In a very interesting analysis of the Australian GP, Keith notes:
“First, aerodynamics is still a big problem and fully dry races are likely to be much more processional than what we saw today.
However, because all the cars at Melbourne started on intermediate tyres none of them were forced to use both dry tyre compounds. As a result we saw some drivers pit more than others and as a result lapped quicker on fresh tyres later in the race – creating the opportunity for racing.
In the dry at Bahrain we saw no major differences in strategy among the front runners because of the mandatory pit stop rule. Removing this rule, and the requirement for the top ten qualifiers to start on the tyres they set their fastest time on should, looks like a good way of improving the quality of racing in F1. The next few races should provide more evidence for whether this is a good idea or not.”
I really can’t see the point of the forced tyre stop and top 10 race-on-your-quali-tyre rules. All it does is force drivers to qualify and start the race on a soft compound and switch to a hard compound early on. Drivers then will just coast to the finish, holding station and settling for points (as they did in Bahrain).
Not only is it artificial, but it also takes away driver choice and the chance for them to do something different.