Michael says F1 should copy Champ Car rule
Williams technical director Sam Michael says that F1 should copy Champ Car's red-tire rule requiring cars to use two tire compounds in the course of each race and the softer compound to be marked with red sidewalls.
The rule is intended to spice up the racing by introducing an extra variable as Formula 1 moves to a monopoly tire supply situation this season.
But several drivers have claimed that it is pointless because all teams will adopt similar tactics – using the softer (and theoretically faster) compound for the majority of the race and saving the hard one for a short stint at the end, when the cars tend to be more strung out and there are fewer passing opportunities.
But speaking at last Friday’s Williams launch Michael took issue with that view, claiming that there will be plenty of scope for teams to pursue different options.
“I don’t think everyone is doing to do exactly the same thing,” he said. don’t know where that idea has come from because there will definitely be different philosophies out there.
“You could do short first stints on soft tires, or you could do them at the end.
“If you have a very ‘green’ track then you will almost certainly want to start on a hard tire because the soft tire will grain, but by the end of the race the soft tire will be good.
“You might start off thinking you are going to run two sets of hard tires and then a soft, but if the track comes in really well then you might decide you will run the soft in the middle.
“So it will be varied to be honest, and it will change from team to team.”
“It all came about because Bridgestone wanted people to talk about tires,” he said.
“They said if everyone was on the same tire for the whole race then no one is going to be talking about Bridgestone at all.
“It seems to work OK in Champ Car, and I think it is fine.
“It [adds] another small element to the show.” had been mooted that Bridgestone would paint the sidewall of the softer ‘option’ tire red to enable spectators to differentiate it from the harder compound – a practice that has proved effective and popular in Champ Cars.
But it is understood that some F1 teams objected to this idea because it would expose their race strategy in advance, and it now appears unlikely that ‘red tires’ will be introduced.
Michael, however, said he personally would welcome the change.
“I have got no problem with that, the more info for the fans the better,” he said.
“We will know which tires rivals are on anyway, because we have spotters in the pit lane, so if it is all published then we can save another position. It will save us a lot of work.”