Davidson: Long-life tyres 'key'

Preserving tyres through a race distance is going to be key to success next year, believes BAR test driver Anthony Davidson. The Englishman, who resumed testing for BAR-Honda at Jerez last week, has joined a growing list of drivers who have pinpointed the new-for-2005 long-life tyres as the biggest single change in the new regulations

Davidson: Long-life tyres 'key'

Tyres must last a full race distance next year, with tyre changes during a race no longer allowed. Having run the first batch of long-life Michelins at the recent Jerez test, Davidson, along with Antonio Pizzonia and Franck Montagny, believes they could fundamentally change the way drivers approach racing.

"On 60 lap runs, you can really mess up the tyres if you go hard straight away," Davidson told Autosport exclusively. "If you flat-spot the tyres on the first lap, you are going to have to live with that for the whole race instead of just 20 laps.

"Now you still have to be trying to think about saving the tyres all the time. It is a different style of driving. Driving a 2005-spec car is like driving around the Lesmos at Monza all the time. There is a lot of weaving around. It is a lot of fun."

Davidson reckons that the pace of grands prix could be slowed dramatically by the newer, harder rubber mated to the reduction in downforce by the 2005 aero package: "You will find with the new regs that we will be going slower and slower for the whole race distance.

"Teams and drivers are going to have to be clever to find ways around that. It's going to be a question of how you make the tyres stay really fresh for the whole race, rather than three spint races where you are flat for the whole stint.

"Getting tyres to work on the first lap is also going to be a real challenge. None of us have been used to running with knackered tyres, but we're going to have to get used to it now."

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