F1 | ITV Sport
Rubens: Narrow tyres harming racing
Thursday, 25 March 2010 05:46
Rubens Barrichello, Formula 1's most experienced driver, believes the switch to narrower front tyres for 2010 is one of the main reasons why the racing looks set to be less exciting this year.
In the wake of the uneventful Bahrain Grand Prix, there have been calls for a rules overhaul to bring wheel-to-wheel racing back into F1.
The front tyres were made narrower at Bridgestone's request this year as the company adapted to working with slicks in F1 again, but Barrichello reckons that change was always guaranteed to make the racing less exciting than in 2009.
"Sometimes I'm a bit critical of things, but when I heard that they would make the front tyres smaller, I just didn't understand that," he said.
"The fact that we had better racing last year was because we dropped the ugly grooved tyres for slicks.
"That's what we need - we need more mechanical grip on the car and to lose the aerodynamics.
"We're losing aerodynamics all the time, but if you follow another car you just understeer off the track.
"Unless you have a second advantage, which is not the normal thing, you just can't pass.
"I overtook [Sebastien] Buemi on the track but I was doing 2m01s, he was doing 2m04s, and it wasn't easy overtaking."
Some have highlighted the loss of KERS boost devices as another factor detrimental to the spectacle, but Barrichello believes KERS did little to improve the action.
"KERS, for the future of the planet, I think is a great thing," he said.
"But KERS last year in most cases didn't help the overtaking, but it helped protecting a position.
"KERS came with a penalty, so the car in front was slower, and you could never overtake - it was a nightmare to get behind [Heikki] Kovalainen in the McLaren last year, he had that [KERS] button and 'whoosh...'"
Despite his concerns about the quality of the spectacle, Barrichello warned against knee-jerk changes - and said it was not up to the drivers to come up with a solution.
"I hope there is something, but first of all I think we need to wait four or five races before we actually take a conclusion on how it is," he insisted.
"Maybe it will get better.
"I'm prepared to drive whatever car you give me, but I'm not prepared to think of something that would be a revolution to make Formula 1 better."