I'm reading Mark Webber's book and in it he says that during the the 2005 Belgian grand prix he was amazed that his team put him on new intermediate tyres instead of scrubbed tyres on a drying track.

What are scrubbed tyres and what advantage would they offer in the above scenario?

2 Answers 2


"Scrubbed" tires in F1 parlance are ones that have done a short number of laps (perhaps one run in qualifying for example but not enough to be worn out). They will have been through a heat cycle and lost some of the tread depth.

In the particular scenario described scrubbed tires could have been advantageous since they would have been less prone to overheating than a new set ("intermediate" and "full" wet tires in F1 rely on the water on the track to keep them from overheating) as the loss of tread depth would have meant less movement in the tread blocks and therefore less heat.


As motosubatsu says, scrubbed tyres are ones which have already done a few laps.

What's not clear to me from the quote is whether the scrubbed tyres Webber was talking about were scrubbed inters or scrubbed dry tyres.

  • If scrubbed inters, then on a drying track: they still have some tread at the start of the run, when the track is wet, but they get worn down to slicks once the track is dry, saving you needing to pit for dry tyres once the track is dry
  • If scrubbed dry tyres, then Webber is reckoning that the scrubbed dry tyres would have been good enough on the slightly wet track, and then when it fully dried up he wouldn't have needed to pit for dry tyres. Possibly fresh dry tyres are more slippery on a wet track than scrubbed dry tyres? - I'm not sure on that.

Either way, I suspect Webber was trying to avoid an additional pitstop once the track was fully dry.

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