Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tire Rules: Handicapping The Successful

The Formula 1 Commission is expected to rubber stamp the proposed new tire rules for 2010:

Teams agree new tyre rule for 2010
[...] It is understood that the majority of teams present voted in favour of a rule that will require the top 10 cars that make it through to the final session of qualifying to start the race on the same tyres that they set their fastest Q3 time on. [...]
This means that there are now tactical considerations for Q3. Do you charge hard for grid position? Or do you try to conserve the tires so you can go deeper before having to make a stop to change them? Or do you run the harder compound, compromising your potential Q3 time, so that you can go deeper in the race?

And what happens if someone sets a fast time, then has an off and ends up with a puncture? Knowing of course that the line between "oops, I have a flat tire" and "oops, I've broken two corners off the car" is very fine. But mark my words, the situation will come up. And then the team will use the Sporting Regulations which require the teams to not field dangerous cars as a get-out-of-stupid-tire-regulations-free card.

The whole point of getting rid of fuel strategy was to make Q3 the go-fastest, no-excuses, one-lap-here-I-come-momma session of the weekend.

And now that's been compromised in the interest of the 'show'.