The rule that means a driver can only use one set of tyres for qualifying and the race is causing some concern, as drivers are taking more risks on track with tyres that are past their best. The situation was highlighted during Sunday's European...
The rule that means a driver can only use one set of tyres for qualifying and the race is causing some concern, as drivers are taking more risks on track with tyres that are past their best. The situation was highlighted during Sunday's European Grand Prix when Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren crashed out on the last lap and very nearly took Jenson Button's BAR with it.
Raikkonen had flat-spotted the right front and was struggling to keep it together as Renault's Fernando Alonso closed in. McLaren could have opted to call Raikkonen in for a tyre change, which would have dropped the Finn to perhaps third -- only one set of tyres is permitted but a change can be made in the case of damage or a puncture.
However, the team decided to leave him out and go for the win. The unbalanced tyre broke the front suspension and Raikkonen crashed on the last lap. The McLaren missed the back of Button's car by a very narrow margin.
Red Bull's David Coulthard thinks the tyre rule is making racing more dangerous as drivers would rather take risks with degrading tyres than lose a good result by stopping for a change.
"It is a major worry," he said, according to the UK's Times newspaper. "The FIA position is that the drivers make the decision, but they are asking us to throw away our races by coming in to change tyres."
"That would have happened to me. I could hardly see from the vibrations late in the race, but I couldn't afford to lose my fourth position. In one way the rules have been good for overtaking and entertainment, but there is no question that it is more dangerous."