Green band to distinguish softer tyres in 2009 26 Feb 2009
Formula One racing returns to slicks this year after 11 seasons on grooved tyres. The change means official suppliers Bridgestone have had to change their method for marking the softer of the two compounds used at each race.
Instead of a white groove, the tyre's sidewall will now feature a green band, not only making the softer compound distinguishable to spectators, but also signifying Bridgestones continuing support for the FIAs Make Cars Green campaign.
There is a change in tyre allocation rationale too. For the past two seasons, Bridgestone has brought two consecutive compounds from its range of four rubber compounds to each event. For 2009, non -consecutive allocations will occur at most races. As well as a difference in compound stiffness, there will be a variation in temperature working range between the two allocated compounds at an event.
We have tried to have one tyre which has a quick warm-up and delivers a fast lap time immediately, and the other tyre which has a higher working range, so will not deliver immediate fast times, but gives very consistent and durable performance when it is at its operating temperature, explained Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motorsport Tyre Development.
Of course, we are subject to many variables such as different cars and drivers, not to mention the weather, which was such a big factor in 2008. We hope the change in allocations gives competitors a good challenge and the fans entertaining racing.
The compounds themselves are new, because of the different requirements of slick tyres compared with grooved tyres. However, they will retain the same names of hard, medium, soft and super soft. There are no changes to the wet and extreme weather tyres, which will be brought to all events in case of adverse weather. As before, the extreme tyre will have a painted central groove.
Bridgestone tyre allocations for 2009s opening races:
Australia - super soft, medium
Malaysia - soft, hard
China - super soft, medium
Bahrain - super soft, medium
Spain - soft, hard