Two races into the 2016 Formula 1 season and they’ve both been good events if not spoiled by qualifying controversy that seems unnecessary. Even so, one of the changes that many believe has worked is the new tire regulations.
The wording was a bit wonky when I originally read it and I’m still quite completely sure I understand the way they’ve described it but nonetheless, it has added something to the races even if I can’t quite follow exactly what’s happening.
It’s difficult to tell, easily, what tires each driver is on and whether or not they are scrubbed sets etc. I know many have spoken about the little graphic next to the name and whether it is highlighted or not but it seems that a full explanation from our broadcaster would help on how to read the graphics and what it means.
As a construct that seems to be working (and I do get a kick out of people being amazed that offering different compounds and letting teams run different rubber produces different result), most press is really getting all in on the graphics and analyzing the tire selection and running the gambits and permutations.
One guy who feels it has helped is Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo:
“So far we’ve had two races this year, and having that extra set of tyres, that extra compound choice, for me it’s made it really exciting,” said Ricciardo.
“Even throughout practice and qualifying things change, and for the race you can go for different strategies.
“It creates a bit more excitement, it’s another factor, another variable for the race, and something else for the driver and team to think about.”
I would say the key word here is “a bit more” and I agree with him. I still feel that a second tire supplier would add heaps more excitement or offering three compounds per race and letting the teams use what they want when they want would be good but what do I know?
You folks are smarter than I am about the nuance so how do you feel the new tire regulations are working? Happy with the results? Are you able to follow it closely and understand the differences when Nico selects 4 sets of SS while Lewis selects 5?
Hat Tip: Motorsport