Bridgestone are the exclusive tyre suppliers to Champ Car and provide two types of tyre for each weekend called the ‘standard’ and ‘option’ tyres, the latter with a distinctive red sidewall. Each driver must use at least one set of each type of tyre during the race.
No doubt Bridgestone’s suggestion is an attempt to ensure tyres remain a talking point next year when the departure of Michelin leaves the Japanee manufacturer as the sole tyre supplier.
Does the idea have merit on its own? It has certainly provided some interest in Champ Cars. For example, in this year’s street race in Denver the high wear rate of the ‘option’ compound provoked a very entertaining race.
I have mixed feelings about the proposal. The best way to encourage overtaking in Formula One is to restrict the amount of aerodynamic downforce the cars can generate (which the teams and FIA are sadly deferring work on until 2009) and banning refuelling to reduce the opportunity for drivers to ‘pass in the pits’.
There is also something to be said for keeping the basic rules of Formula One as simple as possible – the value of which has been totally overlooked in the myriad changes to the sporting regulations of the past four years.
It’s not a bad idea, but I wouldn’t want action on it to take priority over attempts to ban refuelling, cut back on driver aids, and making the cars less aerodynamically sensitive.