bill shoe wrote:Tires are the most advanced component in F1. They are also safety-critical components (unlike engines for example) which makes tire supply even more difficult.....
...Don't tell me the Pirelli tires had this and that problem with wear or handling. Those tires were perfectly drivable, reliable and safe.
If Dunlop was to launch pneumatic tyres for the first time on a (solid tyre) world today, health & safety would have none of it, they would clearly be too dangerous.
One property that race drivers really like is a balanced car, one that understeers (or oversteers, according to preference) in a controlled & predictable way.
If I can take you back a few years, in the late 1970's, Goodyear was the de facto tyre supplier. It was common practice then (I recall) for drivers to cycle through tyre allocations & put aside "demon" sets for qualifying & race. It's fair to say that lateral balance was seldom at the top of the agenda then, even though diff's were non-adjustable, because drivers had both front & rear bar adjusters in the cockpit (something that is not permitted today for some strange reason).
Then Michelin started to supply tyres for F1, & the remarkable thing was (apparently) the tyres no longer had to be matched. Bridgestone then repeated the feat, although later they made the mistake of mis-matching front & rear tyres, causing the rush to compensate by ballasting forward.
Pirelli appeared to achieve the correct front/rear balance, but limit handling did not appear to be good - "the tyres fell apart when they were leaned on" was one comment. I suspect the tyres have improved from that starting point, and there is no logical reason for the FIA to introduce the tyre supply rule change. It follows that one or more teams must have requested the change, presumably because they feel that to have all tyres available from the start of a meeting would be an advantage - to all the teams.
Thus far we have concentrated on F1 teams. You might spare a thought for GP2 teams who also have to struggle with the tyres, limited track time & less experienced drivers.