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Tyre situation splits the Formula 1 paddock
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Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Apr 2013   |  3:32 pm GMT  |  373 comments

Tyres were once again the talk of the Formula 1 paddock in China as teams chose to sit out much of qualifying to save rubber while in the race, those who started on the soft tyre were forced to pit as early as lap six because their rubber fell off the cliff. Jenson Button had to ask whether to fight another driver mid race as lap time consistency was more of a priority.

The performance difference between the two compounds also prompted a mix of strategies, with the front seven cars starting the race on the soft tyres, while the likes of Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel didn’t set a competitive lap in qualifying so they could start on the more durable medium.

That meant it wasn’t until those who started on the medium tyre stopped for the final time to put on a set of the softs – and in doing so set up a thrilling grandstand finish with Vettel hunting down Lewis Hamilton for the final podium place – that we saw the true pecking order.

While the mix of strategies provided an exciting end to the race, in the early stages the likes of Button and Vettel were forced to manage their tyres to make their strategy work, and in doing so couldn’t push to make up ground and at times they had to let people through to avoid losing tyre life defending their position.

The paddock is split as to whether the new brand of Pirelli tyres are actually good for the show.

Positive about new tyres

Former team boss and BBC pundit Eddie Jordan is supportive of the new range of Pirelli tyres. “What Pirelli have served up is unpredictability and unpredictability gives excitement – and that’s what we got in China,” he said.  “I didn’t know for sure whether Vettel could pass Hamilton or not. The intrigue went right through the race and that’s what we want.”

Meanwhile former Jordan technical director Gary Anderson agreed, adding that if Pirelli had chosen the hard, rather than the soft, alongside the medium in China, we would have seen a one-stop race: “In terms of the tyres themselves, I think they make teams think harder,” he told the BBC. “Some make it work and some don’t. There’s nothing wrong with that.

“You have to drive the car within its limits and the tyres are part of the car. If Pirelli had gone to China with the medium tyre and the hard rather than the medium and soft, the most critical tyre would have done 25 laps. So it would have been a one-stop race. Is that what people want?”

Former Red Bull driver and BBC commentator David Coulthard who won 13 races said: “I’m reluctant to end up being the guy who says: ‘Shut up and get on with it.’ But it’s difficult for me to understand why tyres are supposed to be a more fundamental part of the overall success of a team than they were before.”

In Pirelli’s defence, the Italian company’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “It was degradation, rather than actual wear, that dictated the strategy but we still saw consistent lap times from the medium compound, even on a long run of 15 laps or more.

“Once more we saw a very wide variety of race strategies, with Button and Vettel opting to run on the soft tyres at the end. This gave us a thrilling finish, with a battle for the final podium place between Hamilton and Vettel that went all the way to the chequered flag.”

There was also an interesting comment from JA on F1 reader Tim B, someone who has followed Motorsport a long time , which we thought was worth re-publishing. He said: “I’ve been following motorsport in general and F1 in particular for 40 years, and I compete in amateur motorsport in a purpose-built race car. I know a little bit about motor racing and what it takes to drive a car fast on a track.

“I happen to like the variables that have been introduced by the tyres. I also don’t mind DRS as a way of compensating for the effect on a following car of the turbulent aerodynamic wake of the leading car. However, I am getting tired of being characterised as a shallow or uninformed fan, or a “magpie”, or any one of a number of sneers, for holding those views.”

Critical of new tyres

McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh, who saw his driver Button forced to let drivers through rather than defend his position in China so that he could make their strategy work, said: “It’s quite excruciating, trying to save tyres non-stop from start to finish. It seems to go on forever. It feels painful, and however bad it is for me, it must be a lot worse if you have to drive like that.”

Button, who led the race momentarily before going on to finish fifth, added: “It was quite a strange race: there was no point fighting because that was the quickest way to the end. One lock-up, one trip over the marbles and the tyres would have been gone so our strategy wouldn’t have worked and it was a very tight strategy.

“It was so difficult, I would radio in and say ‘Can I fight them?’ They’d come back and say ‘Yes, fight, fight!’ And then ten seconds later ‘No, you need to look after the tyres and get to our target lap.’ You don’t want to look like you’re not fighting but for us the best thing to do was to have clean air and not destroy the tyres. It’s not the most exciting way to go racing but we got 10 points because we did that.”

While Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso stormed to his first victory of the season, his Brazilian team-mate Felipe Massa struggled with graining and finished sixth: “I had amazing graining on the front tyres and after that I was just getting slower and slower because the graining was increasing at the front,” he said. “In the second stint I started to have a lot of graining and I was a bit scared it was too much.”

After qualifying and ahead of the race in China, Red Bull’s Mark Webber, who started from the pit lane and failed to finish the race, said: “It will all look good in the first five or six laps, having everyone fighting, but it’s a little bit WWF [referring to the wrestling sports-entertainment brand] at the moment. Whatever fuel load you have got in the car, if you race people, you are in trouble. So just don’t race, put the tyre on and just try and get home.”

Speaking about the soft tyres ahead of the race, Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg said: “With those tyres it is more of a question of how many corners you are going to get to, rather than laps!”

Meanwhile Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda told the APA news agency: “You have to wonder if it’s necessary for the tyres to be so on the limit, when everyone has to go in the box just after starting a race. It’s so complicated, especially for the spectators.”

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373 Comments
  1. Veteran says:

    Well, I know 1 thing, I will never put a Pirelli tire on my roadcar.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      You wouldn’t even get to the supermarket

      1. Monji says:

        You could, but then you’d have to get there in a cab and abandon your car.

      2. Richard says:

        WOW.

        Read all the comments here today, it’s astounding.

        Firstly – Pirelli are doing what they were asked to: in ’12 the tyres lasted better but dropped off too steeply, so they’ve created a compound which has high deg but this is spread more evenly per lap.

        OK – so to the main issue…

        Can someone please explain what we really want? It’s not overtaking – DRS provides that but it ends up ‘too fake’. It’s not close racing, that leads to calls of being ‘processional’. We wanted 2 or more pitstops and it’s too much! We have refuelling and we hate it, we get rid of it and we still argue races aren’t sprints to the finish.

        And finally tyres….

        There is always outcry at this sport for reasons beyond my comprehension. There are plenty of other motorsports which have what many people seem to want – spec chassis, sprint races with no stops, durable tyres, no DRS, no KERS, no Pirelli, no wings even. These formula provide excellent racing and are easily available on television and online.

        F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport, and as such then it has to be just that – the PINNACLE OF MOTORSPORT.

        Not, as some would argue it should be, a straight forward race where there is no strategy involved. No technical advancements to develop, manage and race in the heat of the moment. No regulations changes. No difficulties for the drivers to manage and overcome. No millions of fans to please.

        My beloved F1. Stay true to yourself. Keep changing, keep challenging.

      3. Wayne says:

        They’d degrade due to contact with the ridges in the skin of the mechanic who fitted the bloody things. Their head of marketing should be retired.

        4 New tyres on my company car on Friday, I’m not even paying and I made sure they weren’t Pirellis. The bloke at national tyres even had a laugh with me about Pirelli tyres.

      4. Sebee says:

        Wayne,

        I’m sure you’re being dramatic on this comment. That’s one heck of a tire conincidence.

        You’re a knowledgable guy, so I can hardly believe that you actually can’t seperate this F1 spec tire from the road tires at your local centre.

        Comments like this may result in Pirelli changing their tires. Or they may result in Pirelli pulling out of F1, and no manufacturer wanting to come in.

        Tires are a serious challange in F1, and for Bernie. You and others keep this Pirelli “hate-on” going and you may not like the consequences it brings.

      5. AlexD says:

        Some jokes here about Pirelli are not of a high class, I have to say. One of the best tires available along with Yokohama.

      6. Sebee says:

        Did you hear? No softs for Bahrain Wayne. Happy?

      7. MattNZ says:

        Sure you Pirelli critics [mod] can see that an F1 Tyre is made for a purpose which is speed and grip rather than durability.

        Will you also not buy a Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault engine because they only last 2 races?

        How about the Shell fuel going into those Ferrari’s? Clearly some problems with fuel efficiency there when they’re getting only 50 laps to the tank!

        I bet their Shell Oil change interval is a lot less than the 30000km interval my car is on. I better make sure I don’t get Shell at my next service – even if the company is paying!

        And why stop with the cars – how about the drivers too. With the number of dings that the 5 world champions in the field have had in the last couple of years, I think their insurance no-claims bonuses would all be long gone. Best drivers in the world! I think not – I haven’t had an accident in my entire driving career.

        …ohhh that’s right – they race in Formula 1 cars – the pinnacle of motorsport, while I drive my “hot” hatch to my crappy dayjob. Pirelli’s for me??? Yes please – if it allows me to maintain my Schumacheresque fantasies on the way to and from work for an hour a day, it’s a bargain.

      8. kfzmeister says:

        I hope you guys are joking.

      9. Wayne says:

        Yes, we know…. obviously. But you have to admit that the marketing campaign is ridiculous.

      10. Quade says:

        Joking? You can bet they arent.

        You’ve got to wonder what Pirelli was thinking about when they signed the dotted line to manufacture poor tyres.

        It surely doesn’t give the consumer confidence that the quality of their road tyre will not be compromised for some deal or the other. Would I buy Pirelli’s after that? No way!

      11. TitanRacer says:

        I remember the Pirelli CN36 hi perf street tires in the early to mid ’70′s. super fast on a SoloII or autocross or hillclimb course. a couple of miles and they were bald… same sorta goes for Pirelli oversize tires on a 4WD Chevy Avalanche today. Pirelli is a super fine top-tier tire manufacturer. I just refuse to buy into the FIA demanded, klag-spewing, helmet-shield shattering, delaminating on-a-single-lockup tire… and I am simply amazed that ANY RESPONSIBLE Company and their Stakeholders would agree to this probable PR disaster.

        I get the expense and safety hazard of bringing back re-fueling during a race. I get the need for pit stop strategy to mix things up. I do NOT get “needing” the top 10 (or anybody) to start on their quali tires. make ALL use that tire sometime during the race. demand EVERYBODY have a minimum of 2, 3 or 4 pitstops during a race. screw the dual compound crap – regardless of a proper tire being able to easily go 1/2 distance, you must make 3 pitstops as an example.
        F1 brazonly proclaims there are NO rookies in F1, so just what is the Pirelli definition of a rookie in providing a “special” compound tire on Fri only?? for what? 3 or 4 drivers with short-time F1 experience in a financially-strapped constructor car cruising around for a few laps – they still have the very same constraints of mandated penalties for engine changes, gearbox changes, and maybe more $$$ spent on crashed tubs or worse???

        [mod]

      12. Elie says:

        Yes he will but he will have to change them to get back

    2. Joel says:

      Here is my recipe for spicing up the race – remove all the computers from the teams, except for the ones in the pitwall. With the computers & number crunchers, what the analyst have done is to find the “optimum race plan” (irrespective of all the variables like tyres involved). Unfortunately, the “optimum race plan” is the same for most of the teams. Hence, we have a dud of a race. FIA should find ways to increase the “racing value” in F1, instead the “entertainment value”.
      When everyone is talking about GREEN, I’m not sure what the circuits do with tons of waste rubber (should I call this rubber? or cheese?). Do they sweep the entire track and collect all the marbles? Sounds like a BIG WASTE.
      Remove the computers from all team analysts, limit the amount of ECU data sent live to the team (FIA can provide the remaining data after the race), bring durable tyres (lasts 1/2 race distance atleast),bring back refuelling (teams can opt for smaller tank and 2 pit stops or fake large tank with 3 pitstop, or large tank and no stop) – options are many. One of the reason why I got hooked up to f1 as a young teen was the refuelling. Sad those days are over.
      Finally, apologize for hijacking your thread.

      1. Sebee says:

        I hear Michellin is sitting on the ever-lasting-tire pattent. May be a conspiracy theory, may be real.

        Bottom line, don’t worry about a few dozen F1 tires. Let’s worry about how we drive our cars and air pressure in our tires to make our tires last. It’s not F1 tires that are a waste problem, it is our road tires that are the real problem.

        Just peak out at a highway in peak traffic hours and imagine each of those car’s tires in the trash. That’s what’s going to happen eventually.

        Fortunately, they are figuring out ways to put the rubber back into road building and other uses. But it’s still a bigger problem than F1′s green image.

      2. Nuvolarifan says:

        You realize that patents are public information, dont you, that the entire point of the patent process is to exchange protection for a time for releasing the knowledge to the world???

        [mod]

      3. Sebee says:

        Nuvo

        Don’t think it is filed. Not sure it exists even. If I did and had proof that comment would cost my life!

        Obviously if a tire maker found a way to make everlasting tires it would pretty much be end of 3/4 of the industry. But like winning a lottery…just imagine if it is possible? Think of all the waste that would be saved!

        For those keeping score. ..this does not count toward my book of conspiracy theories! :-)

      4. Random 79 says:

        Some good ideas, but I can’t see it happening.

        I know the tyres are recycled, but I’ve never heard anyone mention the marbles before. Does anyone know what happens to them?

      5. Ben says:

        I can only speak for Monza but in that case it’s a self-cleaning track. As the fans run onto the track at the end of the race they all get picked up. My missus was very happy to find one on the bedside table.

        I was amazed at how sticky it remained even cold hours after the race, I would say a bit like touching the top of a pritt stick. I’ve no idea what compound it is.

      6. Mark says:

        The marbles at the end of the race must easily fill a couple of large skips.

    3. Tom says:

      Do you think, maybe, they have been *designed* to work a certain way in F1, and the road tyres, may, just may, have been designed to function in a different way ?
      What-are-the-chances-of-that…

      1. Wayne says:

        No, surely not?

      2. PB says:

        I think, here lies the key to this whole story. Wayne, I’m sorry to be disagreeing completely with what you (and several others) have maintained for a long time, but we must separate what Pirelli do to build their road car tires vs. the F1 tires. In my view, they should be credited to build tires that do exactly what they were asked to. If anything that reflects on their engineering ability to be so precise in terms of building tires to the desired specs (at least 2 pit stops per race) and to be honest as a customer I admire this ability. Surely it won’t be too hard for them to build a compound that can last the whole race!

        Your concerns really are directed towards those who desired the tires to wear our more quickly and to add another element to decision making – guess who are they?

    4. Gabe says:

      Same here. Will never buy Pirelli. This is a massive PR fail for them, Don’t care if they were told to build tires this way, don’t care if it’s the same for everyone, they should never be the main story of every race.

      1. Sebee says:

        Well, this is certainly motivating for a Tire Manufacturer to be in F1. What will F1 be without a proper Tire Manufacturer brand in the sport after comments like this?

        I would imagine that quite a few tires are sold directly as OEM choice on new cars by Pirelli to Mercedes Renault, Infinity (although I would think Michelin would be supported more by these last two car makers)

      2. iceman says:

        I’m sure Avon will be happy to let the teams pay full price for surplus stocks of EuroBOSS tyres!

      3. Sebee says:

        iceman,

        I’m sure Avon makes fine tires…but is it “F1 brand”? Do you know what I mean?

        What I think would be funny is if a Chinese brand tyre pulled the trigger on an F1 brand project.

      4. iceman says:

        Well indeed, that was kind of the point I was making. It would be pretty embarrassing for F1 if they ended up having to buy the same tyres that rich playboys run on their 10 year old second-hand F1 cars!

    5. Anop says:

      I totally understand your point and even I will buy a Michelin if I have to choose between the two but I think Pirelli are in F1 to do business and not for their R&D. However, that thought still won’t help me in buying a Pirelli.

      James, I have been following F1 for almost a decade now. I understand the need for Pirelli tyres and DRS, and I like them. For me what matters is racing even if it is at 80% push but isn’t Pirelli losing its main business because of it?

      1. Wayne says:

        I’d be happy with 80% push, but this is genuinely 10% push. Even the drivers are saying so!

      2. JohnBt says:

        Exactly, I’ve kinda closed an eye to pretend all is fine with Pirelli. The softs should be tweaked quite a bit. I’ll live with the other compounds.

      3. Martin says:

        Pirelli wants a new, exclusive, contract, so it is presumably working for them after two years of looking at the data.

      4. Sebee says:

        I think we can all agree here that even with these soft tires and drivers in cautious tire preservation mode, we’re seeing an 80%+ push.

        Also, is anyone here under some illusion about these cars? Even at 100% current F1 cars could be improved to probably 130% speed if given unlimited development room.

        Quietly, behind the scenes it is also FIAs responsibilty to keep these things within a speed range. Not too fast another words. And obviously you can limit the speed of the cars with tires easily.

        FYI – look back to early 2000s track records and pole position times. They haven’t changed that much in 2012. They basically regained what was lost over the time. But in 10 years, lap times have not fallen 10%. If that’s not an indication that there is speed control in name of safety, forces in case of accident – I don’t know what is. And really…it’s a good thing.

      5. Sebee says:

        Here…take a look:

        http://www.motorsportsetc.com/info/spd_mon.htm

        Remember, Monaco has changed a bit over the years.

        2012 Mark was on pole with 1.14.381, 1s slower than 2011. It will be interesting to compare this year.

    6. Quade says:

      @Veteran
      Lol! Jenson only had to brake had for the soft tyre to delaminate! Shocking stuff!

    7. AlexD says:

      yeap, they are not cheap.

    8. Rob says:

      You would be missing out. They are the best tyres for road cars.

      1. Mike84 says:

        Even back in the 90′s I was told Pirellis don’t last as long, and the one time I bought a set that’s exactly how it turned out. Good tires but did not last nearly as long as Michelins.

  2. roger coleman says:

    I dont think I have ever heard of a driver ask whether he should race another driver before.
    This is not F1.
    It should be called Tyre/Fuel Management racing,or TFM.
    If drivers are not at 10/10ths for the whole race, it cannot be a pinnacle sport.
    cars should start with the fuel and tyres to last the whole race, 2 hours or 200 miles, endof.

    1. Tom says:

      They do. Then they find out how fast they can use the fuel/tyres and still make it – because going faster is better, but uses them more.

    2. Monji says:

      Music to my ears.

    3. Alan Grimett says:

      Totaly agree. I’ve been watching F1 since the early sixties and marshalled at Kyalami when racing was racing. What is the point of F1 today when you get this type of situation. I mean really, “can I fight”… ABSOLUTE NONSENSE

    4. K5enny says:

      there is something not right about a driver taking 15 seconds off the leaders in 5 laps — but be denined the possibility of competing because he had to go too slow tring to make his hard tyres last long enough!!

      A comparison of Q3
      and fastest laps show a gap of 5 – 5.5
      for the contenders…

      FA: Qual3-> 1:34.788 Fastest Laps-> 1:39.506
      KR: Qual3-> 1:34.761 Fastest Laps-> 1:39.955
      LH: Qual3-> 1:34.484 Fastest Laps-> 1:39.981

      How can this be right??

      How can we be told that tenths or hundredths or thousandths are important on a Saturday, while the same cars, with the same setups are handfulls of seconds slower on a sunday??

      is this what the fans want?
      Overtaking? meaninless overtaking ? drivers not defending, or not attacking??
      –nice safe overspeed overtaking on a straight, wide enough for the cars to run 20 abreast??

      But, Boys and Girls – Its going to get worse!!
      Remember, the authorities want to ration race fuel as well…. apparently its all part of the plan – moving to the new 1.6 liter engine as the nonsense electric concepts.

      How can the feeder series adapt to produce the drivers of the future?? they are no longer trying to find the fastest drivers just the most light footed drivers….
      perhaps teams will be looking to ballet studios rather than Formula Ford for the winners of the future

      – but by then there may be no fans left….

      1. Wayne says:

        Nice post, agree with every word.

      2. TitanRacer says:

        haha. never ever bothered me that Fangio, Clark,and many more after in many deciples of racing ruled the World during their time. catching, stalking and passing is all fine. but I truely do not care if not 1 single pass is ever made during any race. I want to see the absolute purity of superior perfection.
        I know, that does not sell tickets or TV time for the high-rollers or wanna-be-kewl sponsors…
        and it does not leave much wiggle room for pundits, either :)

      3. Martin says:

        If you look at the Bridgestone era where the cars were qualifying with say 15 laps fuel on board, (to do 20 with the fuel credit), the fastest laps were still well off the pole times even though there were generally three times in the race where the cars were lighter than qualifying.

      4. C-M says:

        I agree on the tires. I I preferred it when tyre changes were banned.

        There’s nothing wrong with rationing fuel though. it works very well in MotoGP and we get some great racing there.

      5. iceman says:

        We had to put up with some years of processional racing though, and fights that were called off at half race distance as one rider’s bike went into fuel saving mode. I don’t think fuel rationing has contributed to the recent improvement; on the contrary, it’s more likely because the teams have got the hang of removing fuel rationing as an issue.

    5. Seán Craddock says:

      When have drivers ever been at 10/10ths for an entire race? In any motorsport

      1. Aussie Fan says:

        In f1 when there was refueling. Your next question?

      2. Seán Craddock says:

        There was still fuel saving at times when there was refueling, the entire race was not done at 10/10ths. And they had the different engine maps

        Yes they were at 10/10ths at a lot of times in the race, certainly a lot more than these days. In fact Vettel in the last 5 laps last time out was the first time in a long long time that I remember someone going 10/10ths at any part of the race

      3. Me says:

        Why wasn’t the racing any good during the refueling era?

    6. Chris says:

      I think GP2 was absent in China because there was a strong chance they would be faster than the F1 guys – and the only reason Pirelli have changed their compounds for Bahrain is because that would be a disaster for F1 so Bernie told them to change compounds…

    7. Rishi says:

      It really depends on what sort of F1 people want. If you want a fascinating strategic battle then, with no refuelling, the only way to do this is via the tyres. So Pirelli have to make them volatile otherwise everyone will pit at almost the same time to simply change compound.

      If instead you want more overtaking, genuine overtaking that is, then you could try having stronger tyres with DRS zones (plural) and KERS used for cars to pass each other.

      The current situation is, I imagine, meant to be a compromise between the two but on some circuits the volatility of the tyres is such that overtaking becomes inevitable and therefore meaningless. The teams will obv not like the current situation because they have to figure out how the tyre works but, for all their complaints, they do tend to figure them out by about mid-season anyway.

      Overall I’d say it is a delicate issue with no perfect answer to satisfy all types of F1 fan as well as (and this is important) the casual, channel-flicking viewer. China was a little bit worrying in its implications, but I’d still be surprised if we saw races like that throughout the season.

  3. Brace says:

    Don’t change the tire compounds and don’t moan about them. Thank you.

    1. Tom says:

      +1
      Do we really want to go back to 1 (or zero) stop races, where everyone finishes where they qualified ?

      1. Wayne says:

        That’s sensationalist nonsense and almost never happened. There are countless great clips out there of drivers battling each other fiercely on track, side by side, sparks, brimstone and hellfire and all!!!!

      2. Random 79 says:

        That’s because no-one can be bothered putting up the ones where they follow each other around and around and around…

        What you said (drivers battling each other fiercely on track, side by side, sparks, brimstone and hellfire) is how it should be, but there’s no way it was like that at every race.

        Having said that, I am a supporter of Pirelli (even if I’d prefer a better way to make the races better), but after China even I’m starting to question the extremes they are going to.

        By the end of 2013 the teams will have a handle on these tyres, just as they did in 2012, so what next? Bubblegum tyres?

        We need exciting races, but there has to be a line.

      3. Z says:

        Maybe back when the cars didn’t rely so heavily on aerodynamics and could actually get close to each other. It’s just plain physics, and that formula would not work in this age..

    2. Wayne says:

      You’re welcome……… Seriously, someone here tell me how it can be right for drivers not to defend their position on track? Preferably without any of that old tosh about ‘it’s always been this way’. Is that honestly the sort of racing you want to see from the world’s premiere motorsport?

      Honestly? I just don’t understand how motorsport fans can defend gimmicky tyres and gimmicky DRS. Watching cars mugging other cars under DRS was insipid. Watching the cars change tyres after 6 laps was utterly laughable and, in my opinion, brings the sport into disrepute.

      When did seeing a two dozen worthless overtakes per race become preferable to 6 great ones? Had VET overtaken HAM at the end of the race it would have been nothing to do with skill at driving fast and everything to do with skipping Q3 and ripping off the people who paid for a ticket to watch the world champion take part in qualy. (I don’t mean to say this is VETs fault by the way).

      It’s indefensible.

      1. Sebee says:

        We collectively have to agree to go back two decades technologically then.

        I honestly had no problems watching F1 in any era. I’m not sure we had 6 great passes per race. I think we may have had 2 or 3 great passes per season some seasons. But they were thrilling, memorable – I agree.

        FIA did a fan survey. We answered. They determined we want more quantity of passes. And so they have delivered with rule changes. DRS is what..second year? Agressive tires…first few races? Not sufficient sample of data if you ask me. No need for a knee jerk reaction just yet in my view.

        Apparently I read 600M people watch a Grand Prix each weekend according to Wikipedia. If you believe that number to be true, our 200 or 300 comments on the subject are but a small sample reflecting the more knowledgable fans who follow the sport beyond the weekend only. And without James putting up a poll, it looks about 50/50 or so for these tires. Some are angry, others understand it, others still aren’t sure if there is a proper alternative.

      2. rafa says:

        i often disagree with you in some issues, but that was a very well exposed point.

      3. Quade says:

        Seeing two WDC’s skipping Q3 was the last straw, but then came a WDC politely enquiring over the radio if he should fight!!! …God!
        I think its the newer fans or those than aren’t avid petrolheads that support the tyre nonsense.

        If I want unpredictabilty, I can buy the lottery on Saturday, or pay a few quid to go watch an “exciting” game of bingo.

      4. sid says:

        that’s 3 times world champion

      5. Sebee says:

        You don’t like strategy?

        There is an argument to be made about choosing your fights as well.

        If the worse case scenario is that these tires deliver strategy wins as they did in the past, and best case scenario is they give us dry races that are wild like changable condition races – where is the problem exactly?

      6. Quade says:

        But, we don’t need fake tyres for racing to be strategic.
        The argument for the tyres just doesn’t exist outside injecting the artifice that Webber calls “WWF.”

      7. TitanRacer says:

        can not argue. I have to watch maybe 3 to 6 races a weekend now adays to get close to the same “fix” I got outta 2 – 4 races A YEAR in the ’60′s to ’80′s.
        pathetic….

    3. Randy Torres says:

      +1

    4. Basil Binx says:

      This issue obviously has many fans divided on either side of the argument, but why does it have to be this way?

      Surely there can be a compromise; tyres that drivers can push on, force strategic decisions to be made that can also accommodate different driving styles.

      Formula 1 should demonstrate world class engineering, and I don’t think anyone can argue that tyres which visibly disintegrate all over the track over the course of 5 laps is engineering excellence.

      I think this compromise would be tyres that allow the driver to push but then fall away after a reasonable number of laps. A driver can choose to nurse them if he or the team wishes and can then make one less stop with the “pushers” and “nursers” meeting on the track along the way. That would make for a very interesting race.

      If something like this can be achieved then surely the tyre manufacturer will be heroes, pleasing just about everyone.

      With the volume of data and the amount of engineering expertise available, I don’t see why this can’t be achievable, and why we are so far from it at the moment.

      I also find it very strange how as far as I am aware no pundit is willing to criticise the tyres, almost as if there is some sort of muzzling going on…

      1. Marc says:

        I agree. This has always been my view when it comes to these tyres. Instead of forcing all the drivers to use both compounds during a race, which will and has effectively resulted in them using the same strategy (or not, as was the case in china with VET and BUT sitting out Q3)
        Drivers should be able to pick from a faster tyre to use all race, but it has the downside of less durability. Or a slower tyre which last longer so requiring fewer stops. But its down to the drivers and teams to choose which tyre strategy. Bearing in mind any advantage built up with the faster tyres will be chipped away due to frequent pit stops.
        Right now, drivers are compromising their qualifying grid slots, as the points are handed out on the sunday.

  4. **Paul** says:

    I like having tyres that degrade, it means that drivers are required to manage a race distance, and as the best drivers in the world this skill should be tested. I recall the days of the tyres that never really gave up any performance, and the races were horrendously boring. I do not want a return to this.

    All that said though this weekends option tyres didn’t out perform the prime’s for long enough. The only person who looked able to get any decent performance from the option in race trim was Vettel, and you could see in the last lap that his tyres were giving up after 5 laps from new. This needs to be more like 9 laps.

    Overall though, I feel F1 has moved from a sport pre 2011 that was car dominated, to 2012 onwards, which is tyre dominated. I’m not sure that’s a good thing, but equally with the tyres as they are you can win without the ‘fastest’ car nowadays.

    1. Wayne says:

      It’s moved from a sport to ‘sports entertainment’ where the cheap entertainment for people with the attention span of a gnat is more important than the ‘sport’.

      1. Sebee says:

        Wayne,

        Sorry to pick out on your comments. But you’re quite against the tires. I’m just trying to address some of your points with a counter point.

        DRS is like jabs in a boxing match. You are clearly OK with a boxing match ending with a single punch with the audience waiting 2 hours for that punch. Most of the world wants to see the drivers exchange some jabs over the 2 hours, then at the end perhaps we see a knock-out punch on even terms. Or in some cases you may have an unsatisfactory result of going to the “stragety card” – or judge’s score card.
        I think a good match where jabs and punches are involved is better than Tyson coming out, one upper cut, 9s match – bell, done. Sorry, make that Tyson coming out, one upper cut maybe over 2 hours, bell, done. You see where the entertainment is important. You will watch and wait a boxer in the ring for 2 hours before a punch is maybe thrown?

        I’m not sure if you are aware, but a GP is a show of moving billboards with ad space that’s sold due to the apparent 100s of millions that watch a GP. It is punctuated by 30s commercials in some markets as a cherry on the 2 hour marketing event. Things have to be happening on track to keep people watching and it has be entertaining. By the way, this is not a revolutionary new secret I just let out of the bag. It’s always been that way.

      2. Quade says:

        Now, because of artificial tyres, drivers need permission to fight for their place. How ridiculous can F1 get?

        We now have phrases like; “fastest over a single lap.” If a driver is fastest over a single lap, surely they should be fastest through the race, otherwise, they have been artificially hampered. Its also easy to see that in a real racing era, either Alonso or Lewis would have won the WDC last year.

        The tyre show is only good for dumbed down entertainment and bad for F1. Imagine providing Ussain Bolt with paper running shoes to spice things, then claiming he is only fastet over 5 metres and World records are unimportant. F1 is absolutely ridiculing itself.

      3. Sebee says:

        Quade,

        Bolt would be racing against others with same paper running shoes.

        Fastest over a single lap means that teams had the fastest dominating cars. It means start from front and lead lights to flag. As last year proved, these rules allow those without fastest cars to compete and challange. To have a shot.

        Isn’t that what we complained about for a decade wasn’t happening?

      4. Steve Boden says:

        Surely we dont need such fast degrading tyres now that we have DRS? When i watch back to older races with better tyres, Yes you do see a lot of following without being able to pass even though the following car is quicker, However, Surely if they had DRS in those days the faster car could have got by (i.e Alonso at Abu Dhabi 2010).

        We got DRS and Fast Degrading Tyres at the same time so it is hard to know this for definite but i do think the tyres have gone a step too far this year, Drivers arent pushing the car anymore because theyre too scared of the tyres, Drivers dont even look tired when they get out after a grand prix because they are cruising, not pushing.

        I am not a fan of follow the leader racing but i personally feel that DRS was the key to this, Not tyres you cant race on.

        Also, Next years engines are supposed to produce more power and less traction on corner exit, Surely for this they need better tyres or what is the point? That power will not get used because they will be too scared of tyre damage.

      5. Sebee says:

        Steve.

        Perhaps DRS is enough.

        I am sure the tires can and will change again in 2014. Let’s all remember that nearly no rules changed in 2013. Look at end of 2012. Great racing, but already teams were on too of the 2012 tires. With no rule changes the tires change was one way to bring some unknown at least to start of 2013.

        I really feel that F1 sites see the comments and are afraid to do a proper defence of these tires. Putting some points down as to why it is good for F1 to at least make fans understand the logic is something I don’t believe I’ve seen. Can someone point me to an article that says these tires are good for F1 and here are the reasons why?

  5. Braumin says:

    I have to wonder. On one hand, yes it was exciting to see Vettel almost make the strategy work to perfection yesterday.

    However, would it not also be exciting to see the cars be able to drive to their full potential on every lap? Would that not separate the good drives from the great ones that can do a qualifying lap for 60 laps?

    It all does seem a bit contrived at the moment with people just driving to the delta provided by the team.

    It’s funny how Schumacher brought up this exact issue last year and was criticized for it. Yes you have to drive to the tire, but it seems awfully silly to invest 100-500 million into two cars every year, and then have to drive them like a Grandpa out for a Sunday cruise.

    I don’t know it’s a tough call. Pit stops have always been important in F1. With refueling gone, forcing the teams to do pit stops seems a bit much. I found the strategy of refueling more interesting than choosing when to pit for tires.

    1. Rich_M says:

      No I do not think it would be exciting to see a car drive to the full potential every lap, as the cars will generally qualify with the fastest on pole and the slowest at the back, without a variable such as degrading tyres or rain, cars will finish in pretty much the order they started in.

      1. Elie says:

        In that case why aren’t Caterham or Marussia winning now.. Why don’t they have a chance .. It’s no different if we have tyres lasting a whole race- only you will see drivers ringing the neck of the car for the whole race & if you ask me this is where skill will highlight itself more than what we currently have and also this will test the teams & cars more as they are drive. Flat out like they should be

      2. Random 79 says:

        Caterham and Marussia?

        There’s mixing it up and then there’s mixing it up.

        For them to win it would have to be a lot of the latter :)

    2. Clear View says:

      I agree 100%, at least with refueling each stint was like a sprint race, maybe the answer is slightly more durable tyres and 2 mandatory stops per race per car. Keep the split compounds tho and you could still get some good stratagies out of it. Possibly have “special” qually tyres for those in Q3 but the ten runners must nominate which tyre they start on b4 going out and setting a time for grid position.

      It’s only one idea of many but it was so hard to explain to my misses what was going on at any one point, as she was in bed next to me asking silly questions. Should imagine anyone with a passing interest was proper baffelled what was going on LOL

  6. Mike from Colombia says:

    What was the plan for next year? So when the teams “master” tiptoeing around this year – was the plan to introduce tubed rubber radials for 2014?

    DRS is an even bigger problem than these tyres.

    When will we ever see a proper overtaking manoeuvre ever again ?

    1. schumerak says:

      Between laps 1 and 3, I think, any maybe if it is really raining, but apart from that… Good luck :)

    2. Elie says:

      Kimi does it nearly every race whether there’s DRS or not. He said before he returned to F1 that the DRS was “not really racing”

  7. Mike from Colombia says:

    If Button, one of the world’s best tyre nurses says there is a problem – there IS A PROBLEM.

    1. Tom says:

      Drivers moan. No doubt he moans about the aero of his car or whatever too.

      1. Random 79 says:

        True, but that’s not the point that Mike was trying to make I think.

    2. MG says:

      I had this exact thought myself as I watched Button cruise around, ultimately competing against his tyres rather than the competitors.

      F1 may as well just let the cars run with a “safety” gap and just see who completes the laps quickest, as in WRC. Or even better, see who completes the most laps in a limited time, then the broadcast would never run overtime!

      I’ve been a fan for 20 years and not missed a race in that time, I used to watch every race live (I’m in the southern hemisphere, so that means anytime up to about 5am) and as each season goes by, I seem to be watching more and more by replay. This last weekend, I watched it in 3 chunks, I actually had better things to do and fell asleep through the last 10 laps!!! I was shocked at myself, but it really made me wonder how many others feel the same way.

      1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

        Nah……….you must be just like me, mate……getting old! My eyelids seem to drop a lot easier these days….. :)

  8. McLaren78 says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the argument that tyres were always a limiting factor. They were to a certain degree and to certain tracks. Right now it’s too much. Put DRS and KERS on top of it and it’s clearly artificial racing (if you can call it racing). Don’t get me wrong, it is exciting, but you don’t see people fighting lap after lap, race after race. You don’t get the faster drivers fighting for wins but those we can manage races better. There needs to be a middle ground. Either take DRS out and keep the tyres as such, or make the tyres more durable.

    1. Fan says:

      I don’t like the new tires and its clear that something needs to be done. I would be surprised if Bernie doesn’t get the message soon. Its easy to chalk it up to certain teams making the tires work better than everyone, but clearly there is some dissatisfaction up and down the grid when the entire field sits out of the majority of Q1 to preserve tires and when multiple teams come to the conclusion that its best to sit out Q3. There has been far too many instances in which drivers from multiple teams are asking is it okay to fight, how is my pace, or being instructed not to defend a position due to tire deg. Some may find the new aspect of tire strategy interesting, but I am not among them. I don’t find tire preservation contests to be as intriguing as racers going full on lap after lap. I’m not saying to make it a one stop race, but when the tires are so fragile that the best racing strategy is not to race hard I have a problem with that. Same issue with the DRS. I felt both have reduced the importance of driver skill and engineering to the overall result. If you can get with 1 second of your opponent a pass is virtually assured. For me the final few laps of the race were both thrilling and depressing. Thrilling because someone (VET) was finally actually pushing and depressing because of how suddenly it became clear it was that up until then the race was just a parade.

    2. BurgerF1 says:

      Give a bit of time for the teams to develop the cars. They’ll work the tires better in time in a similar fashion to the way last year progressed. We went from 3-stop races to 1-stop races with the same tires in 2012.

      I think we’ll probably see a big leap in Spain, and then another one after the summer break.

      The lack of running in Q3 was really unfortunate but I think that will be the exception not the rule.

      It’s a constant balancing act with all the technologies you mention, and the almost constant improvements the teams make. The DRS zones looked much to long as most of the DRS passing occured before the braking zone. That’s probably a result of the gains in DRS efficiency the teams are finding.

      I think it would be a mistake to change the tires now. If the problem persists into the summer, then maybe they will need to consider a change for the second half.

    3. robert b. NY, NY says:

      what are you talking about when you say “clearly artificial racing”? We do see people racing more than ever. Yes they have to manage their tires and pick their spots but there was never so much “racing” prior to DRS, KERS and these tires. Most races were a procession with the final result largely determined in qualifying. Cars could almost never get past before even if faster because as soon as they got close they lost the aero so they suddenly were slower. I am not saying all is perfect with this tire thing but it wasn’t so great before either.

      1. McLaren78 says:

        What you see is overtakes, with not much fighting going on, the type of overtakes I do on the motorway! We want to see drivers fighting for their position lap after lap. It is exciting racing, but not very real to me, a bit like WWF vs Greco-Roman wrestling.

    4. TitanRacer says:

      to a point, I MUST agree with you. DRS and KERS and dual compound tires, and must start on qualy tire (but ONLY if in the top 10 and ONLY if you actually make a qualy run is massively contrived, artificial, and mind-boggling stupidity for anybody of more than average intelligence.
      F1 can be entertaining today in a manner that lines fat cat pockets, but it no longer has anything whatsoever to do with sport or TALENT or GUTS. it is all about computer programmers on “TEAM” super computers and sponsor $$$… the WWF keeps popping up in my antiquated brain…

    5. Mack says:

      For me – Bluntly – get rid of DRS (dumb racing system) and fake tyres and put it literally in the hands of the race drivers by making them return to a manual gearbox. They make a mistake – they pay. At the moment it seems to be just fake racing. I won’t deny it hasn’t added excitement at times but computerised starts and tyres that delaminate and false overtaking demeans any skill the drivers have. I can guarantee that sore feet, blistered hands and missed gear changes are likely to cause just as many passes.

  9. Big Reg says:

    I do understand why they have done what they have done with the tyres but…it makes for a boring race. I pay good money to see the British GP, I want to see cars being driven on the limit not nursed around conserving tyres. We are considering just going to the Saturday qualifying this year and even then we might be short changed if some teams decide to save a set of tyres in Q3.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Maybe you can pay 66% of the fee, and just see Q1 and Q2

  10. Richard D says:

    The current tyres just make the result a lottery. So why bother putting the cars on track; just toss a coin to see who wins. Please, please, please bin these stupid “designed to wear out tyres” and get some that will last so that the best car and driver wins rather than the car that the tryes suit at a particular circuit.

    1. Anne says:

      In sports you don´t know the result before the competition ends. If Liverpool plays against Arsenal you don´t know who is going to win. It´s not a lottery it is in the nature of every competition.

      1. Alan Grimett says:

        Maybe it is not a lottery but it certainly is an absolute farce so I fully agree… “Why actually put the cars on the track” seeing as we not seeing true racing. Flip the coin and let someone like Charlie decide who should be named the winner.

    2. Craig D says:

      You can’t say it’s a lottery. If it is, why it it still the usual top drivers and teams that frequent the podium? If a top driver is being overly handicapped from producing their skill due being unable to push at all, why does Alonso and Raikkonen, for example, still whup their team mates?

      There’s a balance to be met, and I agree it could be going too far but it’s not a lottery. The cream is still rising to the top. The laws of physics still govern the situation but tyre modelling is not as advanced as aero simulation, making it harder for the teams to control such variables. I like the requirement of a driver to have to show top outright pace and also knowing how to manage a race distance.

      I actually like an idea I read where each driver gets a limited number of DRS uses a race, to be used as they see fit. Cars can overtake easier these days so we don’t need such reliance on DRS.

    3. robert b. NY, NY says:

      a lottery, what joke! if it’s a lottery why are the best drivers best and best teams still at the top fighting like cats and dogs to win? It’s still racing and more dynamic and competitive than before.

    4. Andy says:

      A lottery where 5 world champions in the best cars on the grid happened to end up at the front?

  11. Antti says:

    I support the role tires are playing in F1 today.

    One aspect that has not been brought up, is that these tires require more skill from the driver, meaning different teams are on more level playing field and race results are a better indicator of drivers race craft than before. It’s not just about the car anymore. Lotus is gentle on its tires in Kimi’s hands, not so gentle when Romain is driving the car etc. When top 5 are made of cars from 5 different teams, you know it was the driver that made the difference in each case. I think that is great.

    1. Wayne says:

      Goodness me NO!. They do not require MORE skill at all, not even slightly! They require DIFFERENT skill. Less skill at driving fast and more skill at saving tyres!

      1. Antti says:

        Everyone knows how to drive saving tires. Not everyone knows how to do it while driving fast. My point is, now the race results are not dictated just by the car you drive, but how well you drive it. That’s how it should be.

  12. Jacob says:

    I dont understand why Gary Anderson thinks a medium-hard allocation wouldve been so bad. If theyre already managing the pace so much why wouldnt it have simply led to a “normal” 2 stop race?

    Ive also heard numerous times now that its the degradation and not the wear that limits these tyres, but Pirelli have always said theyre designed to degrade thermally.

    1. Craig D says:

      If they had had to really, really manage those medium tyres, it would have been the case it would have been quicker to make more stops than they did.

      Of course there was managing going on, not saying there wasnt, but they ran the quickest race time they could.

      Overtaking was too easy and that was a problem. We must note that Button was a special case because he was going for an extreme tyre life strategy.

      1. Jacob says:

        I think this is the problem with the tyres “degrading” as opposed to “wearing”.

        We need tyres that “wear”, that at one third distance theres no rubber left on the tyre from being scrubbed off, not that they overheat and fall apart with load.

      2. Craig D says:

        I agree with this. Having a tyre with a consistent level of grip, or slower degradation rate but with a certain life to that grip.

        So, e.g. you have options that can do x lap time, and has rubber that will last say 12-15 good laps depending on the car, after which the rubber is gone and you need to pit. Throughout those laps your grip level doesn’t decrease too drastically (15% say by stint’s end).

        Then you have the primes, which might be 0.3s slower but lasts 22-26 laps say.

        Something like this, could result in a 2 or 3 stop strategy giving similar race times (they’re just guess numbers). But it would be based more on the driver needing to extract the tyres’ potential grip each lap as opposed to overly looking after them. And of course getting through traffic would be a critical part too.

        Of course I’m sure it’s difficult to do all this. As I say, Pirelli’s engineers have a tougher task than the others did.

    2. Timmay says:

      Yeh agree. Give them a better mix of tyres & they might push @ 90% instead of 80%.

  13. BadName says:

    Between the tyres and DRS, it’s simply too artifical. F1 was incredibly exciting before these gimmicks. The competition between constructors and drivers is unparalleled drama.

  14. robert b. NY, NY says:

    this whole tire thing is a bit of quandary and I can see both sides of the argument. I have watched every race since 2005 and I guess for me I have to say that this new tire program has made for a better more dynamic spectacle. When I started watching an awful lot of races were just processions and overtaking was all but impossible so between the DRS and the new tires the races have become more dynamic. Although as I said I understand the other view as well.

    At the end of the day though it is still the best car and the best drivers at the top so it’s not like the new tires have shaken things up that much; they just lead to more interesting races involving all the usual suspects.

    One complaint is that the races can be a bit hard to follow mid race and the announcers here in the U.S. aren’t very helpful. You really need to understand lap times and tire age at any point in the race to have some understanding who is in the best position. It’s a bit frustrating in that sense but if the broadcasters would giver more info it would make it better.

    1. BurgerF1 says:

      I totally agree with you on this. Our coverage in Canada is the BBC feed and though we don’t get the benefit of any pre-race or post-race show, the commentators need to talk about this more, and the graphics need to be updated to display this information. Tire type and age in laps would be a good start and not require too much screen real estate. They could remove the DRS graphic to save some space since this is pretty easy to see on the cars anyway and occurs in the same place every lap. At the very least they could post some of this on the internet feed.

    2. Craig D says:

      It’s costly but the F1 Timing app for iPhone (and others I guess) is fantastic.

      You see lap times, a GPS map, you can see a driver’s tyre strategy to date and how many laps they’ve been on their tyres, etc.

      For example I noticed before the commentators did that Webber was going to be near the front after pitting on lap 1; his sectors were significantly better. Definitely a good aid for reading these races. (Can help if placing bets too! :P )

    3. Wayne says:

      It’s not who wins, but how they are winning. They are not winning through skill at driving fast on the limit of adhesion, they are winning through skill at nursing the tyres. Imagine if NASCAR drivers all had to slope around at 80% capacity to save tyres!

      I’ve watched every race since 1984 and it is utter rot when people say drivers all finished in the order they started and the races were dull. Google some classic examples, there are hundreds.

    4. TitanRacer says:

      @robert b.NY,NY
      I like your post. I really do. congrats on being a fan for 8 years! lottsa changes over that time – not all for the good or bad.
      yes, the cream will most usually rise to the top. good observation!
      while a number of the passes by many in China were contrived due to DRS, start-line clutch settings, KERS and tire strategy, they were ultimately completed due to massively committed and superior driver efforts. it was pretty good and I soooo appreciated seeing that!
      keep in mind, many of us have been hooked for a very long time. I have been an F1 and other racing venue junkie since 1962.

      I watched both SKY and NBC coverage for this race, practice, and qualy. u r right. it sucks… can’t wait to get to Austin this fall…

    5. Aussie Fan says:

      Totally disagree, you can still tell whom is going to finish in the top 3 places from about one third race distance, you just have to sipho out all the alternative strategies. It isnt more exciting, just the same thing but painted to look different so a less intelligent viewer can lok and say “gee I cant tell who is going to be in front at the end” when with a little bit of calculation its still painfully obvious, its just there are more cars pretending to pass each other on track due to different strategies.

      Yawn.

  15. Manished says:

    those suffer moan

    those didnt get on with it

    People got confused with the meaning of driving on the edge….even back in 2000-2010, you have to look after your tyre and not to be on the edge all the time.

    People that able to look after their tyre amazed me more and proven to be difficult as only a few can do so.

    Fernando and Kimi etc. Neither of their teammate capable of making their tyre last as much as they wanted despite driving the same cars.

    Lastly, no matter what’s the reg are..the cream will always rise to the top.

    I salute Pirelli for their hard work in making F1 interesting again.

    1. Aussie Fan says:

      Wow, ok, thats not how I remember 2000 to 2010 in f1 but cool story. Nando & kimi used to charge to their victories back then, maximum attack every lap. Was great to watch, especially Nando vs Schumacher.

  16. Jon says:

    As an F1 fan, I want to see the best drivers going wheel to wheel and racing. But as we know F1 cars can’t follow and overtake that easily and races became processions that none of us want.

    DRS has helped with this, but can seem a little artificial at times, and now we’ve got the excitement of tyres that no-one knows how long they’ll last. Perhaps they are a little fragile, but that’s what we’ve got at the moment.

    Do I prefer processions or not pushing to save the tyres. Personally prefer the fact that we don’t know who’s going to win until nearer the end of the race. But would like to see the best drivers being able to push for the whole race instead of having to save tyres/fuel.

    Come on F1, with all your intelligence you should be able to get the balance correct!

  17. Michael S says:

    I am ok with the tires like this… if not we will see one maybe two teams storm away with a 1 stop race like the old days… Lauda is saying they will change to harder tires for all races so that will help Merc and RB a lot.

  18. Anil Parmar says:

    The problem with overtaking in F1 was never due to durable tyres, it was down to poor track design and dirty air.

    Take the 2010 season; add in DRS to bridgestones and you wouldnt have cars stuck behind each other, even at tracks like Abu Dhabi, Hungary and Barcalona. The pirelli solution was unnecessary and didnt address the actual cause.

    James, next year drivers will have to save significant fuel too. Will we still see these tyres next year as itll result in very slow F1 cars?

    1. James Allen says:

      Next year is a whole other ball game.

      1. Aussie F1 Fan says:

        Next year is the death of F1. Bring back the v10. Cant believe the “green” argument in F1 when one single Jumbo flight from Los Angeles to Tokyo uses more fuel than all the cars use, for every session including the races, FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON!

        Marketing gone wild eh?

      2. Craig says:

        +111, 111, 111, 111, 111, 111, 111, 111

  19. Ahmad says:

    If everyone was allowed to start on the tyres they chose, instead of the tyres they qualified on, then they would be fighting for position with every car. It’s as simple as that.

  20. goferet says:

    Aah the tyres… To be or not to be, is the question.

    No doubt about it, Pirelli went extreme with the 2013 tyres for the drivers (just like in 2011) felt straight away in winter testing that something just wasn’t right.

    Yes, I do support degradation in tyres but tyres that last 5-6 laps is just not on, full stop and I hope Pirelli’s board meeting after Bahrain will address this. For yes we need degradation but reasonable tyre-wear.

    The 2012 tyres weren’t bad at all for their only negative is they had a small operating window for inserting heat but the teams got on top of this by the midway of the season >>> so there was no need to change.

    Meanwhile another thing that left a some fans unsatisfied is the two DRS zones. The two DRS zones was a mistake because moves like Lewis’ overtake on Jenson into turn 1 from 2011 were made that much easier (look at how Alonso failed to overtake Lewis before DRS was enabled)

    Having said all that, for the good of the sport and all that’s holy, we can never go back to the Brigdestone era or the Goodyear era for in these times of aero-dependant cars, that’s a none starter.

    1. Craig D says:

      Good balanced post.

      I think there’s a bit of a misinterpretation with drivers not pushing. They’re still pushing, but just to the limited package at that stage of the race. If there wasn’t such skill required why do some drivers massively beat their team mate?

      In some ways it’s more skilful to know how to maximise such a package. This is indicated by the drivers apparent constant request from the team on how far to push the package! It’s easy to see why Prost was a master at this in the days without all the simulation tools and he had to rely more on his judgement.

      1. Quade says:

        So if useless tyres don’t matter with the cream still rising to the top, why introduce them at all?
        The tyres are simply an unecessary variable brought in to inject uncertainty in place of driver skill.

      2. Craig D says:

        And conversely if the cream still rises to the top, why get rid of them?

        It’s pretty evident that driver and engineer skill is still valued. The type of skills required might be different – or rather expanded as it is still important to be able to squeeze out fast laps when required “Push, push, give it all you’ve got” are still radio messages we hear alongside the “target lap time” ones.

        I accept some people don’t like this requirement change and that’s fine to have that view. I do to an extent as well.

        In my ideal world they’d be a choice: if a driver like Hamilton wants to go for a 100% flat out sprint race of 3 stops, he should be able to have the tyres to do that (so doing the race on 4 sets of fast options). It’s just that such tyres won’t survive the whole race, so you have to do short sprints for this strategy. The Mercedes might work better in this condition for example. If someone like Button instead wants to opt for a 1 or 2 stop strategy on slower but durable tyres, then that should be a viable choice too. The difficulty is getting such tyres tuned to each circuit. It’s the same as DRS, sometimes it’s tuned perfectly, sometimes God awful! Technically Pirelli have a far greater challenge than Bridgestone did.

        At the end of the day to enable a strategic, varied race the tyres HAVE to degrade. The issue is getting the balance. Options that last 6 laps of a 56 lap race is ridiculous.

        The thing that stops me jumping on the Total Tyre Hate bandwagon is pausing to think of what the alternative will be. Hard tyres and we’ll have stints of 45+ laps in a 65-60 lap race. They’ll certainly be some classic races still but there’s going to be a lot of dull events. Mark my words, you’re not going to get a flock of posters on this site praising the driver’s skill and fitness, they’ll be moaning at what a dull event it was because little changed in the race, or that Vettel just steamed off into the distance. We had that with some of the latter races last year that were 1 stoppers.

        For example, each year in Monaco, you don’t get posters praising the skill and concentration of the drivers to complete lap after lap of such a demanding challenge. No, you get people complaining on the dull procession the race was and that it shouldn’t be on the calendar.

      3. Quade says:

        Hi Craig D, I appreciate your view point on the tyres, its quite balanced and sensible. However, the F1 situation becomes alarming when driver after driver complains about being limited by the tyres; its even worse when fans can pick out that drivers are not doing their best and actually driving flat out. Instead of a display of on-the-edge driving skills, F1 has decayed into tyre management and lost focus. Thats the real point we are driving at.

        On the point about the number of pit stops, I don’t think the amount per race matters that much. Pit stops are rarely exciting and should only be a convenience to refresh the car with tyres/fuel, a wing turn or two, or car repairs; they shouldn’t be part of the race proper. The fact that they now are sadly points to the effect of the artificial limitations (tyre etc), they make what the drivers are doing on track so boring that we have to look to pit stops for excitement. That isn’t right.

        Give the drivers the tools to go crazy and we would be thoroughly entertained.

  21. Zack says:

    These tyres are terrible.

    When drivers are too scared to defend their position or attack for fear of ruining the tyres – this is not racing!

    When drivers are driving to a delta for most of the race – this is not racing!

    When a driver ‘overtakes’ another driver whose tyres are older and therefore 2 seconds a lap slower – this is not racing!

    1. Jeff says:

      I agree.

      I’ve been a fan of F1 for over 35 years, and even designed electronic controls for F1 in the early ’90s. I’m about ready to cancel my premium satellite tier which I only purchased to watch F1.

      I can watch both the MotoGP series and the Australian V8 supercars on a non premium channel, and both are far more entertaining and far less artificial than this year’s F1.

      A friend of mine used to call F1 ‘Formula Yawn’ in the worst of the Schumacher years. It’s even more true this year.

      Give the teams tyres which can be driven flat out for 15 to 20 laps, or slower for longer. Mandate a minimum of 2 pitstops which have to be taken within a window between 15 laps from each end of the race, and let the top drivers in the world actually race.

      When the fans in the stands are BOOING during qualifying, drivers are asking “Can I fight?”, and there are 5 second laptime differences between similar cars just due to the tyres on the same lap, there’s something badly wrong with F1.

  22. Chad says:

    In my view there have always been limitations on how fast a race car can go. These are created by anything from corners, chicanes, aerodynamic regulations, engine type, a host of other controls and…yes, tyre management. Ultimately, there are less engine failures these days, less cars flying off the track like they used to at the old Monza or the Nurbergring circuits, so imposing limitations on tyre compounds seems eminently sensible to me as a means of maintaining the inherent excitement of this historic sport.

    I watched Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso thrash out a championship against one another in 2005, and were it not for engine failures and a flat-spotted tyre in Germany Kimi Raikkonen might well be a two-time world champion right now rather than Alonso. But those were the variables in those days and Renault and Alonso overcame them better than Mclaren and Kimi. Yesterday I watched Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso thrashing out a race with an entirely new but equally intriguing set of parameters.

    Both drivers are great, and both are there or there abouts regardless of the regulations.

    The only people complaining about the regulations are those who haven’t mastered them. The same happened when Brawn built a double diffuser. To my mind watching Button run away with the world championship in an unbeatable car for the first 6 races of 2009 was significantly more tedious than watching Button and Vettel not bother to set a qualifying time on Saturday.

    As Kimi says, “If you don’t like it, go and do something else”.

    …he did in 2010.

    1. Rockie says:

      I hope you remember this when you complain about redbull mastering the tyres and running away with the championship later in the year

      1. Charlie says:

        I fully expect them to. Vettel or Alonso will probably win the WDC.

      2. Chad says:

        I expect you’re right: everyone will master the tyres as they did last year and the WDC will ultimately go to Vettel or Alonso. I don’t see why I should complain about that.

  23. stger says:

    I think they have taken the tyre game to far this season. With all the changes like DRS et cetera in play races have become pretty exciting already last year. And pit stops may play a big part to that, but it’s not necessary to have 70+ stops per race, for a big spectacle.
    And right now with the need to stop after 5 laps in to the race things have become too silly. Or the necessary stop for Vettel shortly before the end of the race.
    I strongly oppose the rule stating that teams have to use two different types of tyres during a race. They should leave it to the teams which tyres to choose and in general tyres should last at least 15 rounds to keep this a serious motorsport.
    Just my 50cents….

  24. Jota180 says:

    I like what the tyres are doing for the racing right now, it may not be good for the Team Principal’s blood pressure but so what?
    Maybe not for this weekend so much as I don’t particularly think China was a typical example, overtaking was easy[ish] for the frontrunners against the rest – so possible issues with traffic were taken out of the equation, Webber coming in after 1 lap suprised me though, surely 4 or 5 would have yeilded better overall times?
    It was all down to the calculator in the end for this race

  25. Glenn says:

    To my eyes, the China event looked more like “Formula 1 Tire Management” rather than “Formula 1 *Racing*”. Future cars will need a plow on the front to clear all the marbles at this rate.

    In my view – the most advanced racing cars on the planet competing on a compound that only lasts 6 laps makes no sense.

    1. Aussie F1 Fan says:

      +1 and they will need to start cleaning the tyre rubber off the following cars front wings, that much rubber all over the following cars wing has to affect the wing performance over time. Did you see the state of the front wings for even the top 3 drivers after China? Appaling.

  26. Richard says:

    Well I expect my views on tyres have become quite well known, but to be clear they are an utter nonsense. The reason we have high degradation tyres is a consequence of highly developed aerodynamics which has made overtaking more difficult because chasing cars get into the turbulent air behind the leading car, and immediately have a reduction in downforce, and so the powers that be decided that we’ll get Pirelli to introduce high degration so that cars will be slowed down and make them easier to overtake, unfortunately this makes the situation even worse for a car trying to overtake a leading car all over things being equal because his tyres start to degrade even faster due the lack of downforce.
    Worse still it has the result of protecting the leading car as so often this is the fastest with it’s downforce remaining unaffected. Enter DRS to counter the effects of dirty air, and make passing easier. It just isn’t proper racing anymore. I want to see talented drivers driving the wheels off a car to catch someone in front and experience proper wheel to wheel racing. It is NOT proper racing anymore it has become a tyre strategy and conservation exercise which is both dull and boring. All I say is look at F1 before this was introduced, and the cars are visibly faster and more exciting to watch. The answer is to restrict aero significantly, and as a consequence introduce greater reliance on mechanical grip then the drivers may start enjoying it again!

    1. Billy says:

      I feel your pain Richard, i really do.

      Don’t quote me on this, but I think it was Frank Williams that said “but where am I going to put the sponsors logo’s if there are no wings?”

      If I had it my way they;d all be running around in Lotus type 25′s

    2. TitanRacer says:

      @richard. a voice of reason!!

      @billy. u bettcha!!!

  27. Tim Reed says:

    Having watched Formula 1 for over 20 yrs for me its way better nowadays. Being a Michael Schumacher fan of old as much as i enjoyed his 91 wins. However when you look at the races in Schu’s Ferrari years (2001-2004) races were boring and predictable. The same can be said for 2011 where Vettel would bolt on some tyres, break DRS and just have a controlled race.Not exciting at all. So I thank Pirelli for 2012-13 and onwards.Long may it continue. FTR I also would prefer less AERO dependancy and much more MECHANICAL.

    1. Tim Reed says:

      NB. I know Schumacher drove for Ferrari from 1996 just pointing out the dominent yrs.

  28. Alberto Martínez says:

    James,

    Do you know if Pirelli has changed its tyre choice for Barhein from ‘Soft-Hard’ to ‘Medium-Hard’?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes it has. Medium and hard was announced today

  29. Daniel Marshall says:

    I really don’t know where to hang my hat with this tyre argument. Having fragile tyres equalises the cars to a large extent, providing a greater variety of winners depending on circuit characteristics and who gets it right ‘on the day’. But has that come at the expense of making the racing ‘false’?

    To an extent, everything about F1 is false – the cars themselves are designed within such narrow rules, and could go a lot faster if that wasn’t the case.

    I think the biggest problem is that the drivers can’t ‘push’ – they can’t get to the limits of the car without compromising their race. That does feel wrong.

    But on the other hand if they *could* get to the limit of their car, then the car becomes the limiting factor, and the fastest car would just end up winning the majority of the time.

    I don’t know what the answer is but I know people are very quick to blame Pirelli for doing a fantastic job of making tyres exactly to order.

    I also think people calling for more durable tyres should be stating – if not tyres, what do they want the limiting factor to be? Or should competition not necessarily be close?

    1. TitanRacer says:

      the fastest car, the fastests pit team, the fastest driver, the most monied manufacturer, etc., has almost always won. where is the problem here??
      pretty much the same for militaries, NFL, MLB, NHL, World Soccer and anything else in the World…

    2. Quade says:

      The limiting factor should be driving talent. Anything else is fake, the fastest car would still be fastest even on the gum tyre. So whats its purpose, except some dumbed down “WWF” style entertainment which F1 as the peak of motor sport does not need?

      1. James Allen says:

        If a talented driver is in a slower car, is driver talent the decisive factor in the results?

        No, it’s the car.

  30. hero_was_senna says:

    DRS was introduced as a way of allowing overtaking between cars that otherwise cancel the following cars downforce. For years engineers have been asked for solutions to this problem, and offered nothing.
    If cars need clear air to be able to race, there’s something fundamentally wrong in the rules.
    I appreciate why LdM is happy that mechanical will become more important than aero, ultimately aero serves only the track.
    Look back to by gone eras, you didn’t have passing like now, it was a skill. One that signalled the better drivers over the merely good. If DRS had been available in Abu Dhabi 2010, we would have Alonso as triple champion and Vettel merely a double.
    MSC dominated an era where we had bullet proof tyres and the only overtaking was completed with pitstops… Woohoo!

    Massa. Suffering graining and more problems beside. His teammate won the race. Forget the clear air theory because at different times Alonso caught and passed other drivers, what we have here is the difference between good and great.
    If we are to believe, mainly because of ludicrous beliefs about Ferrari and Alonso, that Massa is his equal, why do people accept Kimi as being far better than Grosjean? Or Vettel over Webber. Why is there not a balanced view that these lead drivers really are the best out there?

    Last point. Mclaren imagine it must be terrible for Button to drive to a delta and not fight.
    Maybe they should look at their history and re-learn a few lessons.
    Buttons hero was supposedly Prost. In 1985 and 1986, the rules limited the amount of fuel cars could run. A clumsy rule to allow non turbo cars some equality.
    Prost was nicknamed Professor because he used his intelligence.
    Countless times, Prost would drive to a “delta” and would not fight anyone attacking him. In the later stages of races, his discipline would mean that he could run faster and faster passing all those that had raced off before.
    It wasn’t because he wasn’t fast enough, he proved his speed against Senna in 88 & 89, but because he used every weapon he possessed.
    In fact, if you ever read about Adelaide 1986, when he won his 2nd WDC, he threw caution to the wind and ignored his fuel gauge, because for the last 15 laps it was reading minus, he figured it was faulty and just drove to win the WDC. If it had run out, he wouldn’t have lost anything because he was safe in 3rd place in the standings.

    Whether pro or con, be careful what you wish for. Rose tints gave to be applied carefully.

    1. Val from montreal says:

      Must have been my imagination then when the Regenmeister fought countless battles with Mika and both were doing their over-taking on the race tracks ! With no DRS and Kers to help them out … Both of them were a very different breed from another era = the MAN era !

      Nowadays you have Hamilton crying over the radio like he did at Monza 2011 .. Poor guy !

      And you can visit Youtube and search :”Schumacher overtakes” … Maybe thay will refreshen your memory ..

      Ciao !

      1. Val from montreal says:

        I meant BREED , not bread !

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I luv ya man ;)

      3. Elie says:

        Whilst you tubing your MS you will see him being overtaken by King Kimi at Spa and Brazil last year but to name a few.His win from 18th in 2005 at Suzuka was unbelievable. Surely the best overtaker since he joined the sport. There are countless clips of mon drs adsisted both last year and the past and I urge you to watch them Val -since he become your new “man”! :)

      4. Gazza says:

        Mind you in that era Schumi didn’t have any tyre problem’s he had his own specially made.

    2. Rockie says:

      If we had DRS in 2010 Vettel would have gone past Alonso @ Singapore hence would have still won.

    3. TitanRacer says:

      @hero was senna
      :)

  31. F1 dingo says:

    This debate doesn’t seem to be going away does it. The bare facts are that tyre degredation has always played a part in F1, and drivers have never been able to simply drive the wheels off the cars, just read Gary Anderson’s F1 column on the BBC website. Refuelling years ago hid the fact that tyres went off as the cars pitted so often for fuel. The difference now isn’t the tyres per se, its that combined with fuel having to last the race.
    The only way to take tyres out of the equation completely is to make them last the whole race, otherwise there’ll always be an element of who can best look after their tyres, matters not if it’s 1 stop or 4.
    If the tyres become so good that everyone can drive the wheels off the car then you end up with a season (I’d imagine)a little similar to when Vettel won his second WDC, or during dominant McLaren/Williams/Ferrari years. In that instance races again become somewhat processional.

    Finding a balance is the key.

    The Chinese GP finished with 5 World Champions in the first 5 places, all in different teams. I’d therefore, at the very least, argue that the best drivers whether pushing fully or not are still coming to the fore, that at least is a good thing and somehting F1 should never lose….

    1. TitanRacer says:

      really??? I am merely going back to 1962. tires lasted the entire race. fuel lasted the entire race. the fast were fast and the rest were last. seems fair to me!!!

      1. Roger2013 says:

        Through the 60s/70s/80s/early-90s in the pre-refueling era we regularly saw tyres which could last a full race non-stop & which didn’t need conserving anywhere close to the levels we see today & the racing through those eras was better for it.

        Through those era’s nobody was complaining at the lack of pit stops or the lack of strategy, They were enjoying the fantastic racing & real overtaking.

      2. iceman says:

        Of course going back to 1962 removes the fundamental problem that all these patches tyres, KERS, DRS – are trying to paper over. If the cars don’t rely on aerodynamic downforce, they can race closely without the rule-makers having to intervene.

  32. Paige says:

    From a technical standpoint, I think it’s great for Formula 1 because it gives the teams a real challenge to innovate. Every time a team finds a big area in which to innovate, F1 takes away the toys with new technical regulations. This is bad for the sport, and it leads to hierarchy, as the big teams spend countless amounts of money on refining the most minute details of the car to squeeze extra tenths and they hire all of the talent out there. Think about it: if you are a top-level engineer, even at entry level, and you have an offer from a top team in a very part-of-the-system gig or a mid-level team in which you are allowed some freedom to develop ideas and maybe have them applied, then you may take the mid-level offer if the competitive conditions are very conducive to innovation. If they’re not, you will always take the top-level team, since they’ll probably pay more and you will get the prestige of working for them. Get rid of opportunities for innovation drives manufacturers away, too, because less freedom to innovate means less potential applicability of F1 to the road product.

    Having tires that go off provides a fresh engineering challenge that can lead to some real innovation. We’ve already seen some of this with the hydraulic suspension systems on the Lotus and Mercedes- which Lotus seem to have working quite well at the moment, and Mercedes may still be figuring out. This gives a team like Lotus a chance to contend even if they don’t have the biggest budget, as they have smart people and gave them a lot of freedom to come up with a bold and creative solution to give Lotus an edge. The new tires could also be an attraction for manufacturers to get back in, as so many resources will now be required for understanding the tires- knowledge that is certainly applicable to the road product. (Not that manufacturers would come back in with teams. But if they sign up as a works partner with a team to build engines, the would also presumably have engineers with the teams who would have access to the development of the rest of the car.)

    It also agrees with the message that F1 is trying to send. They have a public agenda of wanting to appeal to more eco-friendly concerns. That is part of what the new engine is about and the incorporation of KERS. The ban on refueling is a positive step, as well. Now having tires with more limited life is forcing the teams to emphasize efficiency- getting the most out of the tires with limited resources (in this case, the grip of the tires).

  33. Waleran says:

    For the first few laps I thought – this is ridiculous. But then I became engrossed in the multitude of strategies, tactics and encounters. A thoroughly entertaining race and something I could get used to – unless Pirelli blink that is.

    1. Billy says:

      I remember when Formula One used to have racing cars that raced each other.

      It’s now gone too far.

      1. Billy says:

        Oh! plus racing drivers :-)

    2. Quade says:

      The “strategy” I loved most was Jenson (the 2009 World Champ) asking if he should fight for his position. I found that very exciting.
      I also loved the none-racing Q3 strategy,” as a great way of racing.

  34. Robert Schumann says:

    Since F-1 has opted for entertainment value over pure competition I would like to say that the China Qualifying session was a joke and a waste of spectators and viewers time.

    NBC Sports has been doing a great job here in USA, but staying up until midnight here in Tucson, AZ to watch and listen to a vacant track is an abuse. No fault of theirs.

    If we have to have the artificial elements added to the show, let’s give the teams sufficient tires to run the total time allowed! Have you ever paid for a ticket to a Formula 1 event?

  35. seeing scarlet says:

    Yep and RBR will still be crying about it. If Newey is such a Genius why can’t he figure out the tires?

    1. Me says:

      Since when has an aerodynamicist had anything to do with tyres?

      1. seeing scarlet says:

        simple aerodynamics directly applies pressure to the tires in an attempt to keep the car pushed down against the track the more aerodynamics the more foot pounds of pressure applied to the tires.

  36. Mitchel says:

    Webber, can’t you get anything right?

    It’s WWE, not WWF!

    Old timers….

    1. Random 79 says:

      Not that I follow it, but WWE has never sounded right…

  37. Scuderia McLaren says:

    It is certainly a complicated issue. I am not sure where I stand but my heart says that whilst the unpredictability of races and variability of random results will attract new audiences, the save tyres / save fuel / manage car from lap 1 to finish and don’t race attitude will eventually alienate the established fan base, which I’d like to think is more important than the sole purpose of attracting new fans.

    I grew up amazed at the GP racing which was sprint style at the time. Fresh engines every session, very sticky tyres, quite durable, refueling stops, very light cars and crazy ballsy drivers. F1 was a series of super fast sprints, with maximum intensity. Maximum performance driving skill.

    The best, most courageous and fittest drivers really made a difference in qualifying and a big difference if they could qualify for a whole race. For me, that pinnicle of speed and intense racing was captivating. But predictable i suppose. Though that didnt bother me. The fights had a real intensity. Some of the lap records still exist of that era. For me, watching F1 Le Mans racing (now) as opposed to F1 Grand Prix racing is a let down. But I still watch, but am slowly slipping away as the sports total flat out speed credibility slips away.

    1. Peter says:

      Well said. It’s like you read my mind.

  38. Honkhonk says:

    James I’m glad you noted the split here… I’ve been watching f1 for 3 decades and I don’t have complaints about this years tyres at all. Last year I actually did complain about them but it all settled as teams came to grips. I’ve watched some horrendously dull processions in the past and this added variable provides for an alternative option for slower teams to affect a race, such as Hulkenberg did. I hope they don’t change these tyres midway as it will seem more like a political farce than fair. Let the teams improve performance with these tyres, the cream always rises to the top.

  39. Gazza says:

    I don’t mind tyres that wear down in a linear way so a driver can either go faster and do less laps or vice versa.

    The problem with these tyres is that the driver can’t push at all because once the tyre gets out of its operating range it degrades too fast.

    This makes it more of an engineering problem and has taken it out of the drivers hands.

    Is it not possible too design tyres that wear down but are not thermally so sensitive.?

  40. Paddock F1 says:

    Funny how the winners rarely complain

    1. Rockie says:

      Redbull complained in Malaysia and still do

  41. Irish con says:

    As kimi says if u don’t like it the way it is u should do something else. And I bet in come the end of the season it will be boring 1 stop races sometimes and people will still complain. I prefer the way f1 is now when u don’t know who is going to win compared to the days of put it on pole get into the first corner first and the race is over.

    But my solution to the problems would be for Pirelli to give the teams all the tyres for the season at the start of the year and let the teams decide what compounds they bring to each track thru the year. Some teams would go aggressive and be ahead on Saturdays but the teams who go conservative would be well set for the Sunday. Would mean teams could go for the harder tyres earlier in the season and then when they make the cars easier on the rubber during the year go softer as they go further into the season.

  42. giorgio says:

    James,
    One interesting matter,
    Car’s acceleration and cornering drop as tire degradation increase, but does that influence on cars’ straight line speed (top speed)?

  43. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    The solution for me, it should be inexpensive to fix this tyre problem as follows:

    Change the rule for race day from “Mandatory” two tyres to “OPTIONAL” two tyres.

    For example, in China teams had chosen certainly Medium-Medium instead of Soft-Medium-Medium or Medium-Medium-Soft.

    And no need to use in race day the same tyres of qualify, they are two different exercises (fast lap versus long stints).

  44. Paul says:

    While I feel the drop off of the tyres is to soon I do think they are helping to keep the races interesting. Just wish the drivers could push harder for longer before they fall away.

    I’d much rather they do something about the drs instead. The fact that alonso was able to steam past hamilton for the lead AND massa ducking inside isnt racing in my eyes. Hamilton was just sotting there totally unable to do anything. The overtaking is becoming to easy with drivers being totally defenceless against a car due to the massive difference in speed achieved. If rather they get rid of drs and allow extra KERS boost in your within 1 second of the car in front to let you close in enough to then have a go rather than they just breeze past and pull in ahead before the braking point

    With regards qualifying we may as well just go back to the old 1 hour and do a run when you want cause that’s what the tyres have become – a qualifying tyre and then just let all choose what to start on instead

  45. vuelve kowalsky says:

    “I happen to like the variables that have been introduced by the tyres. I also don’t mind DRS as a way of compensating for the effect on a following car of the turbulent aerodynamic wake of the leading car. However, I am getting tired of being characterised as a shallow or uninformed fan, or a “magpie”, or any one of a number of sneers, for holding those views.

    Like those who moesley used to call the keepers of the flame.

  46. Bones says:

    I’m all for the Pirelli tyres and the variables they brought to the sport altough perhaps the soft tyre was really too extreme on this particular track. Perhaps it is more suited for a track like Monaco.
    They should probably get rid of the DRS now, I really don’t think it is necessary anymore. It would make sense with the Bridgestones that lasted the whole race but with the effect that the Pirellis have had on the racing it is really too much.
    The only way to bring back durable tyres that don’t need looking after and drivers can go 100% all the time, is to at the same time reduce aerodynamic effect and prioritize mechanical grip, bring back manual gearboxes and then we’ll see what the drivers are made of.

  47. Anne says:

    I hate a boring race but I also hate tyres that last only 5 laps. I guess they could use soft for qualy ONLY and hard for the race. Not in one particular track but in all of them. I mean I think we have too many sets of tyres.

  48. Val from montreal says:

    Schumacher was the first to raise concern about Pirelli and their artificial racing show ….

    Now it seems people are finally waking up !

    F1 is boring as it is , its just a bunch of cars going fast through corners … The fun factor for me was always to watch the best driver in the world do his thing …

    Vettel is the only reason why I keep watching …

    F1 in the mid 90′s until mid 2000′s was worth getting up for in the morning or staying up late at night …

    I wanted to see MSC do 60 qualifying laps during a race , that was FUN …Winning a race by over 50 seconds , that was fun too !

    Winning races by doing sprint laps , changing strategies on the fly , that was extremely fun …

    Bring back Bridgestone please ! Those Japanese knew what they were doing … Italy’s Pirelli is ruining it more and more ….

  49. Richard says:

    Doesn’t it seem there are some easy solutions, without changing the tyre compounds or the racing format in any way??

    What do you think of the following minor rule changes, which would appear in principle to make F1 racing closer:

    Qualifying:

    - One extra set, of either compound, tyres can be made available to each of the top ten qualifying drivers (BENEFIT = all drivers will run fast in qualifying)

    - All drivers need to meet the 107% rule in each qualifying session (BENEFIT = makes qualifying in all sessions mandatory)

    Race:

    - Remove the restriction to use both tyre types, instead there remain two tyre options which teams have full choice over (BENEFIT = strategy control goes back to the teams)

    - In it’s place, the above restriction is changed to ensure all drivers complete one pitstop in each race, (BENEFIT = maintains the reason for introducing the Option/Prime in the first place, ie pit strategy is part of F1)

    - Finally, and I don’t strictly oppose it, but remove DRS (BENEFIT – would bring cars closer
    together again)

    With high degradation tyres and more strategies to play out, you would get closer racing with no DRS. HOWEVER, as with previous regulations, this would likely lead to processional races, which we don’t want.

    The only way to get rid of that as far as I can see, and this doesn’t ever seem to come up, is to lengthen breaking zones to allow more lines, skills, etc to play out during this critical area of what we all want – close racing and the possibility of over-taking.

    So the final change is to have standard brake discs….

    Discuss!

    1. Daniel M says:

      Some good ideas, but…

      Having standard brake discs on cars that are meant to be the best in the world is as bad as having rubbish tyres on them.

      Limit aero. Let them innovate in other areas.

      1. Richard says:

        FIA limit aero every year but the engineers and aerodynamicists creatively avoid these restrictions.

        Remeber, the issue is the braking zone distance, not the speed at which cars can corner.

  50. Rayz says:

    Qualifying I think has got to be the priority at the moment. The race in China was quite interesting, plenty of decent overtaking, good strategic racing throughout the field, and a fantastic finish between Hamilton and Vettel for the last spot on the podium.

    The current quali system however, has had its day in my opinion. It was designed around a different F1 era, one where fuel loads differed in Q3, tyres were a lot more durable, and the race win was fought out exclusively between McLaren and Ferrari.

    Those days have long gone now. The current quali format is just not working. No excitement generated until the final moments of Q3, if even then. The problem so far as I can see it is that no real suggestions are forthcoming that will improve the spectacle.

    Talk of an extra set of tyres for drivers that make it to Q3 rather takes away from the current dynamics of quali as the only reason teams are not doing a lap in Q3 right now is because they dont want to start the race on the “quali” tyre due to the fact they will be in the pits within the opening minutes of the race changing them.

    The degradation is too extreme at the moment, but only just. At the end of 2012, we got back to a world of one stop strategies leading to a couple of boring races towards the end.

    Qualifying needs to be brought in line with the current F1 system of massive tyre deg and no refuelling. Whether that means perhaps looking at previous quali formats is another question. The old 1 hour and 12 laps format has its merits. All teams get a chance to run throughout the hour. Currently, Marussia and Caterham’s qualifying session comprises of a couple of hotlaps and a debrief.
    The one or two lap quali run dating back to 2005 probably still wont work. Too much track improvements over a session means that its not a fair test, plus it lacks the buzz and excitement.

    Personally, I am a fan of having the two tyre compounds in use from the start of the race. I like that different strategies are in play right from the off. It leads to good racing but the trade is as we saw in China. Teams that feel pole is unattainable refusing to go for it in Q3 to save the tyres. Its a poor spectacle for the fans who pay their hard earned money to see Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen at the limits of their and their cars ability.

    As to what would improve things, I suspect a drastic format change is necessary. But like all the others, I’m struggling to come up with the perfect answer. Anybody else got any ideas on what kind of quali format would work that ensures drivers are out there in the last few minutes giving it their best shot for pole, but yet we keep the two tyre choice for the race to have differing strategy options for those who are further sown the grid?

    1. Quade says:

      The current qualifying is an entirely new thing.
      In the old days, it was every bit an adrenaline soaked, straight laced shootout, no artificial Q1, Q2 or Q3.

    2. Luis Rodrigues says:

      Rayz,

      I can only see one change for qualifying: Points for the top 10, or maybe just the top 6. Possibly the old scoring system: 9, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1

      And if a car failed to run in Q3, then no points (would only apply if 5 cars failed to run in Q3, which is unlikely anyway).

      Points is what teams and drivers are after, so give them points for qualifying on the front rows and they’ll go for it. Wouldn’t Vettel go for pole if he knew he had little chances of victory anyway? I thinkg he would.

      As for the rest, DRS, KERS, short living tyres – I would keep it that way for now. Plus, I would make mandatory that the tyres would be 2 compounds apart. No Medium-Hard for races… only Soft-Hard or SuperSoft-Medium.

  51. Relativity says:

    I am a long time reader of your website but post here only occasionally.

    I am really enjoying the unpredictability of how different teams engineer the cars to use the Pirelli tyres efficiently. Just like everything else in F1, managing tyres is an engineering challenge – some will do it better than others.

    During the processional races in the Bridgestone era, folks used to complain about the lack of unpredictability and the same cars/drivers at the front. Pirelli has rectified that and the racing is exciting. Not knowing the outcome of the race till the last corner of the last lap is what F1 should be all about.

    Managing tyre wear has always been part of F1. Every team that is complaining has its own agenda – the moment they figure out how to use the tyres better than the competition, they will be all over the media in support of Pirelli’s tyre allocation.

    Compliments to Pirelli for a job well done.

    1. Bones says:

      Totally agree with everything you said.

    2. Richard says:

      Absolutely agree!

      According to this blog’s comment pages F1 is a terrible bore-fest, as artificial as WWF and with no discernible skill on show from teams or drivers.

      Anyone would think F1 fans hate F1!

  52. Sanky says:

    Hi,

    I have been following F1 from 2003
    I am seriously bored with the tyre thing…Agreed that the races are more strategic…but the randomness all feels artificially induced..the drivers dont attack the cars in front for a longer time as their tyres just go-off..plus drivers are constantly thinking of saving tyres
    I think we have had pretty exciting races in the past with refuelling and more durable tyres like Japan 2005 or Indianapolis 2007 with drivers on the limit till the last lap

    What actually made overtaking difficult in the recent years might be the higher emphasis on Aerodynamics with the new regulations..
    Do let me know what u guys think?

  53. Steven says:

    I feel like this year they’ve gone TOO extreme. Last year’s tires had degradation and provided a good show, but this year they degrade way too much. I dont agree with the people that say to go back to the Bridgestones type tires, I think they should just go back to last year’s tires.
    Ive watched video of races from the 80s(Im 35) where a drive would let cars go at the beginning of the race so they could save tires and then mount a comeback at the end of the race and pass the car they let go, so yeah, back in the day the had to cneserve tires too. But thats the thing, if they conserved tires they could make them last all race(the rules didnt allow tire changes back then). This year the tires dont last, they have to go at a snails pace to make them last or make more pit stops. And when a driver cant fight then that negates the purpose of a fast degrading tire, theres more passing but no driver battles.

  54. Nick says:

    I like seeing different strategies evolve during the race and the excitement this brings such as the race for third.

    I dislike the cars sitting in their garages during qualifying, and also the build up of marbles off line.

  55. David Earls says:

    PITY (PIrelly TYres) tyres made of cheese? What a sad state of affairs. BRING BACK MOTOR RACING!!! Get rid of DRS. Lets see racing drivers RACE!

    1. Richard says:

      How about every car is the same chassis, on tyres that last the full race distance, and see what driver is best!!

      Wait – that’s GP2!

  56. DivinoK says:

    What draws me to Formula one besides all the technological advances that are present in the cars, is the natural talent or true speed that each one of the drives has to present. Unfortunately, with these tyres, it is just impossible to get the same satisfaction. Think about the excitement we used to have when Senna and Mansell were battling in Monaco! I’m afraid we will never see that kind of excitement if the tyre manufacturers continue in this route.

    1. AlexD says:

      Think about the excitement we all had watching Trulli train….

      1. BW says:

        +1
        They’ve all forgotten.

    2. Richard says:

      Didn’t everyone complain back then that Mansell couldn’t pass and it was a procession to the line?

  57. Fareed Ali says:

    - One solution to the problem of cars not running in Q3 is to add in a rule that any car in Q3 that does not set a lap that is, let’s say, within a second of the fastest car that missed Q3 (ie: the car that would be 11th on the grid) would have to start in the grid position that his time would have given him in Q2. If they set no time then they start in P16. Provision would have to be made for rain, yellow flags, crashes etc but I think it would eliminate this problem at least.

    1. iceman says:

      Honestly I have no problem with a few people who just scraped into Q3 deciding not to run. As long as the people who have a chance of pole or the front row are still going for it, I’m happy.

      Usually the cars that just scraped into Q3 will have had to do more runs in Q1 and Q2 than the front-runners. On Saturday the Q3 non-runners all did at least as many laps in qualifying as the guys who ended up on the front row. So there is no question of them somehow short-changing the fans. Forcing them to use up even more tyres in Q3 would be punishment for their success in Q2.

  58. jamie Martin says:

    Can’t wait till after Monaco when everyone complains about no overtaking. That was f1 10 years ago and be careful what you wish for

    1. Quade says:

      So how do the horrible tyres help overtaking? Especially as they make the drivers slower and have to radio for permission whether to fight or not, or if their speed is in keeping with a wretched tyre saving, but talent limiting delta?

      The only reason we have these gummy tyres is to provide dumbed down drama that does not add to the technological or driver prowess that F1 as the pinnacle of motor sports should be striving to project. Why alienate genuine fans for footbal fans who won’t even buy a race ticket either at gun point or if they had all the money in the World?

  59. Jim:) says:

    Biggest problem is the cars. Unless the fia can come up with a set of rules, were one car can follow another round a corner with out a major loss of performance, we are are stuck with these tyres and drs

  60. Phil J says:

    Splits the paddock as in Red Bull hates the new tyres and everybody else loves them?

    Red Bull seem to be aggrieved because they have designed a car for a tyre other than those that are supplied. It’s like designing a car that is really fast in a straight line then complaining because there are corners on the racetrack.

    1. Chad says:

      My point exactly. Couldn’t agree more.

      Complaining because you are unable to understand the tyres is a little petulant because everyone has the same tyres. Complaining because you missed out on a technical loophole (mass dampers, double diffusers etc.) is perhaps a little more understandable because you weren’t sure where the rules began and ended. But if you design a car that can’t cope with the tyres then that’s your fault, not the tyre manufacturer’s.

      You’re right. In 2008 the Ferrari with it’s long wheel-base was faster than the Mclaren on circuits with long fast corners. Should they have complained about having to race at Monaco, Hungary or the 3rd sector at Hockenheim? Moreover that Ferrari was significantly better in the dry than the wet and it rained in half of the races in 2008. Perhaps Ferrari should have demanded a new rule that bans races from starting in the wet…!?

      You make do with what’s presented to you. It’s part of the challenge of being an F1 engineer: adapting a piece of machinery to changing conditions and changing regulations. It’s what brings us fans back year after year. If Red Bull thinks the current challenge is unfair then they should restart formula A1 where everyone has the same machinery…

  61. Malcolm says:

    Q3 in China was an abomination, and what was once an exciting part of qualifying has been totally neutered by these tires that Pirelli have been asked to produce. Watching the top 10 drivers during Q3, because of concerns regarding tire conservation, sitting in the pits, just to make 1 run for pole position, was xxxxxxx infuriating. Bernie had better realize that the average F1 fan want to watch car and driver racing on the track during Q3, and not just simply sitting in their cars staring at a computer, while in the pits.

    1. James Allen says:

      Bahrain will be medium and hard tyres this weekend

  62. Craig says:

    I’m somewhat of a novice fan of only 10 yrs or so and I’m not as knowledgeable as many here. But I felt the race could have been so much better on Sunday but for the tire issue. You have FA, KR, LH and SV – 4 champions and we never got to see them race properly. We did see what SV could do with the softs for 2 laps as he closed on LH-but of course his tires would go no further. Just imagine if the softs could have gone 10-15 laps and the mediums say 20-25 laps. What if all 4 guys could have pushed for say 10 laps on the softs or longer on the mediums? Then maybe we could have seen some real racing at 100% or near it by 4 champions for a good portion of the race. At the end I couldn’t help but think how I wanted to see LH and SV battle over a few laps on fresh softs. To me spending most of the race driving at 80% to save tires is not proper racing. Tire management should be a part of a race, but not the entire race.

  63. Gareth says:

    2 words BAHRAIN 2010? Do we really want a repeat of that?

    1. James Allen says:

      Or even Abu Dhabi 2010…

      1. Alx09 says:

        That is a bad argument James. DRS and Pirellis were introduced the same year.

        Add DRS to Bahrain 2010 or Abu Dhabi 2010, and realize how little it had to do with tyres.

        Now imagine China 2013 without DRS for a moment.

        But I see you are sponsored by Pirelli on the website, so I understand you have to be somewhat supportive.

      2. Alx09 says:

        Forgot to add: If you want some more views from drivers and engineers, check this out:

        http://forums.autosport.com/index.php?showtopic=155428

      3. Rockie says:

        Singapore 2010

    2. Quade says:

      Processional racing has NEVER had anything to do with tyres, so thats a poor argument.

      Overtaking has always been difficult because of aerodynamics ONLY.

      Thats why DRS was introduced; there is absolutely no reason for the wretched tyres that limit seat-of-pants racing as we used to have.

      1. Gareth says:

        Look we moan if there’s too little action and moan if there isn’t any, we cant have it both ways? DRS/Pirelli, has changed the sport, I think its made it more interesting and better. Okay gone are the days on most tracks watching drivers follow each other and try and find a way past, but at Monaco, Singapore it still happens.
        If we had seen no overtakes in China, everyone would be moaning that F1 was boring. TV figures show more interest in the sport now than during the Michael Schumacher yawn years

      2. Quade says:

        Thank God we are having harder tyres from the next race. The wall of protest got to the right ears and proved in emphatic fashion that the fans do not appreciate artificial racing.

        The quality of F1 will now improve and next year, you can be sure that the useless tyres will be gone. The fans have spoken.

      3. Gareth says:

        by then the sprinkler system will be introduced :)

  64. Craig D says:

    Heh, this topic could break the record for comments!

    I’ve put my views across a lot recently but I’ll just say that I do think there needs to be some tweaking (qualifying was unacceptable and DRS too influential at this track). The tyres need beefing up a bit but an extreme reaction would be unwise – baby and bath water and all that. And beef them up too much and we’ll have 1 stop races, which tend not to offer enough strategic options and variables (2-3 is ideal).

    Also it’s not as if every single car in every single race struggles. The likes of Alonso, and Raikkonen, (and Perez at times last year) have been able to get good performance out of the tyres. It’s a good challenge for the teams and they did prevail last year.

    At the end of the day we need races with pitstops and strategy and refuelling has its side of negatives too. A F1 race should require thinking and planning as well as intense pace. If it was 66 laps of constant qualifying laps a lot of races wouldn’t be that fascinating. It’s not Le Mans but it’s not a sprint race either.

    And personally, I still think the key issue about China was the DRS. The ability for a slower car to defend was missing. Without that we’d have had some tense battles (maybe not from 2 stopping Button) but Ham/Rai/Alo would have been good, allowing the likes of Lewis the opportunity to defend with a slower car.

    1. Quade says:

      For F1 to be interesting, we have to see drivers ragged and on the edge, I keep referring to Lewis in Monaco 2007. That to me is what we want to see; supreme car handling, uninhibited drivers going into corners sideways and coming out at eye popping speed, ballsy drivers brushing the barriers at mind numbing speeds.

      The current tyres don’t allow that, the drivers have now become like mice, pussy-footing around the circuit to preserve tyres handed down by Beelzeburb. We want to see uni crazy, exhibitionist racing again.

      1. Me says:

        …only for F1 to be interesting for you…

      2. Craig D says:

        You need a mix. You had that all out attack with Vettel, which was good. But if it was like that for everyone they’d be no real strategic variation and so that attack of Vettel wouldn’t have existed.

        Button got a good result through a different approach (and did well to beat faster machinery of a Ferrari and a Lotus). It may not be as exciting to directly watch a driver attempting to make one less stop than the others but as a race narrative it is interesting to see if such a different tact would work come the final laps.

        F1 wouldn’t be as sophisticated and have as much depth if the only approach was quali lap after quali lap… That’s what sprint events are for. We wouldn’t need 60 lap races of that, 20 lap, 30 minute races would suffice (especially given the reliability today). After the first 5 laps, you’d expect the car leading (who likely would have been fastest in qualifying) to continue that pace and race to the win. It wouldn’t stay interesting for long. People would soon nod off.

        At the end of the day the drivers still need to push to maximise the package given the current constraints at that time/lap. Mathematically it’s an optimisation problem. It might not be as physically draining for the driver as doing a quali lap but the challenge still remains.

      3. Quade says:

        We don’t need a mix. Here is a video with one of the best overtakes ever in F1 history. No DRS, no fake tyres, pay drivers etc:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1WuWu8kGak

        That is what it should be about. Pure racing.
        I watched that race and can still recall the intense excitement and disbelief at the drivers car handling prowess.
        I pray to God that we will one day have such racing again, what exists today is a parody that just keeps getting worse.

      4. Quade says:

        Heres a video of real racing, before Bennie and the FIA cut the vitality out of the sport. Just 2 laps of incredible action. No DRS, no chewing gum tyres, no jiggery-pokery… Just 2 laps!!
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivHrg_S86Ts

        Heres yet another video:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XonOCEpiwZU

        Those were the best days of F1.

      5. Craig D says:

        Yes, Quade that is fantastic racing. I’ve followed F1 since 1994. There was some great races but unfortunately I remember a lot of not so good ones. Sometimes you’d be lucky to get a dozen overtakes in a race that weren’t done in the pits (and often not from the leaders).

        China was a bad egg for these rules. I’ve posted many times but I think the real culprit was the DRS rather than the tyres (quali notwithstanding). The balance was off. However we’ve had 3 really exciting seasons, ones which I think it unfair for some to call false and random. The general package of F1 isn’t bad (for me at least)!

        I completely understand your concerns but I just prefer F1 now. The tyres need a tweak but not a total binning.

        A big decider for me is the fact that we just don’t know who’s going to get pole and win now. Bahrain is in a few days: will it be Alonso, Vettel or Raikkonen? It could be any of them and maybe others (predicting Vettel though)! That was less the case in the past (thanks to Schuey mostly)! The tyres aren’t a total reason for this but they are a part of it.

        Anyway, I’ve chatted enough on this this week haha! On to Bahrain!

  65. Horno says:

    James,

    This says it all:
    ” If Pirelli had gone to China with the medium tyre and the hard rather than the medium and soft, the most critical tyre would have done 25 laps. So it would have been a one-stop race. Is that what people want?”

    No we don’t!

  66. Rich M says:

    James, thanks for bringing this up, i cant understand why people are moaning, i have watched F1 for over 20 years and i fear if pirelli continue to be pressured we could return to the procesions of the early 00s where only a few teams were capable of winning. I think an advantage of the current tyres which doesnt get mentioned much is the fact that cars can run closer together in turbulant air as they have grip available if they are prepared to risk addition degredation. The tyres have closed the performance differential between teams, the midfield is tight and have a chance of a great result if they understand the tyres, in china we had 5 different teams in the first 5 places and to those who say the tyres are a lottery, look at the drivers in the top 5 in china, 5 world champions, the cream always rises to the top!

  67. Vipin says:

    I would like to say only one thing to all F1 Teams who complain about Pirelli Tyres.

    Just stop complaining and get one with it. If you can’t find a way for it, then just agree other teams who won the race did a better job than you.

    I heard Horner criticized Pirelli. Is Horner afraid of losing this year’s title?

    Or Is it that stupid one stop strategy they just want?

    1. Me says:

      Wouldn’t you be afraid of losing it after winning it for the last 3 years in a row?

      1. Vipin says:

        You are right. I am an Alonso fan. But above that I love F1. I don’t care what u say about me!

        I saw the someone who won 7 Titles and One day it just stopped.

        How about this guy!

    2. AlexD says:

      Horner complains because he wants Vettel to lead from start to finish with durable tires. Had vettel been winning all races, he would not say a word against pirelli.

      1. Anne says:

        True but it is also wrong to have tyres that last only 5 or 6 laps.

      2. AlexD says:

        Well, it is only one compound. Mediums were really OK. Let’s not create any drama out of this…3-4 races from now teams will be fully on top of this situation. Last years was the same, people have short memory really. It was even boring because of how durable tyres were…people were accusing Pirelli of being too conservative.
        Really tired of all these discussions…
        Making human being happy is a wasted effort, it is impossible to achieve this.

      3. Rockie says:

        Its funny people support the tyres after Alonso wins and they think Ferrari would win the title when redbull gets on top of the tyres I would like to hear peoples opinion again.

      4. AlexD says:

        Opinion will not change. Soon all teams will be OK with tyres. As it was the case last year.

      5. Me says:

        Who wouldn’t want to lead from the the start with durable tyres?

      6. AlexD says:

        I would not want to see Vettel doing this, so I prefer how it is now.

      7. Vipin says:

        Its enough of him winning three years in a row!

        Let somebody wins this years Championship!

      8. Me says:

        It’s enough?

        And you’re justification for that is… you’re not an F1 fan… just an Alono fan?

  68. themoonrat says:

    My problem with F1 right now is the lack of fighting over places. I know us fans can sound fickle; it wasn’t so long ago I was desperate for more overtaking. At one point it was so frustrating that a driver 2 seconds faster a lap couldn’t pass the car ahead in F1! And that has changed, which is a good thing, and it means teams base strategies with the acceptance that their driver can overtake, whereas it used to be keep them in clear air at all costs. This is also a good thing.

    But we don’t just want overtaking; we want battles between drivers. We want the driver ahead to have to battle hard to keep ahead. We want the driver behind to know that if he’s clever, and good, and is at the right place at the right time, he can overtake. But that battle doesn’t exist right now, because the car ahead just wants to avoid trouble.

    Overall, the length that the tyres last for isn’t so much the problem if they pick the right compounds for the track; it’s how they degrade that is the problem. If the tyres lost a consistent amount of performance each lap, then the teams and drivers could plan around this. As it is, everyone is in fear of the “cliff”, that could happen at any moment, and means teams and drivers become risk adverse

    1. Quade says:

      …Or they simply brake like Jenson did in free practice and the tyre bursts! Whoever heard of such?

  69. Robin Ayres says:

    Both sides have good valid points and no one is absolutely right. My only doubt is would using a harder combination have given an interesting – but different – race?

    While it would have been much easier to make the strategic choice of the Q3 (starting) tyre, teams still would have had to decide when to come in for the (theoretical) single pit stop, and also to manage both sets.

    Maybe it would have rewarded sheer driving skill more – who knows?

  70. Keith says:

    I hate the way F1 is now. There is no proper racing. How can tiptoeing(saving of tyres) around the track deemed as “spicing up” the sport. To me, it is only driving away fans who want to see flat out driving by the skill of the drivers and not dependent totally on the tyres.

    It will only supress the talents of true racers such Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen which is very bad for the sport, in my opinion.

  71. Skan says:

    James, could you setup a poll on the support for these Pirelli tyres? These Pirellis are ruining the races.

  72. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Whilst the driving to delta times in China was clearly excessive, the majority of fans’ whining about Pirelli is just over the top nostalgia blinded nonsense.

    “It isn’t real because they aren’t pushing 100% every lap” they say. Well, that isn’t what Formula One has ever been about. If you want flat out balls-to-the-walls sprint racing, watch GP2.

    Besides that, conserving tyres or fuel doesn’t stop the racing from being ‘real’ or anything of the sort, and is completely different to the excessive delta matching we had in China.

    Whilst artificially weak tyres and DRS may not be an ideal solution, to claim it is destroying F1 and that we should go back to 5-overtake processions is beyond ridiculous.

  73. mhilgtx says:

    Well Tim B. couldn’t have been more eloquent of plain spoken.

    I feel as a newish fan of the sport that sometimes me liking the way things are is somehow wrong.

    Like I said somewhere before I grew up with racing. Not this high level and it was drag racing not closed circuit but I know even back then having the budget to run the best tires along with flow bench testing for the heads (NHRA, IHRA Prostock) was what you needed to be competitive.

    Grip whether mechanical or aero dependent is what goes fast. Top Fuel Dragsters with 6000 to 8000 HP that cant “hook up” with the track or have tire shake can’t go anywhere. Get traction correctly and they go 1/4 mile in over 300 mph and under 4 seconds from a standing start.

    I see these tires as much the same. Should they last a little longer or have better controlled degradation, yeah probably. Am I dumb because I enjoy the extra strategy, no I don’t think so.

    DRS and KRS is much the same. Does it take some of the skill out of passing, possibly but it probably encourages more passing overall.

  74. John M says:

    I think the tires are taking away from the racing. The drivers are driving to a delta, not pushing to be faster. We’re not seeing many drivers get sideways in corners, or going off because they’re pushing too hard to be faster. Instead, everyone is driving within the limits of the tires, so they don’t fall apart after a mistake, or just from pushing hard.

    Personally, I’d like to see the tires be a little more forgiving and allow drivers to push. Of course there are limits imposed on technology (engine size, revs, etc.), but I find the tire limits a bit too contrived for my taste.

  75. John says:

    While I can appreciate the arguments being given my McLaren and Red Bull, given the choice of Pirelli era F1 or Bridgestone era F1, I would definitely, 100% prefer Pirelli era.

    With the tyres providing so much variation in speed, I no longer really see the need for DRS. Perhaps it should be switched off completely for a couple of races and see how things go?

  76. Craig H says:

    I’ve only been following F1 closely for 12 years, but I can recall ever so clearly, the days when there weren’t hardly any passes-if not none. I also remember when the biggest thrill was the fueling nozzle coming off quickly enough. I remember knowing who was going to win the race on SATURDAY. I remember a lot of things, and in only a little over a decade.

    Granted, this is painful to some drivers, team principals, and some fans…but races are at least not a foregone conclusion after qualifying. I was actually wrong in guessing who would win the race, and that makes me HAPPY!

    While there are some fans who’ll take some sort of ersatz “moral” high ground, as well as the contingent who says the rough equivalent of “back when I STARTED watching F1, we walked to school barefoot through the snow, uphill…BOTH WAYS…and we never would’ve dreamed of sacrilege/anathema like seatbelts/full-face helmets/DRS! BOOOOOOO!!!”, I can appreciate the fact that the race was interesting, and all the way to the finish, no less.

    Pirelli only built what they were asked to build. I just wish that there was something that could be done about the marbles off the racing line.

  77. Nazdakka says:

    I thought that it was a very entertaining race.
    The more pit stops the cars need, the more room there is for strategy, and DRS is a great solution to the problem of aero turbulance. I’m not too worried if the drivers don’t like it; they are being paid a lot of money to race, and the cream is still rising to the top.

    I’ve been watching F1 for nearly 25 years and I remember just how dull races were when there was only one sensible strategy and drivers couldn’t pass.

    1. Quade says:

      If the cream is still rising to the top, what is the point of the tyres? What exactly is their purpose, aside “WWF?”

      1. Nazdakka says:

        The point of the tyres is to keep the bottom of the car from scraping along the ground ;)

        Ok, seriously though – the point of using short-lived tyres was never to stop the cream from rising to the top. I don’t know where you got that from. The point of using those tyres is to improve the entertainment value of races, because as we saw in the Bridgestone era, races where nobody can pass and where the tyres last forever are often very dull.

        Throughout motorsport, the tyres are a key part of the car. Why shouldn’t they matter in F1?

      2. Quade says:

        Lol! That was funny!

        However, in the Bridgstone era, the problem with overtaking (which lasted for one year, 2010 only) was never due to the tyres. It was due to the extreme aerodynamics of the era, check out an example below:
        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Nick_Heidfeld_2008_test.jpg

        It has always been the areo, not tyres that has made it impossible for chasing cars to keep close enough without destroying their tyres or getting nervous, due to the turbulent wake of the car ahead.

        The aero issue was addressed by drastically increasing the sizes of both front and rear wings and the introduction of DRS; therefore, the aero issues have been logically addressed with aero solutions.
        That leaves the only purpose of the current tyre compounds to be “WWF” style entertainment which the fans generally feel is belittling the sport. We don’t want to watch ludo or anyone rolling dice.

        Racing should be racing. It should be seat-of-the-pants, red blooded, hang-it-all-out stuff. It shouldn’t be domesticated by an artificial tyre lottery.

  78. John says:

    Also, if Lotus, Ferrari and to an extent Force India can design a car that doesn’t chew its tyres, why can’t all the others?

    It’s STILL the top teams that are winning the races. it’s STILL the best drivers within those teams that are winning the races. How can people say

    It seems to me that “the tyres wen’t off” is just an easy / lazy excuse that drivers / teams are using when they don’t end up going as fast as their team mate / main rival team.

  79. Tim says:

    I copied this from Gary Anderson column on the BBC. I think he is talking a lot of sense.

    There is a bit of navel-gazing in F1 at the moment about whether the Pirelli tyres are preventing proper racing because the drivers have to drive within themselves to manage their performance.

    But at the end of the day, the fastest three drivers in qualifying were on the podium, albeit in a different order.
    There are ways you could tweak the tyre rules to ensure people run in qualifying, which some did not in China and which definitely harms the show.

    But in terms of the tyres themselves, I think they make teams think harder. Some make it work and some don’t. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    You have to drive the car within its limits and the tyres are part of the car.

    If Pirelli had gone to China with the medium tyre and the hard rather than the medium and soft, the most critical tyre would have done 25 laps. So it would have been a one-stop race. Is that what people want?

    I ran three teams during the tyre-war era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which some are saying was a time when drivers could push right to the limit all the time. But that’s a fallacy. They could never go 100% all the time.

    That was the era of refuelling, when the cars were never as heavy as they are in the first half of the race now, so they always looked after the tyres better.

    The fastest way was a multi-stop race abusing the tyres. But if there was a one-stop race – such as was often case at Monza – you could not abuse the tyres, they would blister and fall off the rims.

    F1 has never been any different in the 40 years I have known it. The only difference is the tyre-management aspect is more visible now and the complaints have developed a bit of momentum.

    Whether F1 needs the DRS overtaking aid as well as the current tyres is a different issue – I would like to get rid of it and make the drivers fight more to overtake.

    But F1 is a sport and, for the show, what we have now is very good.

    And I guarantee that if we still had the Bridgestone tyres that were last used in 2010 and had become so good that the teams rarely needed to consider them, the viewing figures would be half what they are now.

    Gary Anderson, BBC F1′s technical analyst, is the former technical director of the Jordan, Stewart and Jaguar teams. He was talking to BBC Sport’s Andrew Benson.

    1. Rockie says:

      So because Alonso failed to overtake in one race in 2010 people say bridgestone era was mainly a procession in 2011 redbull found what Brawn had in 09 and had cash to develop further tyres had nothing to do with it we had races like China catalunya 2011 thats racing not this farce same was said early last year about the tyres but people got excited as Redbull were disadvantaged pronto Redbull got a hang of the tyres and that was it. if they dont change now and they get a hang again season would be over quicker than it started.
      As for Gary Anderson he said Mclaren looks the fastest at the launch its all guess work

      1. Tim says:

        Be careful what you wish for…..

    2. colin grayson says:

      a note of realism from gary anderson
      perhaps he should have added that economics also come into this …there are only 4 tyres available

      it was clear that the medium tyre was spot on for this race , but the soft didn’t work here , but at the majority of tracks it will work well ; so should pirelli have designed the tyre for china or for all the other tracks ?

      heaven forbid that we should go back to the bridgestone era !

      or the era before that when bridgestone made their tyres for ferrari , michelin for renault , and the rest could just make do with what they could get

      pirelli are , in reality , doing a brilliant job ; unfortunately a lot of ill informed criticism will only force them to change to a conservative policy for commercial reasons and the fans will be the losers if that happens

      as gary says , tyre management always was [ and always will be ] part of F1 ; let the teams that can’t manage the tyres learn instead of whinge

    3. Mike J says:

      Agreed completely. Pirelli got it wrong in China and the balance was not correct. DRS should now be dropped however that will not occur mid season since the teams have spent money to develop it. We don’t need all of the added-ons.
      I was quite surprised whan Pirelli were asked to change specs for this years tyres. I thought it was ‘about right’ last year.

      If it ain’t broke…..don’t fix it.

  80. AlexD says:

    Ok, I watch F1 since 1998 and I have to say that I prefer what I see today to what I used to see before in the last 10 years. I remember how my friends quit watching races because there was no more than 5-6 overtakes during the race and typically people finished how they started. It was a given in 2006, 2007 that in 90% of cases they will finish in the same order the started. Even last year, the second half of the season Pirelli went a bit too far convservative. I see a lot more people watching races today because it is so much more interesting.
    I have to assume that the majority of people complaining are not supporting Ferrari or Lotus. People complain when they do not win. If your team is winning because it got the tyre formula right, you will not complain. I do not think that Lotus or Ferrari will really complain too much, but Red Bull surelly will. They would rather invest in flexi wings…..

    I support Pirelli and I enjoy races now…

  81. Chris NZ says:

    I do wonder, will this help pirelli sell more tyres? I wouldnt buy them

    1. Daniel M says:

      Why? If Pirelli can make a tyre to such specifications that it can befuddle the cleverest engineers in the world, don’t you think they are also clever enough to design an extremely durable tyre for your road car?

      1. Quade says:

        “Why? If Pirelli can make a tyre to such specifications that it can befuddle the cleverest engineers in the world, don’t you think they are also clever enough to design an extremely durable tyre for your road car?”

        No. The F1 image sticks in my mind. To be honest, just hearing the name Pirelli makes me mad. Its unfair, because its what they were engaged to do by the FIA, but thats the way it is. They should be principled enough not to produce bad tyres for any reason.

      2. Me says:

        ‘Principled’?…

        I think you’ll find they’re being paid enough to not worry about principles.

  82. Dmitry says:

    I know I am alone, but I really miss Michelin-Bridgestone days.

    I never liked these Pirellis (and DRS), they are awful. Yes, they create some action, but to me it looks very artificial.
    I think current tyre\DRS implementation is not correct and requires some alteration.

    1. Quade says:

      You are not alone.

  83. Billy says:

    What frustrates me is that there continues to be fundamental issues regarding modern day F1 aerodynamics and the inability to closely follow and race each other. If that were resolved would we even need ‘quick fixes’ such as huge front wings, DRS and manipulated tyres???

  84. Andy says:

    I agree with Tim B.

  85. Elie says:

    I have to say the simple answer is exactly what David Coulthard said “.. it’s difficult for me to understand why tyres are supposed to be a more fundamental part of the overall success of a team than they were before.”
    Spot on ! Been saying exactly this since Pirelli came on board .

    Further to this I believe success in the pinnacle of motor sport is to see constant improvements ( no matter how small or incremental) in speed , efficiency, innovation, safety, durability,contribution to automotive, economic viability. I don’t want to see F1 falling back toward other categories and its clearly heading that way in more than just speed.

    More over I never want to hear a driver ask ” do I race him” ? Senna would be rolling over in his grave ! I don’t doubt the best teams & drivers will always find a way to adapt. But Is this what racing fans want to see. ? Is this what racers start carting at age 6 to do. Surely new viewers cant understand the need to change the tyres after only 10minutes.

    I don’t mind the spectacle as it is because I understand most aspects of F1 and racing in general having watched for around 30+ years. So I can “balance” things out pretty well but I doubt new viewers understand (or even want to ) the complexities of tyres etc. This is why I believe many fans will be thrilled at first – but once they get into it- they realise that the tyre company-has more say in how the car is driven than the driver and the team and switch off. Not everyone wants to understand the details they just want to know the fastest car and driver and it gets too hard if we only speak of degredation’& wear ahead of everything.

  86. Rajat says:

    Let these guys do what they do best. Drive balls out fast. Keep the DRS to compensate for aero loss following another car though..
    Let’s go back to proper tires please

  87. Michael Prestia says:

    Why don’t we demand a tire that lasts a whole race and get rid of that fake DRS pass and continue with no refuelling so we ca watch a precession of fast cars. Race is over after Qualifying. Woo hoo. Oh yeah… people complained about that too!

    Hey, here is a new thought: Stop complaining people.

    Racing is fun to watch and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I actualy enjoyed all three races this year.

    1. Tim says:

      Racing is fun to watch and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I actually enjoyed all three races this year.

      Me too :-)

  88. Rach says:

    In short like life it is about balance.

    Nobody wants races like Bahrain in 2010 however on the contrary the soft tyre in china was too far.

    It sounds like a sensible decision to me to run the medium/hard in Bahrain and I expect we will have a nice race and hope everyone will be happy.

    Roll on a good race and a battle like last year between kimi and seb.

  89. DB says:

    Everyone is looking at it from the wrong angle. It is not a case of have it like it is or go back to how it was. How about a new approach that works better than the previous two. I say tyres that mean drivers can drive hard and fast but two mandatory pit stops per race and two tyre compounds must be used. Teams can pit anytime in the race but must pit twice. That would add strategy for the team and when on track we get to see quali lap after quali lap by the drivers. One small drop in concentration and its the gravel for them. Would also mean more mechanical failures as teams push the cars and engines harder.

  90. pcoops says:

    If these tyres stay we definately need to get rid of DRS, you cant keep adding more and more “artificial” differentiators and maintain the driver influence at the same level. The drivers are too often helpless to defend..

  91. Bruce... says:

    Following F1 for more than 40 years and it is now very exciting, so much better than the boring processions of the past, but who else agrees that promoting an expensive set of tires that lasts about 20 miles is the right image for F1! This is not a good idea.

  92. sandman says:

    To me it’s a simple case of “my driver does well when the tyres are durable” and are not appreciative of the intricacies of an f1 race. As long as “their” driver wins they couldn’t care less whether a race is interesting or not. The only thing which can be improved is qualifying, where i would suggest the top 10 get an extra set of tyres to qualify with.

    1. Me says:

      Couldn’t agree more…

      Apart from the qualifying bit.

  93. Die Scuderia says:

    In all honesty, there’s nothing wrong with Pirelli. They were asked to bring these plastic tires to add spice to F1. An they did. This isn’t Pirelli’s problem. F1 rule makers are to blame for this mess. There’s nothing sadder than looking at a car falling prey of DRS and “weak” tires. It’s sad. Even worse, there’s nothing the other driver can do about it. These tires are ruining the race. And so does the DRS.

    DS

  94. BW says:

    Well.. let me think.
    That reminds me of a driver just three years ago giving up the chase after Schu just not to ruin his Bridgestone tyres. What was his name.. Button?

  95. Billy says:

    There are a lot of valid posts on this site today. It just shows how informative and passionate we are about our F1.

  96. TBP says:

    Why don’t we have 3 compounds that will not have any degradation like the good old Bridgestone and Michelin days but enforce minimum 2 pitstops per race.

    Tyre changes should be between 30 t0 35% race distance. Each team to choose pitstops when it suits them and tyre choice can be in any order they want.

    Drivers can push from go to woe with the pitstops mixing it up for fans to keep the excitement and unpredicatbility. Wheel nuts can still come off and we won’t have as much in the way of boring processions.

    Qualifying would also be better as drivers will know that they don’t need to save rubber for the start of race on Sunday.

    Perrelli still bring the same number of tyres, the race track stays cleaner due to less marbles, they save their brand image and more people will be happy.

    1. Martin says:

      The tyres still degraded in the Michelin and Bridgestone days, just at a slower rate than the fuel effect usually allowed the cars to gain time.

      Apart from that, there are three points to consider that I can think of:
      1: Pirelli appreciates being talked about. Even if the tyres wear out quickly, not having the tyres mentioned in the race is what Pirelli wants to avoid.
      2: weak tyres bring the high downforce cars back to the field. The tyres you propose probably would have seen Vettel on pole in China as the car could be set up for maximum downforce with no penalty in the race. Downforce would equal winning while the engines are near equal.
      3. The driver skill set would be reduced – being intelligent and adaptable is of much less value. For example, Alonso’s ability to avoid graining in the way Massa had would not be very relevant.

      Being obliged to stop by a particular lap would limit some passing via the pits, which would generally be regarded as a good thing. The rules around safety cars would need to be carefully thought through – e.g no more than one change of dry tyres.

      A thing to remember in all this is Pirelli’s analysis that based on downforce levels Red Bull would have won Malaysia by a lap if the tyres allowed it.

  97. Andy Hart says:

    The 2012 tyres were fine, had some great races, mainly two stop strategies but some one stops. It’s gone a bit to extreme this year it really wasn’t necessary, also with the drs to, overtaking was already easy at china with the long back straight but to have 2 was just stupid! Like brundle says in commentary the overtaking driver is getting the move done way before the braking zone, this is not formula one. The tyres should definitely be a big part of the racing but not to this extent. I agree with other posts on here that drivers who get into quali 3 should get extra set of options to use in that session only and given back after. Although with this we could still see 1 flying lap and teams saving new set for start of race, but it’s better than what vettel did in china not putting in a lap at all.

  98. Mark V says:

    So much crying that F1 has been ruined. I’ve been watching F1 for 35 years and I can confidently say that in that time the racing has never been more exciting or unpredictable as it has been for the past couple seasons. So what if some of it is artificially introduced? Don’t forget that an F1 car by its nature is artificial. Its VERY NAME comes from the fact it is a FORMULA of rules. Rules in F1 have always existed to artificially limit speeds, increase safety, spice up the racing and so on. In this respect absolutely nothing has changed.

  99. Hiten says:

    This is what Pirelli should do in my opinion:
    Give all tyre compounds to all the teams way long before season begins. In fact even before when teams begin their car design,etc. So that teams would come up with optimum design such that it suits the tyre.

    What we are seeing now is like a lottery and not F1 at all. Of course they can change the tyre compound but not in middle of that season but for next season.

  100. Oldham Hammond says:

    The tyres are acceptable. Not really Pirelli’s fault that the constructors or the drivers are unable to make tyres last. The tyre performance drops too quickly? The accelerator pedal is under right foot. Drivers know it perfectly, when they release this pedal at the end of the straight, not to get killed.

    The negative effects I can see:
    1)More tyre marbles. Makes the racing line narrow, not good for overtaking.

    2)More pitstops increases the relative importance of the pitcrew. As car’s performance is already highly team dependent, wouldn’t it be better to shift more weight to the drivers shoulders?

    But DRS is a real mystery to me. The reasoning, the “solution” and most disappointingly, that drivers are not protesting against it. I think they should, because there is not a single race result since 2011, that can be taken seriously.

  101. Gaspar Tanke says:

    The pros and cons of the current tyre ‘formula’ have been ably summarised by others. Suffice to say that Pirelli is enjoying maximum advertising exposure as a result – their marketing department and executives must be over the moon.

    As regards calling F1 the ‘pinnacle of motorsport’ or ‘premier motorsport’, if that is referring to its ‘entertainment quotient’ then I’d have to agree. For true ‘motor racing’ I’ll probably be keeping more of an eye on LMP1’s and the WEC in future although I’d be the first to admit that this series is not nearly as much ‘fun’.

  102. PaulL says:

    I think there’s two genuine choices on the table. You can’t have one-stop races for interest’s sake.

    Either continue with the current tyre situation that brings about two-stops per race, or make the tyre compounds more durable AND reinstate refueling.

    For the latter solution, I would advocate leaving DRS. Thus, I think it will allow a good mix of drivers pushing hard, overtaking, and the retention of pitstop strategy.

    Who’s with me?

    1. Random 79 says:

      You only need one person with you Paul: Bernie…but he’s too busy making money :(

      For what it’s worth though not a bad idea :)

  103. Stewart says:

    I could understand the fuss about the tires better if the situation was like the start of last year and the results seemed to be random. However, so far this year, ALO, VET, HAM and RAI have two podiums each, and most people would agree that they are the top 4 drivers in the series and drive for the (current) top 4 teams. If you look at the results in China for the top 5 teams, where both cars finished (so excluding Red Bull and Mercedes) the gaps between the two drivers were substantial – over 40 seconds for Ferrari and Lotus and almost 30 for Maclaren. What this suggests to me is no team has a particular advantage, but the top drivers are making a huge difference. And surely that’s the way it should be. The current situation is giving the drivers an opportunity to show exactly what they’re made of, and the usual suspects are taking it. However much people might like to think that F1 is about driving at 10/10ths for 60 laps, that’s never been the case in my experience (I’ve been watching since the early 80′s), it’s always been a trade off between pure pace and getting to the end of the race, whether the limit is reliability (as in the 80′s), fuel or tyres. The worst time to watch that I can remember was when the tyres never went off, the cars were reliable and all overtaking took place during the pit-stops. Compared to that, seeing Vettel hunting down Hamilton on Sunday was the stuff of dreams.

    1. Basil says:

      I agree wholeheartedly!

    2. jonnyd says:

      what compared to the ‘overtaking’ now, DRS assissted, with one driver on fresh tyres overtaking another cruising around to conserve.

      is that preferable overtaking? id argue not.

  104. Tom says:

    James, what chance another tyre manufacture entering the sport in the future and a tyre war developing?

    For me, the tyres are making for unpredictable races but theres not so much spectacle to drivers breezing past one another either due to tyre strategy or DRS. That’s not racing to me.

    The tyres degrade because they’re designed to, which is hardly pushing the technical envelope as the sport so proudly reinforces.

    1. James Allen says:

      Zero with current regulations

      It’s massively expensive for the teams to have a tyre war. Is it a good use of money?

  105. spin says:

    So many complaints!
    Didn’t the three fastest cars win at China?

    Every team and driver have to overcome the same problems. If you don’t then you’ll probably end up behind those who can. That’s also racing right?

  106. Jake Pattison says:

    Pirelli make superb tyres, no question.

    For F1 they are making the tyres they have been asked to provide.

    Don’t blame Pirelli.

  107. Matt W says:

    Surely we can all be agreed that 5 laps is ridiculous for a tire to last? We aren’t too far from Indy 2005 when the Michelins could only do 3 laps safely!

  108. Andrew H says:

    It would be interesting to see how current F1 would be with the old Bridgestones but with current DRS & KERs?

  109. Nihon says:

    Bring back more than one tyre manufacturer and stop this top fown engineered nonsense.

  110. Methusalem says:

    Five wolrd champions are the five best-placed. So, Ferrari is the best, Red Bull the second, Lotus the third, and Mercedes the fourth best. Does this now tell us who the best driver on the grid is?

  111. Basil says:

    I am watching F1 since the times where Lamborghini still were around. The racing now is almost perfect. Two things need to be improved, first, the softer compound needs to be more durable, second, DRS needs to be weakened a little bit.

    Thank you!

  112. AC says:

    Why was there not the outrage when Merc underfuelled Hamilton, leading to a farce where he wouldn’t have had enough fuel to defend, and his team mate had to sit behind?

    What about when a safety car comes out, undoing all the good work a driver may have done to create a gap? Or when a piece of aero is affected, meaning the driver cannot drive at 100% anyway?

    There are so many factors that affect races, at least the tyres are a known quantity.

    Why on earth can’t teams just find a way to build cars that *can* go 100% for at least a bit on the tyres they are given? If people want to see 100% so bad, then the design rules have to be thrown away, because everything about F1 is limited by rules. That’s ok by me, it’s still great entertainment.

    In sport, when the rules are thrown out we see designs that blow everyone else away for a while and sever inequalities that makes for one sided competition. Americas’ Cup for instance – fibreglass & carbon fibre, then winged keels, and the joke that was the multihull vs a J class.

    What would F1 be like without parameters? We could get something ridiculous like a 6 wheeled car. Oh wait…..

  113. Marcelo Leal says:

    My considerations…
    1) I think many here also like soccer, and know that we have many, many matches that end up 0×0. Everyone watches a soccer match to see goals! What is the solution for this?
    a) allow utilization of hands?
    b) change rules and not allow goalkeepers instead?
    In my opinion, no. Because I have watched wonderful matches that ended 0×0. The fact that is difficult, makes it more ineteresting, and values more when we have a goal. Even if it is a “ugly” one, at the end of the second half! 1×0, just sufficient for the victory!
    2) Golf. What do you think about making double, triple the size of the hole? ;-) C’mon, Tiger is wining all!!
    The two above is about DRS. In my opinion there is alot of excitment watching a pursuit during the whole race, and see if the driver will have the skill to do the pass, the courage, etc. That is the name of the game! And if we have the pass, it is the 1×0, just sufficient for the victory!
    I want to watch the real, not artificial stuff. I don’ t want something that permits Jenson to overtake, I want to watch Hamilton or Alonso do a proper overtake, when no one is possible.
    Tires? Same thing… I listen to many people talking like these tires are just a matter of management. And that it eliminates the differences about the car. No way! We are not talking about equal cars, just equal tires. The best car on tires will have the advantage! And I think this is worst than when we have one car that is faster than others, because the othe driver that do not have the fastest car, will not be able to push to the limit because he does not have tires. He is double tied. ;-)
    I want to watch the drivers attacking every corner, doing qualifying laps the whole race, and chase the car at front every single lap! If he catches up the guy, cool let’s see from what he is made of!
    If we at least had no DRS, drivers like LH would be able to at least defend his position better! Using the skillset, circuit knowledge, and etc. I dont remember one overtake on LH outside the DRS zone (in this chinese gp). Overtakes are difficult but are part of f1, and it’s cool because is difficult.
    LH won the chinese gp in 2011 passing Vettel outside the drs zone! This year Vettel was racing with a car that was 4s faster in 1lap because of the tire. He lapped in 1.36! while LH was lapping in 1.40..
    I could write much more, but you got the point.. ;-)
    Fia wants a more competitive f1? Do think of a way to not have cars that are 1s faster than others. But let the drivers, drive.
    One way to end the Messi era, and do not have it winning every year, is to permit him run just using one leg.

    1. I fully agree. Compare the current F1 and the Uefa Champions League. The UCL has all the ingredients of a spectacular event. Sadly I can’t say the same about F1 at this stage. I find WRC and Le Mans even more intense than what we get from F1. But then…there are far too many players in F1, the voice of the fans doesn’t matter.

      DS

  114. F12012 says:

    I remember watching the race at Austin last year, when vettel and hamilton were fighting it out for the win and thinking that it’s great that the tyres now last, so the drivers can race

    But its not racing when vettel is coming up behind hamilton when Hamilton’s tyres are done, another lap vettel would have got third no problem, it’s not a fair fight

    Pirelli needs to sort this, the soft tyre is really only a qualifying tyre

  115. jonnyd says:

    sorry i dont call a driver on fresh tyres, chasing a driver managing worn out tyres ‘thrilling’ by any means.

    1. aveli says:

      i found it thrilling to watch because superior driving skills pitched against a faster car resulted in superior driving skills winning.
      his car was so much faster than hamilton’s. they went toe to toe in the last few corners with vettel about a cars length away. hamilton braked so late in the corners that vettel tried to do the same but just didn’t have the skill to control his car in the same corners at the same speed. a clear indication of hamilton’s greatness, the only current world champion who has been brave enough to twice experience having a world champion as a teammate.
      he is desperate to make clear just how far ahead he is of everyone in terms of driving skills. willing to take on all champions at the same team.
      it wasn’t fair but thrilling nevertheless.

  116. JOdum5 says:

    “You have to drive the car within its limits and the tyres are part of the car. If Pirelli had gone to China with the medium tyre and the hard rather than the medium and soft, the most critical tyre would have done 25 laps. So it would have been a one-stop race. Is that what people want?”

    Since when were the number of pitstops more important that driving and racing on the limit? Bizzare change of attitude by some in the sport…

  117. Jorge Gaviria says:

    As I see, F1 must be a balance between tyres, engine, aerodynamics, electronic stuff and the difference been the driver, it is not happening now, all is about tyres, not the driver, but who is the driver that is putting the show in the last races?, yes Vettel.

  118. The tyres are the same for everybody

    I understand it can be frustrating to drive below 100%, but I bet the person who best manages the situation and wins is still pretty excited.

    For me this is just another case of people blaming their tools rather than their ability.

    But it does make for good copy…

  119. Monktonnik says:

    I can see the point about the tires ruining the racing in some respects, but I feel that Pirelli have helped to really transform F1 in to a better spectacle than at any time in the 30 years I have been watching.

    I for one will take compromised strategy and unhappy teams to avoid a return to processional races where you cannot overtake.

  120. Sdsparacio says:

    Well I think no matter what including rules it’s the same for everyone. Drivers are always complaining except when they win. Just get on with it!!!!!!!

  121. JohnBt says:

    Softs falling off the cliff has been ridiculous to a point of fear from drivers. A huge joke! Mediums are fine. Wait, so supersofts can last only 3 laps?

  122. aveli says:

    everything is good in the right quantities. in this case, the tyres were too soft. pirelli got it wrong. i suspect they’ll get it right next week.
    18 laps tyres without dual compound element is more than enough to showcase exciting racing, 3 stop verses 2 stop. overrating will not be as common and appreciated when witnessed.

  123. _Nick_ says:

    I want to see drivers going flat out making mistakes, not nursing tyres all day. The fact that Button was told not to fight those around him shows just how ludicrous the situation is. This is F1, not endurance racing.

    I don’t EVER want to see the likes of Hamilton or Alonso going at 80% for most of the race because they’re driving to pre determined lap time. I want to see Hamilton pushing hard and making mistakes. I’ve almost forgotten about the 07/08 style Hamilton that was amazing to watch during those races, getting the rear end of the car loose.

    What happens if all the drivers have to hold back at Monaco? What sort of dull fest would that be? Monaco has never had overtaking but damn have we seen some skill behind the wheel there when drivers are allowed to push 100%. Watching Hamilton around there at full tilt is nothing short of spectacular.

    DRS is ok in moderation but I don’t see why we need these awful Pirelli tyres. Give me a race with 2005 style rules (one set of grippy tyres and 1000HP engines) with a bit of DRS thrown in over this years tame rubbish. Back then you needed a bit of spine to take Eau Rouge flat out…

  124. JohnM says:

    Lot’s of emotion & Lot’s of logic that I can’t quite understand. Personally I have no issue with a tyre compound that is going to challenge driver ability and team strategy. I do agree that at the moment the degradation of the tyres is a bit more severe that would be liked, but this should be tuned over time……..

    Re Pirelli, I’m acttually impressed at he level of control they have over their compounds. The have actually made tyres to a Spec that has been dictated to them by the sport……

    Possibly the biggest issue is that they should have been given a charter that included more tyre compounds so that they have greater flexibility for each track. maybe we need Super Hard, Hard, Super Medium, Medium, Soft and Super Soft…………?

  125. fausta says:

    If the sport is trying to appear more ‘green’ having tires last 5-6 laps then trashing them seems wasteful. I am interested to see how the teams adapt but I must admit some of the racing seems artificial. It just seems they use too many sets of tires.

    1. colin grayson says:

      not to say that the tyres that were not used in the race weekend will be taken back to the uk and scrapped !

  126. James says:

    What I hear, is drivers complaining becuase it is harder for them, teams complaining because it is harder for them, and teams telling fans that we dont understand what is going on!

    This is the most exciting racing F1 has had in a long time. The fans DO understand, and we love it. So Niki Lauda can go back to looking confused and rambling nonsense to himself.

  127. sandman says:

    Just reading the numerous comments on this topic , one gets the impression that the majority of those who have been following f1 for a pretty long time support what pirelli are doing and it is only the newer and mostly less “informed” f1 fan who are opposed to pirelli.

    1. Me says:

      I get the same impression too…

  128. Rob T says:

    Tyres that degrade are great for F1, DRS zones that are too long aren’t.

    If I were an F1 driver I would want high durabilty tyres and refuelling so that I could push as hard as I possibly could every lap. We had that and the races were boring!!!!

    I like the fact that races aren’t decided until the checkered flag.

    Pirelli have been so ballsy creating a tyre for the entertainment value at the risk of being ridiculed.

    Would I prefer watching a race from this year or 5 years ago? I’d take this year for sure. My wife who isn’t a racing fan is really into the drama this year. Isn’t that a good thing?

    I would buy Pirelli’s for my car without hesitation.

  129. Roger H says:

    Alain Prost:

    “I always say that my ideal is to get pole with the minimum effort, and to win the race at the slowest speed possible.”

    The skill of an F1 driver is not to get to the end of the race at 10/10ths, never has been.

  130. Alistair Blevins says:

    Whilst I appreciate the need to enhance the show, surely there are two issues working against the modern F1 tyre strategy.

    1. How are the tyres related to road cars, and what is the reputational risk to Pirelli of producing tyres that are so sensitive that they have to be handled with kid gloves, and can manage only a handful of laps?

    Of course they’re doing it for ‘the show’ but does the casual observer recognise this?

    2. With green credentials constantly under the spotlight, and indeed the regulations moving increasingly towards economy does the tyre strategy not seem out of kilter?

    Whilst the sport itself could be labelled ‘wasteful’ from a number of angles the highly visible duration and throwaway nature of the tyres does again raise questions in the eyes of the sports detractors.

    It is clearly a massive challenge for the governing body and participants to keep you and I glued to the drama, yet keep it relevant to broader issues which affects all.

    In my view, as an armchair enthusiast with more than 22 years experience of shouting at the telly on a Sunday afternoon, I am somewhat against any enhancement of any sport that alters the core function of its participants. In this case we should see racing, rather than target lap times and ‘permission to fight’.

    Having said that, the first race I ever attended was the 1999 Spanish Grand Prix. It was a dull procession the likes of which we must never see again.

    I trust that minds far greater than mine are cognisant of this and are merely trying to keep the sport relevant.

  131. Redheat says:

    In my opinion what F1 really needs is to do the following:

    1- Bigger capacity KERS.
    2- Keep the DRS and double DRS with no use restrictions.
    3- Kill the current engine regulation and allow the teams to update their engines every year.
    4- Keep the v8′s and make them more green.
    5- Give the teams more leeway on aerodynamics.
    6- Stop changing the rules every year.
    7- Limit the electronics on the car.
    8- Get manual gears back.

    And most importantly, allow for 2-3 tires suppliers. Let the tire manufacturers compete against each other.

    The show is good yes but then again it is racing we need, pure and unadulterated racing.

  132. Enzo says:

    So Ferrari is better of having Hirohide Hamashima, than Red Bull is having Adrian Newey ?

  133. bbobeckyj says:

    I don’t understand the criticism of the last race. Button finished higher than the car was ‘capable’ because he drove the fastest race strategy, which was not to go as fast as possible for the whole race, he wouldn’t have finished 5th if he had driven faster all race. Raikkonen did the same and won in Australia. So what if they aren’t all driving around like a crazed Hamilton all race. The only way I can see around this is by forcing drivers to race to a minimum speed, delta, based upon their qualifying. And that’s unenforceable.

  134. peter_h says:

    The people who say F1 was boring with no overtaking Pre Pirelli/DRS are 100% wrong.
    You can point to a few examples where a driver wasn’t able to pass another, However those few examples were the exception not the rule.

    People always mention Alonso/Petrov @ Abu-Dhabi 2010 & use that as proof for how bad things allegedly were, Ignoring the fact that there were specific reasons for that. THose been Ferrari’s poor strategy & reletively poor straght line speed compared to Petrov’s Renault which had less downforce, was geared for higher speed & had a better F-Duct ontop of taking the right pit strategy.
    Petrov/Renault simply did a better job than Alonso/Ferrari on PIt strategy & car setup.

    Alonso had overtaken a few cars before getting to Petrov & overall in that race there was a total of 13 on-track overtakes.
    Also looking at Bahrain 2010, 21 on-track overtakes which hardly makes it a procession. There may have been more had they not altered the track layout for that year.

    The argument that Pre DRS/Pirelli we only saw 5 overtakes a race is nonsence. There were races where we did see that few but that didn’t happen that often.

    Again using 2010 the least # of overtakes was 4 at Monaco, HUngary & Suzuka only featured 8 but everything else featured 15-20+ & the average was 28.79 overtakes Per-Gp with a season total of 547, The most since 1989.

    I’ve always felt that the biggest problem with Overtaking Pre-2010 was refueling. With race startegy via refueling all important pit-passing became more important than on-track overtaking & from race 1 of the refueling era we began to see more passing done in the pits than on-track. When refueling was banned for 2010 the levels of on-track overtaking went back upto pre-refueling levels.

  135. Dizzy says:

    Hate both Pirelli & DRS & been honest if there retained for much longer I may simply stop following F1 after been a massive fan for about 40yrs.

    The fans of the DRS & Pirelli say the racing is exciting & there’s loads of passing.

    Well I personally find nothing exciting or interesting about DRS passing. Watching 1 driver hit a button & cruise straght the car infront half way down a straght is boring, There’s nothing exciting about that.

    Regarding the tyres, watching drivers cruising around to a lap delta nursing the tyres is also boring & watching 1 driver pass another because his tyres are a second a lap faster is equally boring.

    I used to love watching those great on-track fights because the best drivers in the world & used to love watching exciting overtaking & sadly in the modern era of F1 we simply don’t see much of either.

    Today its all about quantity rather than quality, A lot more overtaking of a much lower quality, Such a low quality that there boring & completely unexciting to watch.

  136. marie says:

    i would encourage anyone who dislike the current situation in f1 with the tires & drs to abandon it & instead watch the indycar series.

    since they introduced there new car & v6 turbo engine package last season the racing has been simply fantastic.

    theres no stupid gimmicks like the drs, the tyres dont fall apart like the pirellis do & theres tons of brilliant racing & real overtaking all of which is truly exciting to watch for the fans.

    i have been a fan of f1 since i was taken to the watkins glen gp by my uncle in 1971 & attended most of the us/canadian gp’s in that time. however since 2011 my love of f1 has declined thanks to the drs & pirelli tires & i am so dis-interested in the way things are now that i will no longer be watching f1 sadly.

  137. Roger2013 says:

    Doing some unofficial counting.

    It seems about 85% of the comments are negative about the Pirelli tyres & about 80% are negative about the DRS.

    Matches the feeling to both I’ve seen on other fan websites.

    Perhaps time for a rethink on both?

    1. colin grayson says:

      judging by this blog that counting is not unofficial but un-accurate

      1. Roger2013 says:

        Inaccurate in what way?

        Maybe you should read all the comments & take a count of each for/against, Thats what I did.

        Also based off several poll’s on other websites which have ended with similar results.

      2. Random 79 says:

        Even if that’s true, what of it?

        It’s normal that the people who aren’t happy will be quite vocal about it, while those that are tend to just sit back and enjoy.

        If Pirelli did a sudden turn around and produced super durable tyres for 2014 then chances are that suddenly 80-85% of opinions would be negative about that instead.

  138. james says:

    “I ran three teams during the tyre-war era of the late 1990s and early 2000s, which some are saying was a time when drivers could push right to the limit all the time. But that’s a fallacy. They could never go 100% all the time…F1 has never been any different in the 40 years I have known it. The only difference is the tyre-management aspect is more visible now and the complaints have developed a bit of momentum.”
    – Gary Anderson
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/22147074

    so…i think the critics should pretty much suck it up.

    1. Bobdredds says:

      Agreed, I just hope they suck it up silently because Pirelli are doing an excellent job. There are some teams out there doing an excellent job of making the tyres work and that alone refutes the criticisms in my view. When I listed to teams complain about the tyres all I hear is “we haven’t done a good enough job”.

  139. olivier says:

    TIRES – The tires make no sense to me. Both from an environmental and a racing point of view: the drivers are forced to stay on the racing line as the marbles on the side track would destroy their race strategy.

    DRS – I am okay with DRS. A faster car should be upfront and not stuck behind a slower car. Perhaps the DRS system should be re-engineered to have the sixties style slipstream racing back?

    ERS – I am very much looking forward to the energy recovery system. This should be the real differentiator. It is both beneficial to the environment and the racing.

    Also, encourage teams to have their cars as light as possible. This would stimulate material research and innovation.

    And make tires and fuel last the race distance. It would be a huge cost reduction in pit crew and tires obviously.

  140. Bobdredds says:

    For me F1 is about doing the best job with race day the culmination and obivously the most entertaining part of that job. If the job was simple then it wouldn’t be a challenge. Normally changes to the technical rules are used to maintain the challenge and recently aero has been the biggest problem for F1 because mainly one team with the best aerodynamisist has dominated. Pirelli has reduced the aero advantage to one of an equal component and evened up the field. They should be praised for their work and those who are complaining should put their energies into the car because they are not going to get a unanimous decision from the teams. After all no one is going to hand the advantage back to Red Bull who would arguably be the boggest beneficiaries in that scenario. I doubt there are many Ferrari fans calling for a change in the tyre’s. :)

  141. KGBVD says:

    Don’t like Pirelli tires or DRS or KERS (although it’s interesting how no one complains about this “gimmick” anymore)? You can always stitch off.

    F1 traditionalists/dinosaurs have a wealth of motorsports to chose to watch (in both N America and Europe), so just switch off if it offends your common sensibilities so much.

    The issue for these ‘fans’ seems to be that the new direction that F1 is forging is now so exciting, so engaging, so captivating, that no one can tear their eyes away.

    Where I live, F1 is a middle of the night or early morning event. Things used to be that for 80% of the tracks you woke up for the start, stayed awake for til the first stop, then were able to catch a few winks before waking up for the podium ceremony.

    This past race had me on the edge of my seat at 5am! Without Pirelli, Vettel would have cruised around in 3rd place til the end of the race. No drama, no excitement, no racing (‘artificial’ or otherwise).

    (As someone who doesn’t watch golf because I don’t want to be bored) chalk me up as a massive supporter!

    1. Dek says:

      I think the tyres are fantastic,but the situation in Qualifying has to change,or by the middle of the year it will be a 5 minute Q3,not 10!!
      A fairly simple solution would be to change the Q3 runners to be starting the race on the tyres they set their best Q2 time,and give them 1 extra set of Options(to be returned to Pirelli immediately after qualifying),provided they do a run on a set of their own as well. That would get the Top 10 fighting down to the last second of Q3,and provide the same spectacle that Qualifying used to provide when they were racing on Bridgestones,without the “sterile” Racing they produced by not degrading at all,and even getting faster when they went all the way down to lose the grooves,although not for many laps. Anyone remember how good Alonso was at driving the Renault with the tyres in that condition? He comprehensibly Smashed Michael Schumacher on more than one occasion,in this situation.
      Another thing that would help overtaking in other area’s than the DRS Zones,would be to use sweepers & Jet Blowers like Nascar does during safety car period’s to clean up some of the discarded rubber build-up,but only at the critical area’s for overtaking. They shouldn’t change the tyres(although this weekends move to Med/Hard is very sensible compared to the Soft/Hard mix originally planned for Bahrain)as they are creating excellent strategy racing,and the best thing is the how if the teams go just one or two laps too long and hit the cliff,it can change the result completely.The teams are also preferring different tyres to each other,i.e. Lotus,Force India,& to a lesser extent,Ferrari,seem to like the Option’s, whereas Mercedes,Red Bull,Mclaren & Torro Rosso
      prefer the Primes for the race,which opens all sorts of options regarding pitstop strategy,like going hard and doing extra pitstops,or doing less and staying out as long as possible,then firing up on the options in the back end of the race,with low fuel,and the ability to change easily if circumstances dictate!
      [mod]

  142. Ben G says:

    F1 folk are champion complainers.

    They also have short memories. Remember the season when tyre changes were banned? It was the dullest ever.

    So – go Pirelli.

    1. Dek says:

      HEAR HEAR!!!!! Keep the tyres as they are! From what i can see,the people saying the tyres are no good,and are calling for change,have a vested interest(the teams struggling with Degradation),or they are an old time fan that wish it was still the 1950′s,and Fangio,Moss,Clark,etc. were still running around! LOL!!!!!
      But SERIOUSLY,can anyone HONESTLY say this ISN”T the best start to a season ever,I Don’t Think So!!

  143. Jimmy says:

    One of my biggest dislikes of DRS is when the car in front is left totally defenseless & the car behind simply opens DRS & then goes straght past with relative ease.

    Some of the most exciting/intense racing I’ve seen have been when you have had one driver defending with a car behind doing everything to try & find a way past, I loved those 2 great Alonso/Schumacher battles at Imola in 05/06, I was kept on the edge of my seat through to the end of those 2 races watching 2 great drivers racing each other hard. OK no overtake occurred but it was thrilling to watch.

    When there is zero chance to overtake & the cars behind are not able to even attempt an overtake then yes it can get a bit dull.

    The problem however is that DRS often swings things too far the other way, Instead of overtaking been too hard, It often then becomes far too easy & I think thats equally as bad.

    One of the thing which got me hooked on racing is the racing, I love watching close racing, I love watching good/close racing battles & I love watching good, exciting overtaking & to me DRS produces none of these & over the past 2 seasons its been doing nothing but hurt my enjoyment of the races to the point where my attention has started to go elsewhere.

    I remember in the Pre-DRS era, Watching one car starting to catch another was exciting, Watching that car looking for ways to overtake was exciting & watching any eventual overtaking move was exciting. Now I all too often find myself getting excited over one car catching another only for that car to hit DRS & breeze straght past when he gets there, No excitement, No tension over a good battle, Nothing & that really kills my enjoyment of the race.

    Im not saying that I necessarily prefer what we had before as overtaking was harder than it could have been, I accept that. However I don’t believe DRS is the answer because I feel its taken things way too far the other way, Overtaking is now too easy & there’s now so much of it that I feel its starting to be devalued. I also believe that the drivers that are great overtakers are also now not standing out as much as they used to because everyone can pass & there’s now less need for that exciting dive up the inside which made guys like Hamilton, Kobayashi & Juan Montoya stand out like they did & become fan favorites as a result.

    In the DRS-era we are seeing more passing, A lot more, However we are now seeing a lot less exciting overtaking & thats the thing I hate the most!

  144. Hansb says:

    http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/neue-pirelli-reifen-wird-in-spanien-alles-anders-6920544.html

    Lauda is quoted here that starting from Barcelona, Pirelli will bring new more durabele tyres with a better operating window. Pirelli says nothing has been decided yet.

    If it is all true F1 should shame itself.

  145. ben says:

    Sorry James I haven’t read all the posts but I feel the problem is summerised by this. In Pirelli’s defence, the Italian company’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “It was degradation, rather than actual wear, that dictated the strategy”
    Pirelli were asked to provide tire that wear out to give 2-3 stops by the fia because that’s what the fans said they wanted but they have created tires that suffer degradation or thermal degredation. A term never heard of in f1 prior to 2011. This is the problem and what the drivers and fans don’t like.
    Yes we want multi stops and that the drivers can drive to the maximum till they run out of rubber.. I think its too simple to say that Pirelli have provided what they were asked for so its not there fault. Maybe the first gen tire of 2011 were the best…

  146. Roberto says:

    Get rid of the soft tires altogether. Give the teams a medium for slow speed circuits, and the hard compounds. With hard compounds, you’d have the cars sliding around, fighting for traction. One pit stop per race is enough – it makes that one stop critical, and keeps a factor of strategy and timing in place. Cruising around, using only part of the car’s potential, is not racing.

  147. Jimbo says:

    Having the tyres degrade rapidly made for an interesting rade in Canada 2010 (bridgestones at the time) and pirelli were asked to make tyres that would degrade as quickly as that.

    However it’s all just made things artificial and too much importance is on the tyres. We have DRS and mandatory KERS (the effect of which will be greater in 2014) so there are enough variables to allow the amount of overtaking they desire without the tyres falling apart so quick.

    In terms of marketing it is bad as people just associate pirelli tyres with degradation

  148. Micheal Evans says:

    I’ve watched Formula 1 since I was 5 years old and I’ve never missed a race. I really think we’re getting some of the best quality racing ever, even if the drivers can’t drive 10/10ths every lap. Before the cars were super reliable drivers had to nurse engines, and gearboxes and things like that. This is no different except the teams can’t control it and they just don’t like the variable. But, they have millions of dollars and some of the best brains on the planet. They should be able to cope with a few variables being thrown their way.

    However, I think the tyres could be fine tuned a bit. You’d never be able to get it perfect for every track, but I think the aim should be this for the the best type of racing:

    Using a race that is 60 laps long as an example:

    Have a soft tyre that lasts 10-12 laps. It’s first lap is it’s best for qualifying, but if you’re really on the limit you can get that 2nd lap to work for you if you’re lucky. Having the tyres last for 10 laps means you’re not punished for using them in qualifying so there’s more cars on track on the Saturday. It also means that if you put them on at the end of the race, you have enough time to pass quite a few cars. This always makes for a final end to the race. Even if it’s a guy coming from 13th to 5th in the final laps, I love seeing just how far up he can get.

    The hard tyre should last 15 laps. They should be faster over a stint of anything over 10 laps. This would lead to hard decisions over whether to make more stops for softs, or go longer on the hards. The default strategy for most teams would probably be soft + hard + hard + hard. But, that still leaves 5 laps to find somewhere.

    I think that would make for a great race.

    Also, I think we’re living in an era now where Formula 1, and people in general need to be conserving our resources. This means that a car that can have less fuel, and use less of it’s tyres, should be a car that does well. But, also just having an out and out quick car means you do well. Having all that means we don’t turn up week in, week out knowing which car is going to win, and I love it.

  149. Steve C says:

    Having just watched this link from an earlier posting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1WuWu8kGak
    it just confirms I am sick of hearing about tyres and makes last weekend look pathetic as a race. By next year we will also have to contend with an F1 car with an engine no bigger than a mini cooper. Then we shall see how sad it really has become. At least for the moment Sky have eclipsed the BBC whose coverage is now truly awful. Jake H, DC & EJ was so good at it and the red button was a joy after the race but now all gone.

  150. Paul says:

    The way I see it is that the current tyre situation is ludicrous, but then again I hate having a control tyre in any series, I much preferred the days of multiple manufacturers bringing different compounds to different tracks and having dominance at some and not others, so I say drop the single supplier, open up team sponsorship tyre choices, have mandatory pit stops for tyre changes, force a starting minimum amount of fuel to stop the fuel/tyre saving modes.
    DRS unfortunately is needed while the cars significantly alter the down force of the following car, so unless the FIA can change the regs to have a natural slipstream I think DRS in needed.
    Now to my pet hate. Seeing a f****ing wheel coming off the hub following a pit stop, not only is it unnecessary it is dangerous and every time we see one come off there is always the possibility of a calamity and a team fine is a slap on the wrist and not a solution. Time that the single wheel nut is retired, not just from f1 but from all forms of motor racing. For the sake of safety for drivers, marshals and spectators it is time to regulate a wheel stud pattern of 4 or 5 studs and never again see a wheel go rolling across the track because of the failure of a single wheel nut to torque up.

  151. Tiga says:

    I’ve done amateur SCCA formula car racing, and I’m a great fan of Formula One since a child. SCCA races are about 30 – 40 minutes of hard driving, F1 is about three of those put together, and the pinnacle of driving and technical challenge.
    It’s a reasonable target for F1 – three segments between two stops, one stop if you’re Button or lucky, three stops if you’re screwing up. People can relate to that, and its about what we had last year, with DRS to keep the strategies working instead of bottling up behind slower cars. But in between stops there’s got to be racing – its got to be close to flat! Even SCCA can manage that. If F1 can’t, the word pinnacle does not apply. If the guys had run close to flat instead of a schedule in China they could have literally run out of tires. Obviously we can do better, and the public expects it of F1.

  152. Paul du Maître says:

    Just for the record, i love Pirelli tyres F1 and my car does have Pirelli tyres (although they predate Pirelli’s entrance in F1). As a customer, i can make the difference between road tyres and F1 tyres.
    The only thing i’d ask Pirelli is to have less rubber marbles on track…

  153. Mike84 says:

    Wouldn’t it be better to use normal tires and just get rid of the wings? Then they could drive full-out and pass for real without DRS.

  154. Zorro says:

    The way I see it, all the teams and drivers are playing on a level playing field. Each of them has the ability to design and setup their car to maximize the opportunity to get to the chequered flag in the fastest time. Some are better at it than others, so they win. It doesn’t matter if there are artificial aids like DRS and tyres deliberately designed to degrade as they all have same same thing to contend with. What these factors are doing however is spicing up the strategy and intrigue of each race. I was enthralled with the China race as there were different teams trying different strategies, and on the last lap we were still not sure what the podium was going to look like. Beats a boring procession with minimal overtaking and one predictably superior team/driver lapping most of the field ( although we will probably see some of this later in the season when the engineers start to figure out the optimum setups like last year). To me, the strategy game is what sets F1 apart from a lot of other racing categories.

  155. Daniel Spiller says:

    I feel maybe the issues with tyres won’t be simply solved by makin more resilient compounds. Even if the tyres were more resilient, and drivers would be looking at 3 stops max. You’d still find a few drivers driving at a slower pace to try to eek out extra mileage and run a two stop race. I fully agree that the soft was the wrong choice for china but I feel that the gap between compound performance could be altered. At the moment the gap is only 1-1.2 seconds. With average pit loss times being in the region 20-21 seconds then if you had a resilient soft then you’d still need a 20 lap stint to justify an extra stop. Strategy has little bearing with resilient close reforming compounds. Now a 2-2.5 performance step would create options for strategy because although the tyres would “go off” after 10-12 laps, the increase in pace you’d achieve would be justified by the pit stop. As it is, drivers will always look after tyres because of how much relative time they lose in the pits versus the performance gain in the tyre they run for the stint.
    I for one enjoy the Pirelli era of F1. But I’m fully aware of the problems of it. But I feel large performance steps could be a way to offer a solution. Who cares If tyres wear quickly, as long as there is a gain to be had?

  156. ROBERTO MARQUEZ says:

    Are we talking about World Drivers Championship or World Tyre Championship ? Would not it be better to have good tyres and let drivers drive, and make pit stops compulsory , in some races one, in others 2,etc. If Lewis had the pole is it not fair to bet that taking the tyres out of the equation he probably would have won ? What happens if there is a fatal accident because one of these “tyres” blows ?

  157. Brian Wooley says:

    I understand that DRS and tire compounds are meant to “mix it up” and make for more entertaining racing for the fans. F1 is a business and the name of the game is entertainment that generates revenue. It’s kind of sad to think about in those terms, but that’s the reality. To that end, I think that they’ve missed the mark this time. It’s not exciting to watch drivers drone around the track unwilling or unable to engage each other in competitive driving. When you’ve taken the driver out of the equation, which is what I think these new tires have nearly done, you’ve interfered too much. I believe strategy should be a strong element, but when it becomes the only element it takes away from the excitement.

  158. JimmiCynic says:

    Longtime reader, James. First time poster. And grumpy old F1 fan. China was an embarrassment to the spirit of F1 racing, to me, matching the Michelin debacle of Indy 2005, except that in 2005 that was a design error. This time around it’s a design decision.

    @Dizzy: +10

    The FIA needs to limit itself to a single artificial technique to employ: DRS or marble-spewing thermally challenged tires. Pick one.

    @Tiga: +10

    If the SCAA can do it, so can the supposed pinnacle of motorsport. It’s embarrassing. A former innovative, bleeding-edge formula reduced to a series of computational vector nannies.

    The reality is that the fastest qualifying laps, the fastest race laps are in the past, now pushing 10 years in the past. Those records will never be broken in the new faux-racing F1.

    Sure, for safety reasons, it’s for the best, but if the FIA/FOM are determined to slow the cars down and spice up the racing, then lose a big chunk of the aero (Frank, you’ll still have your 200mph advert) and revert to manual transmissions.

    With more predictable-wearing tires on cars that can follow each other closely we can enjoy the spectacle of the world’s most skilled drivers performing real overtakes, early and often. While double-clutching.

    Why not? The FIA ended the ground effect wars in ’91 and it wasn’t until 2001 that the aerodynamicists clawed it back. F1 is overdue for a big aero reset. And DRS ain’t it. And cheap rubber doesn’t make the experience feel better.

    Will it happen? No. There’s no room in today’s F1 car for a third pedal and a shift lever. Bernie’s recent gigantic tracks of tarmac are designed for 3000+ kg of downforce cars. Heavily invested in CFD/wind tunnels the big spending teams would rebel. The smaller independent teams would embrace it, but Bernie could care less about them.

    We get what we get, fake passes and tire management chess, but I promise to try and pretend this season is the greatest open-wheel racing ever. For those of you who actually enjoy this WWE on Wheels, please tell me what it is you enjoy about the sitting-duck DRS passes? Is a fake pass really better than no pass at all?

    We do get to look forward to smaller, lower revving engines next year, with lower reliability, so that’s something.

    Sorry for the long rant, but the rules state the first post must be over 2000 characters. I’m just following team orders.

  159. Hubcaps says:

    Imagine this “conservation” of tyres in Moto GP! You might as well give them 50cc scooters if they want to do that.
    Come to think of it, I’ve got Pirelli tyres on my Aprilia Tuono and the new rear is squaring off after just 400 miles! Never again.

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