Tyres and their management have been a fundamental part over the years to be able to capitalize on a victory in the highest category of motorsports, however, many people think that this sometimes makes the Grand Prix a linear and boring race. One of these people is 13-times Grand Prix winner, David Coulthard. In 2011, Formula 1 announced that Pirelli would be the only tyre supplier, having not continued with Bridgestone. For his part, David Coulthard, who has had experience with many providers, is the best possible person to discuss this issue.
“I’ve driven on Goodyears, Bridgestones, Michelins and actually, none of them were what I would call ‘bad tyres’.” He affirmed during an interview with RaceFans.
“There were obviously times where either Bridgestone or Michelin had a circuit advantage. But they were great companies to work with, pushing the boundaries, lots of new tyre developments. We never spoke about thermal degradation. We never spoke about can’t pushing the tyres. They peaked when they were new, they dropped off, maybe you got some graining, maybe you got some blistering, but they were tyres”.
When it was announced that Pirelli was going to be the official tyre supplier for the category, the Italian brand stated that its tyres were going to degrade more quickly, this with the aim that there are varied strategies throughout the race, which is supposed to entail more emotion in them.
“This whole Pirelli era is just confusing to me and boring to me to have to talk about, and super-boring for me to have to listen to the drivers going ‘I was trying to avoid pushing too hard on the tyres’.” Coulthard stated.
“We’ve got engine wars, we’ve got chassis wars, we’ve got driver wars and then we’ve got one single tyre manufacturer, where all the drivers complain about the tyres. I would rather go to Avons or Goodyear or something and they just have two generic compounds but good tyres. Then, we don’t have to listen to all the bullshit.”
These are clearly strong statements by the Scottish driver, but many of us agree. It is true that nowadays, races are not only won on the track, but also in the pits. We have seen races ruined by a bad strategy or an unscheduled pit-stop, however, there are strategies that require the driver not to go to maximum pace since the tyres would wear faster, so they don't have to push too much. This turns the race into something linear and without interesting fights.