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Pirelli promises a “revolution” in F1 tyres: more pit stops for 2013
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Pirelli
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Jan 2013   |  12:18 pm GMT  |  174 comments

Pirelli is hosting a press conference at its base in Milan this morning, laying out plans for the 2013 season and it is claiming a half second a lap improvement in performance over 2012.

And the company president said that Pirelli intends to renew the contract with F1 after it expires in December and that he is “confident” it will happen.

In Formula 1 it promises “a revolution” with tyres featuring new softer compounds and constructions which will suffer more thermal degradation than last years’, forcing the teams to make two stops as a minimum and “increasing the overtaking opportunities and so helping to provide an even better show”.

Pirelli claims that the softer compounds will mean that performance is improved by 0.5s per lap, while from a strategy point of view the gap between the two compounds selected for each round will be at least half a second, in order to widen the race strategy options and speed differentials at various stages of the race.

When Pirelli brought 2013 development tyres to Brazil last November, the track temperature was exceptionally hot so teams were not able to learn much other than the fact that these new tyres will clearly warm up more quickly for a single qualifying lap, which is good news for the more stylised drivers like Jenson Button. The development tyres featured the 2013 construction, but not the softer compounds, so the Jerez test will be the first occasion for teams to learn about the tyres.

F1 team engineers have suggested that the 2013 tyres might not be all that different from the 2012 ones, but the proof will come when the new cars start testing in two weeks time.

The tyres are two kilos per set heavier than last year’s, due to a change in the carcass in order to increase the footprint of the tyre. Extra support material is needed to avoid sidewall buckling. The larger footprint will increase braking stability.

The focus of the engineers has been on traction; more grip on the exit of the corner and the construction has been changed to mean that the wear is more spread out across the contact patch.

The hard and soft tyres are designed for a higher working temperature range, while the medium and supersoft are designed for use in lower temperatures.


But managing the thermal degradation in the early races will again be a first order consideration as it was in the early stages of 2012, before teams learned more about those tyres.

A small but crucial note is that the turn in for the 2013 tyres will be much sharper, which some drivers will have to adapt to. Also mid-corner there is more stability, so the drivers can get onto the power earlier.

On the question of whether the season would be more about conserving tyres rather than drivers being able to push to the limit, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that there would be an element of that but that the lessons of 2012 had shown that the best drivers adapt to the tyres and are able to push, “It’s something the drivers are in control of, so it’s in their hands,” he said.

He also said that Pirelli is likely to retain its existing test drivers, Jaime Alguersuari and Lucas di Grassi.

And it was announced that the winner of the GP2 series will get a day of F1 tyre testing as part of his prize, to encourage the development of young drivers. He also noted that the teams are not asking for low-profile 18 inch tyres from 2014 onwards and was cautious on the idea.

To help out the audiences who struggled to tell the difference on TV between the hard and medium tyres, Pirelli has now colour coded the hard tyre with an orange sidewall.

Marco Tronchetti Provera, Pirelli president said, “Many things have changed but one thing that has not changed is passion and competition.

“The effort that has been made has improved the grip, so better performance. Also the effort has been made to make the sets closer in terms of performance to make it harder for the teams to choose the tyres. We’ve been asked to introduce more uncertainty. Last season by the end the drivers were able to keep the same tyres for most of the race.”

Provera said that Pirelli wishes to continue in F1 beyond the end of the current contract which expires in December. “We are confident,” he said.

He brushed off suggestions that producing tyres which last only 20 laps sends out the wrong signals about Pirelli’s road tyres, saying that making tyres which will last for 70 laps is easy, but to make tyres which challenge the teams is a much more complex technical exercise in the service of the show.

Former Ferrari F1 driver Jean Alesi was announced as a Pirelli brand ambassador, “To be back in such a company is a dream of a sportsman,” said Alesi, who raced in Pirellis with Tyrrell in his spectacular 1990 season. “I’m happy to be part of the team and I’m happy to follow what Pirelli will do.”

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174 Comments
  1. Paul L says:

    Groan.

    I’m a fan of F1, Pirelli, and the most important thing to me is to see the drivers race hard and on the limit. I don’t mind whether there’s overtaking or not, I just want you to allow the drivers to show their SPEED ability.

    Only then is it a true race.

    1. Wayne says:

      Double groan.

      “increasing the overtaking opportunities and so helping to provide an even better show”.

      Moving past a car with shot tyres is not my idea of overtaking at all. Moving past another car at high speed with both drivers being able to fight effectively for the position IS overtaking.

      The above amounts to: we’re going to take the best drivers in the world in the most efficient racing machines in the world and limit them artifically with deliberately fragile tyres. Be prepared to watch F1 stars nail qualy, nail about 10% of the race laps and cruise round in tyre conservation mode for the other 90%.

      Pirelli talk about creating a ‘show’ by which they mean a bloody circus rather than a sporting show.

      All that aside, the single most important factors for buying road tyres (I assume Pirelli wants PR value from its involvement in F1?) are safety and durability. Who in their right mind would buy a Pirelli tyre for their road car based on what they advertise in F1?

      “Hey world, come and buy our tyres! They may not last vert long and it’s entirely likely that you’ll wear them down to dangerous levels but my God you’ll get some excitement when you have to constantly replace them, and won’t it be exciting when the explode on you and you watch all the other cars fly past as you hit the central reservation of the motorway at 70MPH!”

      1. brad says:

        mate, anyone who enjoys watching f1 enough to actually notice what brand the tyres are will be smart enough to realise that f1 tyres are not road tyres.

        pirelli have never really been on my radar as potential tyres for my car, but i respect how much development, research and thought goes into these compounds enough to think that maybe some pirelli’s on my ride wouldn’t be a bad idea. because if they’re clever enough to make these tyres do exactly what they want, i’m sure they’re clever enough to make some bloody durable road tyres.

      2. Wayne says:

        Yep I realise this mate, but didn;t feel the need to say it. But not every casual viewer will go through the thought process you just (rightfully) have. There will be many conversations like this:

        “I’m getting some new tyres”

        “What make?”

        “Pirelli”

        “Aren’t they the ones that always wear out in that Formula One thingy?”

        “Oh….errr….yeah.”

      3. Mitchel says:

        I agree with both yourself and Wayne…

        In the words of George W Bush: Is our children learning?

        :)

      4. Mike from Colombia says:

        100 percent agree…..circus

        Why not allow engine temp to rise excessively as you race instead…save on rubber and you would get the same effect of allowing drivers to pass mechanically compromised competitors.

        You would have to back off the throttle as you go through the stint.

      5. Jimbob says:

        Bah come on. What can Pirelli do? When Bridgestone made the tyres you want everyone hated the way F1 was because people just couldn’t overtake. I know you’re a Hamilton fan so you’ll naturally jump in and say that he still did but you’ll find it wasn’t actually that often and he will still find these opportunities because he is an awesome driver.

        Tyres that degrade quickly do improve the show – Yes, a car with better tyres will get by a car with shot tyres fairly easily but it’s not so much about that overtake it’s about the race dynamic being improved by so many different strategies.

        I’ve loved F1 for as long as I can remember so about 25yrs and the most boring phase of that was when bridgestone made super durable tyres and the only overtaking that really happened was during the stops. Don’t get me wrong, there were still SOME awesome overtakes and they will still happen when the situation presents itself. It’s just now we have a more interesting race as well rather than a complete borefest broken up by one or two amazing overtakes.

        Oh, and anyone stupid enough to think that Pirelli road tyres will be s*** because the degrade so fast on an F1 car shouldn’t be getting behind the wheel, ever.

      6. Harry says:

        nonsense. The last year of Bridgestone (2010) had more overtaking than we’d seen since 1993. It was a cracker of a season withthe WDC decided by just 4 points, and 4 drivers within 16 points! Pirelli’s self-destructing tyres came in next year and we instantly saw unprecedented levels of “overtaking” sitting ducks with shot tyres. 50% more overtaking than any season in modern F1 as far back as 1980. It’s fake and unnecessary.

      7. Kay says:

        In 2000s the lack of overtaking wasn’t down to tyres but aero. “Dirty air” if you remember? With aero now crippled (at least half) and if 2012-13 cars had super durable tyres then racing can only be more exciting. Recall Monaco 2012 where everybody just cruised to the flag due to the need to save tyres? How’s THAT exciting?

      8. Andrew says:

        I completely agree. Unfortunately, people always reply saying that F1 has always been about managing tyres and therefore think thats a satisfactory answer. What they’re saying is true to a degree but F1 these days is almost entirely revolving around how well the tyres last. When experienced drivers like Schumacher say that its easy just driving around managing the tyres and no joy, I would’ve thought that this would make the decision makers sit up and take notice. Personally, I think the decision makers pride is at stake and they don’t want to be seen publicly admitting to the fact that they’ve screwed up with the racing being too dependent on tyre management so they defend it to the hilt with all sorts of convoluted reasoning leaving the hard core fans frustrated with a lack of REAL racing.

      9. Wade Parmino says:

        I understand your position and basically agree with it. However, technology has increased to such an extent that reliability is almost 100%. World class drivers racing on exactly the same tyre and mechanical reliability will amount to a drag race to the first turn, then a procession to the finish without the need for pitstops. Positions won’t change because drivers are so evenly matched and talented.

        The cars now are not like the cars driven by Arnoux and Villenueve in the 1979 classic at Dijon. These types of exciting races have to be somewhat artificially induced by throwing in a heap of variables. These variables like tyre management skills, fuel usage, pit strategy make it much more of a team sport and demand greater abilities from the drivers.

        Lower racing categories can be more exciting as drivers are willing to push harder and take more risks because tens of millions of dollars are not dependant on their results. Some 250 Superkart races I’ve seen have been the best races ever. In fact I would love to see all the F1 drivers run a 250 Superkart race at tracks like Hockenheim or Hungary. 4 karts side by side into a turn at 180 kmh. :D

      10. Wayne says:

        Nice points, Wade, can’t disagree with any of them. No doubting it’s a hard equation to solve and the people who are trying to resolve it are intelligent. It just feels like F1 is going too far. I don’t want to see an American Wrestling version of F1.

      11. Kay says:

        “World class drivers racing on exactly the same tyre and mechanical reliability will amount to a drag race to the first turn, then a procession to the finish without the need for pitstops. Positions won’t change because drivers are so evenly matched and talented.”

        For one, drivers aren’t evenly talented or skilled. ALO v MAS? HAM v BUT? VET v WEB? ROS v MSC? The list goes on. That wasn’t down to mechanical reliability but drivers skills.

        Making more durable tyres doesn’t mean it’ll cruise to finish. Drivers still has to know how to find a way past, how to out-brake someone into the turn while not locking the wheels up to make it stick, etc. With crippled tyres it certainly doesn’t promote racing but as you say, procession to the finish.

    2. Craig D says:

      Why not just have 20 lap sprint races then in that case? If there’s next to no strategy through pitstops and cars behaving differently through various periods of a race, what’s the point of having 70 laps of repetitive, tedium? Especially if there’s next to no overtaking because of it?

      People complain about this tyre-induced strategic form of racing but every time there’s a monotonous race with little overtaking and strategic spice (like a number of the races in the second half of last season, which became rather predictable affairs), people say how boring the race was.

      1. Adriano says:

        Agreed. Please let’s not go back to everyone trying to overtake in the first 2 laps then zzz……

      2. Kevin says:

        I agree with you 100% Craig. I find it amusing to see so many people complain about ‘artificial’ racing when memories of 70 laps of high-speed parade laps should still be fresh in their memories.

        I agree that it’d be great to give these guys the tools that allow them to go 100% for an entire race, but we did that and it resulted in boring races where people couldn’t go at 100% because they couldn’t pass slower cars (and significantly slower at that)… just ask Alonso after he lost a world championship because of it.

        There is also the question of ratings. It’s fantastic to have a hardcore group of fans, but the reality is for F1 to flourish it needs to put on a show. The hardcore fans can bitch and complain about the product all they want, if F1 puts on a good show, casual fans will watch more often, and if some of the hardcore fans get so angry they decide to stop watching, they’ll be replaced by the new generation of fans that are starting to watch the sport now.

      3. Wayne says:

        But do you not worry that they are going to go TOO FAR? Maybe they have not yet, for most people, but I worry that they will, they just won;t be able to stop themselves tinkering and whittling away the sport aspect until all that is left is entertainment. We have Soap Operas for pure entertainment, F1 needs to remain a real sport as well.

    3. **Paul** says:

      You’ve obviously forgotton just how boring F1 was when they had tyes that easily lasted an entire race. Processional I believe is the term. Sure overtakes with one car with new tyres vs worn tyres aren’t a like for like situation, but that’s where tactical elements of the sport come in, no different to the differing fuel levels we used to see in the sport.

      Tyres that degrade are good for F1, they give the fastest/team the opportunity to succeed on a Saturday Afternoon, and the best driver/team combination success on the Sunday. That’s what F1 is all about, it’s a very tactical team sport, and contrary to what many people think, fast isn’t good enough in F1, you’ve got to be fast AND smart.

      Just remember, that if the fastest car & driver combination didn’t have to think of tactics we’d see the same winner over and over and over again. I believe his name was Michael Schumacher.

      1. The Catman says:

        Agree 100%.

        I don’t want to sit at the start of a race knowing who is going to win and that all the cars will be on the same one-stop strategy.

        I want those drivers who are able to maximise the pace-degredation equation get a benefit from that.

        TC

      2. tarun says:

        paul..I agree with you…
        but kimi did win the suzuka from 17th on those long lasting tyres…
        but yes the faster car will keep increasing the gap..and there’s no way the slower can catch it..perfect recipe for a snorefest!

      3. Mitchel says:

        And that was the ‘one-lap’ quali season: even more gimmicky.

        Seems very strange now…..and very long ago!

      4. Daniel M says:

        Suzuka was a freak race (although good), with the fastest cars at the back of the grid due to a rainy quali. Tyres had nothing to do with it.

      5. James Clayton says:

        2010 was one of the best seasons… EVER. Overtaking was incredibly difficult but dead exciting.

        Yes following may have been a little *too* difficult but that was mostly due to the double diffuser which was being banned the following year. DRS and Pijellies were a knee-jerk reaction to a problem which has *already* been solved.

      6. Martin says:

        The double diffuser argument is a myth (and that was in 2009, not 2010 anyway). It is contrary to physics. The aim of the diffuser is to help the air that is fast moving under the car slow as much as possible, increasing its pressure. The ideal is to get the air back to static air pressure at the exit of the diffuser. Turbulent airflow is a function of velocity and the increased diffuser size of the double diffuser reduced the exit air velocity.

        Wings work on conservation of momentum, which involves moving as much air, as fast as possible upwards so the car is pushed downwards. This void of low pressure air behind the car creates lots of lots of drag and turbulent flow. By reducing the diffuser size, with or without the double diffuser effect, the cars needed bigger rear wings, which is where following becomes most difficult. The Renault in 2009 didn’t have the most effective single diffuser floor, so it needed a big wing. I remember a couple of drivers saying it was the worst car to follow.

        The floors are not perfect, and still result in turbulent air, but as they work on the Bernuouli principle with a venturi, they are much more efficient than wings. Double diffusers were an improved version of a failure by the overtaking working group.

        If you want to advocate rule changes to improve overtaking without resorting to KERS, DRS, tyres or special engine modes, advocate ground effects, or even better cars with fans that such themselves to the track, just like slot cars with magnets. Double diffusers were a means of regaining some of what was taken away the from the previous year. Making the rear wing narrower and raising it 200 mm helped very slightly.

        Passing in 2010 would have been easier if the cars were allowed the double diffusers as the rear wings would generally have been smaller. If the rear wing is too large, the ride height collapses, resulting in the diffuser not working. Red Bull worked this part out first with its increase in rake in the car, allowing the diffuser to work in a wider range.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      7. Wayne says:

        Hi Paul, is there not a worry though that F1 will go too far down this route of introducing deliberately artifical variables in the quest for greater ‘excitement’? There is potentially a limit to how many of these gimmicks F1 can take beofre it becomes ridiculous…

      8. Wade Parmino says:

        I know some gimmicks are ridiculous (like Bernie’s sprinkler idea), but I would like to see a reverse grid just for the final Grand Prix of the season. Whatever the championship standings are in reverse by the conclusion of the second last race can determine the starting grid. Since the final race is usually at Interlagos Brazil, this should make for an overtake-athon if there ever was one.

        It could at least be trialed. If it doesn’t work out for whatever reason, don’t run it again. What are peoples thoughts?

    4. IgMi says:

      The limit is always defined by the capabilities of the whole package, the tires being a part of it. Being able to extract the maximum from what you have: engine, suspension, aero, tires, driver, pit stops, etc. will determine where you would end up at the end of the race.

      The tires are interesting because they are the only element that is unknown at the beginning of the season. For me, the more unknown they are, the more interesting things would be. Acknowledged, some teams may be lucky to hit the car build and setup to suite the tires sooner than some other teams, but not knowing who is going to do it and when is another unknown – things are getting ever more interesting. My team may struggle because of that, but they may also be a lucky winner.

      Whatever the case may be I want to see them to be quick to their feet and adjust to what is given to them quickly – that is how they would retain my respect.

    5. knoxploration says:

      I couldn’t care less about tires, because it’s a level playing field. Everybody gets the same quantity of the same rubber, and it’s up to them to deal with it. If Pirelli wants more pitstops, that’s fine with me — it’s just more opportunities for action and mistakes.

      If there’s one thing Pirelli needs to change, though, it’s the god-awful color scheme on the tires. Some of them are near-impossible to see properly mid-race, and they’re unnecessarily confusing to remember.

      We only have two tire choices per weekend, we don’t *need* six colors to try and remember. All we need is two colors that remain the same every weekend — one for harder, one for software. And those colors should be simple — black wall only, or black wall with a white stripe in a location that is easily visible and doesn’t wear quickly. That is *it*.

      Anything else is idiocy that simply confuses and detracts from the goal of helping fans understand the tires and the racing.

      1. Shaun says:

        I can’t agree. I appreciate the colours remaining different. I like to be able to know exactly which of the four slick compounds they are using at a glance.

        The only combination that was annoying was white/silver and they’ve addressed that.

        What you propose would lead to more confusion in my opinion; one race the medium would be the softer tire and have the extra marking, but then next race its the hard and has no marking. In that regard newer fans would be more confused I think.

        The little tire guide they do at the start of the coverage where they show them all and then remove the 2 not in use works. Then the commentators invariably explain it during the coverage each race.

      2. knoxploration says:

        You can’t remind yourself of that once at the start of each session, or once at the start of each weekend for that matter?? Heck, your TV commentary team almost certainly already reminds you of this.

        And given that every car on the track — with the sole exception of the very rare tests of upcoming rubber — is running one of the same two tyre types, every weekend.. How is it relevant to see them differentiated from the tyres that not a single car is running?

        The only thing that is relevant in-season is whether you’re on the harder or softer of the two tyre types available to you. Trying to differentiate beyond that is a needless complexity that adds precisely zero to the viewing experience, makes it more confusing to less-experienced viewers, and doesn’t give one single iota of extra information to the seasoned viewer.

        It’s idiocy, and it needs to stop. If it wasn’t for the attempt to show information that tells us nothing, we could have a tire labeling system that was clear on every device. You may be able to tell the tire types apart easily in your country and on your display, but some of us have to watch video that has been PAL-NTSC converted, strongly compressed for (legal, conrolled by TV station) internet streaming, and may be watching on an older TV or perhaps even a tablet or phone where the differentiation between tires is currently close to invisible.

      3. Kay says:

        Completely agree with you.

        When they first introduced their ‘product range’, it just seemed completely bizzar to me. Bridgestones were fine with 2 compounds only and it was a hell of a lot easier for the audience. I don’t see the need for 5-6 compounds to be identified, and the audience need to work out which of the 5-6 they’re racing.

  2. Andrew says:

    More thermal degradation = whatever you do, dont drive fast!

    This is bad news for fast drivers and good news for the slower ones.

    1. DMyers says:

      If only it were that simple.

    2. Mike from Colombia says:

      Pirelli has does more for nurses than any UK Labour goverment.

    3. Jimbob says:

      That’s nonsense. Thermal degradation occurs more through slip than speed so driving fast is fine if you can do it without lighting up\locking\sliding the tyres.

      1. Kay says:

        Which in turn means driver have less of an incentive to dive into a corner to do a late-brake for an over-take, meaning less overtaking moves.

      2. Mike from Colombia says:

        We have DRS to take care of the overtaking. The ultimate test in skill and bravado….pressing that button at the right time to sail past a lame duck car. Takes my breath away.

    4. Wade Parmino says:

      Don’t confuse slow drivers with smooth and steady drivers. Alain Prost – almost as fast as Ayrton Senna but a lot more controlled (appearing slow to look at but the timesheets show the truth). Prost has more wins than he does poles. Senna has more poles than he does wins. This shows the fastest driver is not always the best driver. Senna – fastest. Prost – greatest.

      1. Wilma the Great says:

        Watch your step! You’re dancing on a minefield.

      2. Scuderia McLaren says:

        +1

        I agree wade. I think Prost was better than Senna also.

        Quick, run… RUN!!! They’re coming.

  3. Anne says:

    Why tyres are an overtaking tool? It is nonesense to force pit stops based on tyres degradation. I hate to hear on the radio the voice of an engineer saying “look after the tyres”

    1. Wayne says:

      Absolutely, ‘look after the yres’ basically equates to ‘slow down’ or ‘stop racing the guy infront’ – it’s madness to actually encourage this in F1.

  4. Erik says:

    “We’ve been asked to introduce more uncertainty.”

    Yes! After two years of moaning about the unpredictability of tyre behaviour, the guys n gals in F1 finally get that this is exactly the type of thing that makes for a good show!

    Remember when Pirelli first showed up? Those pre-season test a couple of years back where the Pirelli bashing was rife in the media for producing an unpredictable and degrading tyre? But take a look at the last two seasons… Excitement plus right?

    How things change hey?
    I for one am glad.

    1. Wayne says:

      Depends how you define excitement, doesn’t it.

      1. newton says:

        Well I certainly don’t think it’s defined by watching cars drive round in a queue and desperately hoping someone has a fast pitstop in order to get past the guy in front.
        We had a few years like that and I often didn’t mind if I missed a race. These days I make sure I don’t miss any.

      2. The Catman says:

        Exactly.

        2012 was brilliant, possibly the most entertaining ever.

        A range of drivers had their day, but by the end of the season the best driver/teams headed the standings.

        TC

      3. Erik says:

        Yup, +1

      4. Wade Parmino says:

        Yes.

      5. iceman says:

        It seems some people actually liked watching the Trulli Train!

    2. Kay says:

      2012 certainly was exciting but it was not due to Pirelli.

      Alonso’s out-driving his car for podiums was one
      Mechanical issues was another, i.e. Vettel, Renault, Hamilton at Abu Dhabi etc.
      Rain was another, i.e. Malaysia
      Vettel won the WDC but was not down to the cars in front with crippling tyres. His car’s aero was best of the rest which certainly helped him to drag himself back up the order.
      Various other races where they were incident packed like accidents, but certainly none are contributed by a stupidly cripple tyres.

  5. Ben B says:

    Why push for greener cars and smaller engines, using less fuel and going slower, when F1 will just use up more tyres than before?

    1. Wayne says:

      Nice point Ben – the answer is because F1 is the most hypocritcal sport on the face of the planet.

      Take ‘green’ engines for example and the comparrison between the emissions they will save and the emissions created by flying tonnes and tonnes of freight all over the world to deserted race tracks, where the local people are not even interested, in exchange for vast sums of money.

      Sustainability – well not in the case of tyres where we are making them wear out as fast as possible because that’s what we’ve decided the drooling masses want (the ‘drooling masses’ are that degenerative section of society who believe that the crashes are the best bits).

      Even on the level of how it applies it’s own rules, F1 is hypocritical. It’s one set of rules and penalties for the back markers, one slightly revised set for the midfield and a different set again for those who are either leading the race or are in serious championship contention. The FIA constantly shies away from penalising title challengers because they do not want to ‘interfere’ in the outcome of the championship – even to the point where backmarkers get unjust penalties because the FIA ‘has’ to penalise someone.

      1. Simmo says:

        Agreed

      2. J says:

        I think you’ve been heard wayne. How many repeat posts does it take to satisfy you? 6? 7?

        We get it. You don’t like current F1. Go check out some Moto GP blogs. No pit stops or aero or KERS there.

      3. Wayne says:

        Firstly, the point above is different from the point I made higher up in this thread.

        Secondly, (while I do not think for a minute that my ramblings will lead to change on their own) speaking out is a medium for change. I love F1 and never miss a race, I go and watch and watch tv. No one ever changed anything by walking away.

      4. Wayne says:

        And, J, there is a huge difference between the worth of your reply and the reply of say Dan, a couple below. Can you spot what it is?

      5. KaRn- says:

        You have completely missed the point for the engine change, its about making them greener yes. Its not about using less emissions of the whole sport though, the planes etc do that as you said.

        Its about keeping the sport relevant to road cars where efficiency is the aim now. Making the huge money investment return something to the real world. If the sport isn’t relevant the engine manufacturers would pull out (like Renault threatened).

    2. DB says:

      As far as I know, they will use as many tyres as before, as the number of sets per event is set in the rules and they haven’t changed.

      1. Wayne says:

        Are they not getting more for Qualy and testing because they need tyres that last to test effectively and please the crowds by actually being on the track? I’m not sure, I thought they were after extra sets…..

      2. DB says:

        “As before, each Formula One car will have 11 [dry-weather] sets of tyres available for the weekend…” (http://www.formula1.com/news/headlines/2013/1/14205.html)

        I don’t know if they’ll get more tyres for the winter and young drivers test, but for race weekends, it’s the same. Actually 1/13 less, without HRT.

    3. Dan says:

      As far as I know all the tyres are ground up at the end of a race and recycled. I heard that they end up in products like soft flooring for playgrounds etc.

      1. Wayne says:

        Thanks for this, Dan, I did not know that.

    4. schumerak says:

      Yeah – why not aim towards one set of tyres for the season, let them have a retread halfway through the year, and a ten place grid penalty if they have to replace one or get a flat. That is way the engine formula is going after all, and may just about provide some trickle down technology to road tyres.

      These 20 lap super softs are about as economically viable as Bridgestones top end middle-of-a-tyre-war efforts from 2002.

      1. KaRn- says:

        I quite like the idea of racing one set a season but it would quite possibly be dull/unsafe? And perhaps the development costs would be huge too? I really doubt the current tyres cost much to make past the development stage so how many laps they run is less relevant (in money terms) really.

  6. Irish con says:

    Sundays just are not the same without f1 and moto gp. I can’t wait for another great season of racing to start. Only problem for me being a Irish man the season starts on st Patrick’s day so could be a struggle :D

  7. Chris says:

    a ‘revolution’ in tyres? *groan*

  8. goferet says:

    Hmm… am torn about this decision.

    Sure I love the fast degrading tyres for they produce unpredictable races which are fun for they have the element of giving the little guys chances to make those giant killing drives however as a disadvantage, we get to see drivers opting out of qualifying 3 in a bid to save tyres in other words fast degrading tyres penalize those that make it to Q3 or if you like, they penalize success.

    On the other side of the page, I love durable tyres (when the conditions are right) like we saw at the US grand prix 2013.

    For with durable tyres can we see the drivers push to the limit for all it’s worth however, the major disadvantage of durable tyres is, when conditions aren’t right, they have a knack of producing really dull races.

    So here’s my suggestion to Pirelli:

    They should produce both the fast degrading tyres and the durable ones.

    The fast degrading tyres should be brought out on those notoriously hard to overtake tracks such as Barcelona, Monaco, India, Monza, Singapore, Hungary, Abu-Dhabi and Valencia etc

    As for the durable tyres, those should appear on the easy to overtake tracks such as China, Canada, Austin, Spa, Melbourne, Malaysia, Silverstone, Germany, Interlagos and such

    1. Simmo says:

      Or allow more tyres for drivers in Q3, so that they still have some for the race, but are also can push for grid position.

    2. The Catman says:

      You’ve already seen the 2013 US GP? Great, can you let me know the result so I can get down to the bookies? :) :)

      TC

    3. DB says:

      I think tyre allocation should be done in a team-by-team or even driver-by-driver basis. I.e. each team should be free to choose how many of the 4 tyre types they’d like to have in each race, keeping the maximum 11.

      This way, the teams could find out which tyres are the best for them, considering car and track characteristics and strategy. Slower cars could, which don’t go into Q3 could choose more soft or super-soft tyres to try and fight back in the race.

      If teams have an early enough deadline to make their choices, it shouldn’t be harder for Pirelli to do this.

      As far as punishing success, Indy has a solution for that: cars that go into their Q3-equivalent, receive an extra set of soft tyres exclusively for that section.

  9. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Why would you increase stability under braking? Part of the lack of overtaking nowadays is the lack of mistakes, this will only serve to reduce them further and make the cars easier to drive.
    Completely pointless and counterproductive.

    1. newton says:

      *lack of overtaking nowadays*?

      really?

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        ‘Difficulty finding an opening to overtake’ would have been a better way to phrase it. DRS is a work around, I am not factoring that in.

      2. newton says:

        As I understand it there were more non-DRS passes than with this year.
        I’ll see if I can find the stats again.

  10. Adriano says:

    I find it utterly bemusing that any mention of tyre wear is always met with a piercing volley of “let the drivers go as fast as they can”. Conserving tyres plays a part in every form of circuit racing and very from the moment the wheels start turning. To imagine F1 any as being any different is folly (perhaps the dissenters should try drag racing?). The better driver (with a nod to a well set-up car) looks after his tyres and STILL drives fast: a point made in James’ piece.

    I would agree that no one wants to see top drivers tip-toeing around and, as stated, it is possible to manufacture tyres that last a race; however, I would also ask you to recall a recent era in F1 where the latter was case and where the back end of the race was ALL about conserving tyres! (it made for some very sleepy Sunday afternoons…)

    Clearly a balance has to be struck which encourages closer racing born out of skill and a little bit of cunning. The real problem currently, is the propensity for tyres to fall of a cliff and thus completely negate all of the aforementioned skill etc. That really is a joke. Perhaps Pirelli/the rule makers might better concentrate on making tyres that degrade a little slower and then maybe we can get back to a single compound per race (I think we’d ALL agree the twin compound approach is rather unnecessary).

    1. Christos Pallis says:

      Agreed, twin compound is unnecessary. How good would it be to see somebody try qualify upfront on harder tyres knowing they were better in the race and then also knowing they didn’t have to use a softer tyre for stint two. That could produce some real strategic races like how Canada bore out last season. I.e soft, hard better for quali but hard, hard better for race?!?!

    2. Christos Pallis says:

      Sorry to add but even different cars could suit different strategies. McLaren might for example suit hard, hard where Lotus could race better on soft, soft! I’d love to see that.

      I like the two compounds just not the compulsion to use both types per race. More choice means more variety and I think in this case that would be good for F1

  11. Rich B says:

    I’m a big F1 fan, but I have to admit, I find the subject on tyres incredibly dull so I don’t pay attention to it. In fact I got bored halfway through reading the info above so I stopped. All I want is little ‘tyre conserving mode’ moments and no tyre lottery. I don’t think that’s too much to ask is it?

  12. Roger W says:

    “increasing the overtaking opportunities and so helping to provide an even better show” –

    Bernie likes “shows” …..

    1. James Allen says:

      Most people want a show, rather than a procession – the question is degree and level of artificiality needed to achieve it

      1. Roger W says:

        James – agree entirely, it’s quite interesting that tyres now appear to be the the fundamental method of generating excitement rather than engine performance…

      2. James Allen says:

        Give it a year, 2014 will change that

      3. Martin says:

        Hi Roger,

        The thing with better engines is that the passing doesn’t come from driver talent. In F1 cars what would happen is that the more powerful cars could afford to run bigger wings, so every corner exit would be better and every braking distance would be shorter. It looks better than many DRS passes, but is pretty similar.

        To me what would help is where the torque:grip ratio is much greater than we have now. Combine that with a difficult to modulate throttle response (turbos in general, but not F1 from 2014) and you get an opportunity for one driver to get a run on another to overcome the accordian effect under accelation, get in the slipstream and have a chance of a braking duel where the two cars have to brake at about the same point. Then you get the chance for the battle to continue to the next corner. If the downforce levels are too different, you know who is going to win out.

        Cheers,
        Martin

      4. aezy_doc says:

        Everything in F1 is artificial. What does authentic look like? No pitstops? No strategy? No wings? No Kers? No cars? A nude running race?

      5. Random says:

        Even if it were a nude running race, they’d *still* focus on aerodynamics with blown exhaust.

        Sorry, couldn’t resist… :)

      6. iceman says:

        For me, all these artificial overtaking aids are justified not by the show, but by the fact that they allow the fastest guy to win the race.

      7. Harry says:

        did Rosberg/Mercedes win a race because they were the fastest, or where they the fastest because of the randomn factors brought to us by the artificial tyres? Same goes for Maldonardo /Williams, and several other one-off performances we saw last year out-of-the-blue. Those drivers and cars were only ever artificially the fastest one weekend.

      8. iceman says:

        @Harry:
        That weekend Rosberg set a pole position lap so fast that he could get out of the car and hang up his overalls before Q3 had even finished, and still no-one else even got close. So yes I would say he was the fastest.

        He didn’t set that lap using some “random” tyre that was better than everyone else’s. They all had the same tyres.

      9. Harry says:

        @iceman:
        if his car was fastest on merit, why couldn’t they repeat the feat any other time during the season. Why just a one-off flash in the pan at China? Because they somehow managed to ‘jag’ a setup that got the tyres working when the rest didn’t. Same goes for Maldonardo’s win and other one-off performances. It wasn’t that Mercedes or Williams had a car to match RBR, Mclaren or Ferrari, it was just the tyres narrow band of operation making some cars fast and some cars slow. Event he teams and engineers said they didn’t know how to make the tyres work, it either happened or it didn’t…

  13. Heinz M says:

    James, any news on Paul Hembery defecting to Mercedes to be their top tyre engineer??

    1. James Allen says:

      I think he’s managed to evade their clutches..so far!

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        A very insightful comment James. ;)

  14. alexdhq says:

    We all know that reduced grip (rain) = excitement and great racing. How did Pirelli come to the conclusion that increasing the grip on the 2013 tires will add to the show? Their development direction seems contradictory to their achievement goals, it seems.

    And, who enjoys a race decided by strategy and pit-stop leapfrogs rather than one where drivers fight it into and out of every corner, all the way to the chequered flag?

    I hope I’m wrong and can’t wait for the racing to begin…

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Degrading dry tyres is not the same as a lack of surface grip from rain.

    2. Bearnie Roare says:

      Interesting.
      I thought the biggest (real)problem was the marbles? Didn’t the manufacturer comment on that aspect too? Well, Pirelli made a new tyre that is 0,5 seconds quicker. It could easily be 5 seconds, but it is irrelevant, as the tyres are same for everyone. Nice commercial try, but I would still pick Nokians instead for my roadcar.

      Apart from the marble soup, I see another issue. Why do we have such thing like drivers title in the first place?
      More pit stops means higher importance of a pitcrew. Teams/cars have already huge influence on the results, why make it even bigger? A failed pitstop is another excuse for an underperforming competitor. Less or no stops at all forces the drivers to act on track, with their own head(!) and not hope for a tactic genius to solve some equations for them to get in front.

      1. JCA says:

        The Ferrari/Schumi years showed that when you have the best car and no strategy is required, you’ll win easily.

        Everybody complains about lights to flag victories and seasons like 2011, but complain when the FIA try to spice up the racing.

        All sport needs to be entertaining to survive, they are competing against everything else on television.

    3. Bearnie Roare says:

      Pardon, I clicked too early. I left out, that I totally agree that reduced grip in the wet should be a good hint, how the tyres should be developed.

      Engine power is cut down anyway, can’t see a good reason why it was necessary to add “more grip on the exit of the corner”. In 2000, there was no traction control(at least, we must believe there wasn’t), but the engines produced more power. Let them spin or show their advanced right foot…

  15. Duffy says:

    hypocrites at their best, 2014 will see more “green” race cars, smaller more fuel efficient engines, energy recovery, etc. yet 2013 will see softer tires, faster lap times, more tires used, guess Pirelli didn’t get the memo, will 2014 see harder tires, less tires manufactured and used, energy conversation in their manufacture and usage, etc. these guys get more like NASCAR everyday!

    1. Daniel M says:

      They won’t use any more tyres. As has been stated before, Pirelli manufacture the same number of tyres to take to every GP. All the tyres, used or not, get recycled afterwards.

  16. goferet says:

    I have been looking at the F1 tyre stats which have surprised me as shown below:

    i) Despite being the head quarters of F1 (so to speak), Britain has never been a tyre supplier whereas the likes of Italy, Belgium and Germany have been providers in the form of Pirelli, Englebat and Continental respectively back in the 50s

    ii) Despite F1 being alien to the US, they have been the most prolific tyre suppliers in the form of Goodyear, Dunlop, Avon and Firestone

    iii) Goodyear has produced the most F1 world champions with 25 world champions, followed by 11 champions for Brigdestone and then 8 champions for Dunlop

    iv) Ferrari has been most successful on the Brigdestones with 6 wins, Mclaren have been most successful on the Goodyears with 8 wins whereas Williams have been most successful on the Goodyears with 7 wins

    v) Brabham and Renault have been the most successful on the Michelins with 2 wins a piece whereas Ferrari and Mclaren have won just one WDC and one WCC on the Michelins whereas Williams has never won on the Michelins

    vi) The only time Ferrari won with the Pirellis was in 1953 whereas Maserati was the last Italian team to win with the Pirelli in 1957

    vii) Red Bull are the first team in the history of F1 to have won the constructors title with Pirelli due to the fact Pirelli have been in the game from 1950 – 1958 and 1981 – 1986 (as a reminder the constructors title begun in 1958)

    1. iceman says:

      Dunlop and Avon were both British companies.

    2. Spyros says:

      At the risk of sounding unappreciative, I think this date is somewhat skewed… how many teams won with ‘x’ tyre maker when they weren’t the exclusive F1 tyre supplier?

      For example, Michelin’s successes appear quite limited, because compared to others, they didn’t stay in F1 for very long… but in their brief time in the late 90s and early 00s, they sent Goodyear packing (literally) and gave Bridgestone a good run for its money… before leaving the latter alone and unopposed, like Goodyear had been before.

  17. Spyros says:

    “He (Paul Hembery) also noted that the teams are not asking for low-profile 18 inch tyres from 2014 onwards and was cautious on the idea.”

    What? The teams HAVE to ask for 18-inch rims?

    Why continue with tyres and suspension that have nothing to do with reality? Indy has real tyres, Lemans racers have real tyres… why does the pinnacle of motorsport insist on using tyres that would have looked dated in the late 70s?

    I realise that 2014 presents enough challenges for the F1 teams, as it is… but please, let’s at least have a plan for modern tyres and crucially, REAL suspension (since the tyres do most of the work now), from 2015 or thereabouts.

    1. Knuckles says:

      Yes the teams have to ask, because 18″ rims mean that the have to completely redesign the suspensions, and the aero to a large extent. Before Pirelli was chosen, there were talks with Michelin, who were only interested if F1 move to 18″ rims, and the teams did not want that for cost reasons.

    2. Chrome says:

      I’m not sure what you mean with reality.
      The current tyres and suspension have quite a lot to do with reality. One thing is what we tolerate on our street vehicles. The rules we force for the competition is a completely different matter.

      Sure, Pirelli can do low profile tyres as well. But what would it change? Physics remains the same, no matter what rules we write. Engineers must adapt, just like with the current tyres.

      Yes, the looks would change, and in my opinion, for the better. But I’m afraid that fancy rims can’t mask substantial errors, for example the mess with the signal lights and flags in Brazil…

      Current f1 has moved drastically to building a facade without content. Switching to different rim size without a good explanation would be another step.

      1. Spyros says:

        Respectfully, I think you’re missing my (perhaps not well-stated) point. The appearance of the tyres does seem silly to me, but my primary issue is the suspension.

        At the moment, we are told that at least half the travel in the suspended mass at each corner of an F1 car comes from deflection in the shape of the tyres, NOT the suspension itself… and it’s probably more than half when cars ride a high apex in a chicane. This is only possible because of the massive sidewalls these tyres have.

        As you say physics must stay the same. So if the sidewall height was reduced drastically, F1 mechanics would have to recover the lost travel by designing new suspension, because the stuff they use now is based on torsion bars, which can afford only so much travel. At the moment, teams choose their suspension arrangement based primarily on aero packaging concerns, NOT what the suspension itself does.

        I really don’t know if there is much to be gained from this, competitively, but I’d like to see F1 cars leaning on springs and shock absorbers, rather than torsion bars and sidewalls.

        I guess I should have emphasized ‘real’ on suspension, rather than tyres, in my first post.

    3. Kay says:

      Paul is completely rewriting what he said in the past.

      Back then before Pirelli was brought in, Michelin also wanted to join and on Pirelli’s agenda it was stated that F1 MUST use 18″ wheels from 2013 / 14 onwards.

      Now he’s saying teams HAVE to ask for it before they can use it??

      I never trusted this guy Paul and he’s just showing more of a sign that he’s playing things as he wishes.

      1. Spyros says:

        That ‘MUST’ is what I remember, too. I think I also remember that the teams smiled on the idea at the time.

        It’s probably fair to say that someone has to ask for it, since it would make the teams work a bit harder. In my opinion the ‘they have to ask for it’ comment is admission that the idea isn’t seriously considered. It was Pirelli that supposedly wanted it back then, so that its tyres identified better with its road-going products.

        The teams can be depended on NOT wanting it. Now we see Pirelli doesn’t want it. FIA is the only remaining body in the affair, and we haven’t heard anything from them… so while I really hope it happens at some point, I think it is likely that the comedy tyres will stay with us for the foreseeable future.

  18. Die Scuderia says:

    This thing about manipulating the tires is just not my kind of tea. I will rather bring back refueling and two tire manufactures. Refueling with a limit of fuel maximun weight will be much better. How teams fuel their car will be a better variable than having a tire that will surely underpeform in the next few laps. It’s as good as saying DRS is exiting. It’s not. And so does tires that that can either break away or Pirelli gets it wrong and a soft tire almost cover 70% of the race distance. Kimi did not deserve that disaster about tires.

    DS

  19. Jon says:

    I would like to see lower profile, 18″ rims/tires. It would put more of the suspension tuning into the teams’ hands, and not Pirelli’s. It would also feel more relevant to the average fan, as nobody uses 13″ wheels on their road car (except maybe a Smart Car). I can see that Pirelli would be against it due to reduced ad space on the side of the tire.

    I would also like to see a tire compound that liked a lot more slip angle on corners. That way we could see the cars and drivers working, not just zipping around the corner, seemingly on rails.

    1. Spyros says:

      I don’t think Pirelli would really suffer from reduced space… tyre makers in other formulas use low-profile tyres and manage just fine. Besides, in the last few years the tyres are always on people’s lips, so they’d get exposure even if the tyres were completely unmarked!

      I get the impression that it is mainly the teams that don’t want changes in the tyres. They already have to get their heads around the 2014 engines, plus the effect they will have on the cars’ aero balance (which is likely to be considerable). But I would like to see more modern tyres scheduled for a year or two later.

      Whether this will give us cars leaning one way or the other, I don’t know… but I’ll be extremely happy if we at least do away with silly luck-of-the-draw incidents, like cars bouncing around on their tyres ungainly when they caught the wrong end of that double-chicane in Singapore, helplessly ending up sideways on a wall.

    2. Kay says:

      Pirelli themselves asked for 18″ in the first place! Not the other way round!

      Just dig up news from when Pirelli joined, back in 2009 or 10.

      1. Jon says:

        Thanks for the link Kay. I guess I missed that. I suppose it’s Bernie and friends that don’t want to change the look of F1 cars then, with their traditionally tall sidewalled tires.

  20. James says:

    Sharp turn in and stability under braking suggest somewhere in deepest Austria, a Mr S. Vettel has a huge grin in his face today having claimed just a few short weeks ago that his lack of love for the early RB8 related to the cars inability to carry speed to the apex.

  21. aezy_doc says:

    Why not, instead of Pirelli choosing the compounds, let the teams/ drivers choose individually. They must declare after FP2 which compounds they will be using (2 of the 4) for the race, and then the usual rules apply. That way each driver gets their optimum tyre.

    1. JCA says:

      Because you would have to ship twice the amount of dry tyres around the world, with the extra cost involved.

      1. aezy_doc says:

        I knew someone would say that and I almost preempted it. If it was an issue, then the teams declare what they are going to use immediately after the previous race. However, I really don’t think that the extra cost involved would be a factor – it’s a drop in the ocean to the amount of stuff that already gets shipped. But my point is that perhaps Lotus goes soft/hard and Mclaren goes Soft/soft/medium. It just adds and extra element to it and puts some power back in the drivers hands to make the decision. Another suggestion us that everyone chooses which compound to start on but the top ten must at some point in the race use the tyres they set their fastest lap on. Just thinking about how these things would affect the racing.

      2. Kay says:

        How would anyone know what tyres would suit them best at the next track??!

  22. JCA says:

    I wish they would make super-super soft for Monaco. They should basically be quali tyres.

    They also know that the circuits at the back end of the season have smooth surfaces, thus needing softer tyres, but I think they are scared of being accused of manipulating the championships, so are too conservative.

    1. Wade Parmino says:

      If all tyre allocations were confirmed for all races at the beginning of the season there could be no possible grounds for these claims of manipulation. It is wrong that the current method of announcing tyre compounds gradually throughout the season is allowed. Safety reasons only should dictate any changes, no other reason is justifiable.

      One thing that really disappointed me last season was how no supersofts were brought to the Hungarian GP. It drastically reduced the usually closely fought, frantic nature of that race which is often one of the best. It could have been a lot better.

  23. Tay says:

    I just don’t get how engineering a product to be worse improves the sport. It would also be super exciting if control arms were extremely brittle and shattered unpredictably, but that’s not racing. I don’t watch to see pit stops and economic driving. I watch to see the to-the-limit driving every lap. I’m tired of the Pirelli name and of Paul Hembery’s face.

    1. Gord says:

      Since when was Formula 1 the pinnacle of technology ? :P

      1. Steve says:

        since when it wasn’t?

    2. jond says:

      here here.

      Mark Webber said it best in a press conference early on in the season, talking about how they were essentially doing qualifying pace in the refuelling era.

      Who would not want to see that again? To know that the drivers are 100% pushing, for the entire race.

      I just cannot understand how people can be enjoying this lemans type tyre conservation ‘racing’. I truely cannot get my head around it.

      If one likes to watch the best drivers in the world racing, surely one likes to watch them doing their core skill to the very best of their ability?

  24. Rich C says:

    Just great.
    Yet *another season of listening to ppl whine about the tires.

    1. James Allen says:

      Look at the positives, I think it’s going to be a very close season with some exceptional drivers pushing each other to the limits.

      1. The Catman says:

        Well said.

        Hopefully the hype of even closer racing in 2013 is lived up to, as I do fear the the new engines, oops sorry power units, ICE and ERS, in 2014 will stratify the results with one manufacturers units being significantly better than the other two…

        TC

      2. PaulL says:

        Just not on the track!

      3. Tay says:

        I just don’t see it James. Making a lop-sided football makes the game more interesting, but you don’t find out who’s the best. I guess I’m missing something if the industry pros call this a “revolution.”

      4. James Allen says:

        Pirelli call it a revolution, that’s why the word is in inverted commas

      5. Kay says:

        Looking after tyres and can’t push yourself fully to race someone in front is hardly ‘pushing’ or ‘close racing’.

        It’s like footballers have have rubber shoes that easily crumple if they aren’t careful, so they have to tread carefully and not kick the ball too hard.

        How’s that pushing or exciting?

  25. Malcolm says:

    I really enjoyed the U.S. Grand Prix at Austin due to the race long duel that occurred between Lewis and Sebastian. It was finally good to watch a race, whereas a change of position happened, not because of tires all of a sudden falling off a cliff.

    1. Tay says:

      It wasn’t tires. It was DRS. And that should be scrapped along with Pirelli’s nonsense. Engineer the best tire possible, rid the track of DRS, and force the drivers to battle it out wheel to wheel.

      1. Gord says:

        I don’t mind DRS, I just think drivers should be able to activate it whenever they want.

  26. JCA says:

    James, about the new engines being the performance differentiator, I worry that if, say, Renault are at a disadvantage and can’t afford the arms race to catch up, we would lose them and end up in a two horse race.

    1. James Allen says:

      Unlikely. I’m sure the Renault will be good and they have lots of customers anyway…

  27. Harsha says:

    James, given that these tyres are going to be sharper and help drivers put the power down mid corner and the likes, could we have an analysis on how it’d impact the current crop of drivers, given their own individual driving styles? Who’s the best suited for it as of now given these tyres?

      1. Harsha says:

        Thanks James! I’m looking forward to that

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      I think the respective driving styles of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button will be advantaged by the new character of tyres.

      However, I await James Allen’s analysis.

      1. Kay says:

        Everyone said the same about Jenson when Pirelli was brought in, and also each season when Pirelli voices out saying less durable tyres etc.

        Each time, even Paul H. said it’s Alonso who managed the tyres best of them all.

      2. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Yeah your right. I was referring to tyres heating up easier and having a more responsive turn in, less the degradation issues. But you make a good point. Button has been touted as standing to gain the most from tyre changes year on year. Never happens. Thanks for the reminder Kay.

  28. Steve says:

    we had no overtaking in the Bridgestone era is mainly due to the aerodynamic characterictics of the cars, which did’t allow the car behind follow closely to the car in front and position himself for a pass. Therefore passing was next to impossible but had nothing to do with durable tyres.

    1. James Clayton says:

      Really strange isn’t it, how nobody seems to be able to grasp this *simple* concept?!

    2. James Clayton says:

      It’s very strange isn’t it, how nobody seems to be able to grasp this extremely *simple* concept?!

    3. Kay says:

      Well said.

  29. Anil says:

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that in the Bridgestone era, the only races that were always processional were the ones on poorly designed tracks (Bahrain and Abu dhabi for example). Incredibly relaible cars doesnt help too.

    Give me tyres that can be pushed but after 10 laps or so begin to wear.

    Good compromise.

  30. Curt says:

    Interesting that so many people complain about tire degradation ruining the show by making drivers and teams conserve. No one seems bothered by teams turning down engine revs during the race to conserve engine life for future races. Nor does anyone seem to mind when drivers have to slow down to conserve fuel.

    Racing is always a compromise between conservation and flat out speed. I am glad we have tire wear as a variable to mix things up.

    1. Kay says:

      Maybe Le Mans is more suitable for you then? For sure it promotes saving the car the last the distance. F1 shouldn’t be more Le Mans like, it’s about racing fast and to max.

      1. Curt says:

        Maybe drag racing would be more your liking. That is pretty much the only form of racing where the car and driver give it 100% for the entire race distance.

        Over a 50-70 lap race there is always a trade-off between speed over the race distance vs. speed over a single lap. Fastest lap doesn’t always go to the winner, nor should it.

      2. Kay says:

        Or maybe you didn’t watch F1 from late 90s to mid 2000s?

        Never back then I’ve heard cars had to manage tyres, or cruise to flag to make sure the tyres don’t blow up. It’s always been about racing to the flag, not nursing to the flag. There has never been this tradeoff between speed over race distance based on tyres until Pirelli was brought in. Even during the two-compound tyre rule on Bridgestone tyres, those tyres could last for an entire race as I remember Sauber once did one entire race on a single compound bar one lap where they changed after lap 1. So Le Mans fits your description rather than F1.

      3. Curt says:

        There is a reason that the greats from Villenuve to Senna to Schumacher all had a reputation for being able to dig deep and run a group of qualifying laps in the middle of a race. It’s because they were managing the race prior to realizing that they needed to close/open a gap.

        No driver runs 70 qualifying laps in a row. They would wreck or break the car. They pull back to 98% percent and aim for consistency. To finish first, first you must finish.

      4. Kay says:

        Maybe, but you never heard the drivers told by their engineers to save tyres. That’s the whole point which you failed to address in your response. Today’s races all you hear are save the tyres, nurse the tyres to finish (very evident in Monaco 2012). Now show me some vids from past races, as you say, Villeneuve, Senna and Schmacher where they had to save tyres and nurse them to finish).

        There were more flat out racings in the past than there is today.

        Senna, as you mentioned, watch Donington 1993 when did he had to save tyres?

        Senna, Monaco 1988, he pushed like as if it’s his last race until he crashed. When did he save tyres? The only thing he failed to save was his car from over-pushing himself, but that has nothing to do with tyres.

        Post 1993/94, all sorts of electronic gizmos came in and that helped a very young MSC to beating Senna at times. How was that related to saving tyres? All MSC had to do was just drive!

        Prost v Senna, when did they save tyres during their fierce competition together?

  31. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    “…good news for the more stylised drivers like Jenson Button.”

    Button, again? He’s a lucky man, oh dear! Just boring…

  32. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    Perhaps to satisfy all the people who whine about “things being better in my day”, we should ask Pirelli to bring back cross-ply tyres!

  33. jond says:

    so another year of drivers conserving tyres and not racing.
    you know people always associate the pre pirelli era with no overtaking on the solid bridgestone tyres.

    sorry, i dont call it genuine overtaking when 50% of the moves are DRS assisted, and the other 50% is due to drivers on different phases of tyre wear.

    back in the day, it used to be thrilling edge of the seat stuff, watching 1 driver chase down another, lap after lap, putting them under intense pressure. Coming out the last fuel stop as the other driver came round the last corner. Maybe an overtake couldn’t be done, but Imola 05 or Imola 06 was far more exciting to me than anything i’ve seen in the last 2 years.

    In this drive to make F1 more accessible and exciting to the casual viewer, it has completely dumbed down and neutered the sport, frankly.

    Of course the best drivers/teams still win….because they have the best budgets! Not because they ‘somehow cleverly figured out the tyres better than the other team’. This argument that ‘they all have the same rules and equipment’ is absurd – F1 has never been a level playing field.

    Ive been watching f1 since the age of 8, 94 season onwards, and 2012 was the first year i’d started to not bother watching some races live, even just watching highlights, even though I have the sky F1 channel.

    Ive now started watching WRC again, it is truely exciting stuff where drivers are using all of their Driving skills. For me it is now better to watch and follow than F1.

    These pirelli tyres were the final nail in the coffin for me.

    I bet 100% this comment does not get published – can’t say anything bad about F1 can we?

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Sad

    2. Random says:

      Correct jond, why bother watching exciting F1 when you can spend all your free time complaining about it?

      James +1

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      You just got told by Mr Allen himself.

    4. Kay says:

      Other than your jab at James, I agree with you about how racing was in the past.

  34. Craig in Manila says:

    Quite like the idea of increased number of pitstops (if it occurs).

    I’d also like pitstops to be a bit more “complex” so that the difference between a good stop and a bad stop is more significant.

    Now, if they had to change 5 wheel-nuts for each wheel instead of a centre-nut or if they were only allowed to have, say, six crew-members over the line at a given time, that would be interesting and definitely cause some “fun” !

  35. JB says:

    I hate these tires. This is the most artificial part of F1. I think DRS is more real than the fake degrading Pirellis.

    The 2014 rules make engines that are going to have tech transfer to the road. The Pirelli tires have nothing useful for road cars. Its sole purpose is to artificially create a circus show.

    If I remember correctly, the most exciting races in 2012 was AbuDhabi and Brazil.

    The drama in AbuDhabi came in the form of bad Mclaren reliability, screw ups from Renault engine, Vettel’s double comeback and cool radio chat.

    The Brazil race drama was due to the year long rivalry built up from the two top drivers, rain and coming back from the bottom to win the driver’s championship.

    Note on the two races, Pirelli provided stable tires.

  36. Wade Parmino says:

    I wonder how the tyres are going to go in 2014 with the higher pick up of the new engines. Drivers could be begging for traction control.

  37. Quade says:

    I really wish Pirelli would stop thinking they are part of F1 race craft rather than simply the wheels the cars drive on.
    I’m tired of artificial racing created by funny tyres, DRS, outsize and hyper-ugly front wings etc.
    Give us the good old days.

    1. JCA says:

      With little on track passing and the guy in the fastest car winning every race.

  38. Quade says:

    Can’t understand why Pirelli is intent on making F1 the only “race” you win by being the slowest (to conserve tyres).

    –has heart attack–
    –bursts vein–
    –kicks cat–
    –dog runs for dear life!–

  39. With a focus on ultra-high performance tires, Pirelli Tire has managed to establish itself as an industry leader in terms of advanced design technology and superior quality.

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