Using super soft and hard tyres, the two extremes of the Bridgestone range, at every race – that is one of the proposals on the table to bring back the spectacle and improve overtaking in F1.
After a dull opening race in Bahrain, where the cars formed themselves into a high speed train after the opening lap, with little overtaking, last week’s technical working group meeting had a real sense of purpose about it. The principals have been discussing the dangers to the show of the ban on refuelling all winter, but now there is more urgency.
Everyone is agreed that it’s a real shame that the important steps weren’t taken before the season started to get the package right.
Another suggestion was to lower the rev limit to 17,000rpm and allow drivers a certain amount of time at 18,000rpm, which would be a bit like a push to pass button. Once the driver had used up his allocation at the higher level, the Electronic Control Unit would lock the engine at 17,000 rpm for the rest of the race.
Bridgestone are unlikely to go for the extreme tyres option, as they will not want the spectacle of their tyres shredding after a few laps and drivers criticising them. They would not be against the harder tyre option in principle, but logistically I’m told that the earliest they could change tyre options would be the Turkish Grand Prix as the tyres have already been specified, manufactured and are being shipped.
McLaren put forward an interesting idea which would avoid the problem of always having the grid in descending order, with fastest first. For qualifying cars would carry ballast based on their success in the season so far. Ballast is something F1 has avoided thus far, as it is more of a touring car measure, but it might work in qualifying.
The idea of two compulsory pit stops was again discussed, but several leading engineers believe that it would not make any difference to the show.