Pirelli should have trusted F1 teams more, Williams's Symonds feels

Formula 1's 2016 tyre rule tweaks became a missed opportunity because Pirelli did not sufficiently trust the teams, reckons Williams's chief technical officer Pat Symonds

Pirelli should have trusted F1 teams more, Williams's Symonds feels

Pirelli is introducing a fifth compound - the ultrasoft - and allowing teams to choose between three tyre types at grands prix this season, but will stipulate use of particular compounds for some of the 13 tyre sets each driver will get.

F1 2016 tyre rules: The key questions answered

Symonds believes the original suggestion that teams choose what they wanted from the entire compound range at every race would have produced much better action.

"I can't say I'm wildly excited about the change to the tyre rules," he told Autosport.

"I do like things that add a little bit of chaos.

"Initially, when the new tyre proposals were put together by the teams, I think that there was a real chance that it could introduce a bit of chaos, because there were definitely a number of ways to approach the problem.

"Pirelli weren't happy with the teams choosing the tyres everywhere, which is a bit strange.

Can F1 be unmissable like MotoGP?

"We're quite responsible adults and I actually quite like getting points in races and trying to win them.

"We could turn the engines right up and blow them apart in the first race but we don't. We could design cars that really aren't strong enough, but we don't.

"We are quite good at what we do. I think it's a little bit disingenuous to suggest that [teams would have made dangerous tyre choices]."

Symonds fears the final regulations will quickly be mastered by teams, removing any potential unpredictability.

"We're quite clever in Formula 1 and if there's a correct solution, we find it quite quickly. And then you've lost everything," he said.

"I'm not against it, I like to see a bit of change, but I think it had the potential to be better."

PARALLELS WITH 2003

Symonds suspects a similar situation to the 2003 season, when teams first had to qualify with the fuel load for the first stint of the race.

Renault, Symonds' team at the time, ran light in qualifying at the second grand prix of the season in Malaysia and swept the front row with Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli.

Alonso turned pole into a third-place finish and the top teams then adopted similar tactics.

"We analysed it and decided that what we had to do is think of qualifying as being the first lap of the race," Symonds recalled.

"I remember in Australia, we didn't have a particularly good qualifying session, we didn't quite prove our point and nobody really noticed what we'd done.

"But in Malaysia, we had both cars on the front row.

"I remember all of the wise guys like Ron Dennis saying 'oh, they're just showboating',

"At the next race, most of them were into it and down the line, everyone's doing it and then it's gone.

"It doesn't take long for people to figure out what to do."

This week's Autosport magazine - available in shops and online now - has a comprehensive guide to all that's new for the 2016 Formula 1 season, including the rules tweaks, new faces and likely development battlegrounds

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