SEPTEMBER 8, 2011
Brawn urges tyre caution
While Pirelli has received the backing of the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers Association) in its move to save tyre wastage by next year getting rid of one set of hard tyres that are hardly ever used, Mercedes GP chief Ross Brawn has sounded a note of caution.
The suggestion is that the weekend tyre allocation should be changed from six sets of primes and five sets of options, to the other way around, or cut to five sets of each. Pirelli says that would prevent it from having to carry an extra set of primes around the world that end up being destroyed.
Pirelli's motorsport boss Paul Hembery believes that such a move would be "common sense."
Brawn, however, said: "It's impossible to end every race with no tyres left. There would be races where, because of events, you'd run out of tyres and have people running around on rubber they'd rather not be on because they'd want to put a fresh set on.
"Can you change it by one set? Maybe. I don't know. But I think it's been pretty good this year and I think we should be very careful before we make any fundamental changes.
"That's been one of the strengths this season -- having the two compounds and the gap we've got between them and the fact that some of the tyres purposely have reasonable levels of degradation, does liven things up.
"Quite honestly we are reluctant to see any changes and if there is concern about wastage of tyres we could look at systems to carry them over to the next race, so that they could stay in the system. As long as they are not dismounted we could certainly carry them over at a lot of races if we want some efficiencies. I wouldn't advocate changing the quantity of tyres we've got, or the system."
Brawn's opinion also applies to suggestions that rather than being presented with Pirelli's two compound choices, teams should be able to make their own compound selection from Pirelli's four available, to better suit the characteristics of their cars at a given track.
"Again, I think what we've got now is working really well," Brawn said. "I'm not sure that we want to mess around with it. It could create some interesting variety or it could create a lot of confusion for the public.
"We've barely settled on what we've got now, I can't see anything wrong with it, the racing is exciting, the tyres don't last forever, which is what we want, they are good enough to have some fun with, so why change it?
"Leave things alone. That would be my vote. If we see after another year that because people are refining their approach and philosophy and we have to liven it up a bit, then we can do that, but I certainly wouldn't advocate any changes for next year."
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