Following the Bahrain race weekend, Mark Webber was frustrated to see his GP2 protégé Mitch Evans lose a potential podium finish because of that old bugbear, tyre management and he posted this rant on Twitter.
“Blood’s boiling watching most single seater categories including F1 become completely dependant on extreme tyre management,” Webber said just after the GP2 race finished. “Let drivers push.”
The Australian last raced in F1 back in 2013 before stepping away from the sport and entering the FIA World Endurance Championship with Porsche.
F1 has become increasingly focused on tire management and protection since the ban on refueling back in 2010, meaning that drivers are unable to push throughout the race and must instead focus on limiting pit stops and time lost.
“Actually, it wasn’t just that, because Mitch has benefited (from the tyre management situation) in the past and even had wins thanks to it, so it wasn’t just that I was talking about,” Webber told F1i.com
“F1 has changed so much in the last five or six years, so that today, the engineers are constantly focusing on tyre performance and even in GP2 and GP3, a driver’s performance is all about how he manages the tyres.”
“Formula 1 should be 15 seconds (a lap) clear of any other category and as drivers and spectators you should experience nothing else like it, it should blow you away. But currently you have at least two other categories that are within 2 seconds in a race. Maybe we should enter an F1 race with a WEC car, we might score some points and we are 250 kilos heavier!
“F1 needs to be the pinnacle and, on an engineering and technical side, it is. But in terms of the drivers pushing on the limit for two hours, it is questionable at the moment. The current drivers are frustrated, they want more, I know they do. I’m not saying undo everything, because even in the mid-2000s there were boring races. But why were the grandstands full back then? Because the fans were watching something they’d never seen before.
“I just want it to come across that I want it to be awesome again. I’m not sticking up for WEC particularly, I’m trying to take a balanced view. If you watched the Silverstone race, (the opening round of the current WEC championship) it was a good car race, but you don’t expect the fans to sit down and watch all six hours, or at least not many of them, but that’s the way the sport is. The Australian added
“But plenty watched Murray v Djokovic in the Australian Open for four hours, because every point was important and you knew they were on the edge, which is what Formula 1 should be. It should be about people going to the limit. You also need to bring earplugs back! You need that, you need to be able to hear the cars five kilometers from the track!”