Drivers doubt 2005 F1 tyres

New longer life tyres to be introduced in Formula 1 next year in a bid to cut speeds have received a far from positive reaction from drivers after a major test at Jerez in Spain this week - and there are fears they may actually be no slower in qualifying than current versions

Drivers doubt 2005 F1 tyres

Most leading teams running in Jerez have evaluated early versions of the tyres planned for use next year, when drivers will be restricted to just two sets of tyres per grand prix weekend. And the response has been fairly negative.

Toyota test driver Ryan Briscoe called his experience with the tyres 'interesting' while Alexander Wurz believed it was too early to make any definitive verdict on the rubber.

"It's very difficult to say anything," he told autosport.com. "I think the tyre test has been pretty inconclusive because we haven't got the full 2005 kit on the car. I don't really know what to say."

However, one leading driver who had conducted major running on the new tyres was far more critical - and believed the characteristics of the new tyres were a disaster.

The driver, who did not wish to be identified, said: "I'm really unhappy. They are just as quick on the first lap as the current tyres and then their performance goes down so much after that."

The FIA had hoped that the change of tyre rules would slow down the cars and, although the need for harder compounds may do that in races, it may prove difficult to achieve slower lap times for single-lap qualifying runs.

And if the tyres do prove to be massively quick over the first lap, it could lead to strange tactics being used in qualifying. Although the tyre regulations have not been ratified yet, it is possible that drivers get to use one set of tyres for practice before using their second set for qualifying and the race.

In such a scenario drivers could choose to not run in pre-qualifying in a bid to save the best performance of their tyres for the crucial final qualifying run - when extra performance could help leap frog them up the grid.

A lot of the teams have used this week to also test preliminary 2005 aerodynamic parts as well - although BAR is believed to be the only team to have tried to run as close to next year's aero rules as possible.

The result left test driver Anthony Davidson with a huge grin on his face - even though he ran off the track at one point. "It's just like driving a big Formula Ford," he said. "It slides around so much and it is quite good fun.

"At the moment it looks quite bad but I think that is only because not everyone is running with the same specification cars."

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