Tires: an important Fact on Grand Prix Races
The Grand Prix of Europe, the fifth race of the 2006 campaign, takes place at Nürburgring which opened in 1984. It has hosted 13 F1 world championship events under three different names: the GP of Europe (1984, 1995-1996, 1999-2005), the German GP (1985) and the Luxembourg GP (1997-1998).
This Grand Prix track has the fame of having such an unpredictable weather it adds a special element to the anxiety of the race. This is the 16th season for the Grand Prix of Europe. Before, it had been hosted in Spain (Jerez) and England (Brands Hatch and Donington Park).
For the F1 competitors the biggest challenge has been selecting tire compounds for this track because of the variability of the weather. This might be more of a factor than ever because the race is taking place three weeks earlier than it did last season so the weather turns even more unpredictable. As a result, the F1 tires require a fairly broad operating spectrum, in other words they have to be fast and consistent even if the weather forecasts are 100 per cent inaccurate, as they were at Imola.
On the evidence of previous seasons, conditions could border on freezing yet could just as easily nudge 30°C. As for the possibility of rain, that holds no worries, the lap times recorded during free practice for the Australian Grand Prix indicated just how much progress F1 has been making in the subject of tiring.