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JUNE 12, 2010

Tyre concerns for race?

Tyre management will be a serious problem for all 24 drivers that will take part in tomorrow's Canadian Grand Prix. The super soft compound is causing concern for the teams and drivers, as with the low grip found in the new tarmac of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve caused terrible graining and lap times in Friday's second Free Practice Session, dropped by as much as five seconds during relatively short stints, meaning most drivers set their best times with the harder compound tyre.

As this is the first time Bridgestone is using slick tyres to race on this circuit - as the Canadian Grand Prix was not part of the calendar in 2009 - the tyre choice was a bit of an unknown and the gamble to take the softer compound available may backfire unless there's rain during the race.

The fact that we're experienced much lower temperatures than Bridgestone expected, and that rain washed out every bit of rubber that might have been laid down on the tarmac even before the start of practice, meant that drivers had to fight hard to keep control of their cars even when not pushing to the limit on Friday practice, causing a much larger number of offs than we normally see in the first two Free Practice Sessions.

Unless it rains during the race then there is a serious risk of drivers having to dive into the pits after just six or seven laps, to put the harder compound on for the remainder of the race, or risk being passed by those who got a better tyre management or opted to start the race with the harder compound.