By Alex Kapadia
William’s driver Rubens Barrichello has blamed the new narrower front tyres for the lack of overtaking in the first Formula One race of the season.
The front tyres were made narrower this year – at Bridgestone’s request – in order to address the balance of grip from front to rear.
However, the Brazilian racer thinks the decision was misjudged, as he argues that the cars need to get as much grip from the tyres as possible in order to counteract the loss of downforce when travelling in another car’s turbulent aerodynamic wake.
The opening Grand Prix of the season in Bahrain was described as boring and processional and there is mounting speculation that Brigdestone is being asked to supply more extreme tyre offerings later in the season.
But Barrichello, F1’s most experienced active driver, refused to blame Bridgestone for the narrower front tyres that he said have made overtaking nearly impossible.
“It’s not the weakness of the tyre, its the weakness of the rule,” the Brazilian said in Melbourne ahead of this weekends Australian Grand Prix. “We need more mechanical grip, its the only solution.
“Its very dodgy to overtake a car in front because we don’t have the front tyres,” he added.
Bridgestone has already announced the compounds for the five races after Sunday’s second round of the 2010 series.
Barrichello said: “I hope there is something (changed), but first of all I think we need to wait four or five races before we actually take a conclusion on how it is.”