• 2010 season

Narrow tyres to blame for poor show - Barrichello

ESPNF1 Staff
March 25, 2010 « Sauber adds McLaren-style F-duct to car | »
Rubens Barrichello thinks the new front tyres have made things worse © Sutton Images

Williams driver Rubens Barrichello has pinpointed this year's narrower front tyres as the main reason behind the lack of overtaking at the first round in Bahrain.

The front tyres were made narrower this year at Bridgestone's request in order to address the balance of grip from front to rear. But Barrichello thinks the decision was misjudged, as he argues that the cars need to get as much grip from the tyres as possible in order to counteract the loss of downforce when travelling in another car's turbulent aerodynamic wake.

"The fact that we had better racing last year was because we dropped the ugly grooved tyres for slicks," he said. "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 2:01s, he was doing 2:04s, and it wasn't easy overtaking. You cannot follow, the front of the car washes out. When you put the throttle back on with lots of lock, you lose the back end so the car in front just goes away.

But he warned against making any rash decisions to alter the regulations this year until there is a full understanding of the situation.

"It's not the weakness of the tyre, it's the weakness of the rule," Barrichello added. "We need more mechanical grip, it's the only solution. It's very dodgy to overtake a car in front because we don't have the front tyres. I hope there is something [changed], but first of all I think we need to wait four or five races before we actually take a conclusion on how it is."