testing.

By seeing how the championship is going, how the cars behave, and *then* announcing tire allocations a few weeks before each GP, there is a very strong influence-factor from the tire manufacturer to shift the balance of the championship in ways that suit certain teams.




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#2 Sakae

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 19:19

Sad, but this BB could be exhausted with Pirellis. I know that I am. Your post is thoughtful, and most likely quite accurate, but I don't mind to admit that I am lost over where individual teams are in re-engineering their car for these tires, who will benefit most with this latest change, and why on earth Pirelli is coming up with such decision in mid-season? It’s simply too much, as facts are infrequent and hazy in substance.



#3 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 19:37

No matter what compound you bring you will help some teams and hurt others.

#4 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 19:48

(...) what if they shift the tire allocation by +1 hardness like they did in hungary for example... Instead of supersoft+soft, they brought soft+medium... (...)


You fail to take into account that only the supersoft is the same compound as in 2011. The medium tyre of 2012 is approximately 2011's soft, and 2012's soft is softer than 2011's. Therefore it makes sense to use soft+medium in 2012 compared to 2011's supersoft+soft.

If they had gone with supersoft+soft and your team had suffered high deg, you would have taken this as a reason to complain instead. Anyway, obviously whatever tyre you use has an effect. You need to get over the fantasy of a mythical super tyre that magically has zero influence. Never existed, never will.

And if you take away all the tyre hype cooked up by the fanboys and ask Raikkonen in preseason, this is what remains:

Watching you driving one does get the feeling that nothing has changed since your retirement.
It indeed hasn´t changed. We got older but the cars are still the same. And the tires are not so different this year compared to 2009.



#5 Alexandros

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 23:53

No matter what compound you bring you will help some teams and hurt others.


True... that's why during the michelin/bstone era, the tire companies were forced to broaden their range and supply teams with more custom-made tires.

You fail to take into account that only the supersoft is the same compound as in 2011. The medium tyre of 2012 is approximately 2011's soft, and 2012's soft is softer than 2011's. Therefore it makes sense to use soft+medium in 2012 compared to 2011's supersoft+soft.


I don't pretend to know the exact "rockwell"-equivalent scale of hardness for 2012 pirellis but what I do know is that

a) Monaco was more than ok with soft+supersoft, 50 and 40 lap stints possible for both.
b) last year's supersofts were doing >15 laps in hungaroring
c) this years softs were doing 20-25 laps - Kimi even doing the obscure thing of putting FL with them. Ok he took care of them, but wtf. This is not like the refueling era... this shouldn't even be possible.
d) nobody complained of serious degradation with the mediums in 2012 hungaroring, despite stints of 30 laps. The degradation never came, so to speak, unlike other GPs - which show that the tire choice was "conservative".

If they had gone with supersoft+soft and your team had suffered high deg, you would have taken this as a reason to complain instead. Anyway, obviously whatever tyre you use has an effect. You need to get over the fantasy of a mythical super tyre that magically has zero influence. Never existed, never will.


I didn't say that such a tyre exists. Not my words. What I want to say is that fairness requires impartiality. When a tire company sees the results and adjusts the tire allocation, this impartiality is put into question because, after having seen who performs best with the X or Z tire, then the company can affect the outcome. If, on the other hand, tire allocation was presented in the start of the year, along with the calendar, I would have no problem whatsoever because then the tire company cannot influence the result by bringing softer or harder tires.

#6 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:13

True... that's why during the michelin/bstone era, the tire companies were forced to broaden their range and supply teams with more custom-made tires.


Uh, they were forced because there was a tyre war, which few people want, certainly not the teams. And even then only Schumacher was supplied with custom-made tyres. When Bridgestone were sole supplier, they brought whatever they brought, and teams had to deal with it - just like now.

I don't pretend to know the exact "rockwell"-equivalent scale of hardness for 2012 pirellis but what I do know is that


No need to know the "rockwell-equivalent scale", just to actually read tyre related news. This was widely publicized during the off season. It's curious that those who complain the most about Pirelli so often seem to have holes in their knowledge you could drive a Pirelli tyre truck through.


a) Monaco was more than ok with soft+supersoft, 50 and 40 lap stints possible for both.
b) last year's supersofts were doing >15 laps in hungaroring
c) this years softs were doing 20-25 laps - Kimi even doing the obscure thing of putting FL with them. Ok he took care of them, but wtf. This is not like the refueling era... this shouldn't even be possible.


There was also the small change of loss of full off-throttle EBD, which changed the characteristics of the cars so significantly that the rate of degradation came as a surprise to many early in the season.

d) nobody complained of serious degradation with the mediums in 2012 hungaroring, despite stints of 30 laps. The degradation never came, so to speak, unlike other GPs - which show that the tire choice was "conservative".


So? If the tyres had been more marginal, someone else would have complained. And you might have noticed in the myriad Pirelli threads that people whined bitterly about the high degradation. So now they may have been slightly more conservative for once, and it's you who does the whining. Someone always will.

I didn't say that such a tyre exists. Not my words.


You seemed to imply it, my bad if I read that incorrectly. You are not the first one to open a thread to whine about Pirelli, and it's just that in the Pirelli threads some people are regularly dreaming about such a tyre, and are painting a revisionist picture of the Bridgestone era, into which they are projecting this mythical golden age. Sorry if I in turn projected this onto you.

What I want to say is that fairness requires impartiality. When a tire company sees the results and adjusts the tire allocation, this impartiality is put into question because, after having seen who performs best with the X or Z tire, then the company can affect the outcome. If, on the other hand, tire allocation was presented in the start of the year, along with the calendar, I would have no problem whatsoever because then the tire company cannot influence the result by bringing softer or harder tires.


I see your point, but it's easy to argue that it makes sense and is in effect inevitable that Pirelli takes experience into account. They may have been surprised - like everyone was - by how large the influence of the loss of EBD was, and consequently by the degradation, which may have been a bit worse than what they like to see. So they adapted for the next batch. Nothing wrong with that, and of course Bridgestone did the same. There is no god-given right to be allocated the exact same tyres as last year.

I'll make a mental note that you conveniently forgot to notice Kimi's opinion.

#7 jj2728

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:28

I'll go with Kimi's opinion.

#8 Alexandros

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:41

Uh, they were forced because there was a tyre war, which few people want, certainly not the teams. And even then only Schumacher was supplied with custom-made tyres. When Bridgestone were sole supplier, they brought whatever they brought, and teams had to deal with it - just like now.


The tire war was well underway since 2001. It was after several teams bitched about the fact that Michelin and Bridgestone were bringing tires tailor-suited for one team and their car was disadvantaged (as a result), that the rules changed and each team got its own tires from the manufacturer. This was not in 2001 or 2002, but after 2003 IIRC.

No need to know the "rockwell-equivalent scale", just to actually read tyre related news. This was widely publicized during the off season. It's curious that those who complain the most about Pirelli so often seem to have holes in their knowledge you could drive a Pirelli tyre truck through.


I've read the news, but that's not really knowledge... so...

There was also the small change of loss of full off-throttle EBD, which changed the characteristics of the cars so significantly that the rate of degradation came as a surprise to many early in the season.


Indeed.

So? If the tyres had been more marginal, someone else would have complained. And you might have noticed in the myriad Pirelli threads that people whined bitterly about the high degradation. So now they may have been slightly more conservative for once, and it's you who does the whining. Someone always will.


As I understand the situation it goes like this: The "heads" of F1 decided that in order for the spectacle to improve, the tires must be vulnerable to degradation. Whether I like it or not, whether the drivers like it or not, can be an issue of debate unto itself. I won't comment on that nor whine about it. That's what it was decided and so we will "play" based on this decision.

Now... when some teams have a problem adapting to this tire-degradation reality, there comes Pirelli who can make this factor a lesser factor, so that some tire-chewing teams can cope better with the problem. And I ask, is this fair? In my view, it is not. The tire company shouldn't have this power, again in my view.

You seemed to imply it, my bad if I read that incorrectly. You are not the first one to open a thread to whine about Pirelli, and it's just that in the Pirelli threads some people are regularly dreaming about such a tyre, and are painting a revisionist picture of the Bridgestone era, into which they are projecting this mythical golden age. Sorry if I in turn projected this onto you.


It's ok don't worry. But for me the issue is not the tyre at all. The tyre is what it is. It is the possibility of the company adjusting the allocation range to "fit" certain cars. And this, I consider, wrong.

I see your point, but it's easy to argue that it makes sense and is in effect inevitable that Pirelli takes experience into account. They may have been surprised - like everyone was - by how large the influence of the loss of EBD was, and consequently by the degradation, which may have been a bit worse than what they like to see. So they adapted for the next batch. Nothing wrong with that, and of course Bridgestone did the same. There is no god-given right to be allocated the exact same tyres as last year.

I'll make a mental note that you conveniently forgot to notice Kimi's opinion.


Regarding the adaptation, well, suppose you are a tire manufacturer and have a certain preference in which team should win... should you be allowed to influence this result by "adapting" the tire allocation to a softer or harder spec? I think no. Pirelli themselves recognize that the introduction of superhards would be unfair, otherwise why would they say "in the interest of fairness". But it's not only the bringing of superhards that can be unfair. It's also in the soft-end of the scale where the +1 hardness choice can have an impact.

As for Kimi, well, I do not remember a "cliff" problem with the '09 tires. The drop of performance is significant now - as he found out a few months later in the race from that statement... when he dropped out of the point scorers because the team left him out for something like 35 laps. You can lose enormous time if you go over the cliff, not just tenths.

Edited by Alexandros, 11 August 2012 - 01:42.


#9 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 01:58

The tire war was well underway since 2001. It was after several teams bitched about the fact that Michelin and Bridgestone were bringing tires tailor-suited for one team and their car was disadvantaged (as a result), that the rules changed and each team got its own tires from the manufacturer. This was not in 2001 or 2002, but after 2003 IIRC.


Hm, I have a hole in my own knowledge here as 2003-2006 or so were the only seasons I did not watch since forever. I would be surprised if Sauber or other midfielders got their own tyres.

As I understand the situation it goes like this: The "heads" of F1 decided that in order for the spectacle to improve, the tires must be vulnerable to degradation. Whether I like it or not, whether the drivers like it or not, can be an issue of debate unto itself. I won't comment on that nor whine about it. That's what it was decided and so we will "play" based on this decision.


This seems like a sensible position :) For the record, I do not think that the tyre degradation path FIA has taken is the best for F1. Fixing the aero would be better.

Now... when some teams have a problem adapting to this tire-degradation reality, there comes Pirelli who can make this factor a lesser factor, so that some tire-chewing teams can cope better with the problem. And I ask, is this fair? In my view, it is not. The tire company shouldn't have this power, again in my view.


Possibly, but I maintain that it is impossible to have a neutral tyre, that Pirelli necessarily will take experience into account, and that Bridgestone did the same.

It's ok don't worry. But for me the issue is not the tyre at all. The tyre is what it is. It is the possibility of the company adjusting the allocation range to "fit" certain cars. And this, I consider, wrong.


Like I said I don't agree, but I respect your position as being sensible.

Regarding the adaptation, well, suppose you are a tire manufacturer and have a certain preference in which team should win... should you be allowed to influence this result by "adapting" the tire allocation to a softer or harder spec? I think no. Pirelli themselves recognize that the introduction of superhards would be unfair, otherwise why would they say "in the interest of fairness". But it's not only the bringing of superhards that can be unfair. It's also in the soft-end of the scale where the +1 hardness choice can have an impact.


I stated my opinion above, but given the compound changes the 2012 allocation in Hungary is closer to the actual 2011 allocation, at least more so as if they had kept the same tyres by name only, when in reality the compounds had changed.

As for Kimi, well, I do not remember a "cliff" problem with the '09 tires. The drop of performance is significant now - as he found out a few months later in the race from that statement... when he dropped out of the point scorers because the team left him out for something like 35 laps. You can lose enormous time if you go over the cliff, not just tenths.


Kimi did not say that there is no difference, just that it's not that big. I'm reading into this that the change is in the normal expected range as far as driving is concerned. Say, similar to the change Alonso had to adapt to when moving from Michelins to Bridgestones. IOW, simply what must and can be expected from a driver.

As for the cliff, I disagree that there is a cliff "problem" for the simple fact that the tyres were designed on purpose to have a cliff. Basically they put 2 layers of compound onto the tyre structure, the outer and faster one of which degrades and disappears quickly, until you run on the slow but still safe harder compound.

I can understand if someone disagrees with this tyre design, but undoubtedly it is what Pirelli was asked to do and the way they chose to do it. So IMHO "problem" is not the right choice of words. Edit: I mean there is no "problem" from the point of view of the tyre; it just performs reasonably to specs. Its behavior causes a problem, or challenge, for the teams; but I don't think in this it is fundamentally different to any other tyre.

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 11 August 2012 - 02:45.


#10 Alexandros

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 02:40

Hm, I have a hole in my own knowledge here as 2003-2006 or so were the only seasons I did not watch since forever. I would be surprised if Sauber or other midfielders got their own tyres.


If I remember correctly, they did. I can't say for sure about the season where it was 1-tire-for-all-the-GP (2005?) but I do remember that each team could choose their own compounds and constructions so as not to have teams which play "support role" for the Ferrari (in the b-stone camp) or not to have competing teams experiencing favoritism (michelin camp).

For '03 in particular, I think we even had such differences as different tire dimensions for a period. I remember the Williams had opted for a 270mm wider tire in front, while Mclaren where with a narrower one. Then Mclaren moved to the 270mm front and then a scandal ensued that the tires were illegal because of having greater contact than 270mm with the track (270 was the maximum). But that didn't affect mclaren so much as the williams.


#11 Sakae

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:09

http://translate.goo...em-5316057.html

(Link copied from another thread without permission, but it discusses interesting point of view which might have some relevance in here).

#12 PNSD

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:16

No matter what compound you bring you will help some teams and hurt others.



/thread

#13 Ferrari2183

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 08:35

I just have one question... Why are Pirelli taking the medium/hard combination to Monza?

Monza has never been known for high degradation.

#14 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:02

I just have one question... Why are Pirelli taking the medium/hard combination to Monza?

Monza has never been known for high degradation.


They used soft/medium in 2011. To repeat myself, the 2012 tyres are softer than the 2011 tyres. The 2012 hard is close to 2011's medium, and the 2012 medium close to 2011's soft, so like in Hungary I guess they nominally went one step harder compared to last year to avoid trouble - while Monza is not known for high deg, a lot of energy goes into the tyres when breaking for the chicanes, plus in Lesmo 1 and Parabolica.


And @Alexandros: from my perspective Pirelli has been proposing lots of things to accommodate teams, but most suggestions were dismissed by same teams so far. Let's see how this one goes:

Pirelli is considering letting Formula One teams select their own choice of tyre compounds ahead of each race in 2013.


Edited by KnucklesAgain, 11 August 2012 - 10:03.


#15 Clatter

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:16

And @Alexandros: from my perspective Pirelli has been proposing lots of things to accommodate teams, but most suggestions were dismissed by same teams so far. Let's see how this one goes:

Pirelli is considering letting Formula One teams select their own choice of tyre compounds ahead of each race in 2013.


Surely that's an FIA decision, not Pirelli's. Could be interesting though.

#16 Ferrari2183

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:32

Surely that's an FIA decision, not Pirelli's. Could be interesting though.

Qualifying tyres and letting teams choose their own allocation is a step in the right direction. What I'd like most though is dumping the use of both compounds in a race.

#17 rossbrawn

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:34

Qualifying tyres and letting teams choose their own allocation is a step in the right direction. What I'd like most though is dumping the use of both compounds in a race.


I agree :up: .

#18 Clatter

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 10:52

Qualifying tyres and letting teams choose their own allocation is a step in the right direction. What I'd like most though is dumping the use of both compounds in a race.


Totally agree.


#19 mlsnoopy

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 11:26

What we should have is a single dry tyre. No more 4 dry tyre compounds. That is the only way to ensure that tyres don't affect the championship.

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#20 MikeTekRacing

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:14

What we should have is a single dry tyre. No more 4 dry tyre compounds. That is the only way to ensure that tyres don't affect the championship.

1 tyre working at 16 degrees in super smooth Monaco or at 60 degrees at an abrasive track can't be built.

#21 rossbrawn

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:16

What we should have is a single dry tyre. No more 4 dry tyre compounds. That is the only way to ensure that tyres don't affect the championship.


You're kidding, right?

#22 Clatter

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 12:18

1 tyre working at 16 degrees in super smooth Monaco or at 60 degrees at an abrasive track can't be built.


Yes it can, but it will just not be ideal for several races.


#23 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 14:30

Surely that's an FIA decision, not Pirelli's. Could be interesting though.


Of course. My point was that Pirelli offered the choice and it's up to the FIA to take them up on it, so Pirelli is the wrong address to complain to about choosing certain compounds and thereby (dis)advantaging certain teams. And it's been the same wrt to many contentious topics, such as additional sets for Q3.

Totally agree.


Me too

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 11 August 2012 - 14:32.


#24 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 14:34

Letting the teams pick compounds favours the team with the best wear too.

#25 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 14:35

What we should have is a single dry tyre. No more 4 dry tyre compounds. That is the only way to ensure that tyres don't affect the championship.


No it would not be. Even that single tyre would fit certain teams better, or at least their fanboys can be counted on to raise stink about it if things don't go their way. Which brings me back to what I wrote earlier, most Pirelli critics are fantasizing about a magic tyre that does not affect anything, and this only shows their fundamental misunderstanding about how these things work.

Letting the teams pick compounds favours the team with the best wear too.


Like I said :)

Edited by KnucklesAgain, 11 August 2012 - 14:36.


#26 Sakae

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 16:34

What I'd like most though is dumping the use of both compounds in a race.

While the idea is appealing to me too, fact is, that as result of that decision either you bring to races a tire capable to make full race distance, or you bring more tires of each kind than you do now, as you do not have guarantee which tire grade team will favor for the race, i.e. some will go potentially soft-soft-soft, others will ride other grade, and won't use softs at all. Still, it could be worth it.

#27 Sakae

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 16:48

Letting the teams pick compounds favours the team with the best wear too.

Not necessarily, and I think best strategy and not too shaby car can still win over slow tire wearer. If you can build a gap, and do all laps on three or four stops, as opposed to two stoppers, results could be pretty close. Actually I would like to take tire as much as possible out of the equation. Let them to sort it out on speed and overtaking skills only. Release engines for tuning and development, cancel parc ferme, get rid of batman horror movie aero, and gentlemen, start your engines, here we go! We might get two tiers races, but so be it! F1 was never about equality to beginn with.

#28 Disgrace

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Posted 11 August 2012 - 16:50

No matter what compound you bring you will help some teams and hurt others.


Likewise no matter which control tyre supplier it is.

#29 Clatter

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 19:58

While the idea is appealing to me too, fact is, that as result of that decision either you bring to races a tire capable to make full race distance, or you bring more tires of each kind than you do now, as you do not have guarantee which tire grade team will favor for the race, i.e. some will go potentially soft-soft-soft, others will ride other grade, and won't use softs at all. Still, it could be worth it.


The overall number of tyres wouldn't change though.

#30 Sakae

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 20:39

The overall number of tyres wouldn't change though.

How is that? Today you need for two stopper race one set of one grade, and a second set of a different kind, since there is madated use of two kinds. If you void this requirement, and team want to take two stoppers on the same tire grade, where is the second set unless supplier takes more of those? I am assuming that not all would choose the same grade, thus to support three stopppers on the same tire really requires tire supplier's support, correct? What did I missed, unless you want to use limits, and I thought we would not do that. I think it would be fun if someone wanted to do multiple stops just on SS.

#31 Clatter

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 20:42

How is that? Today you need for two stopper race one set of one grade, and a second set of a different kind, since there is madated use of two kinds. If you void this requirement, and team want to take two stoppers on the same tire grade, where is the second set unless supplier takes more of those? I am assuming that not all would choose the same grade, thus to support three stopppers on the same tire really requires tire supplier's support, correct? What did I missed, unless you want to use limits, and I thought we would not do that. I think it would be fun if someone wanted to do multiple stops just on SS.


Because the number of tyres any competitor can use over the weekend is limited. That limit doesn't change if they can choose what compounds they want, therefore the overall number of tyres is the same.

#32 Baddoer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 21:18

My only concern is amount of marbles. Since main trend is to protect environment this is totally unacceptable.

#33 Satchel

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 21:20

I rather like things how they are now - with the exception of "Q3 runners must start the race on qualifying tires" rule, which really needs to go already.

Allowing the teams to have their pick of two compounds each weekend sounds awesome to me on paper, but I don't think it would be as exciting in reality. IMHO the teams don't have enough test time or practice time to choose accurately - I can easily imagine most of the teams simply choosing the same compounds Pirelli would have done, to play it safe. And when would they be required to make a final decision? Before the weekend (i.e. practice) starts?

#34 turssi

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 00:14

As long as the rules are not cemented before the season (or the pre-season testing) starts F1 will continue to be orchestrated.