I’ve long been against the two tyre rule for Formula One which forces teams to run for at least part of the race on a sub-optimal tyre.
It was brought in ostensibly to improve the racing but it was pretty obvious right from the beginning that Bridgestone just wanted publicity. They were worried that with the withdrawal of Michelan that nobody would talk about them.
Well it’s pretty much failed on both counts. Now that the teams are used to the tyres you often see teams leaving their least good tyres until the end of the race when the drivers are, usually, further apart on the track.
On the publicity front it has worked even less well. I said before this whole thing happened that all that would happen was that people would just refer to the things as “tyres” rather than “Bridgestones”.
This has happened, and actually this has been pretty lucky for Bridgestone as the only time the tyres are mentioned when the driver says that things were much more difficult on the sub optimal tyres.
It seems that drivers now only say negative things about tyres. This is because when the tyre is good it is only as good as your opponents.
It is never better, but when it’s bad it’s worse than the one you had on a moment ago.
But don’t worry Bridgestone have a plan. They are going to make the difference between the tyres at each race more pronounced. This, they reckon will make the tyres much more important during the race weekend. But hold on didn’t we just discover that drivers will only ever talk negatively about tyres if their tyre can’t be faster than the one everyone else has? Oh yes we did. And so this will cause even more negative talk.
The only thing they could do worse would be to rename the prime and option tyres as Bridgestone and Firestone. That way people would have to mention their brand when they were dissing them. So my guess is that Bridgestone will be doing this shortly.
And if anyone can work out how to paint a white stripe on to a slick tyre without it rubbing off within a few laps please let them know.