Guest Author - Christine Blachford
The FIA have many environmental campaigns to try and bring about increased awareness for future automotive technologies that will make the industry just that little bit kinder on the world we live in. At the moment, their current campaign is called "Make Cars Green" and is designed to do just that.
For the Japanese Grand Prix, Bridgestone are throwing their support behind the initiative and trying to bring their own take on the "Make Cars Green" idea. Instead of the usual one white stripe on the tyres, to distinguish between the hard and soft compounds, we'll be seeing some very green stripes on all the tyres.
The idea is for all four grooves on the harder tyre to be painted green, and on the softer tyre, three will be green with the normal white one still white. The tyres were launched in Tokyo ahead of the Grand Prix weekend, with McLaren and Ferrari drivers all there with their cars to give the launch their backing.
The Make Cars Green campaign will be trying to promote fuel efficiency by changing road car driver behaviour, and increasing driver awareness about the impact they are having on the planet. They will also be increasing the push for better and more eco-friendly fuels.
The campaign is a fine idea, and fits in nicely with the FIA's plans to bring Formula 1 round to a more environmentally aware way of running the sport. I do take issue with the tyres though.
It's good of Bridgestone to support the initiative, and it's nice that they want to promote the brand in such a high profile way. I don't even mind the idea of painting a bit of green on the tyres, even if a lot of the cars do not look particularly good with the luminous colour chosen. Ferrari, in particular, struggle to make their bright red car look any better with the green stripes.
However, that isn't too much of an issue for just one race. The worst part is that the green stripes are making it impossible to tell the difference between the hard and soft tyres. We have seen Free Practice in Japan already this morning, and it was very difficult to tell who was running on which compound. If they had chosen to simply make the white stripe green, that would be preferable. The way they have done it, all the tyres are stripey and understanding the action is going to be ten times harder.
Nevertheless, as I said before, it's just one race, and for the benefit of the planet, we can live with a little bit of a green paint.