Two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso believes that opening-up tyre choice – to allow drivers to “risk more or risk less” – would spice up the sport in future.
McLaren-Honda star Alonso, who scored his best result of the season in the recent Hungarian Grand Prix, thinks that drivers should be given the option to play their allocated tyres for the season differently at each track.
Pirelli is planning a ‘wild card’ system next year, to create more flexibility of options to teams, but Alonso wants to go several steps further.
“I think if we had a limited number of sets for the whole season, maybe 20 prime, 20 medium, 20 soft and 20 supersoft, you choose yourself which tyres to bring to each Grand Prix,” he said.
“Maybe there are some circuits that you are not in the same area as your competitors – maybe you risk more, or you risk less. I think it could work.”
Alonso points to the previous tyre-war era, when manufacturers would supply different compounds tailored to their chassis.
“This is not new: with Michelin tyres, I think we all had different compounds,” he said of his Renault days. “McLaren had its own compounds, Renault had its own compounds – maybe softer at the front, stiffer at the front, different weight distribution.
“Now we have same camber limitation, same weight distribution limitation, same tyre limitation. It is the way it is right now.”
Arrivabene agrees with him
Alonso is not alone in his request for greater flexibility in tyre choice. Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has also called for more options to help alter strategies.
“Talking about tyres, I am dreaming about the day when the teams can make their own choice,” he said. “Then F1 is going to be a bit more interesting.”