And no, we’re not implying that Sauber will benefit from a super-relationship with Bridgestone as enjoyed by Ferrari in recent years…
Bridgestone data has revealed that the Sauber team could pose a serious threat to the ‘big four’ teams in the 2010 season, because its C29 car is the best at managing tyre wear.
The Swiss team has shown strong pace from the off at all of the pre-season test sessions, and its prospects will be boosted by Bridgestone’s analysis revealing that it suffers less tyre degradation than that of Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes GP and Red Bull Racing.
The team’s ability to nurse its tyres will benefit it on multiple fronts: firstly, the reduced wear will provide a more consistent performance over the life cycle of the tyres; secondly, the team could opt to run softer tyres than its rivals (particularly during the crucial qualifying hour); and thirdly, the team may be able to opt to run its races with fewer tyre stops than its rivals.
Bridgestone’s director of motorsport tyre development said that the pre-season form shown by the ‘big four’ teams had made picking a clear favourite “difficult to judge” in an interview with AUTOSPORT.
“We have compared many teams’ data and looking at the quick [four] teams – their degradation tendency is very, very similar,” he said. "Once they have the 150kg start weight, with both the medium and soft compound, then there is little difference – so we could expect a very close pace. However, Sauber is more consistent."
[Original image via GP Update]