Tyre shortage threatens Belgian Grand Prix

Updated: 


Formula One teams and drivers are facing into a wet-weather tyre shortage for the rest of this weekend in Belgium, with weather forecasts suggesting wet conditions on Saturday and Sunday. With just four sets of Bridgestone's intermediate wet-weather tyre and four sets of their extreme wet-weather tyre at the disposal of each driver for the weekend, it is possible that drivers will run out of wet-weather tyres if it remains wet for the rest of the weekend.

First practice today was run in completely wet conditions, forcing all drivers to use the extreme wet tyre throughout the session, and when the rain eased off at the start of second practice this afternoon the 24 drivers each burned up a set of the intermediates, leaving them with three new intermediates and two new full wets for the final two days of action.

The tyre shortage is unlikely to be a problem if conditions remain consistently wet or dry on either Saturday or Sunday, but if conditions change from wet to dry during either Saturday or Sunday's race then drivers will begin burning through their tyre allocation at a quicker rate.

Teams are unlikely to be at risk of running out of tyres in any case, and will simply not run in practice tomorrow if conditions are wet, or will run conservatively only if the conditions allow to ensure they have a sufficient supply of tyres for qualifying and the race. A wet/dry qualifying could pose strategy problems for teams however, especially if the race will be wet.

Thankfully for the teams however, forecasts are now suggesting a dry final practice session tomorrow morning and a dry race, although showers could hit the region during qualifying.