tyres ....are they too big an influence on results ?

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Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 2:11 pm

I think we are all aware that tyres have been a major factor in deciding the recipient of the championships for many years now .....bridgestone's ferrari specific design and michelin's renault specific being the glaring examples ; ross brawn equates the influence of tyres to that of the driver or the chassis , and I bow to his superior knowledge

so I did hope that with the introduction of a one make championship this factor would disappear ...and the slight shortening of the ferrari chassis and opposite on McLaren suggested that this would occur , although it would be too much to expect bridgestone to change their design completely in one leap

but although the one make position is now well established , there is still no equality between the teams as regards the suitability of the tyres ; hence tyres remain an influence on not only what car wins , but also on which driver in the team

for example
if you listen to the renault podcast post germany , you will hear that alonso spent the weekend whinging about lack of traction ; question from interviwer ...so you have a traction problem ? response ... no , but he does ! yet his team mate managed a one stopper

in hungary kimi was unhappy on the main tyre , but on the options fastest on the track

when temperatures are moderate hamilton is really fast , but in the hotter temperatures the ferrari's seem faster due to better tyre usage [ I read heikki also gets problems ]


so it seems to me that tyres are still too big an influence on results

solution ? wets as before , but perhaps the tyre manufacturer should produce ,say, 5 standard tyres ready for pre-season testing , and they should be approved by the FIA for the entire season after consultations with the teams ... each driver then selects what he wants for a given race or, if use of 2 tyres is demanded , 2 tyres [ can't remember why it was decided to use 2 tyres per race ]; also all tyres should be able to last half the race distance as a safety factor

personally I think it wrong that kart style drivers like alonso or hamilton should be disadvantaged compared to smoother styles like button or trulli ...or vice versa ...I like to see both !
I don't say that my suggestion is the best , but surely there is a better system than the one that exists ? I want to see the best driver/car combination winning !!
to the optimist a glass is half full ; to the pessimist a glass is half empty ; to the F1 engineer the glass is twice as big as it needs to be
lebesset
 
Joined: 6 Aug 2008

Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:43 pm

Tire usage is, and will continue to be, a huge influence on results. That's called racing.

Having massive quantities of just 5 different tire codes doesn't make sense. Each race track is going to demand different constructions (from loading, speeds, etc), and each track will have a handful of compounds that would be appropriate. If you did try on just having 5 generic codes, you'd be giving up grip everywhere and drivers would bitch.

Bridgestone's got it fine just how it is.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 5:55 pm

As the only part of the car that actually has any contact with the tarmac, of course they are going to be the biggest bearing on overall grip. That's just how cars work. This cannot be changed. Right now, things are as close as they've ever been with Bridgestone bringing two compounds that they have analysed to be best suited to that surface. Other than that, there isn't much more that can be done.

Personally, I do not like these last two season's tyres as they are control tyres - not the pinnacle of their respective technologies.
Image
'10-'11 Head of Powertrain - Glasgow University Formula Student
Scotracer
 
Joined: 22 Apr 2008
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Post Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:02 pm

tyres are only one of the finite resources that a team has to extract the maximum benefit from, oil only lubricates so much, water only cools so much, petrol only provides so much power, air is only so dense, even gravity only provides so much much weight, etc

it is the development of the extraction of these finite resources that make the sport (if it is in fact a sport and not a science contest) interesting
..?
nae
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:25 am

perhaps I don't make my point clearly
as things stand , the tyre manufacturer can choose tyres for a race which favour one team over another ; no way is that acceptable in my view

already this season we have have a position where a driver has had to 3 stop purely because the tyres chosen by bridgestone would no support the orthodox 2 stop

nothing to stop tyre development continuing as fast as possible ....just like engines: and new engines are already introduceable at intervals...what's the difference ?
to the optimist a glass is half full ; to the pessimist a glass is half empty ; to the F1 engineer the glass is twice as big as it needs to be
lebesset
 
Joined: 6 Aug 2008

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:31 am

you mean one driver that uses his tyres in a different way, his team mate seemed to do fine on them
..?
nae
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:48 am

Bridgestone have provided these exact same tyres for two year now, their derivatives were also used in 2005.

I find it hard to blame Bridgestone for the teams and drivers in ability to adapt the can't make best use of them in all conditions. It is true the current tyres have an odd balance where the rear construction is weaker than the front leading to all this oversteer and forward weight bias. But this was clear to the teams in testing way back in the winter of 2006 and data provided before that.

Its probably more symptomatic of the fact that the teams have differign apporaches, some work in certain condition and some in others. At least that was we have some difference in performance between the teams at different races. If one team had a faster car and everyone used the tyres in the same way we would see dominance from that team, the situation everyone wanted to get away from with these rules.

Just enyoy the racing and the diversity, I cant see a better solution.
scarbs
 
Joined: 8 Oct 2003
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:48 pm

scarbs wrote:Bridgestone have provided these exact same tyres for two year now, their derivatives were also used in 2005.

I find it hard to blame Bridgestone for the teams and drivers in ability to adapt the can't make best use of them in all conditions. It is true the current tyres have an odd balance where the rear construction is weaker than the front leading to all this oversteer and forward weight bias. But this was clear to the teams in testing way back in the winter of 2006 and data provided before that.

Its probably more symptomatic of the fact that the teams have differign apporaches, some work in certain condition and some in others. At least that was we have some difference in performance between the teams at different races. If one team had a faster car and everyone used the tyres in the same way we would see dominance from that team, the situation everyone wanted to get away from with these rules.

Just enyoy the racing and the diversity, I cant see a better solution.


Scarbs, can you clarify the bold part of your statement? Are you saying that the rear tyres are not as durable as the fronts?

Chris
Conceptual
 
Joined: 15 Nov 2007

Post Thu Aug 07, 2008 4:21 pm

Conceptual wrote:
scarbs wrote:It is true the current tyres have an odd balance where the rear construction is weaker than the front leading to all this oversteer and forward weight bias.


Scarbs, can you clarify the bold part of your statement? Are you saying that the rear tyres are not as durable as the fronts?

Chris


Quite simply the the tyres developed and introduced to F1 last year were very different between the front and rears. the front has very stiff contruction while the rear was weaker. This was well debated last year and I had quotes from the various tech directors as to what the problem was.

The problems teams soon found in early testing that if to much load was put on the rear tyres they got overworked, leadign to wear, traction loss and oversteer. Where as the front could take a lot more load, but the stiffer fronts introduced some handling quirks. Where they needed to be progressively loaded, not a sudden snap turn-in or else they gave up their grip leading to understeer.
This caught out teams and drivers alike. Teams needed more front weight bias and by implication more front aero. Drivers had to soften the turn in phase, drivers like Alonso could not simply snap the steering going into a turn or else they'd get understeer. One of the gains Hamilton had over Alonso was his suitability to the tyres, he liked the oversteer the rear tyres provided and thus didnt rely on agressive corner entry. Alonso was of course the opposite.
scarbs
 
Joined: 8 Oct 2003
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Post Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:04 pm

scarbs wrote:
Conceptual wrote:
scarbs wrote:It is true the current tyres have an odd balance where the rear construction is weaker than the front leading to all this oversteer and forward weight bias.


Scarbs, can you clarify the bold part of your statement? Are you saying that the rear tyres are not as durable as the fronts?

Chris


Quite simply the the tyres developed and introduced to F1 last year were very different between the front and rears. the front has very stiff contruction while the rear was weaker. This was well debated last year and I had quotes from the various tech directors as to what the problem was.

The problems teams soon found in early testing that if to much load was put on the rear tyres they got overworked, leadign to wear, traction loss and oversteer. Where as the front could take a lot more load, but the stiffer fronts introduced some handling quirks. Where they needed to be progressively loaded, not a sudden snap turn-in or else they gave up their grip leading to understeer.
This caught out teams and drivers alike. Teams needed more front weight bias and by implication more front aero. Drivers had to soften the turn in phase, drivers like Alonso could not simply snap the steering going into a turn or else they'd get understeer. One of the gains Hamilton had over Alonso was his suitability to the tyres, he liked the oversteer the rear tyres provided and thus didnt rely on agressive corner entry. Alonso was of course the opposite.


Very interesting, but what would stop a team from reversing the tyre placement? Or even running 4 "front" tyres...

I find it incredibly odd that the tyres are different construction front-to-rear. If the end of the tyre war was to reduce development costs, you would think that BS would have gone with a single tyre for all 4 corners of the car.

I wonder if the difference is based upon how much suspension movement the front or rear need. If the sidewall does a large chunk of the movement, I guess it would make sense to have different sidewalls front-to-rear.

And that would also mean that Bridgestone actually makes 8 types of tyre for the 2008 F1 Championship. Super-soft, soft, medium, hard and each with a front and rear distinction.

Way crazy!

Chris
Conceptual
 
Joined: 15 Nov 2007

Post Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:24 pm

The rules demand that the tyres for each axle (front\rear) are a specific size, thus they cannot be swapped

If you think of the demands of a front and a rear tyre they are very different, the front has to steer and take a lot more of the braking force, where the rear are unsteered and take all of the tractive force. Their demands are almost complete opposites, it would not make an effective tyre to have one construction do both, not to mention the front and rear are different widths. Certainly the suspension travel front and rear is different (~50% more at the rear), but I am not sure what difference the vertical sidewall stiffness (hence 'tyre' suspension travel) there are between contructions.
scarbs
 
Joined: 8 Oct 2003
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 6:09 am

Rear tires steer just as much as the front... That said, front to rear construction will be very different. Has been that way for every F1 tire manufacturer for a long, long time. In general the rears will have to be a little more compliant to get a bigger footprint (think - more like a drag tire) and be able to put all that torque down out of low speed corners. In addition, the construction at Monza is probably significantly different than Monaco.

Same holds true in Nascar, but Goodyear runs different constructions Left vs Right, and track to track.

Firestone in IRL may even run a different construction at each corner of the car!

Bridgestone I would imagine develops tires around the best teams, and best drivers. It only makes sense. Best teams are going to have the best simulation and load prediction, data acquisition, aero info, etc etc. In addition, those drivers are going to work the tires the most, so from a durability standpoint Bridgestone has to design around the guys who are going to put down the fastest laps.

That said, the difference between a tire that would work the best for Schumacher, vs the tire that would work the best for Bourdais.. is likely very small.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:45 am

as alice said .....curiouser and curiouser

if bridgestone has a range of tyres for the season , how come the teams cannot choose which two they want for a particular race ?

if the current tyres suit ham better than alonso how come it is ham that is said to be so hard on his tyres that he gets punctures etc ...note that in the renault pod cast the engineers comment on how well ham looks after his tyres



note that bridgestone have changed the spec for brazil to harder tyres this year ;last years were too soft for McLaren perhaps ?

the point for me is that we are arriving at a point where the cars are going have to be developed to suit whatever tyre bridgestone cares to present , and for every tyre there will be an optimum car design and driving style ....not want I want to see ; this is the wrong way round

the way we are heading F1 will end up a one design formula ....because there will only be one solution if you want to be successful ; and one driving style to go with it

is this want everyone wants to see?
to the optimist a glass is half full ; to the pessimist a glass is half empty ; to the F1 engineer the glass is twice as big as it needs to be
lebesset
 
Joined: 6 Aug 2008

Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:47 pm

if bridgestone has a range of tyres for the season , how come the teams cannot choose which two they want for a particular race ?


Logistics.
Enzo Ferrari was a great man. But he was not a good man. -- Phil Hill
donskar
 
Joined: 3 Feb 2007
Location: Texas, USA

Post Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:31 pm

donskar wrote:
if bridgestone has a range of tyres for the season , how come the teams cannot choose which two they want for a particular race ?


Logistics.


Yes. That is why Michelin declined to be the sole supplier, because without a tyre war, the cost of doing such a thing becomes unnecessary, as does the technical development.

In a way, Bridgestone are simply promoting their Brand with a so-so control tyre that does only have ONE perfect solution per track without actually having to work to make them any better. HUGE worldwide exposure, 1/10th the cost.

Yes. It is the logistics of making more money than before. And the shareholders want MOREMOREMORE!

Chris
Conceptual
 
Joined: 15 Nov 2007

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