Bridgestone changes tyre choices for five rounds to produce more exciting races

Teams' tyre choices are set to get trickier

Teams' tyre choices are set to get trickier

Bridgestone has altered the choice of tyre compounds on offer for five forthcoming races on the F1 calendar.

The move is an attempt to re-create the conditions which produced an unpredictable and exciting race in Canada last week.

In the German Grand Prix drivers will have to use both the super-soft and hard tyres during the race for the first time ever.

It will also be the first time F1 has raced on the current configuration of the Hockenheim circuit using slick tyres.

Bridgestone has also changed its tyre allocation for the Hungarian, Belgian, Italian and Singapore Grands Prix compared to what were used last year.

At the Hungaroring the super-soft and medium tyres will be used instead of super-soft and soft compounds.

At Spa-Francorchamps and Monza Bridgestone will supply soft and hard tyres where last year soft and medium compounds were used.

And at Singapore the choice of tyres will be super-soft and medium – last year the teams had super-soft and soft tyres.

Bridgestone’s head of motorsport tyre development Hirohide Hamashima said:

The major interest of this allocation announcement is that we are bringing the hard and super soft compounds to Germany. The characteristics of the Hockenheim circuit allow us to bring the compounds from the extremes of our softness range.

This will give us very good data for evaluation and will be interesting for those who have called for a bigger difference between the allocated tyres.
Hirohide Hamashima

Complete 2010 F1 tyre allocations so far

Circuit 2010 tyres 2009 tyres
Bahrain Medium / Super Soft Medium / Super Soft
Albert Park Hard / Soft Medium / Super Soft
Sepang Hard / Soft Hard / Soft
Shanghai Hard / Soft Medium / Super soft
Barcelona Hard / Soft Hard / Soft
Monte-Carlo Medium / Super Soft Soft / Super soft
Istanbul Hard / Soft Hard / Soft
Montreal Medium / Super Soft N/A
Valencia Medium / Super Soft Soft / Super Soft
Silverstone Hard / Soft Hard / Soft
Hockenheimring Hard / Super-Soft N/A
Hungaroring Medium / Super-Soft Soft / Super-Soft
Spa-Francorchamps Hard / Soft Medium / Soft
Monza Hard / Soft Medium / Soft
Singapore Medium / Super-Soft Soft / Super-Soft

Allocations announced previously in italics

Do you think the change in tyre options will produce more exciting races? Is this a good move by Bridgestone? Have your say in the comments.

Read more: Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say

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66 comments on Bridgestone changes tyre choices for five rounds to produce more exciting races

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  1. Xanathos said on 21st June 2010, 14:29

    Interesting move by Bridgestone. Of course I hope it’ll produce more exciting races, but most likely it won’t change too much. I think that Montreal is just too much of an unique circuit to reproduce these conditions anywhere else. On the other hand, let’s hope that it won’t backfire and we have some farcial race.
    But let’s be optimistic for now ;)

  2. mateuss (@mateuss) said on 21st June 2010, 14:34

    Well reproducing Canada would be difficult, but the most important thing is to change the ’15 / 50 lap’ strategy for some more variations.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2010, 14:40

    I find the remark from Hirohide Hamashima about the choice for Hockenheim giving them good data for evaluation interesting.
    As Bridgestone does not plan to be in F1 for the next couple of years, what would they want to evaluate? Is it possible, they think about doing the same combination for Spa, Monza or Singapore?

    Or just for the rest of the races that do not yet have the tyre choice announced?

    • bosyber said on 21st June 2010, 15:38

      I read it as allowing them to evaluate how this new strategy with the tires works, so they can make a final decision for the other races of the season.

  4. DaveW said on 21st June 2010, 14:40

    Boo. Contriving a race with an expressly lousy tire that everyone must use once is not improving the racing. Do we really want a tire that lasts for 7 laps? Are we now having to force-feed “strategy” into the races to fend off processions and “passes in the pits” notwithstanding the refueling ban?

    • bosyber said on 21st June 2010, 15:46

      But that is the whole idea of having a step between the compounds, isn’t it? I find it unlikely that Bridgestone would stop that after seeing it finally, sort of, have an effect in Montreal!

      The best we can hope is that the softer compound will be so much faster that it is a viable strategy to use it for possibly two stints, but still a risky one because the compound does not last very long. Then we might again see different tire choices.

      The fact that Valencia will likely have little overtaking means teams do want to gain places with tire stops though.

      • Mike said on 22nd June 2010, 7:57

        If they got rid of the rule for a mandatory pit stop we might get a race between the stoppers and the non stoppers.

        Of course, in Valencia, It would backfire.

  5. Henry said on 21st June 2010, 14:48

    Surely they could not use the soft and supersoft at Hungaroring because of the regulations specifying that they use two compounds that are not sequential in durability/hardness, i.e. there was meant to be a gap? Or am I getting confused? Lets hope it brings some interesting strategy choices, could be interesting, could be a failure!

  6. William Wilgus said on 21st June 2010, 14:50

    I agree with DaveW, but will go further: It makes no sense to me to force teams to use two different tire compounds during a race. What’s the purpose?

    • roberttty said on 21st June 2010, 14:57

      Great to see Bridgestone changing the compounds for Singapore/

      I believe 2009 saw the prime performing better than the option?

      • bennie said on 21st June 2010, 15:59

        I believe the whole idea with two tire choices is so people still mention the tire manufacturer, ie advertising.

        There is a standard fuel provider in F1, but I doubt many people know who it is?
        Now if you brought pack refueling and said everyone has to do two stints on different fuel mixtures, we would all know the fuel provider.

    • sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 21st June 2010, 17:53

      completely agree here. This is a great move by bridgestone and i’ve been an advocate of increasing the marginality between tyres and getting rid of the compulsory pitstop. This way, some will run on the hard tyre all race and then suddenly come into contention right at the end. Here’s hoping

      • DaveW said on 21st June 2010, 19:58

        Exactly. We have lost the plot on the tires. Remember that a key supposed benefit of the refueling ban was exactly this scenario. Instead, we have the same strategic structure as we had with refueling, and likewise we have teams covering each other in terms of stopping points just as before. And, oh noes, passing in the pits. What Bridgestone need to do is bring tires that theorectically allow different numbers of stops potentially to be similarly competitive over a race distance. They still haven’t done it. They are focused on the scenario where car A zings by car B—because for some reason car B is on the wrong tire at the wrong time in the race. Until they do, refueling-ban racing is just a shadow of the preceding format.

  7. PJA said on 21st June 2010, 14:56

    I think that a bigger difference between the tyre allocation in itself won’t necessarily improve the racing I think the key will be that if the cars can’t make one set of tyres last so long.

    If one set of tyres only lasts 10 laps but the other set could last all the race, then it will be the same situation we have had already this season.

  8. sato113 (@sato113) said on 21st June 2010, 15:07

    great for hockenheim having a massive difference in tyres but why not apply this to ALL of the remaining tracks? instead of having super-softs and mediums for Hungary, why not have super-softs and hards???!!!

    bridgestone say it’s because they need softer tyres for the low grip track but surely the point is to have a poor tyre compound for the race (ie. bring the hards!).

  9. sportsman (@sportsman) said on 21st June 2010, 15:08

    Makes no sense at all to me.Just a contrived means to “improve the show” nothing to do with racing at all.
    You cannot reproduce the the Canadian race spectactular artificially.
    It was not only tyres that produced that.The track,ambient temperature changes from day to day,teams strategies failing, or working in that particular race.

  10. Adrian said on 21st June 2010, 15:08

    I can’t see how this will create more variety in strategy, surely all the teams will still do more or less the same thing???

    What Montreal really proved is that we need tires that aren’t as grippy as the current spec tires…

  11. Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 15:33

    Given that we already knew about the other four races, the only race in which there’s a Canada-esque reaction is Hockenheim. But it will be interesting to see how the strategy plays out there.

    Having said that, I agree with sato113 above – if you can go two compounds apart for Hockenheim why not elsewhere, and why does it matter if hards don’t suit at Hungaroring, surely that’s the point…?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 21st June 2010, 22:51

      Given that we already knew about the other four races

      The Hungary, Belgium, Italy and Singapore compounds had been announced earlier?

      • Robert McKay said on 21st June 2010, 23:21

        No, you’re right Keith, they weren’t. Apologies.

        For some reason it just seemed in my head like that had already been said :-D

    • sato113 (@sato113) said on 22nd June 2010, 1:27

      cheers! yeah that should be the point- having as big a compound gap as possible and a tyre that doesn’t work well at all. are bridgestone just plain silly? or am i missing something here.

  12. SoLiDG (@solidg) said on 21st June 2010, 15:47

    I doubt if this will help for better racing.
    The problem in Canada was the graining and the tarmac.
    When this isn’t so much the case, I think most will have the same tactics and no big differences will be made.

  13. Tomás said on 21st June 2010, 15:49

    I think we’ll have more emotion. However, it is as some reports say up there, I do not understand why this measure has to be taken in all the remaining races.
    Hockenheim will have some effect this, the room temperature is also variable;. In Canada it was one of the things that gave the hint of excitement in the race last week.

    But also there is the question of whether all strategies in normal races are equal, as Adrian said.

    I think Bridgestone really want is that tires deteriorate more quickly, to have more wear, more stops, most unexpected things.
    And I think she will accomplish this.

  14. bosyber said on 21st June 2010, 15:54

    There has been complaining about the tires being too suited to the tracks, effectively, since the start of the year, which resulted in all teams using the same strategy.

    Now Bridgestone are trying to change that a bit and people talk of artificially spicing up the show. Since that was really the only point of those two tire compounds, to get people to notice tires making a difference, I would say that is irrelevant: until now the artifice was there, but it did nothing to improve the show. Now it might finally have some effect, making it have a point.

    I am looking forward to see how that post-German GP evaluation turns out for Bridgestone. And I hope that if it did not work they will decide to just take one compound to each of the rest of the races :)

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st June 2010, 15:59

      maybe they will do the same next year, bring only one compound of tyre to all races.

      It sure saves everyone the trouble of analysing which tyre to use each weekend and saves on development cost. I am sure the teams would disagree though.

  15. matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2010, 16:05

    Surely all we’ll see will be qualifying on the softer option, then racing with the harder tyre to the finish. I know more races should be like Canada, but the idea of manipulating the tyres in a desperate attempt to recreate that doesn’t seem quite right to me. Plus, if they really wanted to make a difference they should surely just take the softest 2 compounds to each race.

    • Ral said on 21st June 2010, 17:30

      They still have to bring tyres that are safe to use. Witness the Michelin-Indianapalis debacle.

      I don’t see what all the fuss is about. If Bridgestone can do this and still keep the drivers safe, then why not? It’s no more artificial than regulating aero, how wide and high the wings can be or whether or not you can use a double diffuser or KERS etc. etc.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 21st June 2010, 19:45

        I think it’s different because aero rules apply to all the cars the same, whereas the tyres create more artificial-looking racing by trying to force competing cars onto tyres that are very different.

        I suppose if it does work without always being too large a focus of a race, then it’s fine. But I just don’t think it should be solely relied upon to spice up racing.

        • Ral said on 21st June 2010, 23:56

          It’s still the same for everybody. Everybody has to use the two compounds at least once during the race. How or when is up to the individual teams/drivers.

          I think all the teams should be free to get their FIA approved tyres from whoever they want. Two different compounds per manufacturer per race and let the chips fall where they may. Why should the tyres be the same for everyone? All the other components of the car are different per team, why not the tyres?

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 22nd June 2010, 1:46

            I know it’s the same for each team, but it’s done partly in the hope that different teams use different strategies so that cars end up on radically different tires at the same stage of the race- like Red Bull vs McLaren at the start of Canada. So although the rule fundamentally applies the same to all teams, it tries to set up conditions where teams are running very different packages as certain stages of the race. In this respect it isn’t similar to aero regulations which stay consistent for all teams throughout the race. It’s trying to create those conditions with the cars running differently which seems wrong to me. I’m all for it happening normally, but not when its been too massively manipulated.

            There have been a few articles on here about why a tyre war might be bad for F1. In principle I like the idea of teams choosing their own tyre, but I don’t think it would be very beneficial for F1.

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