Harder tyres for the Australian Grand Prix

Bridgestone will bring tyres one stage harder than those used at last year’s Australian Grand Prix when the teams return to the track this year.

F1’s official tyre supplier has revealed the compounds that will be provided for the first three races of 2010:

Circuit 2010 tyres 2009 tyres
Bahrain Medium / Super Soft Medium / Super Soft
Albert Park Hard / Soft Medium / Super Soft
Sepang Hard / Soft Hard / Soft

Last year there were complaints from some drivers that the super soft tyre was too soft for the Melbourne circuit.

This year drivers will have six sets of the harder (‘prime’) tyres and five sets of the softer (‘option’) tyres available to them at each race – last year they had seven of each.

Drivers will still have to use each compound of tyre at least once per race in 2010, meaning they will need to make at least one tyre change per race.

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48 comments on Harder tyres for the Australian Grand Prix

  1. So they are persisting with bringing compounds that are one stage apart. It’s not good really, just another unnecessary extraneous intervention that is supposed to “improve the show”.

  2. Zazeems said on 10th February 2010, 19:05

    Am I the only person who thinks the show is being spoiled by all these changes that the FIA laughingly call improvements.

    • Prisoner Monkeys said on 10th February 2010, 22:35

      I don’t see how it’s a problem. If anything, staggered tyre compounds make things harder for a driver because they need to manage tyres that aren’t suited to a circuit’s surface. If you want to see displays of skill, this is your answer.

      I also don’t get what all the fuss about “improving the show is”. If you guys had your way of it, the rules would effectively make the races a repeat of 2004, and no-one wants that.

    • Terry Fabulous said on 10th February 2010, 23:04

      Nope, you arenot the only person!

      But I think that the show is boosted by doing this. It rewards drivers who can look after their tyres while still being fast.

      And as a driver who is about to pay $500 for new tyres on my Subaru, I can tell you know that is a good skill to have!!

      • Prisoner Monkeys said on 11th February 2010, 2:29

        Well, it’s been my long-standing belief that the problem is not with the circuits or the regulations, but with the cars. They produce far too much downforce to make overtaking a viable prospect. There are rule changes on the way enforcing a single diffuser, but they won’t come into effect for another twelve months. Can you really blame the FIA and FOTA if they want to deliver more of what the fans want – ie overtaking – by artificially encouraging it in the meantime.

        I just don’t get it. The fans frequently cite “More overtaking!” as their heart’s desire for the sport, but as soon as the Powers That Be try and make it happen, those same fans are all over them with cries of “Stop changing the rules!”

        Honestly, what do you expect? They’re giving you what you want, but at the same time you’re turning your nose up at it. I know the modern era of circuit design leaves a lot to be desired at times, but changing the rules and the car designs are far easier – not to mention cheaper – than changing circuit layouts.

        • John H said on 11th February 2010, 14:00

          “Can you really blame the FIA and FOTA if they want to deliver more of what the fans want ie overtaking by artificially encouraging it in the meantime.”

          Yes you can. They should have outlawed DDDs last year with *clear* regulations. Then the recommendations by the OWG would have been followed and we wouldn’t have this artificial silly tyre rule.

  3. charles fox said on 10th February 2010, 19:46

    does no-one else think the fact that in addition to making the race a little more variable(/improving the show or call it what you want). At least mixed compounds in combination with a few other things the FIA/FOM etc. do is make the teams build cars that are a little more adaptable than the ‘in the groove/all things are fine’ type setups they sometimes utilise(e.g. street vs permanent circuits, variation in circuit design-to some degree.

    a high performance road car would be able to deal with a smooth surface, a bumpy surface, a grippy surface, a slippy surface, a wet surface, high temperatures, low temperatures and more. All without needing big tyre pressure adjustments, suspension and alignment adjustments, downforce adjustments etc.

    I’m all for anything that makes optimising a car design more difficult and varied, also would like to see greater variety in track design, extremes like spa and hockenheim(of old layout) vs barcelona/hungaroring/valencia/jerez in normal circuits. monaco vs singapore in street circuits etc. as well as a few monsters to make them adjust even more – oval/roval and long le mans layouts would be awesome.

    • bwells said on 10th February 2010, 21:07

      Did you say oval…!! Dude.. not a chance.. I hope anyways.. it wouldn’t be a GP without a right turn.. :) lol..

      • They could go anti clockwise?

        Charles Fox

        I’m with you all the way on the circuit side of things but not the F1 tyres and road cars points.

        Super cars don’t deal with varying conditions that well especially if they come with semi-slick tyres. Also people aren’t driving them flat out all the time constantly on the limit of grip.

        F1 tyres run within relatively small temperature windows and when they’re outside of their operating window they provide almost no adhesion or destroy themselves. In a racing environment this can lead to quite dangerous situations. The fact that teams are forced to use two different compounds that have significantly different operating windows means that they are much more likely to find themselves in such a situation.

        From a sporting perspective it greatly reduces the tactical choices teams can make because they always have to run both compounds.

    • Mike-e said on 11th February 2010, 1:29

      charles fox…… i think they call what you are suggesting…… rallying :)

  4. the super soft tyres improved the show last year! isnt that the point?

  5. rampante said on 10th February 2010, 19:50

    You can also question the commitment from Bridgestone due to the fact they are leaving at the end of the year. Can’t see the same level of development.

    • matt88 said on 10th February 2010, 20:05

      does anybody know who’s gonna replace Bridgestone?

      • Scribe said on 10th February 2010, 21:02

        no, and nobodys offering either. The FIA might have to take the plunge and drop the single tyre supplier rule to encourage buisness back to F1 Tyres.

        The thing is Bridgestone don’t make any money out of F1 and there not competing against anyone either. The don’t advertise themselves well enough either.

        I would love to see the tyre war back in F1. It would further shift the focus to mechanical grip an away from aero.

  6. basically, Bridgestone cannot bring medium and soft to Albert Park, and supersoft is tooo soft…

    but hard at a park is going to be too hard in my view….

    oh well

    • I agree, The hard is way too hard and the race is held 2 weeks later this year than last year which could see a big difference in track temperature (if you know Melbourne weather you’ll understand what I mean). Under this stupid tyre rule I would have stayed with last years specs.

  7. matt88 said on 10th February 2010, 20:03

    I’d give this rule another chance, in combination with refuelling ban maybe it can show more drivers’ skills in different car conditions.
    However, for me this F1, where rules are so tight, is destroying the importance of technological development: once a glimpse of engineering genius could make a constructor’s fortune, now it’s just matter of writing the rules and getting round them.
    All in the name of the show.

    • Scribe said on 10th February 2010, 21:04

      I’d be more happy with the rule if there wasn’t this stupid top ten qualifiers rule. Which is a complete fallacy when taken in combanation.

      Basically Ferrari will be able to start on the softs and everyone else will have to qualify on the hards.

      • matt88 said on 10th February 2010, 21:10

        I agree, that rule is foolish.

      • rampante said on 10th February 2010, 21:13

        How do you work out the Ferrari will be doing that? This is not a FIA conspiracy. It is a poor rule change and anyone in the top 10 are at a disadvantage.

        • Scribe said on 10th February 2010, 21:55

          I’m not saying it’s a FIA conspiracy. Last year Bridgestone said Ferrari could handle to softs best. An indeed Ferrari went soft several times when no one else did. Ferrari, as far as I can tell, for the last few years have unlocked the secret of preserving softs, particularly super softs.

          It’s something they’ve managed to do which few other have properly mastered. If it sounded bad it wasn;t ment to.

  8. seven89x said on 10th February 2010, 20:24

    The moruns at the FIA don’t even know what “the show” is.

  9. seven89x said on 10th February 2010, 20:30

    Why do people talk about improving the drivers’ skills?
    If F1 cars are relevant to road-cars (supercars, really), then why don’t F1 cars have traction-control and launch-control systems on-board? Most, if not all, supercars have such systems, yet F1 cars don’t. Did the idiots at the FIA think that that will increase the drivers’ skills? I’m no F1 driver, yet I’m willing to bet that driving such a monster at 220 MPH is no easy task, even if you have traction control on. Just wait until the engineers are going to get fed up with the insulting rules. The next generation of engineers might just choose to become rocket-scientists instead of working on F1 cars. That will lead to brain-drain, then the death of Formula One. The way the FIA manages F1 is an insult both to the drivers and the engineers.

    • matt90 said on 11th February 2010, 20:22

      It’s incredibly difficult to get into F1 because it is so competitive. I’m part of the next generation of engineers, and I see no sign of people being turned off F1.

  10. luigismen said on 10th February 2010, 20:35

    Can we all say one more time “Improve the show!” C’mon

  11. rampante said on 10th February 2010, 20:56

    @seven89x we had a period in F1 with active suspension, traction control, electronic dampening, fully automatic gears and launch control. Drivers had to hold on and nothing else. Teams mapped circuits and the car knew every lump and bump and the car matched the circuit. This was not racing. I may be old but there was something in F1 when an oil pressure gauge was more important the telemetry.Drivers drove cars and the race was won on the track.

  12. Welsh Chris said on 10th February 2010, 21:14

    I have to say that I’m old enough to agree with Rampante…

  13. bwells said on 10th February 2010, 21:58

    I’m happy to say that I third his comments… :)
    Did anybody else notice on the youtube testing video’s David Coulthard in the Red Bull pit’s in full Red Bull clothes.. what’s he up too… :)

  14. I’d like to see the end of spec tires, I have to say. Limit the dimensions and the number of sets per car per weekend, but otherwise, fill your boots. Assuming tire technology has not advanced sufficiently that a single set of tires can be concocted that will last a whole race and be faster than a guy who comes in for two new sets of softs, it should make for interesting racing.

  15. theRoswellite said on 10th February 2010, 23:04

    Rampante reigns!

    There is a scenario which would make today’s arrangement with Bridgestone seem like nirvana…

    Bridgestone drops out.
    No major tire supplier steps up to the plate.
    FIA, by default, allows teams to supply their own tires.
    Major teams induce major tire suppliers to support…just them.
    Good team with BEST tire wins championship. (I remember reading recently a comment to the effect that the most important single “element” on the car…was the tire)

    Impossible of course.

    • graigchq said on 11th February 2010, 0:58

      i agree, the controlling of tire compounds used by the teams is in place to stop the two-tier situation we had previously.

      At the moment, it’s development and money that seperates the ferrari’s from the force indias, and the rules on cost cutting are trying to narrow that down to the difference between Adrian Newey or Nick Wirth. A step in the right direction.

      Yes there should be more innovation in this area, and perhaps its Bridgestone’s fault for it, but allowing the top-spending teams to develop a compound or design that is grippier and lasts longer than anyone else basically rubbishes the whole sport.

      Either let the teams design cars completely contrainst free, or make sure every part of it is controlled.. you can’t have both, because money will buy the wins, and that’s not what its about.. good show or not.

      who will replace Bridgestone? i don’t know, but as long as the rules about tires are the same for every team, just like the dimensions of the front wing, the minimum ride-height and various other design constraints, we have a grid like last year where the difference between 1st and last is less than 2 seconds, which gives the drivers the ability to come good with less than perfect equipment and, combined with the efforts of their team within those constraints, gives us true world champion drivers AND teams.

      Let’s not forget, it’s not all about the driver, there are two world championships at stake each year, and money should not be able to buy either of them.

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