Tyre data after qualifying?
31st May 2012, 6:50 at 6:50 am #131475
I remember back in 2009 (Maybe it started in 2008 – I don’t quite remember) they published fuel weights of the Q3 cars. People would take away the minimum weight (which was 605kg back then) and then reverse-calculate how long each car could last before their first pitstops.
I’d love to see the same thing happen with tyres. See who’s got how many new/used primes/options. Better yet, also publish how many laps have been done on the Q3 qualifiers’ tyres31st May 2012, 7:51 at 7:51 am #202457
I’ve approached Pirelli about this a few times but they can’t publish the information before the race. Last time I was told:
Of course we have that kind of information but as you rightly point out it will allow to work out the race strategies, so unfortunately we cannot publish this information before the race.
It looks like the teams don’t want it getting out because it could hand a competitive advantage to their rivals.
However, some teams have members of staff monitoring what tyres their rivals have used to gather this information for themselves. So in all likelihood the top teams at least all have this information available already.
In which case, there probably isn’t much for them to lose by allowing Pirelli to publish it. I’m with @raymondu999 – I think they should release the information after qualifying.
Especially given that the teams’ argument against qualifying tyres is that it enhances the strategic options available to them before the race. That being so, and given the criticism of how little running some drivers do in qualifying, it would make sense for them to make the information available so we can understand what their strategic options are pre-race.
As you say, it’s analogous to when the starting fuel weights of cars weren’t being published after Q3, something they eventually changed (and then went one better and got rid of in-race refuelling and race-fuel qualifying, hooray!)31st May 2012, 8:01 at 8:01 am #202458
Indeed it is.
I’m not sure if it’s really that much of a hindrance to be honest. There have been teams (such as Mercedes in China) who have saved fresh sets of tyres during qualifying, only to not use them during the race. Likewise, there have been teams who in qualifying, have used all of their tyres up, but that hasn’t stopped them starting stints on them tyres anyways.
Unless a team is doing 3 or 4 separate runs all on the same tyre, and hence saving all of his other sets in the process, (and other teams thinking that those were all on different sets of tyres) I’m not sure it matters much that the tyre information gets out.31st May 2012, 8:10 at 8:10 am #202459
This idea occurred to me as soon as the Pirelli tyres were brought in. I remember writing a comment on a BBC Sport article saying that it can’t be right to lose the fuel weights and not gain the corresponding information on tyre choices and degradation. I’d like to see them published, because, as @keithcollantine says, the teams all monitor each others’ tyres to try and second-guess their strategies anyway, so the teams won’t be losing out, while the fans will be gaining. Or at least, the hardcore fans will. Most people won’t care, but that’s fine – it’s not hurting anyone :)31st May 2012, 8:26 at 8:26 am #202460
The problem with releasing the fuel weights in 2009 was that it let the teams know exactly what everyone else was doing – they knew exactly when their rivals would pit, and so they could calculate a target lap time. So long as their drivers consistently produced the target lap time, they didn’t have to worry about overtaking the cars in front; instead, they would build up enough of a lead to leap-frog them in the pits. The whole thing turned Formula 1 into a glorified series of time trials.
Releasing the tyre data means exactly the same thing. It is on a more complex level, because the wider range of variables means there are several permutations and combinations of strategies available, but the teams will quickly work out when their rivals are doing, then deduce a target lap time from it, and use that to gani positions by leapfrogging everyone else in the pits.31st May 2012, 8:41 at 8:41 am #202461
To be honest – whether or not you have new tyres doesn’t change the strategies you can do. It can only do that if some strategies are marginal (if, for example, a 2-stop could complete all but 3 of the race laps). Otherwise, really, it just changes the speed of your car while you’re doing the strategy.
In 2009 most teams just about pitted when they ran out (why pit any earlier?) It was an exact Science. In 2011/2012, that’s different – it just shows you who *might* have an advantage.
For example: (O/P = option/prime; U/N = used/new)
Rosberg had OU, ON, OU, PN, PN, PU in China. He still only used a 2 stop despite having 3 new sets of tyres.
Vettel had OU, OU, OU, PN, PU, PU in Bahrain. He still did 3 stops despite only having 1 new set.
The strategies will still be decided by the tyre management qualities of the car+driver package on the track, and the pace differential of each tyre.
Degradation is very difficult to measure without breaking a car apart. Wear is decidedly easier to measure. We don’t need data on that IMO – but at least they could tell us the range of tyres each driver has.
A driver with 6 new sets of old tyres, vs one who has 6 sets of new tyres, can both do the same strategy anyways. Back in31st May 2012, 20:23 at 8:23 pm #202462
@prisoner-monkeys As I said, all the front-running teams have access to this information anyway, so making it public would not make any difference in that respect.31st May 2012, 20:47 at 8:47 pm #202463
I’d also like to know in qualifying whether drivers are on used or new options. In some cases, it’s obvious, for instance for front runners who get everything right: 1 set of primes for Q1, 1 set of options for Q2, and 1 or 2 sets of options for Q3, depending on whether you want to save a set. Now though, with some front runners having to run the option in Q1, I would like to know if they re-use their tyres for a run in Q2, or Q3 even. Now, we have to rely on pit reporters who inevitably get it wrong sometimes.
If I recall correctly it was Ted Kravitz last year at the Japanese Grand Prix who claimed that Lewis Hamilton had gone out on used options for his first (and what later turned out to be only time-setting) run in Q3, so much was made of the fact that he started the race on tyres that had already done 5 laps, when in fact they hadn’t.1st June 2012, 1:53 at 1:53 am #202464
That’s difficult to communicate, @adrianmorse – I mean, how would you? Put up on the screen the number 2 to the right of Hamilton and Option? Or the “age” of said tyre? ie it clicks up for every lap the tyre’s done?1st June 2012, 5:10 at 5:10 am #202465
@raymondu, I hadn’t really thought about that, but if the information would at least be accessible to journalists, then they could report that information timely and accurately.12th June 2012, 5:11 at 5:11 am #202467
Have to say I have my doubts on how that would work. Has to be some sort of electronic data transfer, rather than manual/verbal. There are many more people in the pitlane than just Jennie Gow and Ted Kravitz
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