Teams to test development tyres on Fridays

2011 F1 rules

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Barcelona, 2011

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Barcelona, 2011

F1 teams will be able to test extra development tyres supplied by Pirelli on the Friday of race weekends.

Amendments to the Sporting Regulations agreed today by the FIA World Motor Sport Council will allow Pirelli to supply an extra specification of tyres for use on Friday only.

There had been concerns that increased tyre wear would prompt teams to do less running in practice to save their tyres. The move will also allow Pirelli to develop new tyre compounds.

An FIA statement said:

“At certain events, one additional specification of dry weather tyre may be made available to all teams for evaluation purposes. Teams will be informed about such an additional specification at least one week before the start of the relevant event. Two sets of these tyres will be allocated to each driver for use during P1 and P2, and any such tyres must be returned to the tyre supplier before the start of P3.

“One additional set of ??prime? specification tyres may be made available to all drivers. Teams will be informed about such an additional set at least one week before the start of the relevant event. In this instance, the additional set will be available for use during P1 and P2. One set of ??prime? tyres must then be returned to the tyre supplier after P1, and two further sets of ??prime? and one set of ??option? specification tyres returned before the start of P3.”

A further change to the safety car rules were also announced:

“The safety car speed limit (an approximate 40% decrease in lap time) will now be enforced over two laps instead of one. The purpose is to ensure that cars are driven at a safe speed until they reach the safety car.

“During a safety car period the pit exit light will remain green for the duration, unless the race is subsequently suspended.

“Other than when the safety car has been asked to use the pit lane, no car may enter the pits while the safety car is deployed unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.”

The FIA also announced the Circuits Commission will “[examine] Grand Prix Circuits to identify the possibility of increasing the opportunities for overtaking.”

And they revealed a new series of measures to recognise the work of volunteer marshals including a special pit-lane visit for them: “[The]FIA and the F1 commercial promoter have agreed to permit marshals at this year?s Grand Prix to have their own pit lane walkabout as a message of thank you for their vital role.”

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35 comments on Teams to test development tyres on Fridays

  1. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th March 2011, 14:48

    I can hardly believe that the FIA decided it was necessary to amend the Safety Car rules, but didn’t ban pitstops as soon as the SC comes out.

    This is a dangerous rule, as we saw at Valencia 2010 that cars will still race back to the pits regardless of penalties or the rules. If there was no pitting, there would be no need to rush back to the pits. This potentially means drivers speed past marshalls on the track or the scene of an accident.

    We also have seen at Singapore 2008 and Hungary 2010 there are potential dangers of everyone pitting at the same time (added pressure leading to mistakes, wheels bouncing down the pitlane and crashes). With more stops expected in 2011, as soon as the SC is called, the whole field will probably file into the pits.

    And apart from the safety aspects, leaving the pitlane open creates artificial results, like at Valencia 2010 for example.

    • I completely agree. It’s the daftest and most dangerous rule in place.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 8th March 2011, 21:37

        Yep. That’s one that HAS to change eventually. The results become way to random and left to fate (look what happened to Schumacher in Valencia), not to mention the added danger.

    • OEL said on 8th March 2011, 17:09

      Couldn’t agree more. I don’t understand why they don’t take the 2008 rule back now the risk of running out of fuel is gone.

      • Daniel said on 20th March 2011, 10:45

        So what if the Safety car comes out becuase of heavy rain? With what you propose they will all be circulating on what they were using prior to the SC being deployed. If some cars are stuck on slicks that could be a disaster if the rain gets even heavier, or if they are released on cold slicks, or if their wets wear out while circulating under SC.

    • Feynman said on 8th March 2011, 17:45

      Cars don’t “race back to the pits”, they all drive back to the pits at the same reduced speed, to meet their mandated FIA target lap-time displayed on-board.

      Valencia was a problem because some cars were only meters from the pit entry and would have literally had to have stopped ontrack to make the calculated time. The procedure and calculation was revised soon after.

      But I do agree about the unbridled chaos of SafetyCar pitstops, there is a very, very unpleasant accident absolutely just waiting to happen to some vulnerable and unprotected mechanics. It’s in the post.
      With no refuelling, the pits could easily be closed until the track goes green again. Anyone that needs to repair punctures or broken wings could still pit when the SC is ontrack, but would be required to serve a drive through once the race restarts.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 8th March 2011, 21:39

        But I do agree about the unbridled chaos of SafetyCar pitstops, there is a very, very unpleasant accident absolutely just waiting to happen to some vulnerable and unprotected mechanics.

        It already has, Hungary 2010. We’re just lucky the mechanic wasn’t injured worse.

        • Feynman said on 8th March 2011, 23:02

          No, I’d argue all the close calls are just incrementally piling-up ready for everyone to look real sheepish and dopey and wonder ‘how did that happen?’ when something brutal inevitably does occur. Two cars colliding and one going sideways through a squad of exposed mechanics will be a mess.

          Even if they don’t want to close the pitlane, they should ban teams stacking cars, one car in the pitlane at time.
          There isn’t enough room, and cars don’t have enough steering-lock to get in and out with other team’s cars parked in front, they are having to powerslide it sideways to get out their pitbox we don’t need that … plus all the additional confusion, clutter of extra wheel sets, and lack of proper reset opportunity for the mechanic’s situational awareness, makes the whole thing an accident in waiting.

          I probably wouldn’t mind seeing a short barrier behind the outside mechanics to cover their backs, in that painted strip they currently sell for advertising. Cars can still get in and out of garages, and can still pit, but would give the guys some semblance of protection from hard heavy cars racing each other right behind their legs and ankles.

      • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 9th March 2011, 8:32

        Here’s a quote from Liuzzi after Valencia:

        When the safety car light started flashing on my steering wheel I was about three or four corners away from the pit entry and I immediately backed off. But as I lifted everybody in front of me kept pushing and, because we were all in a train of cars, I picked up my pace again. I knew I was in a bad position already and didn’t want to be screwed over even more by falling behind the pack.

        So some drivers definitely were racing back to the pits.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 8th March 2011, 19:34

      They got me baffled here. When I first read it, I thought it bans stopping under SC. Instead it bannes only stopping for repairs, but alows stops for tyres!
      Where’s the logic in that? Or did I misunderstand this.

  2. Icthyes said on 8th March 2011, 15:22

    I agree, go back to the “no pitting” rule. I would also like to see the “no serving penalties under the SC” rule removed.

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th March 2011, 15:43

      I disagree with the second part, if you have a penalty, you have broken the rules in some way, so I don’t think you should get any concessions like that, which could allow a driver to get a ‘free penalty’.

      • OEL said on 8th March 2011, 17:14

        Well, I wouldn’t call it free, because pitting when everyone are so close will probably still put you at the rear of the field, so it would only be free if the driver in question would already be at the rear end. Still, I agree with you with on that rule should remain, while the 2008 “no pitting” rule should come back.

  3. KarlJMalone said on 8th March 2011, 15:42

    I agree with ed24f1.

    On another note, are top ten cars still being forced to use the same set of tyres they qualified on? Given that in order to get fast times during Q3 means using the Super Soft or Soft tyres, the fact that they only last a handful of laps might prevent teams from actually trying to set a good time in Q3. For example, if Ferrari, Red Bull say, lets not bother with Q3 and wait for cars to come in really early because their tyres are already spent, that will effectivly allow them to leap frog the pole setter really early in the race…

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 9th March 2011, 8:34

      Yes, that rule is still in place, so it could open up some interesting qualifying strategies.

      Maybe some teams will send one driver to qualify on softs, and the other on hards, or something like that.

      Pirelli may decide not to use the Super Soft tyres at any races though.

  4. topdowntoedown (@topdowntoedown) said on 8th March 2011, 15:53

    “Other than when the safety car has been asked to use the pit lane, no car may enter the pits while the safety car is deployed unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.”

    So what happens in the event of a driver requiring a new nose?

    • I thought the same. What if they need to retire too?

    • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th March 2011, 16:12

      I think if a car has damage it can pit, but it should be held at the pit exit until every car has gone past.

      If not, drivers will still have to potentially race back to the pits to avoid being overtaken by the car coming out of the pits.

      • VXR said on 8th March 2011, 16:23

        Could be a good idea to change tyres while the nose is being replaced?

        • VXR said on 8th March 2011, 16:28

          And you need only change one as long as it’s like for like.

        • ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 8th March 2011, 16:30

          I think that would have to be banned, unless there was a puncture.

          Obviously there is a chance some teams would try to exploit this by intentionally running over debris or something like that, but the stewards should be able to control that.

  5. Pingguest said on 8th March 2011, 16:08

    In other words: repairments are no longer allowed during a neutralisation.

  6. Fixy (@fixy) said on 8th March 2011, 16:37

    “Other than when the safety car has been asked to use the pit lane, no car may enter the pits while the safety car is deployed unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.”

    If this happens during the start of a race when a car is damaged, it can enter the pit lane and change tyres to options during the SC, then exit and once the SC has re-entered the pits he can do that pit stop to repair his car but also change tyres back to primes for example and go all the race long.

  7. Other than when the safety car has been asked to use the pit lane, no car may enter the pits while the safety car is deployed unless it is for the purpose of changing tyres.

    This would be a better rule.

  8. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 8th March 2011, 18:21

    Not sure they have closed all the SC loopholes while adding more text to that bit, guess we will see.

    But the decision to give race marshals a pit lane walkabout is a very welcome one, and should have been in place ages ago already. A very good way to show that you appreciate the hard work and enthusiasm of the marshals, and it might even further encourage new people taking up the job.

  9. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 8th March 2011, 19:31

    Well after all I have a radical proposition.

    Just set a speed limit to the – quite extended – area of the accident, and leave out all the rest. No SC, no limit on other parts.

    Speed limit should be very very slow at that part though to allow the marshalls and the ambulance to do their job. Like a pit speed limiter but even slower.

  10. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 8th March 2011, 19:58

    Given that the teams are already a bit nervous about the tyres will they even bother with this test compound knowing they only have limited time to gather data on tyres they can actually run in the race?

    Nice idea for the marshalls. We met a great one last year :D

    • VXR said on 8th March 2011, 20:31

      Given that the teams are already a bit nervous about the tyres will they even bother with this test compound knowing they only have limited time to gather data on tyres they can actually run in the race?

      The teams may find themselves having run much less mileage on the tyres that they are normally allowed to use over a race weekend. So it may be of use to them to try out a new compound that may actually suit their car better.

    • Oliver said on 9th March 2011, 2:37

      Not only the tyres, how about the engines. As far as I’m concerned, this extended testing doesn’t benefit the teams in anyway. Testing the tyres doesn’t even guarantee it will ever be used.

  11. Stephen Jones (@aus_steve) said on 9th March 2011, 0:39

    i’m guessing the new SC rule is to avoid things like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh0WP1fej78

  12. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 9th March 2011, 2:10

    Should make both teams & Tyres happy, each will have more time learning each other.

  13. Oliver said on 9th March 2011, 2:49

    Like it or not,,,,, teams will have to stack tier drivers during pit stops. Current F1 regulations do not allow for teams to have different strategies for each car, especially now that we have no refueling.
    There no perfect solution to safety car regulations, just rhe best compromise.
    Wether we like it or not, all the cars on track may have a need to pit at the same moment.
    You cant prevent it wothout favouring one driver over the other.

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