Honda F1 website

AUGUST 8, 2006

Ferrari tests GP2 tyres

We hear that Ferrari has tested some GP2 Bridgestone slick tyres to see the kind of performance jump that these might bring. The answer is that they were around two seconds a lap faster than the existing tyres - a logical result given the extra rubber that is in contact with the road. There is a theory in some circles that the racing will be improved with the use of slick tyres coupled with reduced aerodynamic downforce. This would provide more mechanical grip and less aerodynamic disturbance and thus they would lake overtaking easier. The downside of this theory is that cornering speeds would rise and the FIA has made much of its worries of the safety issues involved in that. A jump in lap times of two seconds with what is a pretty standard tyre is an indication that aerodynamic downforce will have to be reduced considerably to get the balance right. The FIA thinks that this can be done with the CDG Wing concept that it is proposing (small wings behind each rear tyre rather than one big rear wing). Aerodynamicists say that this simply moves the problem a little bit further back behind the car but will not affect the racing, pointing to the fact that the real problem is not the rear wing but rather the aerodynamic effect of the rear tyres. There is also considerable resistance from teams as the twin wings are much less effective for sponsorship.