Tyre strategies explained

Guy Slick

Hi, I’m Guy Slick, Chief President and Vice Team Operations Principal of Scuderia Schattspeed Formula 1 Grand Prix Engineering Solutions Racing Team, and representative of the Formula One Teams’ Association.

At Fota, we have been listening intently to the fans’ concerns regarding the complexities of the tyre strategies in 2011. We have heard your concerns that F1 is now full of too much jargon that makes F1 difficult for fans to follow on TV.

To counteract this, the teams have agreed on a common vocabulary to describe the tyre phases that the drivers talk about on the team radio.

Face phase
The moment when tyres are first put on the car, and the tyre faces the track for the first time.
Team radio example: “We want to get through the face phase by the end of this out-lap.”
Pace phase
The period at which the tyres are performing at their best
Team radio example: “We need to make the most out of this pace phase.”
Fades phase
The period when the tyre first begins to lose some grip.
Team radio example: “We can tell by your lap times that you are entering the fades phase.”
Faze phase
The period when the driver needs avoid being fazed by the tyres heading towards “the cliff” in terms of performance.
Team radio example: “Keep it on the island and stay calm during the faze phase.”
Fuzz phase
Indicates that the tyres are graining.
Team radio example: “If you think you are entering the fuzz phase come in for a new set of tyres.”
Phase phase
When two battling drivers are ‘in phase’ in terms of their strategy.
Team radio example: “You are in phase with the car in front.”
Pays phase
When the driver pays the price for staying on one set of tyres for too long.
Team radio example: “Looks like we have entered the pays phase — box now.”

I am sure all fans will be in agreement that this common vocabulary will greatly reduce confusion for TV viewers.

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