Formula One Continues Its Slide Toward Oblivion With New Tire Rules

Following the early season qualifying debacle, Formula One rule makers are continuing their assault on the sport. This clueless cabal of conspirators, led by the senile ravings of Bernie Ecclestone, have decided Formula One viewership is down worldwide because the cars are too slow. To remedy that situation, they have decreed the 2017 cars will get a massive increase in aerodynamic downforce coupled with new tire compounds with more mechanical grip. The expectation is that next year the cars will be a full five seconds a lap faster than this year.

Formula One Tire Via Flickr

Okay. Here is where things get interested. Up until this year, Pirelli supplied two tire compounds to the teams each race weekend. The teams had no say about which tires were chosen. After multiple complaints from the teans, the rules were changed. This year, Pirelli brings three tire compounds to each race, but each team can only use two of them. They have to notify Pirelli in advance which tires they want to use.

The purpose of these tire choice shenanigans is to create more opportunities for strategy to play a role in the outcome. One team could decide to run softer tires and make four pit stops while another team could opt for slower, more durable tires and complete a race with only one visit to the pits. In theory, that would lead to a furious final lap with one car leading the race on worn hard tires while another car on softer, fresher tires comes roaring up from behind. Both would flash across the finish line just inches apart while the fans cheer wildly. What a show!

That’s the theory. The reality is that there won’t be any strategy involved, as least not for the first few races in 2017. Why? Because Pirelli needs 14 weeks to build the tires for each race. That means the teams must tell Pirelli in December which tires they prefer to run in Melbourne in March. Is that a problem?

You bet your sweet bippy it is. Winter testing doesn’t begin until late January, 2017. Until then, the teams will have absolutely no idea how the new tires will perform. That means choosing tires for the first several races will be a game of Blind Man’s Bluff. Roller Derby has more strategy than that.

It’s hard to tell which is more prevalent in Formula One these days — idiocy or stupidity. The sport is led by a doddering old fool and a feckless functionary. Under their guidance, Formula One today is to real racing as processed cheese food is to cheese — a pale imitation of the real thing.

Source:  Photo credit: Gil Abrantes/Flickr Some rights reserved

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.