Former Formula 1 World Champion Damon Hill has put forward an intriguing proposal aimed at ramping up the excitement in races. Hill suggests that requiring teams to utilize all three tyre compounds during races could inject a new level of thrill and strategic complexity into the sport.
The current tyre supplier, Pirelli, offers a selection of three tyre compounds for each race weekend, chosen from a pool of five available compounds. The specific choice of three compounds is determined by the unique characteristics of the track, enhancing the challenge for teams to optimize their strategy.
At present, F1 regulations mandate drivers to employ a minimum of two sets of the three available compounds during a race. This rule guarantees that there is at least one pit stop during the race, regardless of tyre degradation levels. However, in recent times, there has been growing discussion about the need to further enhance the spectacle of F1 races.
One of the main points of contention is the prevalence of one-stop races, which can sometimes lack the strategic intricacies and overtaking opportunities that make Formula 1 so captivating.
This alteration, if implemented, could foster more dynamic races, as teams would have to carefully manage their use of all three compounds to maximize performance and adapt to changing track conditions.
“I think there is definitely an argument to say that if you are going to look for excitement and a little bit more of a challenge, then why not?” 1996 champion Hill told the F1 Nation Podcast.
“I think it is a good idea.
“I have heard it put forward before, it would increase the number of pit stops so you get less of the one-stop factor.
“It’s quite interesting that we have got to the stage where Max has built a gap in the last race we had in Belgium and Lewis built a gap enough to be able to come in for a new set of tyres and get the fastest lap and get a point – that’s a bit of drama that at first was thought to be a gimmick but now teams are deciding it is important to have that.
“They want to have that scalp and so they come in and do the one-lap stop and that is a bit of drama at the end of the race.
“Having to use all three compounds would throw another challenge in there, so it is possibly a good thing.”
“Nobody likes to look foolish but the rain-affected races, the ones where you can’t really predict what’s going to happen, those are the ones that throw up the most drama,” added Hill.
“People come away not knowing themselves – that is entertaining.
“You have to be careful, you are throwing yourself open to the accusation of making unnecessary drama – just gimmicks – but I just think why not?
“They have got the tyres there anyway, so having to use all three tyres, that would mean if they were to go with a very Soft tyre, that would be almost impossible to use in the race for more than a couple of laps.”