Dupasquier: Don't Blame Tyres for Performance

The new tyre regulations will put the onus on the drivers and teams and not on the tyre suppliers, Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier has warned.

Dupasquier: Don't Blame Tyres for Performance

The new tyre regulations will put the onus on the drivers and teams and not on the tyre suppliers, Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier has warned.

New regulations for the 2005 season will see drivers using only one set of tyre for qualifying and the race, and Dupasquier said this will require the drivers to be more considerate of the tyre wear.

"I believe [the new rules] will put an added onus on the drivers - we might see considerable performance fluctuations, even within the same team," Dupasquier said in a team press release.

"Different set-ups and contrasting driving styles can have a significant effect on tyre-wear rates. Teams and drivers need to work out how best to look after the tyres and capitalise fully on their potential.

"Towards the end of a Grand Prix, some drivers - those who don't adapt their driving style to counter a little bit of understeer, for instance - might find their tyres begin to deteriorate with 10 or more laps still to run, yet a rival with identical equipment might make it all the way to the chequered flag with plenty of life left in their tyres. That's the difference a little bit of finesse could make."

Dupasquier added that drivers and teams may be inclined to blame the tyre providers for any drop-off in tyre performance, but he emphasised that the responsibility would not be the tyre markers.

"For tyre suppliers, there is a risk that drivers and engineers will have an inclination to blame their tyres for any performance drop-off as a race nears its conclusion," the Frenchman said. "But, as I have already indicated, the key thing is to devise a set-up that allows a set of tyres to last a full race distance. Clearly, some teams and drivers will manage this better than others - even if they are running identical compounds."

Dupasquier also said traction control will have a major effect on tyre wear, stating: "Traction control will be critical, too. If a system generates too much wheelspin through being incorrectly programmed, it could ruin a set of tyres by mid-race."

Nevertheless, Dupasquier admitted he could not anticipate how the new tyre compound will perform in every situation throughout the upcoming season.

"We don't yet know how temperature fluctuations and different track layouts might affect the latest compounds," he said. "People talk blithely about the new-generation tyres being 'hard', because they equate that with durability, but reality is not that simple. By nature, harder tyres last longer but they don't generate a high level of grip. That causes a car to slide around, which accelerates tyre wear. It's a vicious circle.

"That said, you have to be careful not to manufacture too soft a compound, which might limit the degree to which a car slides but won't necessarily stand up to a full Grand Prix distance. You have to find a compromise between these two extremes. We are embarking on a voyage of discovery."

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