Getting a grip on F1's tyre dilemma

Getting a grip on F1's tyre dilemma

As Formula 1's teams try to decide on which tyre supply to go with in 2011, Dieter Rencken looks at the reasons why the sport needs new rubber and why it is fast becoming decision time on the matter

First there were none. Then one, two, a third, the fourth belatedly threw its hat (back) into the ring, then, finally, late last week, a fifth rubber company decided to join the fray by offering a supply of tyres to the world of Formula 1.

After Bridgestone gave its obligatory one year notice period of withdrawal from the sport last November, after three years as the sole official tyre supplier, F1 was thrown into turmoil. It does not require rocket science to realise those round black things on each corner are as vital to the sport as are engines and fuel. A hovercraft world championship is, after all, unlikely to attract the sort of patronage enjoyed by F1, while running on bare alloy rims is unlikely to be fast despite the undoubted spectacle.

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