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Bridgestone Confirm Green Stripe On 2009 Tyres

Bridgestone Confirm Green Stripe On 2009 Tyres

Bridgestone, Formula One’s sole tyre supplier, has today confirmed how they will differentiate between the two compounds of rubber used at each grand prix this year. In previous seasons when the cars ran on grooved tyres, a white stripe was painted inside one of the indentations to mark the softer of the two. However, with the sport returning to slick tyres for 2009, the groove has disappeared and an alternative solution had to be found. Bridgestone have opted to use a stripe on the sidewall of the tyre. Unfortunately, it’s green.

So why green, I hear all the sport’s new fans ask? The choice of colour stems from the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix when Bridgestone ran a joint-initiative with the sport’s governing body, the FIA, to promote the “Make Cars Green” campaign. The idea behind the promotion was to promote environmentally friendly driving. For this race, all the Bridgestone tyres had all the grooves painted green, with the softer compound having one of the green grooves changed to white.

The cars looked very odd with bright green lines all over the usually dark rubber and the white stripe was almost impossible to identify next to the green and ultimately, the idea of promoting environmentally sound driving on a Formula One car was deemed a bit silly by most.

Bridgestone 'Green Striped' Tyre

2008 Bridgestone Tyres – As used for the Japanese Grand Prix.

While no word has yet been mentioned if the green stripe on the sidewall of the new slicks is in further attempts to promote the cause, the fact the colour has so far been identical strongly suggests that we are all going to be seeing more of the environmental message this year.

Although the promotion of such a campaign is worthwhile, it would perhaps be better to see the FIA plow money into TV advertising, educational supplements in newspapers and maybe visiting colleges around the country where the students are of the age where they are beginning to learn how to drive, and are also of the age where they are more likely to be involved in a car accident because of over-zealous and un-environmentally friendly driving.

Irregardless of my thoughts though, the stripe appears to be staying. Also, Bridgestone have announced that the choice of available compounds will be altered. In 2008, the two options were consecutive in Bridgestone’s range. For example, the drivers had to use both soft and super-soft. However, for 2009 the options could be staggered to create even more of a difference between the compounds, and therefore the stints in the races. Depending on the circuit, the drivers may have use, for example, soft and hard, or super-soft and medium.

From our perspective we have changed our allocation strategy so that we can bring non-consecutive allocations to races.

The compounds will not only vary in terms of compound hardness, but also working range. We have tried to have one tyre which has a quick warm-up and delivers a fast lap time immediately, and the other tyre which has a higher working range, so will not deliver immediate fast times, but gives very consistent and durable performance when it is at its operating temperature.

Of course, we are subject to many variables such as different cars and drivers, not to mention the weather, which was such a big factor in 2008.

We hope that the change in allocations gives competitors a good challenge and the fans entertaining racing. Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone Director of Motor Sport.

The idea sounds okay on paper, but I will admit to it sounding a little like a lottery. I’m sure Bridgestone, with all their experience from supplying Formula One for many years will have a very good idea as to what they need to bring to the races. However, tyre suppliers have got it wrong the past and caused all sorts of problems. Let’s hope the addition of a wider range of tyre compound does indeed improve the racing even further.

So far, Bridgestone have announced the following compounds will be used at the first five races:

2009 Formula One World Championship Calendar
Bridgestone Tyre Compound Allocation (so far)

Race Compound #1 Compound #2
Australian FlagAustralian Grand Prix Albert Park Super Soft Medium
Malaysian FlagMalaysian Grand Prix Sepang Soft Hard
Chinese FlagChina Grand Prix Shanghai Super Soft Medium
Bahrain FlagBahrain Grand Prix Sakhir Super Soft Medium
Spanish FlagSpanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya Soft Hard

More information available on the Bridgestone F1 site.

Thumb © Bridgestone/Large © HondaF1.

Oliver White

22 comments

  • I still don’t get the point of developing everything on the car to the peak of perfection only to have to run tyres that don’t suit the car and driver.

    If Bridgestone want decent publicity bring all four compounds to all races and identify each of them separately. Then if Lewis needs hard tyres and the Finnish bloke at Ferrari needs soft let them have them and let them race.

  • and the Finnish bloke at Ferrari

    Sorry, was there more to that comment? All I saw was the above. 😀

    Like I should talk!? Apparently they have a Finnish bloke at McLaren as well! 🙂

  • While no word has yet been mentioned if the green stripe on the sidewall of the new slicks is in further attempts to promote the cause

    f1.com says:

    “Instead of a white groove, the tyre’s sidewall will now feature a green band, not only making the softer compound distinguishable to spectators, but also signifying Bridgestone’s continuing support for the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.”

    stupid, stupid people.

  • signifying Bridgestone’s continuing support for the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign

    I have a way of making cars green. Although it does involve a tin of Dulux.

    And now for an actual serious point…

    f1.com says:

    I never think of checking F1.com for news, further quotes or clarification of things. Not even race results (aside from Live Timing, which is more, erm, live)!

    I have only just noticed that about my online behaviour, but I think it says a lot about F1.com, the official site of Formula 1™. Not that F1.com is unreliable, just that they don’t feature in my mind when I think of Formula One.

    In fact, I visit FIA.com more often because they have the rules and regs, which are updated more times than an otter has to dry its pockets out.

    Of all the F1 sites I am aware of, F1.com is easily among my least visited. Maybe that says I’m stupid, maybe that says Ecclestone still has a long way to go with the online world.

    Clearly it’s the latter 🙂 but it is something I have only just noticed.

    Anyway, on with the ugly green tyres…

    …what are they made of again? Oh that’s right, they’re completely natural and in harmony with the balance of the global ecosystem, or something.

  • The green colour has been chosen to show Bridgestone’s continued support of the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign.

    From the Bridgestone F1 site I linked to in the article. My bad, I missed the one sentence that explained the colour (admittedly repeated pretty much in Hamashima’s quote).

    But hey, at least I linked to the “Make Cars Green” site.

  • just noticed the stripe in the middle of the wet tyre. pray tell me why they couldn’t have been consistent and kept it to the outside of that one too?

  • pray tell me why they couldn’t have been consistent

    Where there’s a dip, there’s a way! 🙂

    During intermittent weather sessions, when drivers are rapidly changing between dry and inter, it is going to be very confusing, no doubt. Half of us are going to be looking at the side, half of us are going to be waiting until the car reaches a point when the face can be seen to tell what type of tyre it is.

    Oh boy, 2009 is gonna be fun… 🙂

  • doesn’t it also mean that bridgestone need to bring x2 tyre painting machines to every event?

    I know this is about to sound a little like common sense, which in official Formula One circles is almost likening it to a sin… but couldn’t they just turn the horizontal machine on its side? So it paints, I dunno, vertically?

    Or would that save too much money, Mr Mosley? Just putting it out there, as an idea, ’tis all…

    Oooh, I’m in a cynical mood this evening. 😛

  • hehe.

    see, if it works the way i think it does (and i sorta peered into a garage at silverstone testing). the machine is fixed and the tyre rotates.

    turn the tyre on its side and you’ll draw the stripe in the wrong direction.

    so they’ll need x2 machines, or a more fancy one 🙂

  • the machine is fixed and the tyre rotates.

    Okay, who let the Chuckle Brothers design the Bridgestone F1 Tyre Painting machine? 🙂

    Although, a tyre is easier to rotate than a machine, admittedly. After all, the tyre is round to begin with.

    But… think of the future? Slicks have been on the cards for at least 2 years now.

    Silly people. Tsk!

  • you’re talking about a tyre manufacturer who debuted their white stripes using a man and a marker pen. the fact they even have a machine at all, is cause for celebration around that garage 😀

  • you’re talking about a tyre manufacturer who debuted their white stripes using a man and a marker pen.

    And all I have to say to that is: Tippex. A wonderful, indispensable tool. Works on grout. Works on reports. Even works at Halloween as make-up. Only seconded in uses by duct tape. 🙂

  • Four things:

    1) Green? Yuck. Yet another thing we have to “get used to” in 2009. F1 stands for Fugly 1, doesn’t it?

    2) Tippex also works as nail varnish. Although it does look weird.

    3) I do use F1.com. It’s not that special for keeping up with news, but if Autosport quote it as a source, I head there for the ‘whole’ story. Also some good pics, features and technical stuff. Sales pitch over.

    4) How often does an otter have to dry it’s pockets?

  • I would have preferred Bridgestone’s solution with wide, red stripes on the sides, as they used in the ChampCar World Series not so long ago…

    Can’t think positive about that green, for some reason sick and ill looking green :S.

  • Urgh, it looks horrible. Why they just didn’t stay with a nuetral colour like white is beyond me. No ones going to care about your message if they throwup each time they see the cars.

  • LoudHoward, from Patronise F1.

    Now there’s a name I haven’t heard in a while! Hello LoudHoward, good to see your name again. I had no idea you were back with another site – you should have stopped by sooner! 🙂

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the name, LoudHoward used to run The Mark Webber Blog many moons ago, and even found some time to be interviewed by myself way back in early-2007.

    *Ollie goes off to read PatroniseF1*

  • Aren’t there indeed a million better ways to promote the environmental message than green stripes on the tires? With the new regs, I would think the FIA would be doing all it could to make the cars look good……

  • If Bridgestone want decent publicity bring all four compounds to all races and identify each of them separately. Then if Lewis needs hard tyres and the Finnish bloke at Ferrari needs soft let them have them and let them race.

    Good point, but I think the FIA believes that in order for there to be good racing, some drivers have to be faring better than others. If everyone were doing well, no one would be closing in on anyone else, so less overtaking and racing.

    Not that they’re right, but at least there’s some logic to it.

  • It’s not so much the green that bothers me as the stripe being so thin I struggle to see it on the sort of zoomed-out shots I’ve been seeing in testing. What’s the point of a tyre type identifier if I can’t see it?

  • Hey Ollie 🙂 Hope you liked the site!

    Yeah, been a while, flat chat these days but I’ll make a note to try and stop in here as often as I can! As for the tyres, still don’t like the look, but as ever, once the racing starts I get over it! 🙂

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