The return of slick tyres called for different ways of marking the tyres as there are no longer any grooves that can be painted white. Bridgestone decided to paint bands on the edges of the softer tyres sidewalls. They chose to paint those bands in green. They could have chosen any colour or give any reason for choosing green, but they decided to be pathetic :
“We are also proud to support the FIA’s Make Cars Green campaign through our tyre markings.”
More important than the change of the marking however is the change of the tyre allocation philosophy for each race.
Since Bridgestone became the sole tyre supplier in 2007 four dry tyre compounds were made available – super sof, soft, medium and hard. For the past two seasons, Bridgestone has brought two consecutive compounds from its range of four to each event. In 2009 however, non-consecutive allocations will be made for most races. The obvious goal is to make the tyre strategies bigger lottery than it was in previous 2 seasons and make the tyres (and Bridgestone) subject of more talk (and publicity of course). The compounds themselves are also new as the requirements of slick tyres are different compared with grooved tyres. There will be no changes to wet and extreme wet tyres.
The tyre allocations for first four races:
Tyre Allocations 2009 Season - Rounds 1 - 5
It remains to be seen how this new tyre allocation philosophy affects the racing and if it brings more “Sato vs Alonso in Canada 2007″ like incidents.
Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images