Since 1998, Formula One has used grooved tyres during races, initially intended to help reduce cornering speeds and improve safety. However, since then the FIA and the Technical Working Group have drafted in measures to curb speeds by limiting the aerodynamic areas of the cars. As speeds are becoming more controlled through other ways, there is a chance that slick (smooth) tyres might be making a comeback, possibly in 2009. The first phase of this movement is a test due to take place at Jerez next month. Bridgestone, Formula One’s sole tyre supplier, will bring three sets of slicks per them for them to test and evaluate. The mileage completed on slick tyres will be outside the general quota agreed by the teams.
Bridgestone are supplying these tyres as a response to a request from the teams and the testing committee, as the teams want to gain data as they look to the 2009 season. Bridgestone Spokesperson.
And the fans. We have been asking for a return to slicks as well!
It is too early for Bridgestone to comment on our tyre range for the 2009 season, however we are always available to discuss ideas with the teams and the FIA. Bridgestone Spokesperson.
If slicks were re-introduced it would mean that the white line (that I must admit did work out quite well) that distinguishes between the two different compounds required to be raced would have to change. The only viable alternative that I can think of is to do exactly the same as other racing series and paint a line on the side wall of the tyre. However, first things first, the test is good news. As always, BlogF1 will cover the test sessions due to commence on December 4th.