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Impeccable Alonso Cruises To Spanish GP Victory, As title Race Hots Up
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Posted By: Matt Meadows  |  12 May 2013   |  3:48 pm GMT  |  504 comments

Fernando Alonso made the perfect use of a blistering start and bold strategy to deliver an emphatic victory to his adoring fans at the Spanish Grand Prix, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.

It was a race that was dictated by tyre strategy, with much of the field played it safe by adopting a four-stop strategy, whilst Raikkonen and Lotus were again able to make one less pit stop and he put himself in contention for the race win in the middle stages of the race. It will give further fuel to critics of Pirelli who argue that the tyres have too great an influence on the races at the moment; Alonso said after the race that he had been able to push at 90% to achieve the result, but others like Hamilton were much more hamstrung.

Pirelli’s Paul Hembery tweeted after the race, “We aim for 2/3 stops. “Today was too many stops, we got it wrong, too aggressive. We will make changes, probably from Silverstone.”

However, the Lotus driver was unable to push his hard tyres during a twenty-lap final stint and could not threaten Alonso. It is the Spaniard’s thirty-second career victory and brings him to within seventeen points of the Championship leader Vettel. It was also the win from the lowest starting position, 5th, that we have seen in Barcelona.

Vettel still holds that championship lead ahead of Raikkonen after bringing his Red Bull home in fourth place, but it was not his day today as the Red Bull struggled to maintain both pace and tyre life; something had to give. He had looked to be the main challenger to Alonso following the first stops, but drifted away in the second half of the Grand Prix as Raikkonen cruised into contention.

Raikkonen remains in second place in the World Championship, now closing to just four points behind.

The top three each have credentials for the driver of the day as Raikkonen was able to maintain life in three sets of the medium tyre before switching to the hard tyre for his final stint.

Massa also had a very good race as he overcame a three place grid penalty which forced him to start ninth and made his way past Rosberg and Vettel in a Ferrari that was peerless on the day.

Alonso’s win was set up by the start; from fifth he kept his foot in around the long turn three to take both Raikkonen and a slow starting Lewis Hamilton for third place and got on to the tail of the leading pair, pole sitter Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel.

Rosberg got off the line well and was able to defend from Hamilton in to the first corner, the Briton having a large lock-up, which allowed Vettel to get around his outside. And once Alonso made his way in to third position the lead trio edged away during the opening phase of the race and up until the first set of pit stops.

At this stage Ferrari grabbed the initiative to bring Alonso in early and put him in to clear air whilst Vettel was sat behind an ever slowing Rosberg. When Rosberg and Vettel reacted and pitted a lap later Alonso cut his way in between the two and began to pile pressure on the race leader.

In the ensuing laps Alonso harassed Rosberg, eventually taking the lead on lap thirteen with a late braking move around the outside of turn one. This allowed him to make a short break but his hopes of Rosberg holding up Vettel were short lived as the Red Bull driver made his way in to second place, demoting the pole sitter further down the order.

For Rosberg, from then on his race crumbled as both he and team mate Hamilton tried to make use of a three-stop strategy. But, as has been prevalent this year, the Mercedes was unable to match the race pace of its competitors and manage its tyres they and ended the day with an uninspiring result. He lost four places within two laps as Massa and Raikkonen made their way past with little difficulty.

From this point Alonso never looked seriously threatened, helped indirectly by Raikkonen being held up behind Vettel during the second phase of the race. The lead group remained unchanged as Vettel was followed home by team mate Mark Webber. The Australian found himself stuck in the pack early in the race and like in Bahrain he opted to pit early for clear air. This system worked once again and maintained his team’s lead at the head of the Constructors Championship.

Behind Webber was a close battle for sixth place between Rosberg and Paul Di Resta. The Force India driver heaping pressure on the pole sitter in the closing laps but unable to take his place. It was another strong showing by Di Resta who collected some much needed points to sustain Force India’s lead over McLaren in the Championship.

The top ten was closed out by the McLaren pair of Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, who were able to complete the race without any collisions or angry radio messages. Perez took one more stop during the race and was told to hold station in the closing laps as he raced up to his senior team mate.

And Daniel Ricciardo took the final points paying position with another strong outing for Toro Rosso. He and team mate Jean-Eric Vergne were having a good battle until Vergne was collected by an early-released Nico Hulkenberg in the pit lane and was consequently forced to retire.

SPANISH GRAND PRIX, Barcelona, 66 Laps

1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 66 laps 1hr 39m 16.596s
2. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus+00m 09.3s
3. Felipe Massa Ferrari +00m 26.0s
4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +00m 38.2s
5. Mark Webber Red Bult +00m 47.9s
6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +01m 08.0s
7. Paul di Resta Force India +01m 08.9s
8. Jenson Button McLaren +01m 19.5s
9. Sergio Perez McLaren +01m 21.7s
10. Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso +1 lap
11. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber +1 lap
12. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1 lap
13. Adrian Sutil Force India +1 lap
14. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1 lap
15. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber +1 lap
16. Valtteri Bottas Williams +1 lap
17. Charles Pic Caterham+1 lap
18. Jules Bianchi  Marussia +2 laps
19. Max Chilton  Marussia +2 laps

Rtd Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 52 laps completed
Rtd Giedo van der Garde Caterham 21 laps completed
Rtd Romain Grosjean Lotus 8 laps completed

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504 Comments
  1. Mojo says:

    In the past, Barcelona produced one of the most boring GPs of the year. Today, we saw a fairly interesting race, thanks to the Pirelli tires. But the quote of the day for me is Lewis Hamilton saying “I can’t go any slower”. Going from P2 to P12 for me is an indication that the impact of the tires might be a bit too strong. In case of Hamilton it is clearly a waste of talent. I think the FIA should instruct Pirelli to make the tires last for at least 25 instead of just 20 laps. But if the tire situation continues like it is now, Ferrari have the best chance on winning the title. Maybe that’s what Bernie wants, after all.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Everyone has the same tires and everyone designed their cars for it. I don’t see any conspiracy there. But I am thankful for the excellent races recently and this is because of Pirelli’s.

      1. Sebee says:

        Drivers are just moaning and politicking because they have to work harder and drive smarter now.

        Spain 2012
        Pole: Lewis 1:21.797
        Race: Pastor 1:39:09.145

        Spain 2013
        Pole: Nico 1:20.718
        Race: Alonso 1:39:16.596

        Poor drivers…complaining that thet are 90% or 80% while posting 100% times and not wanting to work as hard to get the results they are paid tens of millions for. Forgive me if I am deaf to their fake cries. Times don’t lie.

      2. Afonso Ronda says:

        Times don’t lie, yes. But you have to take into account that the combined effect of downforce levels which are closer to 2011 spec (blown diffusers) + 2013 tyres, which are according to some sources 1.5 second faster than last years, than obviously they can produce faster times.

      3. Jordan says:

        As Confucius once said:

        He who’s F1 team loses, cries the loudest.

      4. Jordan says:

        As Confucious once said (also):

        When one falls asleep watching F1 on lap 10 and wakes up on lap 50 to find NO change in order, one realizes he should have spent Sunday afternoon doing something more productive.

      5. vae says:

        Then you should have enjoyed your sleep, because i loved the race…most of the team got their tyre strategy wrong even ferrari, the reason they won was down to race strategy 4 stops. The only team that got it right was lotus, for the likes of the losing teams that got it wrong mecedes&rb they only got the people in their garage to blame for 3 pit stops and most importantly wrong tyre strategy mediums was the race tyres for the weekend, why blame tyres when the other 2 teams raced a perfect race and won fair and square… we got to give cedit to those who played there strategy right. To back this up, look at start of the race rosberg (medium tyres) slow but still managed to hold vettel and Alo back till first pit stops (hard tyres), went down hill from then, even when lotus was doing long stints with the mediums not once but twice none of the other garage click. If you want to blame something, blame the engineers of the team that you want to win, they got it wrong…everyone have same tyres, its how individual teams use it is the point, ferrari&lotus did there homework and they deserve to be on the podium. Drinking some redbull might help keep you awake, or you maybe following the wrong sport.

    2. Seán Craddock says:

      They don’t last 20 laps! Raikkonen made his last average 17. Some could only average 11!

      1. vae says:

        Maybe you should look what all the teams tyres were on, that could help you work it out. Other teams got there tyre strategy wrong full stop.

    3. brendan says:

      yes it was funny what lewis said,even nico said he was surprised.
      I was thinking do nascar sprint cup series have tyre issues? they make tyres that last up to 40 laps(on a 200 lap race) with speeds up to 200mph. I think they use Goodyear.
      If Pirelli supplied them, cars would have to pit 20 times 0:).
      Goodyear do work with teams to design the best tyre for everyone.
      From 1985 to 1991 Pirelli only won 3 out of 210 races(Goodyear won the rest)then Pirelli gave up.
      so why with such a bad record in F1 was they allowed to come back in to it?

      1. Fareed Ali says:

        Pirelli could make tires that last 70 laps if they wanted to. They were asked (ordered) by F1 to make less durable tires to make the races more exciting.

      2. Pirelli can make tyres that last 70 laps? Let them prove it. My thinking is they *only* came into F1 because of this mandate by the FIA because they can’t make tyres that last. Think about it… a company wants to get into F1, but doesn’t have the technology…. then the FIA say they specifically WANT **** tyres. Said company is now laughing.

        There is NO proof that Pirelli can make a lasting F1 tyre.

      3. James Allen says:

        The one-stop races at the end of 2012?

      4. Richard says:

        Oh dear James Clayton, this seems to be a bit harsh ;)

        Anyway, I’ve worked out the problem with F1 and not the tyre situation…

        Everyone involved keeps trying to please you lot, the ‘fans’, and all the vast multitude of contrasting and ill-informed thoughts, comments and complaints are now leading to our wonderfully mixed up races!

        At the end of the day everyone has the same regulations and supplied parts, including tyres, with which to use, and the fastest team and driver will always win what we turn up and tune in to see – the race!!

      5. @JamesAllen in response to your reply to my comment:

        “Pirelli can make tyres that last 70 laps?”

        to which you responded:

        “The one-stop races at the end of 2012?”

        I wasn’t aware of a 140 lap race at the end of 2012. I don’t doubt Pirelli can make a tyre that just about lasts half a race. But any more than that, doubtful.

      6. James Allen says:

        Rules say you have to use 2 tyre compounds in a race, so there is never going to be a need to make a tyre that lasts 70 laps….??

      7. JF says:

        Pirelli could make tire last 200 laps. FIA and the teams asked them for a tire that degraded fast. They got what they asked for, I don’tthink they new what they wanted.

      8. tara_185 says:

        sounds about right!

        I am personally not a fan of all the moaning that i read online during the race but i agree this year its a little too far.
        As with most innovation you have go too far before you find the right balance.
        I’m glad there’s been a bit of a change up.

      9. Pedro says:

        This is na unfair comparison. Goodyear at the time was supplying all the major teams, and Pirelli was supplying the smaller teams. Nevertheless, with Benetton (then a completely smaller team) they still managed to pull a couple of surprises.
        Tyres seem to be na excuse for poor driving on the day. A couple of weeks ago, Vetel was struggling to go any slower and dominated. Today, he was struggling. Same tyres!!!

      10. Knoxville says:

        yes i agree with pedro, big teams all run goodyears. With Schumacher driving under Benetton, they managed to get a win or podium or two with those pirellis.

        still, they struggled slighty with tire life (obviously not to the exaggerated content as modern f1 are at the moment).

      11. Randy_Torres says:

        It never ceases to amaze me how supposedly knowledgeable fans (perhaps I”m giving readers of this blog too much credit)completely fail to understand the issue of tires. I’m certain that Pirelli, or any other major tire manufacturer for that matter, have the technical capability of producing tires that last the whole damn race. The reason Pirelli doesn’t do it is because of a FIA mandate. CAPICHE?

      12. gollino says:

        it spells: capisci.

      13. Yes, they were the only* company willing to degrade themselves (excuse the pun) to producing farcical tyres.

        They would NOT have come in in direct competition with Bridgestone. They came in on the condition that they were the SOLE supplier. If they had been put up against Bridgestone or Michelin and the brief was to find the best balance between speed and durability, ultimately trying to maximise the both of them (you know, what tyre technology *should* be about), then they’d be dead in the water.

        Martin Brundle, before he was interrupted by some one track event (I am reluctant to call it action) said something along the lines of “I don’t want to go back to how it was in the mid 2000s but…”. Surely the end of that line would have been “this isn’t the answer”?

        If you want tyres to make a genuine impact on racing, then a tyre war is the solution. Having two or more companis fight it out to make THE fastest, THE most durable compound they can.

        Or just ask Bridgestone to come back as the sole supplier. I really don’t understand what they were trying to fix. What exactly was *WRONG* with seasons 2007-2010?

      14. Erik says:

        Yeah I hope the Pirelli bashing stops soon, they have only done whats been asked of them by the sport. Id take this formula over the boring races in the mid noughties when the Bridgestones created precessions by lasting the whole race.

    4. F12012 says:

      Very good post, agree 100%

      It kills me everytime I hear the race messages of:

      Lift in turn three
      Sebastian don’t fight, run your race
      Look after the tyres
      I can’t go any slower
      My tyres are finished

      This is fake racing, F1 needs to get real

      Even the bbc was saying so on the forum

      1. JimmiC says:

        It was HAM’s comment – “I can’t go any slower” – that got me. We’ve all heard drivers say “I can’t go any faster” because of set up problems but this is different. Lewis might’ve had a good car under him today but now we’ll never know.

      2. Hudson says:

        I thought the funnier comment from Hamilton was when he said “I have been overtaken by a Williams!” after Maldonaldo passed him!

      3. BW says:

        Lewis might have had a good car if he got one. Did anyone else overheat the tyre so fast? And he mentioned on Saturday he was wrong with the setup.
        ‘I suffered with a lack of grip and balance throughout and we were never really able to get the tyres working’, surely looks like tyres’ fault…

      4. aberracus says:

        Oh but what was Mercedes thinking doing a 3 stop race? so they think they are now Lotus ? Hamilton saying he can’t drive more slowly is tactical error from Mercedes.

        They could have run much faster with a 4th stop like ferrari an many more.

        Is the same for Button and McLaren.

      5. Lo says:

        Agree your comments entirely Pirelli have got it wrong.

      6. Peter C says:

        No, the FIA have got it wrong.

      7. Ron Colverson says:

        And I’m sick of these tyres too. I don’t mind a certain amount of tyre management as it’s always been part of F1 racing (as has been said many times this year) but now it’s ALL and ONLY about tyre management. That’s not F1

        I don’t deny it’s interesting if you have the knowledge to understand the issues and can keep an eye on lap times as you watch the race, but it’s not really racing. When the driver has to ask the pits if he can fight to defend an overtake then it’s just got ridiculous.

        I’l watch Monaco as it’s such an occasion but otherwise I’m rapidly losing interest. And I’ve been watching F1 for 35 years.

      8. docjkm says:

        Could not agree more. Tires, tires, tires…

        Ridiculous!

      9. Doobs says:

        As Martin Brundle said, would you rather see a procession where cars finish in the order they qualified..?

      10. James AWOL says:

        Doobs don’t forget the cars will still have KERS and DRS if they do away with the tissue paper tyres so i reject that we will be back to the bad old days of the result being settled on Saturday. For me drivers waving people past because they don’t have the rubber to even try and race is a pathetic waste of everyones time.

      11. Let’s summarise:

        The championship leader was consistently told by his team NOT to race.

        The second place man in the championship decided not to fight for the lead because he knew that even if he made it past, he would have no tyres left to keep him behind.

        One driver came on the radio and said “I can’t go any SLOWER” and was virtually waving people past.

        Martin Brundle, David Croft and Coulthard all finally grew a pair and criticised the tyres saying that this is NOT what they want to see.

        There have been 5 tyre failures over the last 2 Grand Prix weekends.

        An interesting quote from Pirelli Motorsport on Twitter:

        “Admittedly delaminations look very impressive but only the upper tread goes off, the tyre stays intact.”

        Apparently the upper tread is not part of the tyre. I find “intact” a very optimistic term for a structure that’s unsuitable to race with.

        Again the first few laps of this race were close and exciting, despite there being very few overtaking manoeuvres. As soon as they went to tyre saving mode, that was the end of it.

      12. vae says:

        Maybe you should ask mecedes and rb why they opted for a 3 stopper, instead of giving the boys the tyres to push, like what the ferrari did.

      13. James Allen says:

        Read the strategy report

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      In years past, some cars havemanaged to turn on the tyres instantly which has been great for qualifying. Come the race, these same cars fall back because they don’t look after the tyres.

      Currently, Lotus and Ferrari have better race pace than their rivals. It’s not their fault, it’s the competitions.

      Button, in a car that qualified 12 places behind Lewis beat him. That’s not the tyres fault, its the car.

      Read up on the 2004 French GP, or maybe the 1994 Hungarian GP. Both times, bearing in mind they used Bridgestones, Schumacher made more pitstops than his rivals and won.
      In fact, in 2004, he completed 4 stops against Alonso’s 3

      1. David Young says:

        +1

      2. Andrew M says:

        The 2004 French Grand Prix isn’t comparable at all. Schumacher pitted one more time in order to jump Alonso through pit strategy, not because he was using the tyres harder than Alonso. Also, there was in-race refuelling in those days, meaning the cars were sprinting the whole race, not coasting around to a lap delta.

        And I assume you mean the 1998 Hungarian GP, which was a similar situation.

      3. monsterFG says:

        +1 mate, I think that what killing tyres so quick isnt Pirelli’s design so to speak it is car’s balance as it changes from lap to lap due to cars being fueled for a whole race, now I’m not an expert but it seem’s to me that ever changing properties of the car are more to blame for tyre life then tyres itself. Maybe they start using refueling again or just make them use half the fuel and then in a stop fill up the other half of the assigned fuel for the race, think it would spice up racing a bit and the drivers could push a bit more instead of trying to stay at certain temp level.

      4. I know says:

        Of course, with all teams getting the same tyres, you could argue that it’s the responsibility of the teams to make the most of them, relative to the competition.

        However, teams are designing their cars before they really know the tyres for the new year. This makes it difficult to get the tyre management right, and does not necessarily reward the best engineering, but possibly the team who got lucky that the car they’ve built matches the tyres they get dealt at the start of the season.

        One way to solve this, of course, would be to make the tyres constant for multiple seasons – I am sure most teams would be able to produce a faster car that way. Unfortunately, that’s not what Pirelli want; they want to present something “new” every year (and pay a lot of money for the privilege to do so).

        If we can’t therefore get consistent tyres, which would be my preferred option from a fan’s perspective, but which isn’t commercially viable, I think the second best option might be to re-introduce competition amongst tyre manufacturers. Look at what went wrong last time, and introduce the necessary regulations which ensure the offset between tyre suppliers is kept small enough (like the current difference between engine suppliers).

      5. Jacob says:

        The tyres have changed every year since 2008 believe it or not. If Pirelli werent intent on constantly shaking things up, they wouldnt have half the complaints they do but thats their own doing. Theyve also reacted too much to some of their conservative tyre choices which half the time were at new tracks anyway. Maybe if Bridgestone were contracted for 2011 they wouldve had a chance to try high degradation tyres as well, and been able to do a better job.

      6. KRB says:

        Spot on about the tires being a partially unknown variable during the design phase of the car. It’s why the FIA mandated the 55:45 weight spread between rear and front, to negate the chances of some team getting “lucky” and finding a sweet spot with balance, and thru that being able to blitz the field.

        Mercedes have come out saying that it is not a problem inherent in the car, that they set the car up specifically for race pace in Barcelona (and seeing as they did another long-run stint in FP3 while others concentrated on quali runs, bears that out).

        I don’t mind tires with high deg, but they shouldn’t be so tempermental that they turn to garbage if you defend a little bit, or if you’re momentarily out of the operating window. The drop off in such cases is far too extreme.

      7. unF1nnished business says:

        +1

      8. Chris says:

        If we were true racing the red bull would dominate, with artificial racing they don’t!! These tyres are a product to keep the field bunched up togeather!! I feel it’s gone a bit to far though, but we do get better races!

    6. AlexD says:

      I think Lotus, not Ferrari

    7. Phill says:

      I agree with everything you say apart from the Bernie comment. In what universe are you living in, that Bernie is support Ferrari over Red Bull. Vettel is like a son to that guy, and he adores him, anything to help Vettel he will support not Ferrari.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Great point. Bernie and Luca have had harsh words in recent years too

      2. Jordan says:

        And if Bernie really wanted to help Ferrari, he would have nudged JTodt to ban blown diffusers outright in 2011 and Seb might only have one WDC rather than three.

        RBR have won the last three wdcs and wccs. doesn’t look like Ferrari are getting any help.

    8. mrstone says:

      Somehow it feels like that with these tires and DRS, F1 is gradually turning into what I call “X-Factor for boys” – a televised competition with artificially introduced drama, all in the name of viewing figures. Next we will be telephoning in to pick a winner :-)

      1. Doobs says:

        Viewing figures would suggest this is what people want. It’s only about the money. F1 hasn’t been an exclusive “boys club” for cashed up car enthusiasts for about 50 years.

    9. aezy_doc says:

      Not the best GP I’ve ever seen – a bit dull for me (and yes I sort of expected it at Spain). The racing was non existent because the tyres made it impossible to push. There were a couple of overtakes of note, but even the ones that looked most spectacular seemed to be accomplished because of massive differences in tyre wear – drivers not even bothering to defend. Speaking of defending, I’ve been defending the tyres up until now, but today has completely changed my opinion. Let’s have enough of the Pirelli as a manufacturer bashing but the current spec of tyres are horrendous. Hearing a driver say “I can’t go any slower” is telling us something. Seeing the fastest car on single lap pace end up 2 seconds a lap slower after a few laps is just disappointing and spoils the racing. And what is with all of the tyre delamination? It is dangerous and happening too often to be an anomaly. These tyres are wrong compounds and they are dangerous. Will it take the leader of a GP crashing out due to this reason for anything to be done?

  2. Sven says:

    This wasn’t a race, James. This was a joke.
    Pirelli F1 tires are crap. Full stop.
    Anyone trying to defend them is just delusional or a die-hard Ferrari/Alonso/Kimi fan. This is not racing. This is just sad.

    1. AlexD says:

      Prefer flexi wings?

    2. unF1nnished business says:

      Agreed, this was probably the most uneventful race of the year but historically Catalunya is usually pretty boring. As for the tires, it’s the same for everyone. Unfortunately you and many others are a fan of a particular driver whose team doesn’t know how to make the tires last on race day.

      1. “It’s the same for everybody” doesn’t mean “It’s right for everybody”.

        We could easily swing your comment around from “Unfortunately you and many others are a fan of a particular driver whose team doesn’t know how to make the tires last on race day.” to “Unfortunately you and many others are a fan of a particular driver whose team knows how to make the tires last on race day.”

        Or we could stop making generalisations. I am a fan of F1 more than any driver or team. I happen to think that if the tyres were sensible we’d probably be looking at another Red Bull domination. That’s not what I want, just like I didn’t want to see Schumacher winning in the Ferrari domination years. But at least in those years we had good, close, hard racing. And if another Vettel championship is the price to pay to have races that are worth watching again, I’d gladly pay that price.

      2. Afonso Ronda says:

        +1000′s

      3. Me says:

        When they change the tyres to be harder and last a bit longer, and still be the same for everybody, will you be just as happy then?

      4. unF1nnished business says:

        Absolutely! Yes I agree that 4 stops for the majority of the field is too much and having drivers hold back on pace to preserve tyres is not ideal racing. I think Spain was a wake up call for Pirelli and the compromise will be made come Silverstone, but I doubt that this will effect the pecking order too much as certain cars/teams just eat their tires on race day! But I think Pirelli have to tread lightly with the compromise as the teams who got it right this year, ie Ferrari, Lotus, shouldn’t have to yeild to the teams that didn’t get it right.

    3. stellasofiaNO says:

      +100! I don’t even know how and why F1 supremo Ecclestone has let the situation slip so bad… utterly rubbish and ridiculous! Hampering faster drivers, excellent racers and strategist , engineers who have built best cars! Is that F1 nowadays?
      And the press, media papers do nothing to address this problem! Ask Pirelli the right question and tell them to go about the business professionally , because right now it’s unacceptable!

      1. The media backlash is beginning. Brundle, Croft and Coulthard all made comments in the race about the absurdity of the situation.

    4. Sebee says:

      I’m a Vettel fan, and I’ve been defending them.

    5. Seán Craddock says:

      Hamilton started 2nd and finished outside the points. Does anybody know if this has EVER happened before? And I meant a race without incident, without penalty, without wet/changeable weather, just consistent track conditions. It wouldn’t surprise me if it didn’t happen when the top 6 just got points, let alone 10!

      Ridiculous

      1. Doobs says:

        In the “good old days” Hami would have had to look after his engine/gearbox/brakes/drinks holder.

        The cars are so reliable these days and that has taken out the drama of mechanical dnf’s to some degree. When was the last time an engine blew up in clouds of smoke and flames.?

        Thanks to the new tyres, Alonso won from fifth place;five years ago this same race would have been a processional snooze fest.

      2. iceman says:

        I’m sure it has many times. Remember how good Jarno Trulli was at qualifying in the Toyota, for example, but then he used to go backwards in the race. The first race I randomly clicked on from his wikipedia page was the 2005 Australian Grand Prix, and sure enough he qualified 2nd and finished 9th in that one.

    6. Andrew Jarman says:

      Has everyone forgotten how boring the racing was throughout the 90s and early 2000s with Bridgestone and Michelin and nearly every race being a foregone conclusion after the end of the first lap? I might be in a minority here but thank god for Pirelli. And Barcelona is always tedious anyway – people have such short memories.

      1. Schumilewis says:

        Look at the amount of quality drivers now as opposed to the 2000′s.

      2. jonnyd says:

        i think your memories of the 90′s and early 2000′s are wide off the mark.

      3. Stephen Taylor says:

        People aern’t asking for 1 stop races there asking for common sense concept of 2-3 stop races not to be exceeded.

      4. iceman says:

        I don’t think any tyre manufacturer can possibly guarantee an exact choice of strategies. Sometimes there will be more stops than they aimed for and sometimes fewer.

      5. I think you are picking out a few processional races and basing your entire memory on that. There were plenty of close races and most of the championships were very close. Yes, despite the closeness of the racing, the victor was more often than not the same – but that’s because, despite my dislike for him at the time, he was the best driver. Is that not what you want to see? The best driver winning?

        It’s interesting. It’s in human nature to look back on the past with a rose tinted view. Remembering only the best bits and forgetting how bad things were. In formula 1, the mentality seems to be the opposite – people pick out a few dull races and base the entire history on them.

      6. Elie says:

        Boring but REAL

    7. Grant H says:

      agreed sven

    8. Bring Back Murray says:

      Well I think the tyres have actually given us some pretty good races but today wasn’t F1 motor racing.

      Alonso did a good job as per usual (and congrats) but how could any other driver even think about attacking him. They would have had to have stopped about 6 times in order to push the tyres to anything like the limit. I don’t too far disagree with you when you say it was a joke.

      Oh well at least Pirelli recognise they have to do something about it now.

      1. Heinzman says:

        The tyres are not responsible for the inability of the competition to compete with ALO today; you say it like he has magic tyres that no one else is allowed. He would have one no matter what tyres they were all given

      2. Bring Back Murray says:

        Alonso might well of won anyway like you say but the fact is no other drivers could really push and challenge him due the high tyre degredation at this race. Look at how fast the Red Bull has been recently. They could do nothing in this race. I’m an Alonso fan but I want to see him attacked and made to work for his win.

      3. j says:

        Exactly. How could Massa even think of attacking Vettel from 9th on the grid? He would have had to have stopped 6 times to push the tyres to anything like the limit. Wait…

      4. Bring Back Murray says:

        Well done Massa but I stand my original statement that for the most part this race was dictated by the extreme degregation of the tyres and the majority of drivers were not pushing at anything like the limit.

    9. Tealeaf says:

      Stop being so bitter, tyre situation will get an overhaul by silverstone and right now because of the tyres Vettel has been held back so at least there is a title fight, but considering how bad the tyres are for RBR and Mercedes it just shows how good of a job Vettel and Rosberg done this race and Im sure it’ll be a completely different race, worrying for Hamilton as Rosberg does seem like the faster driver over 1 lap since winter testing and after hooking up 2 quali sessions he absolutely destroyed Hamilton in the race too, payrise and stock rise are in order.

      1. The *only* interesting thing the tyres have brought about for me, is an analysis of why Mercedees were always hanging just behing the leaders in the Bridgestone days. If we assume that their car has always been hard on it’s tyres then in the Bridgestone days you have to assume the effect of that would be to put an otherwise fast car just slightly off the pace of the leaders.

      2. Doobs says:

        Certain tyres suit certain cars in certain weather conditions. If nobody’s happy, I think Pirelli have got the balance right.

    10. Wayne says:

      Are there really people out there still defending the tyres? Really? Honestly?

      “I can’t drive any slower”

      “Don’t go racing”

      “Should I race?”

      After the fist lap there was not a single car out there racing another car, they were all racing against the clock because of the tyres. Have you ever seen F1 cars being driven so slowly?

      I am utterly astonished that there are fans of motorsport out there defending this mindless charade. Even if you are a RAI fan, you are cheating yourself out of seeing you boy ‘race’ properly and displaying his awesome talent for driving a F1 car fast and on the edge. It really does not matter who you support just as long as you don’t try and tell me that these tyres are great for the bloody SHOW!It is bloody criminal to see VET, HAM and RAI neutered by these pathetic tyres. Oh yes, and as of this year Qualy is redundant too, fans should be refunded for Saturday ticket.

      80+ Pit stops? Including the tyres they stared on, that’s about 400 of Pirelli’s garbage tyres were eaten in 2 hours today!!!! More delaminations this weekend too.

      Oh and just because it’s a bit different at Monaco does not mean a thing, that’s just Monaco being Monaco.

      Without being dramatic, and in all honesty this is the first ‘race’ in 20 years I have turned off before the chequered flag (lap 62 to be precise)

      1. AlexD says:

        Which team do you support? I assume not a Ferrari fan, correct?

      2. Wayne says:

        For goodness sake, Alex, what on earth does that have to do with anything? I am a massive admireer of ALO, if that helps?

      3. Peter C says:

        So does that mean, if you are a Ferrari ‘fan’ & they had a good result. then the tyres are OK ?

        Can you be more objective & look at F1 as a whole instead of just a Ferrari point-of-view.

        It clearly did not work as a competition yesterday.

      4. Sebee says:

        Wayne,

        I admit, this one was too much. But also…its this venue.

        It is a bit shocking to have Vettel be that slow even on new sets.

      5. Guderian says:

        1) Tires seems to be pretty good for Ferrari and Lotus.
        2) Everyone would be satisfied if his driver of choice were winning races.
        3) You didn’t complaint when Seb was winning race after race with a car ONE SECOND FASTER than his main rivals, right?

      6. Wayne says:

        It was appalling to see VET cruisng around that track like he was out for a Sunday drive with his nana – and it’s not like he could do a thing about it, no matter how good a racer he is (because he simply could not race on those tyres).

      7. F12012 says:

        Totally agree, I was seriously thinking of
        switching off about half way but stuck with it

        This isn’t the F1 we all know and love

        Something needs to be done ASAP

      8. John Wainwright says:

        Daily reader of the site but rarely comment, however, after watching today’s race I feel compelled to. To see racers of the calibre of Kimi, Lewis…hell even Seb being impaired by tyres that can barely manage 15 laps is surely a travesty of F1. Like the above comments, I too gave up watching around lap 60 and started playing Real Racing 3 on my iPad just to get some thrills!! This generation of drivers deserve far bettr than the current tyre reg’.
        Great site James, keep it up:)

      9. Sven says:

        “Are there really people out there still defending the tyres? Really? Honestly?”

        Apparently, there are. It’s honestly sad that they refuse to admite the truth that is obvious to everyone only because their favorite drivers are benefitting from these awful “racing” tyres. After Schumi left, I don’t have a favorite racing driver, so I couldn’t care less about it. I watch F1 for racing now, but now there’s very little of actual racing left.

      10. Rob01 says:

        Actually there’s plenty of racing left, plenty of overtaking for example drivers were all overtaking Hamilton all the way down to Maldonado and Sutil, whilst Nico doing a good job top finish 6th, so plenty of racing you know what I mean?

      11. Jez K says:

        +1. Totally agree. Today was the first time I’ve ever switched off half way through a race because someone (probably Bernie) has forgotten what the word race actually means. This is no longer a sport, it’s become a lottery with the winner dependant upon who lucks into a setup that nurses these pathetic tyres across the line. For the sake of the sport, introduce a second tyre manufacturer / supplier and get these delusional people to look up the word “race” in a dictionary!

      12. Mike says:

        Really
        And Alonso was not hampered only merc and RedBull
        All the drivers are hampered
        Canada 2012 Alonso going backwards because of the tyre deg
        I think your biased and need to re evaluate
        Agree the tyres are too weak and is spoiling the races
        But don’t remember Horner complain about the last race vet won
        Oh yeah I forgot the tyres were ok on Sebs car
        Just a thought eh

      13. Yak says:

        Canada 2012 was a different situation. Alonso and Vettel thought they’d be able to manage one stop less, despite their races to that point not at all being run that way. That was just a terrible call from Ferrari and Red Bull (although at least RB gave in and put Vettel on a set of the options late in the race).

        The only guys from memory who pulled it off well were Perez and Grosjean, both cars that were notably good on their tyres, and both had been set to run on that strategy from early on.

      14. qvx says:

        Good point.

      15. Mike, Horner DID complain about the tyres in spite of Seb winning. You don’t like Vet, I guess? Neither do I, particularly. That’s NO reason to defend these tyres.

      16. mhilgtx says:

        Um yeah RBR have been pretty consistent in complaining about these tires.

      17. Wayne says:

        You need to elaborate, if that’s your opinion. Why am I biased? What are you talking about? I was trying to make the point that all the drivers are hampered, I didn’t think I needed to list them all.

        It was baout the tyres and absolutely NOT about what driver I like.

      18. KRB says:

        Actually there was a story after Vettel’s win in Bahrain where Horner said that their complaints about the tires wouldn’t stop b/c of his win.

      19. Hudson says:

        Wayne – I don’t really see your gripe here? The tyre situation is the same for everybody. At least now we know that the winner is not a foregone conclusion. F1 to me has always been about speed and engineering, but also strategy and planning. To me the only boring year was when Jenson Button won almost all races because his car was engineered better than everybody else. Now the spectacle is better because even Vettel in a RBR can lose also. I am enjoying this, and I am a very knowledgeable F1 fan.

      20. Wayne says:

        Hudson, can you really not sdee my gripe? Not at all? You don’t have to agree with it, but surely you can see what I am frustrated with and why watching drivers tip-toe around for 2 hours counting the loaps down might be a turn off for some?

      21. Steve C says:

        Are there really people out there still defending the tyres? Really? Honestly?

        “I can’t drive any slower”

        “Don’t go racing”

        “Should I race?”

        Spot on comment. I’m sick of it. What could LH & NR have achieved if they had tyres that were normal. And the same for all the drivers, surely they want to race not play silly games with tyres

      22. Trent says:

        Forgetting the support or otherwise of the current tyre formula, I still find it astonishing that people like yourself can’t strip the emotion out of the issue and analyse the situation correctly. The same people are on this board ranting daily about Pirelli.

        Pirelli did not create the current situation. The FIA did. End of story.

        If you don’t like it, by all means speak your mind, but please analyse the situation intelligently and direct your criticism to the appropriate party.

      23. johnpierre says:

        not to put to fine a point on it, but everyone has the same chance with the tires available, where were all of you back in bahrain, was there any complaining because of that result? today the Ferrari and Alonso had the best package, in Monaco in might be Red bull again, or lotus. point is it is not just down to the tires although that is what the Red Bull propaganda machine would like you to think (if their car was kinder to the tires this would be a non issue) and as far a Hamilton’s message “i can’t drive any slower” well, mercedes was off the pace last year and yes they improved one lap pace but obviously they sacrificed race pace. their chassis is flawed. simple as that. i find in beyond the pale that somehow this is not racing, could this just be case of Red Bull got it wrong this sunday? they lead both championships so they can’t be doing to bad. i hear this kind of chatter every time there is change in the regs, or somenting new is introduced. this is just the way it goes. this is the formula as of right now. there are some many other examples that are part of this modern day formula that i could argue is not racing in it’s purest form, from the ecu that makes all of your up-shifts and down shits perfect and matches the revs, to the engine mapping that effectively takes the driver out of the engine equation, but that would be silly and at the end of the day you either need to accept it or not accept it. this is formula one today. aero/down force driven and tire dependent. it is a thinking man’s game now to barrow a phase that i saw on the bbc, not just how fast you can drive. if you want that there is it the Indy 500.

    11. quattro says:

      Let me guess, your driver finished as nr 4 and I am certain that this post would NOT have been posted had he finished 1st.

      If I had to choose between Pirelli and the tyres/races Bridgestone produced before Pirelli entered the scene, I would choose these 10 out of 10 times.

      In the era when you basically could use a single set of soft tyres to run a complete race distance, it was not racing between drivers. It was rather racing between the engineers – the drivers were only proxies/robots driving the cars and the finishing order was almost solely determined by which engineer had produced the fastest (reliable) design at the start of the year. Now, at least the driver can make a difference – driving to the limit of what the package (tyres included) can handle.

      For me it is very obvious that:

      1. it is possible to build cars that can make the tyres work/last. Lotus is a very obvious example of this. So the team “burning” the tyres are doing a bad job and therefor are behind. Furthermore, I am certain that Lotus would have won had they gone for a 4 stopper today.

      2. there are obviously drivers that know how to intelligently handle the tyres, in order to make them last more/better than other drivers. I e there is another dimension in the competition and those (intelligent/learning) drivers are winning it and the others (clumsy) are loosing it. A very good example of this is Rosberg vs Hamilton today. Rosberg learned to handle them intelligently and managed, using the same package, to finish significantly higher than HAM with ONE STOP LESS.

      3. it is the same for everybody.

      1. Guderian says:

        Just PERFECT!!!!!

      2. Doobs says:

        Amen.

      3. Wayne says:

        “Let me guess, your driver finished as nr 4 and I am certain that this post would NOT have been posted had he finished 1st.”

        That is an absolute nonsense, I have been saying the same thing on this site for months regardless of where ‘my driver’ has finsished. I didn’t bother reading on from that point.

    12. JF says:

      Seriously, you need to remember that Pirelli as supplied exactly what the tems and the FIAAsked for. The the best will figure it out. this is better than late 2000 with 3 passes per race. Also don,t forget that lack of refuelling is a major player in current strategy. In the past could match tires with fuel to build a strategy. Now only tires.

      1. johnpierre says:

        nicely said. seems everyone need a little reminder from time to time, and by the way why is 4 pitstops bad, if it wins you the race???

    13. Rishi says:

      Will Buxton (NBC pitlane reporter) was absolutely raving about this race and how Alonso pushed to make the four-stop strategy work. And it just got me thinking about whether we are asking the right questions here.

      True, tyres are the most important thing in the sport right now, and, true, I also think that – at times – the emphasis has been excessive (think Chinese GP). However, after 1 stop Alonso, Vettel and Massa were pretty much together. So how was it that Alonso made the 4-stopper work so much better than they did? Ok so Vettel originally committed to a 3-stop then had to switch but Alonso recognised that a 4-stop worked best for him and then put the laps in to make that strategy work. In relative terms, that must have involved lapping pretty fast compared to his rivals; he didn’t just trundle round for the whole race and watch it fall into his lap.

      Secondly, it’s all very well saying that Mercedes have really poor tyre deg but one reason Rosberg and Hamilton looked like sitting ducks every time they were on camera was because they tried to do three stops only, even after Lewis flat-spotted his right at the start of the GP. So Ross Brawn can moan about the tyres till the proverbial cows come home, but as a highly intelligent man and a serial title winner he should be asking his strategists whether aiming for three pitstops was the right way to go. I’m surprised he wasn’t asked this after the race and will be interested to see if James asks the question in his post-race strategy report.

      So yes, undoubtedly, the tyres are tricky to use and, yes, when we see our favourite driver having to lap well within the limit it can be a drag. But its also about teams who find the way to get the best out of the tyres, and drivers who are able to put that into practice out on the tarmac. Alonso & Ferrari got it right on Sunday; Mercedes and Vettel, by contrast, may not have.

    14. DonSimon says:

      You say die-hard like it’s a bad thing.

  3. Sebee says:

    Hey what’s the deal with the winglets on the Ferrari? They have six right under the mirrors. I thought the kind of stuff was not allowed.  Everyone has air box channeling, but only Ferrari have those winglets on the rear part of the nose.

    Amazing how Mercedes and Red Bull fell away. Not able to play with Ferrari at all.

    Nice job Massa. Finally! But how imasculating were thise 2nd and 3rd place trophies? Did you see Massa look at it? Bet you he was thinking…”Nice souvenir for my son.”

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Same thoughts. I didn’t notice the second place trophy. But I thoudht Massa’s one was tiny. Like a school sports cup. But I am happy for Massa, I think if he was not given the grid penalty, he would have challenged for the win.

    2. Truth or Lies says:

      Yep that 3rd place trophy was seriously undersized, more like an egg cup, I’ve got bigger ones from my local karting track!

      1. Sebee says:

        To me, Massa looking at the trophy was the funniest thing about this GP.

        Another probable thought he had: “I know I’ve been away from the podium for a while, but this is ridiculous.” or “This will make a perfect mother’s day gift. My wife can put potpourri in it for the visitor’s bathroom.”

        I love to imagine the funny things he was thinking as he did that second take on it after it was handed to him. But as you say, the real thought was…”I give bigger ones away at my karting track for participation.”

    3. Elie says:

      Was wondering exactly the same thing Sebee, Mercedes has 3 winglets under the mirrors too. I think they actually had winglets first ( might have been 1 or 2) & meant to post it when I noticed on them thinking -What da…

      Obviously it’s legal but I thought all the different wings, tubes, fins, duck bills lol whatever-over flat surfaces were banned years ago since 2009.to make the category simpler to control.

  4. Lo says:

    1. Ferrari of Alonso under scrutiny by FIA officials.

    2. Mercedes nosedive started as predicted.

    3. Ferrari has been the fastest car all season but bad luck and bad decisions got in the way.

    1. Sebee says:

      Why? There is no way they will DSQ Alonso out of this win. No one has stones that large.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      point 2, Mercedes started in 2012 just like this. Fast but couldn’t race at the front and gradually fell away.
      That also included Scumacher’s legendary development skills. Something wrong in that teams set up.

      1. Val from montreal says:

        You do know he ( God ) has a degree in Mechanical engineering … Right ?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I didn’t know that, I’d always read he had a mechanic background before progressing through in his career.
        I wasn’t being sarcastic when I made my comment, it was more to suggest that Mercedes since they bought Brawn have promised so much yet delivered so little.

      3. Yak says:

        He should have done his degree in aerospace engineering instead.

    3. Tealeaf says:

      You say nosedive for Mercedes but in quali they are fast as ever and Monaco is not a tyre killer so if they lock out the front row Ross can engineer a win for Hamilton because he can get Nico to hold the field seen as there’s no overtaking on the streets there, Rosberg’s lack of speed at Monaco will cost him a win and Hamilton can steal 1 there, even though Nico has proven to be more than a match for his overrated team mate, he deserves a seat at Redbull.

      1. Lol says:

        0 points for qualifying.

        Merc is throwing everything at qualifying to get the headlines and then fade out on Sunday when the points are handed out.

      2. Doobs says:

        Especially when the head hocho is there.

    4. Matt says:

      http://www.reddit.com/r/formula1/comments/1cqc5j/ferrari_floor_flexing_legal_or_illegal/

      Check the very top link inside the link above.

      Not sure if this is just vibration but seems very high amount of warp for whats meant to be a solid platform! Not to detract from a solid Alonso and Massa drive.

      Re tyres – just god awful racing I wanna see guys push near making mistakes very rare these guys are going fast enough to fall off under pressure. Keeping delta times all race is too much for my heart to take I miss the good ol days boring or not ! Passing back in the day was hard work and glorious when done right a la schu/hakkinen/Senna etc

      1. johnpierre says:

        isn’t that what Ferrari and alonso did today?

      2. iceman says:

        I don’t think that’s the area of the floor that people are concerned about. That link shows vibration of the floor in front of the rear wheel, I’m not sure what the performance benefit would be there. The part of the floor they were testing was the “tea tray” at the front, which would allow you to run a lower front ride height if it was able to flex upwards.

  5. Dan says:

    There was nothing impeccable about Alonso today. Any driver could have done the same in that perfectly Pirelli-tailored Ferrari. I’m disgusted with what F1 has become.

    Drivers are not driving flat out for vast majority of races. Drivers not defending when overtaken so not to damage tyres.
    Overtaking = driving past someone.

    Sterile, edge has gone, not Formula 1 as I like it.

    Never has been Vettel or Hamilton fan, but today I felt sorry for them, because they could do nothing despite being the fastest drivers out there.

    1. Nandish says:

      pirelli tailored ferrari or pirelli tailored Lotus???

    2. BW says:

      What is the name for this kind of action that Rosberg was doing in his first stint.. well, before Pirelli it was called defending, oh wait…

    3. Alex says:

      In order to overtake you need to use your tyres more than if you are defending so you got no point there
      If the tyres are so crap then how come Ferrari and Lotus are doing a good job with them ?
      You are complaining because is not Vettel or hamilton doing the winning , and no , they are not the fastest drivers out there , they are among the fastest which is different

    4. Yago says:

      Right. Any driver could have done that double pass on the outside of turn three… specially if the drivers that are being passed are average drivers like kimi and lewis…

      1. Anne says:

        What??? Lewis and Kimi average? Both of then have won a championship and both have fought to the end for other championships as well.Both have won many races. Average is someone like Maldonado but not Kimi and Lewis.

      2. David says:

        he was just being ironic…in case you didn’t noticeD!

    5. stoic little says:

      How can you say that the tyres fit Ferrari when they had to go 4 stops while Kimi went only for 3. They could have gone 4 stops too if they wanted and if they had the pace to match they could have won.

      1. Sven says:

        He’s right. Ferrari were fast enough to easily do 3 stops. They just chose the safer route.If you have the pace, more strategies become available to you. Kimi did 3 not because he wanted to, but because it was his only chance to win the race.

      2. Sven says:

        I meant fast enough AND could save tyres very weel.

    6. brendan says:

      the Pirelli tyres are not tailored for Ferrari,
      its just they have tried to get their car working the best it can with them.
      lotus is just as fast but they decided to do 3 stops. Ferrari worked out by doing 4 stops you don’t loss much time.
      kimi was fast in parts of the race,he lost a lot of time behind vettel,and am sure he saved his tyres to.
      I no the tyres are bad but teams just have to get on with it,guess their all stuck with them for the season.
      maybe Bernie has planned all this, cause you cant say F1 is boring now.
      no one can say for sure what team will win each race(Mercedes for Monaco maybe).
      I was on the edge of my seat,cause I had my money on Alonso and massa to get a podium.

      1. JF says:

        The best team will figure it out. That’s the charm of f1. Tires have always been an issue.
        if they can t figure the tires. Go to NASCAR

      2. Rob01 says:

        Don’t worry they will all go to Nascars once Mercedes realise what a flop Hamilton is and dumps him, when he goes to Nascars they will follow, surely thats where he’s going right? can’t see him racing bikes or rally not enough skills.

      3. Peter C says:

        Re Rob01. I thought James said moderating was tightening up. ??

      4. I can easily say F1 is boring.

        And how did Lotus get a car so good on it’s tyres? Martin Brundle described the way the car drives as “Pedestrian”. It’s fast because it doesn’t put load on it’s tyres – it’s fast because it’s inherently slow!

      5. Elie says:

        No it’s fast because he has to go 1 stop less and still ends up on a podium !. It’s all relative isn’t it. Is that the way we want F1 racing to be ? – I would suggest not

    7. Dave C says:

      So anyone yeah? How comes Massa couldn’t even though he admits he was at his maximum swearing like hell just before the podium?? Vettel, Alonso and Kimi are a class above he likes of Webber, Hamilton and Button.

  6. Accole says:

    Lewis’ slow start impeded Kimi and let fernando overtook both of them…

    what a shame.

  7. Mike from Colombia says:

    First 2 laps were interesting and Alonso was electric.

    Rest of the race was an absolute snooze-fest. I find myself just looking at the timing screens and not at the track action.

    You can just look at the lap times and the number of laps on each tyre and pretty much read what it going to happen after only 20% of the race.

    Driver’s being told to concentrate on their own race and tyres delaminating.

    Enough is enough.

    1. Grant H says:

      what was the point,

      I have been a supporter of pirelli until now, we have had a great couple of years,

      but enough is enough, far too much tyre management going on and not enough scope to push

      we even saw another tyre delamination, I think this years tyres are just one stepp too agressive,

      I was infact surprised last year when they said the tyres were going to be made more agressive because the racing was boring, I mean did anyone see abu dahbi, brazil and america 2012, werent these the best races of last season where the drivers pushed hard all race,

      dull

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      Today was the cut off point wasn’t it. I was trying to givie the new style of the racing the benefit of the doubt but not after today.

      It wasn’t F1 motor racing – more like a Sunday afternoon drive in the countryside!

      Hamilton dropped back through the field like a stone. Vettel couldn’t even think about attacking after doing 4 stops and he’s been absolutely flying recently.

      Enough is enough, you’re not wrong there.

      1. Tim says:

        I expect you will have heard by now – PH admitted Pirelli had got it wrong and gone too far (after the race). He has promised to have things sorted by Silverstone.
        Hoo-bloody-ray!

  8. DK says:

    The Ferraris were clearly the fastest cars today, Alonso’s win was no surprise as he was driving flat out with his 4 stop strategy. The Spanish fans have a great day today to cheer their hero to the chequred flag.

    I was hoping Kimi to get closer to Alonso in the later part of the race but it did not happen. Looked like the Lotus was not so comfortable on hard tyres no wonder he used all of his medium tyres first three stints. Luckily he gained points on Vettel so the WDC race intensified.

    It was embarrassed to see the Merc’s going backwards in the race. I think the fact that they locked the front row has indeed made theie performance in the race more of a joke.

    Overall, it was not a very interesting race as 82 pit stops in total was a bit too much.

  9. Rach says:

    Firstly, congratulations to Alonso. That Ferrari is probably now the best car.

    Now to the obvious point. These tyres are just silly. Sorry to moan James, but they have gone too far. I don’t mind some degredation but today was just too much. I don’t blame Pirelli here they are just doing as they are directed but they are also the ones who need to sort this out because it is there brand that is at stake.

    They need a tyre that can be pushed but degrades at the end of it’s life. Not tyres that mean that the minute they are put on the cars they have to be driven slowly and not to there optimum so they can last. Surely they can design tyres that can be pushed for 15/20 laps and then drops off. Then have a harder tyre that lasts for 20/25 laps. This is all that is needed and can provide a bit of scope for strategy.

    1. AJIndy says:

      As race fans we have a very narrow view of the business world. Pirelli is selling the “official tire of F1.” How they perform in the race is of no consequence to the vast majority of tire buyers. If they were competing on track against Michelin, Bridgestone, Goodyear that would be a different story.

      1. Richard J says:

        Well I may be a single customer but I won’t be putting Pirelli’s on my car this year.

        Seeing some tyres fail (not degradation) over the weekend does not give me much confidence their road tyres.

      2. Peter C says:

        My Pirellis are really good – they have lasted 20% longer so far than the previous Goodyears.

        Better grip too, obviously not the same as JB !

    2. Bolaji says:

      James, guys, the current tyres are an insult to our intelligence and a disgrace to F1. I know we dont want processional and predictable races but if this is all the technical expertise at Pirelli can come up with they ought to hang their heads in shame. I mean, seriously James I think you should put this issue to public debate. I am sure there is a better way to create strong competition between teams pushing themselves to the limits of their performance.

  10. Angelina says:

    That Ferrari is so fast!
    Feel for Mercs both Nico and Lewis.

  11. Mr squizzer says:

    Alonso drove well again but is this really how F1 should be with everyone tiptoeing around trying to look after tryres .

    1. TJ says:

      Well yes it probably is, if only because it sorts the wheat and chaff.

      The class of the field managed to make their tyres work for them, on tyres it should be remembered that were the same for everyone……

      1. Lol says:

        Funny, when Vettel was doing the best managing the tyres in 2010, 2011 and even 2012, you all said it was just the car (while Webber never got them to work that well).

        Double standards work so funny, eh?

        Now Pirelli has finally nailed it, they made a tyre that takes away most performance from RBR and it’s all the others doing a better job? Lol.

        Pirelli indirectly even admits they make tyres to slow down RBR with the stuff they say like “if we made better tyres, RBR would win everything”. I mean, if this isn’t a fix to stop 1 team, what is?

      2. TJ says:

        Well patiently it was the car’s basic superiority, and tyres management had no more effect on winning then they ever had.

        And as it happened MW amasses a shedload of points finishing third in ’10 and ’11, but then you may speculate if there may be other reasons why he was unable to challenge SV at RB.

        In actuality this season is really no different in that tyres along with myriad other things have to be ‘managed’.
        However whats changed is that teams are having to deal with slightly different tyre characteristics this season and while some teams do so effectively others don’t but to imply there’s a conspiracy afoot is nonsense.

        Suffice those drivers at the top of their game still challenge for the wins by making their car work for them what the tyres, while others that flatter to deceive fall into the pack.

        Certainly KR and FA fall into the former and get on with the job and those in the latter category …..whinge

      3. mr squizzer says:

        I know its the same for everyone but how often have you seen the cars at the front go backwards as much as we are seening now .Drivers dont seem to be able to chase or defend for fear of destroying there tyres .

      4. johnpierre says:

        only the merc when backwards their chassis is flawed. lotus gained one position and red bull lost one.

  12. Anne says:

    Congratulation Alonso!!!! Great race and overtaking in the first lap. Also happy to see Massa as his old self

    :)

    Great Kimi with his business as usual and only 4 points gap with Vettel.

    Mercedes must do something rather quickly. Lewis finished behind Gutierrez.What a bloody joke!!!! I wouldn´t like to see this in Silverstone

    1. Equin0x says:

      You might not like to see this at silverstone but I’m sure many will, its showing Rosberg is finally getting the complete upper hand on Hamilton, the signs were there at winter testing but Nico hasn’t put a proper weekend together yet until now, he’s the faster driver and its time for Hamilton to respond, if not his time as a top F1 driver is over.

      1. Alex Supertramp says:

        Well, that statement is quite unfounded
        FYI, Lewis has:

        1. Not qualified outside the top 4 (Bahrain penalty excluded)
        2. Scored 2 podiums
        3. Scored 50 points (still 4th in the standings)
        4. Adapted very well in a new team/car
        5. Some quite impressive stats from the past that show that he is a proven winner.

        Trust me, Lewis still has a lot of credit left in order to remain a top F1 driver. The thing is, I believe Nico is a top driver as well (he still has to put in performances to cement my statement), which means that in the near future both of them will get credit every time they beat their teammate (so far it has been ‘normal’ for Lewis to beat Nico).

        Nico’s stock is rising, but Lewis’ stock is not fading because of today. It takes common sense to analyse the problems at Mercedes and common sense dictates that Hamilton is not part of these problems.

      2. Tim says:

        +1
        you are completely correct – a fair and reasoned analysis.

      3. Anne says:

        First Pirelli has said after the race that could introduce changes for Silverstone because they are not happy with 4 pit stop

        Second I´m not getting involved with this silly soap opera among fans about Hamilton, Rosberg, Button. Fans in England expect British drivers to do as better as possible

  13. Lucas says:

    I was watching the SKY F1 feed and noticed that after the race they were performing a flexi-floor test on Alonso’s car.

    Is this just standard scrutineering procedure or is it something out of the ordinary? Do they randomly select a car after the race on which to perform such a test? I assume that Ferrari have previously tested their floor and should pass the test without difficulty?

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I heard Ted at sky say there was something fishy about the ferrari break ducts. It seems like Ferrari are finally pushing the limits of the rules this year after several seasons of merely copying others or complaining about others.

  14. Richard says:

    Great result for Alonso but a race dictated almost entirely by tyre usage and strategy. – It’s a disgrace!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Imagine that!
      I’m not sure when you first started watching F1, but pre the Ferrari/ Schuamcher era, F1 was strategy, no driver could drive flat out for the whole race, they had to look after the car, fuel and tyres.
      Find a video of F1 in 1985, watch the likes of Prost trundling round for the majority of the race and pass cars at the end because he saved his car, tyres and fuel.
      Or find a copy of Mansell winning the 1987 British GP, where he and Piquet destoryed the others, but he made a pit stop for a punctured tyre and came from 29 seconds behind to beat Piquet.
      There are so many instance over the years when races have been exciting because of problems with cars, rather than the snooze fest of Vettel qualifying 1st and disappearing.

      1992 Monaco GP. The race was boring beyond belief, only Mansell changing rubber five laps from the end and Senna defending on worn out rubber elevated it to classic status.

      1. Lol says:

        I have watched F1 since 1970s, tyres never dominated F1 this much, this is just ridiculous.

        The best driver/car should win, not the car that suits the tyre manufacturer best.

      2. johnpierre says:

        so very well said, i am sick and tired of this ridiculous argument that this is not racing…

        everyone needs a little reality check here…

  15. AuraF1 says:

    Ouch. I wonder if all of McLarens detractors paused for a second when they saw how far ahead both were of Lewis Hamilton?

    Slightly dull race but then you can’t expect a barn stormer every weekend. Hopefully Pirelli will tweak things slightly but not go overboard and end up back with the bulletproof bridgestones where pit stops are simply pointless penalty drive throughs.

    Or someone could really sort it out by telling the teams they have to ditch some of the aero and build mechanical grip ground effect cars so drivers can race again…

    1. FerrariFan says:

      +1

    2. All revved-up says:

      I must admit I never thought Hamilton would be beaten by the McLarens after the way Merc dominated qualifying.

      But somehow Rosberg was the best after Ferrari, Lotus and Red Bull. The car under Rosberg was the 4th fastest of the day.

      The situation is puzzling.

  16. Honkhonk says:

    I have to say the criticism on Pirelli is uncalled for. F1 has always had preservation as a key factor, be it of components or tyres. Most of the multiple champions were excellent at this. In the past we’d have 5 decent or boring races then one good one. Nowadays since Pirelli we’ve had far more memorable races in general. I think Pirelli are fairly close to the mark on tyres and hope they don’t change it again..

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Totally agree with you

    2. David says:

      Agreed. The tires are the same for everyone. The challenge is how you deal with them. There’s always been limiting factors. This year it’s tire. Deal with it.
      I just saw a doc on the 1962 Indy 500 where Eddie used up his tires allowing A.J. Foyt to win. Nothing new here.

      1. Andrew M says:

        If I wanted to watch 1960s Indycar racing I’d watch….well, 1960s Indycar racing.

      2. David says:

        Good point. Then again Stirling Moss won his two GPs (Monaco, Nurburgring)in 1961 due in part to tire management.

        Tire management has historically been a factor in auto racing. Today we have the technology so that it no longer has to be a factor. Today the rules are such to artificially factor in the tire element.

        I see your point where without this element racing is possibly more pure, but I’m an old guy who likes racing from the 60s. Cheers.

  17. JB Shane says:

    As an avid F1 fan for more than 25years this has to be one of the worst races ive seen. Boring from start to finish with only a few seconds of excitement half way through when I thought kimi and fernando could end up in a mighty scrap near the end. This race track should really only be used for testing.
    Sadly the tyre situation has gone to far. All the team radio, team interviews, driver interviews were about driving within the tyre. Mercedes must be more annoyed than any. They quite clearly have arguably the fastest car. But are hampered by the limits of the tyre. Far to many issues too. Another failure today doesn’t look good for Pirelli.
    Race drivers want to drive fast. And they are not being allowed too.
    The only positive from this race is the fact the championship has tightened up a bit.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      As a race fan of F1 for 25 years, I’m shocked.
      Are you telling me that all the Spanish GP’s up to this year have been exciting?
      There are many other tracks that don’t conjure up magic when watching a race. Hungary springs to mind.
      I suppose you watched avidly during 2000 to 2004 when the Schumacher/ Ferrari juggernaut flattened everything before them?

      I’m a Ferrari fan first and foremost, yet during those years, I’d watch the start of the race and if MSC started from pole, I’d wait till the completion of the first lap and switch off, the result already confirmed. It didn’t break down, he didn’t make mistakes and no-one had a car quick enough to compete.
      My God, winning the 2002 WDC in France was scarcely believable.

      I’m sorry, it’s up to the teams to build cars that preserve tyres as well as the leaders. I haven’t heard Ferrari bleating about the tyres simply because Lotus are kinder to them.

      1. shane JB says:

        I’ve watched every race live since I was 11. I’ve sat through and been too races that have been dominated. Season after season. The races that used to be were dominated by mechanical failure, driver skill, team domination, driver domination, and yes tyres. what I’m getting at is f1 should be about all those things. And not just tyres as it is today. Ferrari done well today, but they have been talking just as much about tyres as everyone else. Schumi would win by 50 seconds but drive flat out the whole race. Alonso admitted he drove to 90%. Is that what we want? Drivers can’t try to attack when they have the machinery to do so.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        There were races when he would drive flat out the whole race, but usually against another team.
        It’s fact, that Ferrari drivers raced till the last pitstop and then backed off.
        Many times over the years, MSC would come out of his final stop and circulate slower till the final lap, winning by a handful of seconds.

      3. Tealeaf says:

        Agree, Schumi days were too boring man, ok so the tyres do need to change but racing is better than Moto GP, DTM and WEC by a long shot. Me like many underestimated Rosberg [mod] Nico deserves a seat with RBR, Ferrari or Mclaren.

      4. Ross says:

        I 100% agree. I am a diehard F1 fan but in that period I would never get out of bed for any of the Asian race and just like you watch the first lap of most races then switch over to whatever live sport was on the other channel and switch back every now and again to check what was happening.

        The current situation is not perfect. I found today rather boring, but I can’t really recall a classic Spanish GP in my 20 odd years of following F1.

        We have a very competitive title race between three world class, world champions. About eight drivers could win a race this season. The races are in a whole quite enjoyable even on certain tracks a few years ago which would have been a snooze fest. Give me this over the Schumacher era any day of the week.

        Most JAF1 readers are long term hard-core F1 fans and I appreciate the purist point of view, however F1 is in the entertainment industry and I would estimate that at least two thirds of the viewing audiences just want to see an exciting race over the best driver driving off into the sunset with a team with the biggest budget.

        I am not a big fan of these tyres but imagine if Mercedes can repeat a front row at Monaco. It would make for very exciting viewing watching both of them make their car as wide as possible and potentially meaning that anyone in the top 8 if they get their tyre strategy correct can win the race. Do we want to go back to the days where the guy who finished 5th was normally two laps behind the winner?

        Regardless of what is happening with the tyres it is the best three drivers that are in the top 3 of the Championship. If Caterham start winning races, perhaps then we would have a problem but as long as the cream continues to rise to the top, the races are exciting and we get a good championship fight I for one will not be complaining.

      5. Val from montreal says:

        What I find funny is that Ferrari fans in Italy and here in Montreal were’nt complaining one bit during the domination years !! The only tifosis that I knew personally who were against the Schumacher “juggernaut” were people who could’nt stand Schumacher to begin with ..

        Michael was just doing his JOB as a Ferrari driver , winning !! It’s Jean Todt , god bless his soul , who arranged the Ferrari- Bridgstone partnership , not Schumacher … And Rubens had the exact same Bridgestones on his Ferrari that MSC had but could’nt drive as fast as the German , so why is Schumacher to blame here ??

        It was Ron Dennis who jumped ship to Michelin back in the days , thinking McLaren would have been better off and boy did it backfire on McLaren … This bespoke tire BS is just an excuse as they all are …

        And one last thing , Schumacher fans were always good to predict the future ! We always said that, especially from 1996 to 1999 these words : ” People better pray Schumacher does’nt get the fastest car , like the Williams or the McLaren , because if he does drive thr best car , he’s going to destroy everybody ” ….And when he finally did get the best car for the first time in his career (2002) , it was a total massacre !! Winning the title in
        Mid- summer was unheard of and never done before … 17 podiums out of 17 podiums , never done before either …

        And let’s thank the FIA for changing the pointing system and qualifying format too ! Ridiculous !! It was their only hope to stop him and Ferrari …. 2005 was gonna be another domination year but had to put their noses and again alter the tires and regulations to handicap Schumacher … Embarrasing and shame on you FIA !!

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        Completely agree Val with every point. I’m sure I need to get my dosage increased! Lol
        One thing, I was over the moon when MSC joined Ferrari because I knew what was coming, I couldn’t wait for domination like we witnessed with Williams and Mclaren, but what disappointed me most was the choice of second driver. It’s one thing the team dominating and the drivers fighting one another, it’s unpredictable, but when one driver is so much better than the other, and then has the teams unwavering support added in, it doesn’t endear the team to neutrals at all.

        Lets face it, Schumi was the greatest of his era, but what harm would it have been to put a great driver in Bessie him?
        Could you imagine JPM against Schumi, wonderful.

      7. kame says:

        +1 Completely agree!

      8. Elie says:

        Ferrari budget of USD 625million and unlimited testing..kinda helped

      9. Zombie says:

        Val, correction : Mclaren/Williams did not go wrong by switching to Michelin. Michelin was the tyre to have in 2001-2003 when the weather was warm, but Bridgestone worked better when the temperature was cooler. And staying with Michelin paid Renault/Mclaren rich dividends in 2005 and 06.

        In fact you would remember Ferrari were so baffled by the lack of pace in 2005, there were rumors that they borrowed Minardi’s Michelins while testing in Mugello and found over half a second.

        Ofcourse, the above was called BS by many pundits because Michelin engineers would never allow their tyres to be used on a Bridgestone customer’s car.

      10. Yago says:

        Very good reply. Spot on! I don’t know why people can not look at the big picture. They seem to be unable to bring data more than two or three years old into the equation to do a well balanced comparison. I am sure if the next race was done on 2010 bridgestone spec tyres, or on bridgestone-michelin refueling era spec, most people that is complaining would be amazed at how good racing is now.
        The point is that when something is bettered and one gets used to it, starts to find weaknesses and to criticize. Then one tends to think that things before the change were not that bad, and wants to go back to the previous specification. This is something normal, and because of this one has to try to look at the big picture.

      11. Ahmed says:

        Hero,
        Even back in the Ferrari dominated early 2000′s, it was still awesome to watch Schumacher, Hakkinen & Hill etc driving at the limit and wringing the neck out of the cars. Schumacher would blitz continuous fastest laps at the start of the race until the competition were mentally defeated, and then cruise in the latter part of race.
        The difference now, is that they drive at a pedestrian

    2. Equin0x says:

      Well if you’re a real fan of 25 years then you’d realise Mercedes are only quick over 1 lap on low fuel with their engines turned higher than anyone just for quali, Vettel saves his engines for races like Spa onwards to deal a blow in the championship, its a amazing how no one gives Rosberg any credit for absolutely destroying Hamilton this whole weekend, simply a fact of out classing him! if Ross’s face was a picture after quali when Hamilton was slower than his number 2 then after this race he has a major problem as he will have egg on his face paying so much for a driver thats worse than Rosberg.

  18. Craig D says:

    Well, with regard to this race I’m joining The Opposition! The sport and rules, like life in general I guess is about balance but here it was well off. The tyres were way too far in the wrong direction of wear and the race just wasn’t satisfying. With that much degradation, tyres played far too dominant a factor in a car’s performance.

    Races with more than 2 or 3 stops as standard is too much as one, it’s confusing and two, if drivers have to stop 4 times then the tyres are so weak it means there’s less laps drivers are able to extract the car’s performance before tyre conservation becomes the dominant consideration. I’ve always said 2 stops gives a nice balance of providing an element of strategy but while having tyres that don’t fall apart too rapidly.

    I understand Barcelona is a tough track on wear but it’s worrying Pirelli brought the hardest tyres yet we had 4 stops! It’s a double edged sword as it would be better to beef up the tyres but then it’s also kind of unfair for them to be messing about with them too much in the middle of a season.

    It’s all about balance. I don’t want to go back to a case where the race would often largely be decided on a Saturday. I like the fact race day involves more thought now (though it seems to be too dictated by the team and data rather than driver input and choices). And I liked the fact that, waking up this morning, I pretty much knew Mercedes would go backwards but I had no idea who would win out of Alonso, Vettel and Raikkonen.

    I like the principle of racing that involves tyre consideration as an *aspect* of the race and which encourages overtaking on track. But it should be a case where a stint allows the car to be pushed hard for 80% of the stint say, with 20% involving input by the driver’s style and car design/setup to see if he and the team can eek out a few extra laps than others and maybe make one less stop, etc.

    So yeah, the tyres definitely took over. And that’s wrong. We don’t need a total rules scrap but Pirelli need to be told to worry less about spectacle, take a back seat and provide stronger tyres. But I appreciate it’s difficult for them.

    1. Alex Supertramp says:

      +1

  19. Eric says:

    You should put the picture of Pirelli instead that of Alonso, James. Would be more accurate.

    1. quattro says:

      Really? Why not a picture of the 3-stopping Lotus that finished higher than most 4-stopping other teams, proving that the way the car is built actually matters? Or a picture of 3-stopping Rosberg who finished much higher than his 4-stopping team mate driving the same package, proving that the way the driver drives actually matters?

      As for ALO – he was beating Kimi (and also Schumacher), also to titles, way before Pirelli entered the scene, so exchanging his picture for that of Pirelli does not make much sense really.

      1. Rockie says:

        Obviously you are a new fan in terms of pace and racing Alonso is no where near Kimi but for bad Mercedes engines in 2005.

  20. Alex Supertramp says:

    Great drive by Alonso. This year should give a great battle between the current top 3 for the WDC, even though I can’t shake the feeling that Ferrari definitely has the edge on Sunday.

    Massively disappointed by Mercedes, even though Nico finishes a very respectable 6th. I don’t believe they will play a part anymore, the top 3 are way in front of everybody. Forget the top 3, Mercedes is on of the worst cars on Sunday.

    Apparently Pirelli will change the tyres yet again. Can’t say that’s a bad thing, I couldn’t help but feel that today was a really weird race.

    Mclaren actually gave a team order today to Perez. I’m not saying that’s a bad decision (on the contrary!), but it seems a little hypocritical from them. Don’t say you dislike team orders and that they are no part of your race philosophy only to issue some team orders a couple of weeks later.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      I thought the more logical decision should have been to let Perez through and see if he can overtake Rosberg or Di Resta.

    2. All revved-up says:

      Agree. They should have let Perez through to see if he could challenge Rosberg.

  21. Andrew says:

    I really feel like DRS and Pirelli tyres have destroyed the sport. DRS has eliminated the tension and skill of overtaking, it’s become completely meaningless. Pirelli spec tyres have destroyed the art of driving a car to the limit, that’s what motorsport should be all about.

    If this continues then I’ll have to find another sport to follow, which is heart breaking for me, after obsessing over F1 for the past twenty five years.

    1. albert says:

      forgotten bernoldi and coulthard ?

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Have you noticed that since the introduction of DRS, drivers overtake in areas that aren’t assisted by DRS more often?
      In the golden era of re-fuelling, drivers would wait for the pit stops before completing a pass.

      1. Wu says:

        The issue I have with DRS is that it’s a gimmick. It was meant to be a quick fix to the overtaking problem while they work on a more long-term solution that is truer to the sport. Instead we have teams devoting resources to developing it, and it’s in danger of flowing into other classes like DTM.

        There is a way of making racing exciting and keeping the sanctity of purity of speed while keeping the open wheel part of the forumla. Unfortunatly there is not enough will in the paddock to make it happen.

        What I want to see is drivers flat out from start to finish, overtakes that matter and as little “press a button to go faster” boosts as possible. There is a way of making it happen, and if enough people work on this problem it will happen.

      2. Andrew says:

        I agree. F1 had a problem with aero dominance and needed some changes to reduce that.

        DRS and highly temperamental tyres are the worst possible solutions, they have taken F1 in a far more damaging direction whereby the entire concept of “racing” has been virtually elminated.

        Drivers are no longer able to defend their position or chase the cars in front, drivers run their own races based on tyre conservation. It is closer to a TT than a race; an incredibly dull TT where the drivers are no way near the limits of grip.

      3. Andrew says:

        “I think the reason you feel that way is primarily due to short memory, no offence intended”

        I remember one thing; I used to love F1, with all its flaws.

        It was still fantastic to see the best drivers in the world pushing their cars to the limit for the race duration just waiting for that small mistake from their opponent to be able to seize the initiative and risk it all for a point or two. Drivers would regularly spin out as they went past the limits of grip or collide after a risky manoeuvre. After the races the drivers were exhausted from the physical feat of pushing flat out. There were boring races but even those didn’t make me feel depressed like races do today, you just had to take the rough with the smooth.

        All that is gone and what has replaced it? A glorified TT: zero racing, nobody pushing the limits. In fact the only part worth watching is qualifying because at least in that TT the drivers push their cars (if they have enough tyres left and those they have are worth racing with after a lap at full speed).

        I’m not saying F1 didn’t need tweaking to reduce aero dominance, but the side effects of DRS and Pirelli are far worse than the illness in my opinion.

    3. quattro says:

      I think the reason you feel that way is primarily due to short memory, no offence intended.
      I would rather see what Pirelli have been so kind to offer us (at risk of damaging their own company image) than what was on offer in the old days… when overtaking was primarily done in the pits…when it was done on track (if you were lucky) you would be waiting the whole race for seeing that single overtake.

      1. Rockie says:

        Well would wait for when Redbull understand the tyres and win five on the bounce and see what you say then.
        DRS brought in because Ferrari couldn’t overtake in Abu-dhabi, removed from Qualy when only Ferrari couldn’t make it work in Qualy.
        Now as Alonso has just won the tyres are ok right? Pirelli theselves feel it was wrong.

    4. mrstone says:

      I wonder if banning aero will make overtakes easier. Surely is car does not so much “dirty air” behind it, there will be no need for DRS or forced pit stops to improve the show.

    5. All revved-up says:

      I think Pirelli has admitted that 4 stops (5 sets of tyres) is wrong. There isn’t enough time for those able to run one stop less to make that strategy work.

      Unless the other circuits have different characteristics, Pirelli may have to change the compound again.

      Certainly the tyres this weekend didn’t promote good racing. Just a procession of cars cyling through different pitstop schedules.

  22. Miha Bevc says:

    Christian Horner said several times that Red Bull have a fast car, but the tyres are limiting them. Well, so they are limiting everybody else. And if Barcelona is the most “complete” track of all and shows which car will be fast on the most tracks, then Ferrari’s race pace is frightening! 40 seconds ahead of the bulls? That’s scary…

    James, I can hardly wait for your article on teams’ Barcelona updates.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      The team which works out how to let the tyres limit them the least will win the WDC!

  23. BW says:

    Pity Gutierrez didn’t make it to Top10. Pity we didn’t see how Ricciardo defended his point.

    1. iceman says:

      Yes I couldn’t quite work out what happened to Gutierrez. I’m sure he made his first and second stops on about the same laps as Button, and was running the same pace as Button in the first two stints, so I don’t know why they then switched from a 3-stopper to a 4. Maybe they had burned up too many tyres in qualifying.

  24. Matt W says:

    It doesn’t give further fuel James, it gives an entire oil rig!

    It was ridiculous just how much the tires influenced the race today that it just felt artificial rather than actual racing. F1 needs to fix this post haste, races should not be subject to this kind of influence from tires.

  25. olderguysrule says:

    A very interesting race today. I guess I’d say forget about tire complaints. It’s what we have this year. The teams have to learn how to deal with them. We saw two options today. Race aggressive and stop 4 times. Or get your car to go easy on the tires and stop 3 times. If you have to go easy on the tires and stop 4 times, you have work to do. FYI James, many of us across the pond read your Columns every day. Keep up the good work.

  26. C Lin says:

    Is there something illegal about the Ferrari floor?

    1. iceman says:

      They passed the tests so it seems not!

      1. TJ says:

        So who whinged?

  27. Andrea Sasseti says:

    Not the greatest race ever but pretty good. Good to see Alonso starting to close the gap in the standings.

    It should also be noted that while plenty of drivers were conserving their tires to either try a 3-stop (or at least keep their options open), embracing the 4-stop from the get-go let Massa and Alonso go maximum attack immediately. They didn’t need the pitwall’s approval to overtake or defend as a result so let’s hope the other teams take note of that (when they’re done blaming Pirelli, anyway).

  28. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    The darkest day for Hamilton in many years… After 2007-2008 campaigns, he’s going backwards.

    Why he is not at a complete top team I don’t know, it’s not only a matter of winning races (like in McLaren). I hope he bounce back soon.

    Congrats to Alonso-Kimi and Massa (the latest an example of bouncing back in a top team).

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      It really is bad luck for Hammy. He likes to drive the wheels off the car. Push to the limit every lap. Cut and dice into the apexes.

      He can’t race in this era when as soon as he tries to drive round a corner at any speed he loses 2 seconds of tyre performance a lap.

    2. Truth or Lies says:

      Lewis made his bed with Mercedes and must lie in it. He favoured money and his brand over a winning car and he’s stuck for now.

      Of course Mercedes could improve, but its a question of wether the team will be allowed to do its own thing or be dictated to my the Mercedes chiefs in Stuttgart, if that happens then the can’t win, won’t win tag applies.

      How the intervening time effects Lewis Hamilton’s demeanour and motivation is a separate matter. But for sure he was well and truly mauled by Rosberg this weekend.

      1. Andrew says:

        “He favoured money and his brand over a winning car and he’s stuck for now”

        I don’t remember Ferrari or Red Bull offering Hamilton a seat?

      2. Me says:

        McLaren… best car of 2012

      3. Andrew says:

        What that car that broke down twice whilst Hamilton was leading races? The car that finished third overall in the constructors championship?

        The Mclaren was a fast car in quali but the Red Bull and Ferrari had the advantage in race pace and reliability for the majority of the year.

      4. Me says:

        That’s the one…

      5. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        McLaren was not a winning car really (we are talking about championships in the last 4 yeares), and I think he asked Red Bull in Canada 2011 for a seat but they did not need him at the time. And today he was beat by Rosberg, it’s not dramatic, but it means a lot anyway. He has to try again.

      6. Daniel Spiller says:

        Is that the same “winning car” that can barely get to Q3 and then can’t catch a Force India.

      7. Me says:

        Yes…

        2012 the best car
        2013 not so much

  29. abashrawi says:

    James, please in your analysis of this race please shed some lights on reasons why Mercedes has gone with a three stop strategy with their known tire problems.

    Also, do you think that a five stop would have worked for some teams?

    1. James Allen says:

      Full explanation in Strategy Report Tuesday

    2. I wonder why Mercedees do this. They did the same at Spa last year – only that time they had to cave in and do an extra stop. It seems to me that every now and then they like to try and make a statement, try and pull of a race using one less stop than the competition just so they can turn around and say “look – we can do it!” – trouble is it always backfires.

    3. I wonder why Mercedes do this. They did the same at Spa last year – only that time they had to cave in and do an extra stop. It seems to me that every now and then they like to try and make a statement, try and pull of a race using one less stop than the competition just so they can turn around and say “look – we can do it!” – trouble is it always backfires.

    4. All revved-up says:

      Mercedes under Rosberg was the 4th quickest car. Doesn’t strike me as too bad. This weekend just didn’t suit Hamilton – tyres, track and car.

    5. Robert N says:

      Agree completely. To me it looked that only Ferrari and Lotus got their strategy spot on. RBR should have gone for a 4 stop with VET from the beginning, while Mercedes too should have gone for 4 stops with ROS and possibly 5 with HAM! (hindsight is a wonderful thing)

  30. Kbdavies says:

    This isn’t racing, this is an exercise in tyre conservation. The drivers are not really racing each other, they are trying to get from start to finish as fast as possible with the least amount of pits stops.

    Tyre saving started from lap 3, another delamination, 4-5 pitstops, when will the FIA realise this is not helping F1?
    If a car is doing four stints in a race, then each of those stints should be at qualifying pace. If a driver pushes, he loses the tyres, if he doesnt, he still loses the tyres.

    Rosberg and Hammy were driving to lap delta most of the race, but still went backwards. Massa was not able to race at the last stint, neither was Kimi, or even Perez. I remember when Brawn used to come over the radio to Micheal sayin “i need 4 qualifying laps”. That is simply impossible today. Again, when was the last time fastest race lap eclipsed the pole lap?? Imagine if Pirelli had not changed the hard compound, it would have been 6 stoppers all the way.

    On a different note, Mercedes should sack whoever came up with their latest upgrades. It achieved excatly the opposite of what it was meant to do – increase race pace, and lessen quali pace.

    Congratulations to Ferrari. But because of the tyres, the next race is a simply a lottery, and Whitmarsh will never learn – he is still trying to make Jenson look good.

    Cant wait for Monaco – Softs/Supersofts!

    1. James Allen says:

      ALO said he was pushing 90% all race today. Is that enough? But he committed to 4 stops from the start to achieve that

      Clearly others couldn’t push at 90%

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        No James, with all due respect – if it only coming from a couple of drivers then it is not enough.

        However brilliant he is Alonso tends to overstate his efforts anyway.

        This is not cat-and-mouse racing. I would rather pay for DVDs from the late 1990s and mid-2000s than pay to watch this farce.

        Pay-TV to attract hardcore fans and then driving away the hardcore fans with this circus is just a recipe for disaster.

      2. Phil R says:

        I’m pretty sure you would fast forward the Spanish Grand Prix from 1999 and probably quite a few others from that era…

      3. BM109 says:

        Alonso’s comments don’t make sense James.

        He set his fastest lap of 1:26.681 on lap 53. He would have had about 32kgs of fuel at this stage. So, fuel corrected this lap was approximately a 1:25.401. This is still more than 4 seconds slower than his Q3 lap of 1:21.218 which is a huge difference!! He may have set a few faster fuel-corrected laptimes earlier in the race but for most of the race he was driving at least 4 seconds (fuel-corrected) slower than his qualifying lap.

        I’ve looked at his lap times and even fuel-corrected he was definitely not driving anywhere near 90% for most of the race. It was also evident from watching his on-board. And he was the fastest driver today… Some of the other teams’ fuel-corrected fastest laps make for depressing reading.

      4. alexbookoo says:

        What I don’t understand is if they are all driving around slowly as seems to be the case, how did Alonso open up a 22 second gap to Massa? They were quite close to each other at one point. Massa had no major dramas or traffic. If Alonso was driving around 4 seconds slow then Massa wouldn’t have had any trouble matching him. Massa said he struggled for pace on one set of tyres. How can he struggle for pace if they’re all driving within themselves? Similarly Webber said Red Bull were struggling for range AND pace. It’s obvious what he means by range, but he makes a distinction between that and pace, suggesting one isn’t entirely determined by the other. I’m not questioning your calculations, I just don’t really understand the messages we’re getting from drivers.

      5. RodgerT says:

        Well if you consider his Q3 time to be driving at 100% then 90% add roughly 8 seconds to his time so 1:21+8 = 1:29 three seconds slower than the fuel corrected time you came up with.

      6. Lol says:

        You mean the same Alonso that every race said his car was 2 seconds a lap faster last season?

        C’mon.

      7. simon says:

        not according to ex-drivers interviewed on Sky. They were convinced he, along with most other drivers, were giving no more than 70%. Shockng!!

      8. Chris says:

        90% is not enough james, not for me, this is F1, these are the best drivers on the planet and we as fans want 100%, we I do. I have just got back from a long weekend karting (easykart) and 90% would not cut it there, not by a long shot.

      9. Kbdavies says:

        James, the guy leading the most laps of the race was pushing at 90% most of the time. No surprises there – he was running in clean air.

        As already said, Alonso was not the only driver of the race, so it is clearly not good enough. These tyres are simply a farce; on so many levels.

      10. Wu says:

        90% isn’t enough. 100% is just enough.

        These are supposed to be best drivers in the world -we, or at least I want to see them driving their nutbolts off from start to finish.

        We want excitement, but it has to be real excitment. Cheap thrills is for NASCAR and american wrestling fans.

        Such a good overtake by Kimi on Vettel felt so cheap when it turned out Vettel was instructed not to race. This isn’t overtaking, it’s simply letting people through so their tyres can last as long as expected.

      11. Yak says:

        This is the same guy who for much of last year was supposedly performing at 120%, i.e. he’s fairly rubbish with percentages.

      12. Andrew says:

        I concur with the other posters, 90% isn’t enough. Can you imagine any other sports person admitting to giving 90% with any kind of pride? It’s ludicrous and incredibly damaging for F1.

        On top of this I suspect that Alonso was exaggerating his effort – he was probably below 90% – Brundle commented that even he could go faster!

      13. Rockie says:

        For the safety car not to have made an appearance this season it tells you all you need to know.

      14. Kbdavies says:

        Yep…everyone is tiptoeing around everyone.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Hungary 1998 “Michael, I need 19 qualifying laps”
      Ferrari had to try something different because if they stayed on 2 stops, they would have finished behind the Mclarens. Bear in mind also, MSC was on Goodyear and the Mclarens on Bridgestones.

      France 2004, Ferrari changed to a 4 stop strategy mid-race, they wouldn’t have been able to pass Alonso’s Renault otherwise. They won.
      To repeat, Ferrari made FOUR pitstops against Renault’s THREE
      Again, Michelin vs Bridgestone.

      1. j says:

        Interesting, nearly 10 years ago and the same number of stops between the two leading strategies.

        Perhaps they need to loosen up the tech regs a little to bring back things like the F-Duct or mass dampers or the Lotus anti-dive system so that “fans” have other things to focus on when their favorite driver doesn’t get the win.

      2. Stephen Taylor says:

        And refuelling was involved.

      3. All revved-up says:

        I think the key was that MS could do 19 laps at qualifying pace. If this weekend had drivers driving flat out qualifying laps at 1:21s for 15 laps and making 4 stops, I don’t think you’ll hear the same chorus of complaints.

        Even Pirelli has admitted 4 stops (5sets of tyres) is too much.

        I do agree the big picture season long is a much improved F1 spectacle. But if this weekend was crap, just call it like it is and move on.

        We all have crappy days. Don’t we? But that doesn’t mean that the entire year is not worth living.

      4. Ahmed says:

        Hero, In 1999, and 2004 although they did 3 and 4 stops, they weren’t cruising around at 70%, let alone 90%. They were sriving flat out, edge of your seat racing for almost the entire race. This usually meant that the fastest car and driver package won. Yesterday’s race was a farce! It was a procession of slow laps, well within the limits of each car and drivers capability. No one was pushed to errors or mistakes, no one was aggressively defending, if that’s what you call racing, F1 is going to lose a lot of supporters.

      5. James Allen says:

        The only time F1 drivers have driven flat out for 300km race is in the refuelling era and even then some weren’t flat out the whole time

        In all other periods they have had to manage tyres, gearboxes, you name it.

        That said, this is too far the other way and I think everyone can see that. How we move forward with a change from Silverstone will be very interesting to see

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        This year I will be attending my 40th Grand Prix, every British Gp, including European GPs in 1983 and 1985, some foreign GP’s too.
        I have been to many countless other World Championship level meetings including MotoGP and WSBK and LeMans
        I have also been to Goodwood FoS and attended Historic GP.

        Every single time, the noise, the experience and the event has made it all worthwhile. Watching amateur drivers peddling these glorious classic cars around is wonderful. It’s not about their respective performance against the competition but actually viewing these cars in action.

        I saw Fangio and Stirling Moss at an event at Donington, just lapping round but still mesmerising.
        I was on track testing at Silverstone in 1993, when a 70′s March overtook me out of Woodcote. The sound, the sight but he couldn’t drive! I had to navigate round him into Copse in a Formula Ford until he passed me on the next straight.

        I’ll be track side watching this years heroes screaming past me, not being able to hear commentary because I won’t put in ear plugs when there’s all that noise to absorb. I won’t understand anything subtle about the race until I watch the TV recordings, but I don’t care.
        TV and driver transmissions have spoilt us I’m afraid. Why should drivers use these transmissions to get another driver penalised. Why do we need Vettel moaning on the warm up lap? Michelin runners used to run very slow laps to screw with Ferraris Bridgestones that didn’t heat so well. It’s all part of the game

      7. Elie says:

        Hint.. You mentioned 2 manufacturers – teams had Choice!

    3. iceman says:

      I wouldn’t argue with most of the points you made here, but I don’t like to see the word “lottery” used in that way. The lottery isn’t won by the same people again and again. Every race this season has been won by a world champion. What we have now may not be the kind of racing one wants to see, but it’s not a lottery.

      People often talk about wet-weather races as lotteries too, and it’s not true there either. You would have to go back at least 15 years to find a wet race won by someone who has not also won on pure speed in the dry.

      1. Kbdavies says:

        True, but it is still a lottery when even the winner does not really have any idea at the begining. Ferrari dominated this race, but not the last one. Red Bull dominated the last one, but not this one. Lotus dominated the 1st race, but none of the four that followed. The cars are the same, the drivers are the same – the only differential consistent to all 3 teams are the tyres.

        If you have a dice loaded on 3 sides, one of those sides will come up every time. Even though you have eliminated certain odds, it is still a lottery.

        It is simply a lottery between 3 teams; as even they do not know if they will get the tyre issue right on the day. Come Monaco, and no one knows who is in contention based on today’s result. People said Merc before the begining of the race due to their performance in Sector 3. After the bad degradation they suffered, people still say Merc, but now due to the fact you can’t overtake at Monaco. Point is no one really knows. Qualifying position means jack now.

        Even Pirelli cannot accurately predict the performance of their tyre. The new hards were supposed to perfom significantly better than the old – but didn’t. They expected 2-3 stops, but got 4-5. All this on a track that the teams know like the back of their hands.

        It is a lottery on so many grounds.

  31. MJR says:

    The Scary thought right now is that everyone seems to forget that KR has been so consistent. He Closed the gab to SV while still keeping him self in front of FA. If Ferrari keep them self worrying so much of SV, they could lose the wdc to lotus.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      As a Ferrari fan I wouldn’t mind that. I will be happy if its anyone but RBR again.

    2. Alex Supertramp says:

      That’s kind of the way he won the WDC in 2007, with Alonso & Hamilton focussing on each other and screwing up. The way it looks now it’s Fernando for the WDC (not just based on today, but on 5 sundays), but Kimi is soooo consistent.

  32. Katrina says:

    Shame about Kimi….he only had 1 fresh hard compound for races….

    And surprisingly, the team made him run longer stint on medium compound rather than another used hard compound….

    Kimi got great start but hot held up by Lewis into T1….

    Team should’ve opted for 4 stoppers instead of 3….

    1. James Allen says:

      Full analysis of whether that would have worked in the Strategy Report on Tuesday here on JA on F1

      1. Anne says:

        I can´t wait for your report. I also think Lotus could have done something different

  33. Val from montreal says:

    Congrats to Ferrari ! They have the best car package
    since January so it’s no surprise that they won today .. Vettel could have and should have made it 29 wins today but had to limit himself thanks to Pirelli. Webber was nowhere to be found as usual .. Mercedes as usual go for glory runs on saturdays and on sundays fall flat on their face … Rosberg did the best that he could though … Hamilton should give 1/3 of his salary to his faster team mate and the other third to MSC for developing the W04 as it’s now a Pole-setting car …

    1. Joseph says:

      Webber nowhere to be found? Well he was right behind Vettel…
      Also whats with Red Bull? on the second stint they left Vettel on the track lapping on 31′s, likely they were thinking they had a chance of pulling a 3 stop strategy, but they lost almost 10 seconds there and still had to go for 4. Could have put some pressure on Massa otherwise.

    2. Alex Supertramp says:

      Rosberg said that Merc focussed on race set-up and that they didn’t even try to focus on quali set-up, so they were are not going for glory runs, they are genuinely fast. And by ‘they’ I mean both Nico Rosberg & Nico Hamilton. I’m not even going to try to have a normal discussion with you about the abilities of Lewis Hamilton because you clearly have your reasons to reject my premise.

    3. Amritraj says:

      Oh, sudden change of tune, eh?

      I thought you declared that Sthe panish GP was the end of championship for Alonso….

      1. Val from montreal says:

        I know , i’m so dissappointed of how F1 is these days… Pirelli are the ones holding up Vettel …. Slap on those F1 cars some real tires like Goodyears or Bridgestones and then the German will blow them all away !

        It was do-or-die time this week-end for Alonslow and Ferrari … They won so I good for them , but the end result will always be the same = Vet 2013 world champ : )

      2. Tim says:

        Val,
        you really should hold back with these bold predictions of yours, or get your crystal ball recalibrated – btw don’t ask McLaren to do that job.
        It’s far from a done deal for the WDC this season and only a fool would rule out the possibility of FA winning. That’s not wishful thinking on my part (I am no fan of FA) just simple deduction based on what I see.

    4. hero_was_senna says:

      China 2012 and Monaco 2012 were pole winning too..

      1. Wu says:

        But in both cases the Merc was capable of winning both races. Rosberg won in China, and pretty sure if it wasn’t for the penalty and engine failure, Schumi would have won Monaco too.

        It will be interesting in 2 weeks time – their tyre problems shouldn’t be so severe there, and a higgher than average probability of a safety car could propel one of the Mercs to a win… or at least a podium.

    5. Mingojo says:

      I thought you said something different yesterday ;-)

    6. j says:

      Vettel should get himself the same tires as the others so he doesn’t have to limit himself. ;)

  34. OscarF1 says:

    It was definitely a nice race to watch and, due to different tyre strategies, sometimes it didn’t matter who was really in the lead but the relative pace of each driver.

    Alonso drove a great race, with terrific passes at turn 2 and 3, pocketed a fistful of points and makes the championship really interesting again.

    Kimi was the master of tyre wear control, though his 3-stop plan didn’t prove enough to grant him the victory.

    Massa’s race was impressive. Having started 9th. He pushed so hard trying to attack the Finn, but destroyed his tyres in the process.

    I believe RedBulls weren’t “that” competitive today and Vettel made a huge mistake staying for two laps too long before second stop, wasting some 8 seconds… and then sticking to the 4 stops strategy.

    As for Webber, it felt as he had a better pace than his team mate… until he reached 5 seconds behind him, when he seemed to copy Seb’s times in the distance.

    It was hard to see Mercedes’ lack of pace during race day after a 1-2 qualifying.

    1. John says:

      I think you are right about red bull and Vettel. If Vettel had started the race with a 4 stop strategy in place, the result would have been different.

  35. Hannah says:

    hhahahaha, FORZA FERRARI.

    I like it how both Ferrari keep lapping 1-2 sec per lap faster than Kimi and ruined his 18 sec advantage for 3 stopping.

  36. goferet says:

    Yaaaay, well done to Alonso and the Ferrari team, that was a well executed and controlled race by the team, they sure had all the bases covered.

    I know 4 pit stops was a little too much but with more pit stops, the probability of someone making a mistake in the pits increases too and hence adds to the tension.

    Good drive by Kimi to get up on the podium too, unfortunately he didn’t make too many places (again) at the start for he would have been much closer to the race winner.

    Glad to see the old Massa back in action and it appears grid penalties give him the extra motivation to do well e.g. Austin 2012.

    Darn, it was a sad day for Mercedes but looking at the bright side of their tyre woes, their drivers (especially Lewis) will get full credit for their input if the team gets on top of this problem.

    As for Red Bull, they really don’t like these 2013 tyres and seeing as Pirelli has decided to re-design their rubber from Silverstone, there is still hope the Bulls will come into their own.

    It was an encouraging by Mclaren ( especially Perez) to see them racy, maybe the team is just a couple of upgrades away from joining the fray.

    Last but not least, good drives by Di Resta and Riccardo, it’s these kinds of performances that have seen drivers end up in top teams.

    All in all, I would give the Barcelona race a 6 out of 10 score.

    P.s.

    Best overtaker of the day >>> The samurai

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I would imagine that both Lotus, but especially Ferrari, would have plenty to say if their work is nullified by Pirelli providing RBR with their tyre of choice.
      Ultimately you make a car to be competitive with what is provided not change things because your competition is better suited to the tyres.

      Rory Byrne was responsible for Ferrari design back in the early 2000′s and his cars although state of the art, never pushed boundaries as much as Neweys. For this reason, the Ferrari had a wider performance envelope than the peaky Mclarens. This made them more consistent and accessible over a season.
      If everything was perfect for Mclaren, they would waltz away, but generally Ferrari were the better over a championship.
      This was never a problem when he worked for Williams, because he had Patrick Head over-seeing everything. But at Mclaren, his packaging was always pushed to the limit.

      So Newey has designed a car that is aerodynamic dynamite, yet is being beaten by cars that have a wider performance footprint. Deal with it.

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      The problem is he’s driving a car that initially had Schumacher in mind during the majority of the development . This wouldn’t have been a problem if it Merc had been regular race winners last year like Ferrari were before his first retirement .I’m starting to wonder whether Johnny Herbert might be proved right but hopefully he is not. Remember though Rome wasn’t built in a day. Also if I was Lewis i’d be wanting to keep on top of Rosberg . Nico did very well to finish P6 in the circumstances.

  37. TheLollipopMan says:

    By far the best race there’s ever been at Barcelona, which traditionally is a snooze-fest as it’s been almost impossible to overtake there in the past, and yet certain people, including David Croft and Martin Brundle, chose to rant about the tyres, suggesting they were killing the racing. What utter rubbish. Everyone in my household was on the edge of our seats jumping up and down and shouting out, until Brundle and Croft started complaining about tyres around lap 17. It totally killed the excitement for us. I’ve been following F1 for 30 years, and never has it been as exciting as it is now under the current tyre rules. Killjoy commentators do nothing for ratings. I’d watch JA instead if I could!

    1. James Allen says:

      You can listen…we’re on 5 Live!

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        But you can’t have the pictures if you listen to radio.

      2. Athlander says:

        Unless you have the TV on at the same time but with the sound muted…

      3. Milos says:

        only in UK unfortunately

      4. Nessie says:

        If you have an Iphone or an Android phone you can get bbc 5live on the Tunein app which I believe will work wherever you are :)

      5. simon says:

        You deleted my comments? I only remarked MB was the one banging the drum for more of Canada 2010 i.e Excessive tyre wear.

    2. Stephen Taylor says:

      To be honest 4 stops is one stop too many and does not make the race easy to follow.

    3. Schumilewis says:

      What exactly were you jumping about? Alonso on the 1st lap was the only exciting thing in the race.

    4. Phil says:

      ?

      You must have been watching a different race, or the coverage on Sky is more exciting.

      I can honestly say I enjoyed the practice sessions more on the Beeb, particularly 2nd Practice with James on the air.

    5. Grant H says:

      lollipop man we were watching a different race, the only overtaking I saw was due to tyre differentials,

      1. Me says:

        I think you’ll find the majority of overtaking is always down to differentials, tyres, better car…

    6. John M says:

      I do think it is very telling though that Brundle observed that he would be able to drive these cars at the pace they were at today.

      So the question is, were we really watching motor racing?

      1. Peter C says:

        They should do Sky vs BBC, Brundle vs Coulthard in 1-year old F1 cars.

        One of them won a few F1 races.

  38. DB4Tim says:

    It does prove you can push on these tires, it must be in the strategy to have four stops though …great race.

    Is good to see a team go the opposite as all others…

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      “It does prove you can push on these tires”

      Are you talking about on Saturday? In Qualifying?

  39. sjm says:

    I think its time some tough decisions are made at AMG Petronas

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      What about? I’ll give 3 options
      1 The management
      2 The Tyre Problem
      3 BOTH of these issues!

    2. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Mercedes selling their stake in the team to Brawn and the new team will win the Championship…

  40. Glennb says:

    Good thing Pirelli took the hard tyre along this weekend. Imagine the fiasco with the Medium and Soft pairing.
    Congrats to Ferrari and Lotus.
    Well done Webber for only losing 3 places off the start…
    DOD to Alonso, purely for the opening laps where he set up the win and pulling away from Vettel. You don’t see that very often these days.
    Well done to McLaren for issuing team orders on poor Perez. Button vs Perez stats will be meaningless now.
    Team radio transmission of the day to Lewis. “I’ve just been overtaken by a Williams” :)
    Not much else to say except hoping Canada is better. Can’t imagine it though.

    1. Waseem Akhtar says:

      The medium tyre was actually more durable than the hard, strange. And quicker…

      1. vae says:

        Thats right, at least someone here notice it…but did the teams in the pit got this no! they all want to blame tyres, same as the fans here, so what about vettel’s 2 wins is that down to tire’s. I’m surprise none you fans here asking your teams mecedes&rb who are not so easy on there tyres why they opted for 3 stop instead of 4.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I thought the transmission telling Lewis about how Rosberg was conserving his tyres was even better.
      I cannot imagine how a guy who is multiple race winner and a WDC is being given that info from a 1 time winner..

      1. Wu says:

        I was disapointed with Lewis’ response to Lee McKenzie after the race – “was the advice helpful?”
        “No.”

        It would have been if he listened. I keep expecting Lewis to mature as a driver but his ego is still getting in the way of that.
        Rosberg was clearly doing a better job than him, in a team he was in for 3 years. What’s wrong with taking tips from a guy like that?

      2. sjm says:

        Well lifting off, when you are fighting Torro Rossos and Williams doesn’t exactly help does it.

    3. Carl Craven says:

      Button vs Perez stats will be meaningless now.

      Errrr same could be said of Lewis and Rosberg, Vettel and Webber, Alonso and Ferrari.

      I guess Mclaren just wanted to limit the damage when points mean prizes and Mclaren are the poorest of the front running teams not being a huge manufacturer of something or other.

      Mind you Lotus aren’t doing so bad are they. Are they technically a privateer team?

  41. Die Scuderia says:

    What an amazing race from Ferrari. I knew we had pace to challenge for the race win. Q3 was a bit of a blunder though, our cars were released a bit too late for a decent qualifying lap (which more often than not get ruined by traffic). But again I knew that our car was fairly good. That said…I am not too happy with the status of the Pirelli tires. Maybe this is the time to think about other ways to make racing more interesting and allowing teams to maximize their potential. A set of durable tires should do in my opinion. It may not be an issue now, but someday these tires may cost someone a life. This tire wear is ridiculous. In all honesty…a road tire will never be allowed to wear this much. So the question arise again…what is Pirelli getting out of this exercise? I doubt they will be bringing any of this into the normal road tires…which is a shame.

    DS

    1. Laughing Viking says:

      I’ve been an f1 fan for over 25 years but would have to admit that from the late 90s onwards till 2011 f1 was boring. No overtaking and no attempts to do it. If f1 teams had agreed in sensible rules to facilitate overtaking and spared one seconds thought for the fans we wouldn’t have needed KERS, DRS etc. maybe a tad artificial now but at least we get some entertainment and not the high speed procession.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      This is about marketing, not transferable technology to road tyres.
      The only F1 race tyres that contribute to what we use on the public roads would be wet tyres because of the channel design within them.

      If you were to fit an F1 car with equivalent road rubber, they wouldn’t last more than 3 laps, they would be destroyed with the G-forces involved.

      Have a look at Jeremy Clarkson driving a Mercedes SLS around a circuit in America. He destroyed the road tyres in very few laps.
      Actually, maybe it’s a Mercedes problem…

      1. Yak says:

        No, that would be a Jeremy Clarkson problem. His idea of going fast involves keeping the right foot down and throwing the car around.

  42. Crusty says:

    Great Podium: Two Ferrari drivers plus one Ferrari Champion!

    1. All revved-up says:

      3 Ferrari drivers on the podium! Ironically, the Ferrari WDC was wearing black and gold!

      1. Elie says:

        I like it !

  43. bearforce1 says:

    So the fastest cars, the Mercedes didn’t win.

    What is the point of all the teams spending to make the car as fast as possible if the tyres won’t allow racing.

    The race today reminded me of a fuel consumption challenge where cars drive slowly to win the race.

    1. Ross says:

      If F1 was about who the fastest over one lap was then Jarno Trulli could possibly have been a multiple world champion. F1 history is littered with good qualifying cars but poor race cars.

      Mercedes just like every other team knew the rules at the start of the season. If they built a car that cannot manage its tires then that is there fault. Hamilton finished behind a Torro Rosso and a Sauber. If they can make the tyres work on their tiny budget then Merecedes are doing something wrong.

      You never hear the winners of the Grand Prix complaining about the tyres. Strangely the best three drivers in the championship are position 1,2,3 in the championship table and have won all the races so far.

      The teams at the bottom of the grid are still nowhere near scoring any points despite this so called tyre lottery. Perhaps there car is no good. Would the McLaren be at the front of the grid again if everyone started running Bridgestone?

  44. Schumilewis says:

    This is not a golden era for F1, tyres are making a mockery of a sport which is supposed to include racing. I am fine with some tyre management but when we have one of the best driver line ups in F1 history and they can’t race there is something fundamentally wrong with the sport. I don’t understand why the rule makers needed to change so much, we have had some great racing in the last few years, 2011 was the blip but that was down to Red Bull and Vettel’s performance not the rules.
    I have watched and loved F1 for over 25 years and still will but I was bored rigid today and I only hope something changes because I fear for the future of F1.

  45. Matt says:

    With a great start and some truly beautiful passes on Raikkonen, Hamilton, and Rosberg, Alonso showed that the truly great Formula 1 drivers don’t have to start on the front-row of a grand prix inorder to win the race.
    Yes, I agree. Four pit-stops during an Formula 1 race are too many, but is there another team that whines as much as Red Bull? Does anyone remembers the 2011 F1 Spanish Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso got an excellent start and was leading the race until the first pit-stop. Once Ferrari changed onto the hard compound tire, Alonso fell through the field “like a hot knife through butter”. They didn’t whine about it like Red Bull. They just got on with it.
    As far everyone else who is saying this is not real racing, just remember not long ago when how they started on the grid on Sundays was basicly how they finished.
    Stop blaming Pirelli. They are only doing what they were asked to do based on how much everyone loved what happened in the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix.

  46. FerrariFan says:

    Great win by Alonso, and great day for Ferrari. I was reading comments by Vettel suggesting that the tires were the only thing holding him from victory. I think the victory was set up by the following three factors,

    1. Alonso’s blistering first lap overtake of two cars on the outside line

    2. Quick strategy call by Ferrari pit to undercut Vettel (thought it appears that they didn’t have a choice in the matter as Alonso had a puncture)

    3. After every stop Alonso managed to create a big gap between himself and the chasing pack showing that on a race day Ferrari is the quickest car that is good on tires.

    As a long time F1 fan I do not complain about the tire situation at all as everyone has the same sets of tires and it is up to each team to design a car that can maximize their performance. Ferrari has managed to make the car quick and reasonably mild on the tires. Lotus is very good on tires and they are playing strategically. I suspect they don’t have the pace and once the tire situation is sort out by others, they will suffer. Red bull claims they have the pace but I think they are harder on the tires and they have been complaining endlessly and it’s annoying.

    1. FerrariFan says:

      Ok correction on point 2. Looks like the puncture was before his final pit stop

  47. holly says:

    The tyres are no good, but 2 teams can handle them, so maybe, just maybe, they have done a great job with their cars and the other not so much.

    It’s time for some team to take a little hit, and not only Pirelli.

  48. Irish con says:

    I’m a huge Ferrari and f1 fan but today I don’t no what to think. I’m glad of ferraris double podium but something isn’t right. The inboard of kimi mid way through the race looked like the first ever lap he had done in a car it was that slow and relaxed. I want something between what we had today and the ever lasting bridgestones of 2010.

  49. Darryl Kiewitz says:

    Hi James, any word on what happened to Grosjean?

  50. Gul says:

    What a frustrating race! The fact that Bernie said he expects Alonso to win; can’t help but think its already been done under the table. Alonso is great but I’m cynical. These tyres are a disgrace!! gotta feel for Merc especially Lewis, was painful to watch him drop. That 3rd trophy is a disgrace. Mclaren are a disgrace; so much for letting them fight it out!! Team orders like others! Suzi Perry a disgrace; can’t watch her I’ve had enough. James please apply for the job next year! Enough moaning.

  51. FerrariFan says:

    Was it Luca DM on the phone before the awards ceremony? Can anyone who knows Italian / Spanish / Portuguese give some translation.

  52. John says:

    Pirelli is just doing what they were asked to do. Now they realize that they may have over done it. But hey, can you really judge before the race the weather conditions and the rest to bring the exact 2/3 stops tyre to the race. As for the fans who complain about the tyres, would you be more happy to see the classical Spanis GP whit very few overtaking on the track. Because if you do I am sure Pirelli can arrange that easily. So the fans have to make up their mind, what do they really want.

  53. Richard D says:

    I am getting fed up with the way tyre wear has become the most significant factor in racing. What is the point of developing a car to be capable of a certain level of performance when the driver can only use 90% or less? Lets get away from these muliple compounds of slick tyes and have a sign slick that is durable enough to last a race and only be allowed to change tyres if you get a puncture. Lets have the drivers racing each other rather than the strategists trying to out strategy each other!

  54. Joel says:

    Congratulations to Alonso and Ferrari. It was a dominant show. Very glad to see RB unable to keep-up with Ferrari/Lotus.
    Looks like the Merc powered super racers are under-delivering… Kudos to Force India too…

  55. Dale says:

    What a load of rubbish that was, this just isn’t what F1 should be about.
    The ‘DRS’ system makes overtaking childs play and removes the art of defence, the way the tyres fall apart is nothing but a joke.
    To see Hamilton (widely acknowledged as the fastest in F1 today) go backwards is just appalling.
    No, I am sorry to say that the current F1 is not for me and from what I’ve seen is just not worth me wasting my time watching it, in a word, for me ‘RUBBISH’!
    Let drivers drive F1 cars on their limit so we all see who truly is the best, that’s what I say……..

  56. Seán Craddock says:

    Before when we had too many stops it was because they chose the medium and soft for example. Here the two hardest tyres were brought and they couldn’t last. It’s the compounds that need to change, not a simple fix.

    Yet another delamination in the race is just ridiculous. Can’t be due to the contact with Hulk since the tyres were changed straight away

  57. mjsib says:

    What’s with all the Pirelli bashing? Aren’t the same tyres supplied to all the teams? Drivers moaning they can’t push is so sad. Kimi and Alonso don’t moan. They just work with the tyres and car they have to achieve the best result

    1. Me says:

      As with everyone… they don’t moan when they’re winning…

  58. Hermann says:

    Great race by Alonso and Ferrari, confirmed by Massa’s third place. As for Pirelli, the FIA’s directives were clear: weaker compounds for more pit stops and more spectacle. Now if its Pirelli, Goodyear, Michelin, Bridgestone or any other manufacturer those are the rules. As F1 followers and analysts we are used to rule changes. So be it! Everyone has to adjust to the rules!

  59. Christos Pallis says:

    Ok so everyone is talking about tyres tyres tyres but on the one hand it was actually an exciting race. Mercedes did underpin the need to find a better balance in the tyres though and for that matter too so did Redbull. I believe that the Redbull is the best car on the grid (not that I like that fact) but can’t exploit it’s pace because of the pressure it’s higher level of downforce puts onto the tyres. Suddenly you need to design a car that doesn’t have great overall maximum down force but a well balanced chassis and efficient with its drag. Red bull can’t exploit the downforce in the corner and then suffers from its drag down the straights. Ferrari and Lotus have a better balance of downforce to drag that works with Pirelli rubber. Mercedes simply have overheating issues, short wheel base doesn’t seem to suit these tyres for temperature reasons.

    So are these tyres the answer, I don’t think so but what alternative is there?? Harder tyres will simply suit Redbull, tyres that require a higher operating range will suit Mercedes. Someone always has an advantage as these prototypes are so individual on how they put energy through their rubber!

    1. No, it wasn’t an exciting race.

      1. vae says:

        Maybe because your team didn’t win, blame your team for it…fact the other team just did a better job with same tires. Get over it

  60. MANODEMONO says:

    A Ferrari reserve driver indicated that Alonso set up his car with an ultra long 7th gear and opted for minimum downforce. These were done to maximize the use of 5 sets of tires – which Ferrari thought would give them the fastest result. This set up, by the way, is pretty useless for qualifying

    Hamilton and all the other 4 stoppers had to have done the same except they all had to vary their downforce according to the ability of their packages to take those turns.

    Here is where a car that is gentle on its tires but has sufficient downforce to take superfast turns, wins!

    Hence, with the same number of tires for everybody, the challenge is to manage qualifying such that each team has the right tires to match its race plan.

    Today, Alonso, potentially could have driven 5 qualifying stints but didn’t have to because his lead permitted him to back off early.

  61. roberto marquez says:

    I have been a fan of Formula One for a long time. I started following Jim Clark , The Flying Scotman , I think they called him.I also remember ,that at that time in Venezuela ,my country, I was lucky if the papers carried a small photo of the winning car . For that reason I had to suscribe to a north american magazine and that way I learned english.I am not sure what I feel nowdays, I have complete TV coverage via satelite, also internet, and sadly I feel more and more dissapointed with each race. Hamilton s words resume everything “I can not go slower “. Before I could not wait for next race, today I am really thinking if I am going to rise with the sun or wait through midnight to see another farse . We as fans seem to have no saying on this ,please Mr Allen take our voice to those that have power to revert this situation, otherwise I ,as many others will put our emotion on endurance racing, World Rally Championship , or even in Nascar. Thanks for the oportunity to express my dissapointment.

  62. Steve says:

    I like Alonso winning. Fortune favours the brave? I agree DRS and tires are questionable. If the tire issue continues at least have a mid season test sessions so teams can address their issues.

  63. SimonR says:

    I’ve watched F1 since 1992. It was great to watch the skill of Alonso today in the first few laps.

    But F1 has become a shadow of what it used to be.

    The racing is artificial. DRS means you just pass on the straight with no problem.

    The tyres are terrible.

    And the racing is confusing. By mid-race, I had no idea who was really leading and who still had to pit yet again.

    Although there was not much overtaking, the 1990s and early 2000s produced interesting tactical races and fast races where the drivers could wring the necks of the cars during the race.

    Mmmm, Vettel, Alonso, Kimi, Lewis etc are amazing drivers, but F1 is almost boring now.

  64. David Hope says:

    To those complaining about the tyres (and DRS) – I agree today they went a bit too far. But… I think subtle, not huge changes are needed. I am enjoying F1 far more now than for many years.

    Lets not go back to pre DRS pre Pirelli where aero acted like a Mario Kart oil slick weapon at the back of the car through every corner blocking all overtaking, and where the driver didn’t have to show any skill in going fast whilst not destroying tyres

  65. Anne says:

    Well it is official. Our “friend”, our “beloved” Paul Hembery says changes coming up for Silverstone. RB happy, Mercedes also happy, Lotus very angry I guess and Ferrari they could be happy too but they are doing fine right now

  66. Bob says:

    Thought the race was a Pirelli dominated joke. Driving to a delta in order to save the tyres is not racing because it is driving to a delta to save the tyres. Simple really. I want to see the fastest drivers driving the fastest cars as fast as they can go for the race on Sunday, not just on a Saturday afternoon for qualy. I appreciate that tire management has always played some sort of a role in F1, but this current format just seems to have gone too far. If it carries on like this, F1 will become the laughing stock of motorsport (if it isn’t already). The BTCC cars can still go almost flat out on their tyres when they need to but at the same time still have to manage them over a race distance. That’s all F1 needs, not this current farce.

    1. Sven says:

      Exactly.

  67. roberto marquez says:

    Another input ,I question the TV commentators when they say things like ” He and his team have mastered tyre conservation “. I am almost sure that the cars that are being soft on tyre wear are so just by chance , I do not see , being an engineer myself, that the designers in whatever scuderia take this into account when they are developing their cars. To me it is pure chance , as the race results also are.

  68. Grant H says:

    I dont think that merc is any better than last year, only thing which has changed is those “fragile” tyres, merc were arguably hardest on tyres last year that coupled with a new weak tyre means they get them hotter quicker than any other team giving ultimate pace in one lap low fuel, but a few laps later they give up.

    It’s pretty obvious when you look at it, as how could a car which was lacking downforce last year compete with bulls, ferraris, lotus’s etc. They are still a midfield car.

    Maybe they can win at monoco with the worlds most expensive traffic jam following, other than that there is no hope unless they can sort out the tyre woe

  69. Oz Geezza says:

    Mr Allen,its amazing how many so call F1 fans
    with the blinkers are on your site, all they
    do is whine,they do not want to accept the
    fact in the 1st quarter of this year F1 the
    Ferrari overseer by briliant Pat Fry is the
    best single seater on the grid, add truly the
    unquestion ability in Fernando Alonso, set
    aside couple anforseen mishaps Alonso would
    have been leading WDC by large margin.
    Kimi R,does not blame the tyers no one does
    only RBR,pity they should spend some R&D on
    tyres not just on rear defusser?.
    F1 in the last few years was becoming in the
    game of “Batmington”,thank you Pirelli for
    the input of the excitement in F1.
    Bit sad for Pat Fry not being there, as it was
    the best team result.

  70. carly says:

    James , I cannot understand why lotus did not use two hard tyre stints with kimi. kimi lost so much time to alonso towards the end of each medium stint.
    I know you are going to deal with a 4 stop strategy for the lotus in your report but
    Please could you explain the lotus rationale behind 3 stints on mediums…

    1. James Allen says:

      Read the Strategy Report on Tuesday for a full understanding

  71. SbengaF1 says:

    ‘The driver I admire most is Fernando Alonso for his sheer speed. I don’t think anyone can match him in the sport.’ – Lewis Hamilton

    I would like to kindly appeal to the many British fans that still hold a grudge against my boy for ’07 to please move on and get over it. Both Lewis and Alonso have moved on. Fernando is just pure genius behind a steering wheel, what a legend!

    Vamos Fernando! Forza Ferrari!

  72. Bring Back Murray says:

    Congrats to Alonso but how can there be a driver of the day competition when nobody actually did any serious driving. Ridiculous.

  73. NW says:

    James,

    Regarding Mercedes, is the main issue that they are not dissipating enough heat from their tyres? Would RB’s blown wheel hubs help with this?

    Regarding the Lotus FRIC system, is this able to increase ride height on a straight in order to slightly reduce downforce and in turn reduce the energy passing through the tyres?

    The talk of flexible floors sounds like it could achieve the same effect as FRIC.

  74. kfzmeister says:

    Great race. Love the wording you’ve used “impeccable, harassing”
    The man from Asturia is a well deserved 3-time(s) World Champion.
    Can he be stopped this year??
    I’ve patiently waited for the last three years. Is it finally his turn??

  75. Paul says:

    Yawn yawn yawn. I have followed F1 fopr 30 yrs and it has hit an all time low. Overtaking is no longer a skill just a tyre management process. Senna the greatest must be turning in his grave.

    1. Wu says:

      Well, Schumacher, my best of all time pleaded for the sport to change its ways last year. It however decided that the old man ‘lost the plot’ and did the exact opposite.

      We wanted tyres that wouldn’t last a whole race. Now they can’t last 10 laps for some.

  76. Mic says:

    I understand who says that the drivers have to look after their tyres and cannot push as they could, but I can’t understand who asks for a change of tyre once the season has started. It’s like changing the rules once the game is started and that’s not fair at all. If someone can use the tyres better than someone else that means that they have done a better job in designing a car more gentle on the tyres. The cars that eat their tyres would perform better with hypothetical tyres not for the real one, but this is the real world, not an hypothetical one.
    If a car as a whole can’t win, then it is necessary to modify the car as a whole. It’s hard to accept that the car that has to adapt to the tyre and not vice-versa, but this year it is like this (actually for Mercedes is like this since 2010).
    I don’t like the way Red Bull react, both the Team principal and the Drivers (actually Vettel more than Webber): only complaining about the tyres. Mercedes, to the contrary, has more dignity saying that they “can’t understand why” the tyres doesn’t work well, and are not only blaming about the tyres.

    Sorry for having beeing lenghty.

    1. David Young says:

      Couldn’t agree more. You nailed it IMO

  77. AlexD says:

    James, do I understand it correctly that Pirelli is going to change compounds for Silverstone? It looks like a complete manipulation….how is that possible that they change compounds several times during the year? They should stick to what they have produced and supplied teams with. Everybody is in the same situation. There is no risk to lifes, so is it even legal to change compounds?

    1. Anne says:

      Yes and they should. The way I see it teams didn´t begin to complain about the tyres today. They did it from day one during testing in winter. Pirelli ignored warning. Today we have 4 pit stops. Two pit stops and maybe 3 should be enough. Of course teams and drivers must do their part and be carefull with tyres. But I think Pirelli crossed the line

    2. Me says:

      “They should stick to what they have produced and supplied teams with. Everybody is in the same situation.”

      Won’t that still apply if the tyres are changed?

      1. AlexD says:

        No, because now Pirelli knows who prefers which compounds.

      2. Peter C says:

        ……and it MIGHT mean that Ferrari don’t walk away with it, is what you mean.

      3. Me says:

        …and of course it’s in Pirelli’s best interest for Red Bull to win?

      4. Kev says:

        Nope. These cars were designed to the tires that Pirelli specified during the end of 2012. Lotus and Ferrari designed a car that will go fast and also save its tires.

        Changing the tires mid season will undermine the efforts of these teams. There is no way of saying if Lotus/Ferrari will regain the advantage once the specification changes.

        It might make it better for RB and do not make a significant difference to Lotus/Ferrari, which will be travesty.

      5. Me says:

        But they will all still have the same tyres…

        So as quoted “Everybody is in the same situation.”

  78. JMR says:

    I personally found it quite an enjoyable race, although probably a pit-stop too many. Pirelli seemed to put that down to the ‘unique characteristics of the circuit’, but I think it probably went a bit too far today – that seems a fair conclusion.

    However, there is a certain amount of hysteria in the reactions of some posters/pundits. As Nico Rosberg – who probably has as much reason to be cheesed off by the way the race unfolded as anybody, given how he was on pole and led the first stint before finishing 4
    70 seconds off the lead – put it (source BBC):

    “”For me it was exactly like [a game of chess], but look at Fernando Alonso, who was 70 seconds quicker than me, not even including the first stint because he was still behind me. He is not going to be doing too much tyre saving.”

    “I’m sure he can have some fun and push a little bit. So maybe it’s wrong to blame the tyres and we just need to sort out the car in some way.”

    The guys who engineer Formula One cars are not complete fools! The tyres are what they are, and I don’t suppose Pirelli did anything drastic to change them from earlier on in the season. If certain teams (Ferrari, Lotus) are able to do a good job of extracting performance from the tyres without needing to drive with the handbrake on all the time, why shouldn’t the other teams be able to work out solutions for their own cars which achieve similar results?

    As I say, today went too far – 4 genuine pit stops is not the sort of thing one expects to be a race-winning strategy in dry conditions in F1, and nor can it be ideal for drivers to be coasting along at 70-80% of their potential for the duration of a GP. However, it is down to the teams themselves – surely – to work out solutions which strike a better balance in using the tyres available. Nico has the right idea there!

    1. Yago says:

      Absolutely agree! That’s a really balanced view. Most people complainig and over reacting about the tyre situation are not aware about the situation they are creating (specially pundits which words have more repercussion). If as a consecuence of all this pressure Pirelli and Berny retract and go backwards towards predictable tyres and races with one to two pit stops, the majority of this people are goint to be like “For godness shake, what have we done??!!” I seriously think that a lot of people are in trouble when it comes to looking at the big picture!!

    2. Me says:

      No… this can’t be right… this makes perfect sense…

  79. cooldandy says:

    Congrats to Ferrari for double podium and Kimi. Shame for Romain and Van der Garde…
    McLaren grabbing 2/3 points per race is really ridiculous…
    Maybe something is wrong in Mercedes’ suspension design! How is that possible to carry such flaws for 3 years? It’s a shame that fast drivers like Vettel/RedBull, Rosberg and team-mate Hamilton can’t be rewarded for all their efforts in qualifying!
    Lot of work to do, hope they know how to fix it before 2014′s regulation changes…
    Pirelli have to take a step back and bring decent tyres to allow racing and overtaking.
    It’s not normal to watch cars struggling or hear drivers when they ask if they should fight for positions, just to be punished in F1!
    So artificial. I don’t recognize this sport. This is not racing!

  80. Richard says:

    Stop complaining about Pirellis. They aim for 2-3 stops a race,and there are cars which can clearly manage that, Lotus got it right, Ferrari are nearly there of having it right. Or are all of you intrested in another year of monotonous Vettel/RBR domination? Their car has got that kind of potential.

    1. There is only ONE thing I’d like to see more than Alonso or Kimmi take the title this year – being able to tune in and watch a RACE, as opposed to an EVENT, every two weeks. If we have to see Red Bull walk the championship in order to get a race, so be it.

      There is only one thing I’d like to see LESS than Vettel making it 4 in a row – watching a farce every two weeks in the vein hope that it won’t be as bad as the last event. If we have to see Red Bull walk the championship in order to get a race, so be it.

    2. Me says:

      I think you’ll find that there was only one year 2011 of Vettel domination, you can’t really say RBR domination as it was only one driver.

  81. Loved the radio message to Checo asking him to hold station. McLaren can’t say that they always allow their drivers to race each other anymore.

  82. Duffy says:

    most of you people posting here would cry if you were hung with a new rope. what do you want? how about we go back to the days of no pitstops, fill up the tank with fuel, put on a set of tires that will last the race and go. what would you complain about then?

  83. Sue says:

    All the criticism of Pirelli is doing an impressive job of hiding the fact that the Ferrari is and has been the fastest race car by far this season, Alonso not being miles ahead in the championship being due to mistakes. Massa coming third today surely confirms this?

    Team orders at McLaren farcical, how much mummying does Button need – the opinions from Whitmarsh afterwards, Button’s race fantastic, Perez quite good, surely support this. Poor Checo, what does he have to do to be allowed to race fairly?

  84. shihan says:

    Will Buxton wrote this:: very interesting

    I loved the Spanish Grand Prix. Every lap
    of it.
    I jest not. I loved. Every. Single Lap.
    You may ask why, with the world at
    large seemingly set on berating another
    race in which tyre strategy played too
    large a role. I hope I can go some way
    to explaining myself.
    Earlier in the weekend I had a fabulous
    conversation with a driver in the
    paddock. I didn’t record it as it was just
    two friends chewing the fat, and he
    probably wouldn’t want me to quote him
    anyway. So please forgive the
    paraphrasing.
    “Mate, everyone is complaining about
    the tyres. But the guy who wins… does
    he complain? No. You should ask them
    why they don’t complain when they do
    well, when the day before they were
    saying it was the end of the world. The
    only one who understands it is Kimi. He
    says it’s the same for everyone. If you
    don’t like it, **** off, do something else.
    He’s right. If you make the tyres more
    durable and you only have three stops in
    a race everyone will still try to make only
    two stops. It’s the same now as it was
    with Bridgestone. You always try to do
    one less stop. By complaining you only
    damage the sport. It’s the same for
    everyone. Get on with it and race.”
    I loved the opinion. I loved the candor.
    There’s nothing more depressing than
    standing in the pen at the end of the
    race and asking a driver how his day
    went, and how happy he must be with
    his result, only to get an answer that
    racing to a delta is boring and gone are
    the days of pushing during a race.
    So ask yourself. What did Ferrari do on
    Sunday?
    Did they drive to a delta? Did they try
    and make one fewer stop than their
    rivals? Did they hell. They went out and
    they pushed. Every. Single. Lap.
    Fernando Alonso’s opening stint was
    mesmerising. He was running quali laps
    on full fuel. It was an absolute joy to
    behold. And while he might not have
    been putting in quali laps all day, he
    certainly wasn’t hanging around.
    What Ferrari did in Spain was to
    completely flip the script. Rather than
    going into the race and telling their
    drivers to hold back, they told them to
    push with everything they had. Four
    stops was always their intention and it
    caught everyone else off guard.
    Red Bull realised what was going on too
    late and switched from three stops to
    four, but by then the race had already
    been won.
    Formula 1 loves a villain and this year
    Pirelli has been cast into this pantomime
    role. But, as I explained at the end of the
    Spanish Grand Prix in my final thought
    on the NBC Sports Network, the job of a
    Formula 1 team is to design a car
    around the variables which are
    unchangeable. Hermann Tilke used to
    get the blame for ruining the show for
    his apparently dreadful circuit design.
    But is it not the job of the teams to
    design a car for the circuits on which the
    championship races? Of course it is.
    Just as it is the job of the teams to
    design a car that maximizes the tyres on
    which it runs.
    The problem we’ve had of late is this
    unfortunate trend towards the creation of
    a formula based upon the misheld belief
    that preservation is a better mode of
    attack than consumption.
    What Ferrari showed in Barcelona was
    that yes you may have to make more
    pitstops than we’ve seen in the past, but
    that it is possible to push from the
    moment the lights go out to the moment
    that the flag falls. That so much of the
    press is decrying the race shows, I
    believe, a disappointing cynicism. Pirelli
    has become too easy a target.
    But should we blame Pirelli for simply
    doing what they’ve been asked to do
    and make the tyres less durable? Or
    should we blame the teams who have
    seemingly got themselves into the rut of
    a blame culture that hides the true fact
    that some have not designed a car
    capable of maximizing one of the
    unchangeable variables that has defined
    the history of the sport?
    I remember with great fondness an
    interview I conducted with Sir Stirling
    Moss about a decade ago about his
    greatest races. And the one that always
    sticks in my mind is his explanation of
    how he won the 1958 Argentine Grand
    Prix. He lined up in a privately entered
    Cooper and against the might of Ferrari
    he won, taking the first F1 victory for a
    mid-engined car in the process. How he
    did it holds as much relevance today as

    1. Kbdavies says:

      “They went out and they pushed. Every. Single. Lap.”

      Erm….not quite. Alonso pushed. Guess why? He was in clean air most of the time.
      Massa also did 4 stops, but lost a place – not because he didn’t drive fast enough; his fastest lap was 3/10ths faster than Fernandos fastest lap, but because the Lotus was better on it’s tyres and did a stop less. And Massa tried to push in his last stint, but guess what? His tyres fell off a cliff; so no script flipping as is claimed.

      Pirelli is cast as the villian because it is. The FIA never asked Pirelli to create a tyre that is only good for a single lap. They never asked Pirelli to create a tyre that delaminates every single race, thereby putting drivers at great risk. They never asked Pirelli to create a tyre that you are unable to push on – unless you are in clean air. And they never asked Pirelli to create a tyre that is essentially a lottery.
      The teams do not understand the tyre, the drivers do not understand the tyres, majority of the fans do not understand the tyres and even Pirelli do not understand the tyres – hence the constant changing and fiddling with it. Another change is scheduled for Silverstone.

      HOW is any of this what racing should be about? And what was Buxton on when he wrote this piece??

      1. Justin Case says:

        Isnt it fantastic that this tyre controversy isnt limited to Lewis Hamilton and his fan base not being able to get their heads around the fact that saving the tyres can be achieved by the drivers steering, brake and throttle input as well as the car set up…….not just “going slower”.
        Why shouldnt fans who are new to the sport, fans of certain drivers, certain teams and even some journalists feel they have enough knowledge of such a technical issue that they post with the confidence of an aeronautical engineer their theory about how these tyres ruin the sport as a whole and how anyone (including respected journalists like james allen and current drivers) are wrong…..It happens when a team that has had so much success, so quickly, some even due to the leniency of the FIA, as Red Bull have had, feel its ok to stick a middle finger up too and then bite the hand that feeds them by blaming the tyres for any poor result they have. Instead of backing (at least publicly) the FIA, they fuel the fire when results dont go their way. How were the tyres in Bahrain Mr Horner, Mr Vettel?
        When a team believes that they are within their rights to (publicly) lobby Pirelli to change the characteristics of certain compounds because their ideal suspension and camber settings are too aggressive to optimise the tyres performance is an arrogance that even Ferrari in the Shumi days would struggle to equal. In effect, Red Bull don’t believe they have to alter their set up to accomodate a tyre that has an ideal working window that is outside of what Adrian Newey expected……Pirelli should accomodate them……To some this is a reasonable request…after all according to many posters Pirelli road tyres are crap anyway and they prefer the way Bridgestones perform on their Honda Prius. Some say this is not F1…..saving tyres is not what the best drivers should be worrying about…let them race! Forgetting its up to the driver and team to make the tyre last as long as possible. These experts who never watched races from the 70′s and 80′s. Surely having never sat through a gp at mangy cours, Barcelona or estoril in the 90′s that produced two overtakes……one being Johnny Herbert in the Lotus taking Gabriele Tarquini in the Fondmetal Ford when he missed a gear and the other being the Ligiers of Brundle and Blundell falling over each other. Now that was a boring time in f1.
        To be fair to Red Bull,(Ron-speak warning) when
        a team has a certain amount of ‘Fortune’ in being able to implement and run engineering ideas for an extended period of time, that the FIA ruled illegal, yet are able to work unobstructed on that development path, a path that other constructors are unable to follow, due to these ideas being a detour of the rules of the sport. If this pattern continues for an infinite length of time, then the organisation and its vital members can be forgiven for thinking they are above the sport……changing the story to suit their agenda.
        Just like the fans who disappeared from the forums after the many classics last year but only to reappear when 4 pit stops was the fastest way to go in Spain, to proclaim its not racing as they know it……..it’s a red bull generation 100%

      2. Kbdavies says:

        @Justin Case –

        I don’t really know what you are on about mate, but Team principals have complained about the tyres, technical directors have complained, team owners have complained, drivers have complained, and jounalists have complained. Even James Allen, and ardent supporter of these tires has finally acknowledged that “Pirelli havde gone too far”. What else do you want as proof that these tires is not what F1 needs?

        The tires are wrong on so many levels –

        (1)Performance – this degrades after the very first lap; irrespective of whether you push or not, (2)Degradation – no method to this. It simply fall off a “cliff” at an alarming rate worse, (3)Wear – large marbles all over the track, chunks falling off tyres, (4) Working Temp – Simply too narrow and does NOT follow Pirelli’s own predictions, and (5)Construction – constant delaminations. I could elaborate more, but all that need to be said has been said by so many others.

        Apologies for the long post, but below are some of the things “experts” in F1 have to say about the tyres (this does not include comments from the last race). Hope their comments are good enough for you. –

        Paddy Lowe:
        =======================
        • “And tyre-based overtaking shenanigans doesn’t really provide any extra excitement than overly-easy DRS zones, as Brawn appears to imply. Seeing one car breeze past another because their rival is on knackered/hard/rubbish tyres is hardly the most thrilling of situations either.”

        Pat Fry:
        =======================
        • “But you cannot drive hard on the tyres otherwise they degrade. It is also a little bit that when you try and push the tyres, you tend to damage them a little bit. When you fight in traffic, you take more out of the tyres than if you are running in clear air.” (May 21, 2012)

        Christian Horner:
        =======================
        • “I think what we want to avoid is drivers cruising around under the performance of their car, unable to follow another car closely, otherwise it’s not racing.” (March 22, 2013)
        • “These tyres are pretty marginal regarding construction and compounds. It´not fun, when a driver has to go 5sec slower than he could in order to make the tyres last. Pirelli knows that.”.

        Ross Brawn:
        =======================
        • DRS needs to be reassessed (October 12, 2011)

        Martin Whitmarsh:
        =======================
        • “It’s quite excruciating, trying to save tyres non-stop from start to finish. It feels painful, and however bad it is for me, it must be a lot worse if you have to drive like that.” (April 15, 2013)
        • “The balance has gone “a little bit” too far towards the tyres in F1″

        Hamilton:
        =======================
        • “The life of the [soft] tyre, it’s the worst I’ve ever experienced with bits flying off all over the place” (April 12, 2013)
        • “I was fuel saving from an early point in the race which lost me a lot of time but generally these tyres make… it’s not fun, I didn’t enjoy the race. It’s not the same as back in the day when you had stints where you are pushing to the maximum the whole time, you had tyres that would last. Now you’re just… it’s like you have a hundred dollars and you have to spend it wisely over a period of time. It makes racing a lot different. It’s more strategic rather than pure speed racing.” (March 24, 2013)

        • “the new Pirelli tyres are a disaster” (May 20, 2011)
        • “It’s not racing, it’s just driving around.”

        Webber:
        =======================
        • “[...]it’s a little bit WWF at the moment[...] Adrian Sutil tried that in Melbourne and Pirelli said that there were indications that the race fell apart for him because he tried to race people.” (April 13, 2013)
        • “The whole category is geared around tyres at the moment. Everything is around tyres. Tyres, tyres, tyre, tyres, tyres…” (March 22, 2013)
        • “As soon as you fight, you chew the tyres up” (October 31, 2011)

        • “The guys are saying, use all of your KERS on the full lap and it’s like you can’t drive much slower. If you push, you got to pit. [...]” (May 16, 2012)
        • “Don’t watch me, mate,” said Mark Webber to a spectating Martin Brundle. “I’m only doing long runs this afternoon. It’s going to be painfully slow.”
        • “Some people will like to see cars passing and re-passing all the time. Nascar stock-car racing in America is founded on that. But for some who have a more purist point of view about F1 – like me – overtaking should mean more than that.” (November 17, 2011)

        Schumacher:
        =======================
        • “Not fun to drive with tyres like these”
        • “Racing to a delta time is not real racing”. Wants words with Pirelli.
        • “It is comparable to driving behind the safety car, and says 90% of drivers feel the same.

        Paddy Lowe:
        =======================
        • “And tyre-based overtaking shenanigans doesn’t really provide any extra excitement than overly-easy DRS zones, as Brawn appears to imply. Seeing one car breeze past another because their rival is on knackered/hard/rubbish tyres is hardly the most thrilling of situations either.”

        Pat Fry:
        =======================
        • “But you cannot drive hard on the tyres otherwise they degrade. It is also a little bit that when you try and push the tyres, you tend to damage them a little bit. When you fight in traffic, you take more out of the tyres than if you are running in clear air.” (May 21, 2012)

        Rosberg:
        =======================
        • “F1 is a complete different sport these days”.
        • “It’s simply not possible to drive on the limit at any time, as we have to nurse the tyres since the start of the race.”
        • Confirmed by Schumacher and Rosberg that they don’t drive on limit at any time of the race, sometimes they drive only at 60-70%”
        • After Spanish GP: “I dont know what is happening with this F1. It is so weird. The circumstances are now completely different.” “Just tyre management really.” (May 13, 2012)

        Alonso:
        =======================
        • “In part because of the rules and also because of the restrictions each year in the rules.” Explained Alonso, whilst opening a new Ferrari store in Madrid. “When someone discovers something, the next year it’s banned. They’re limiting more and more every time the creativity or potential development of a car. We’re seeing more similar cars every time and it’s looking more like GP2[...]”
        • “On the other hand we can lose credibility. We cannot lose that the best teams, the best drivers, the best strategies win the races, because at the moment from the outside it seems that in every race anyone can win. It doesn’t matter the talent, it doesn’t matter the team, the performance – it’s like a lottery. What you achieve in Formula One is not by chance. We need to make clear that if you win a race, it’s because you did something better. And I don’t think at the moment that this is clear for everybody.”
        • Unpredictable F1 became ’strange’ in Spain (May 14, 2012)

        Vettel:
        =======================
        • “It doesn’t have much to do with racing, if all you’re doing is going easy on the tyres. If you lose five seconds per lap just because of the tyres, that doesn’t have much to do with the skill of the driver or how good is the car.”
        • “Previously you could attack, but now, when it comes to fights, you’re a bit in the dark. Twice today I didn’t try to defend myself, because it would have just been shooting myself in the foot.”(April 14, 2013)
        • “It doesn’t look very nice I would say. I hope we have enough tyres to survive the race. Today tyre wear was pretty severe for everyone, so obviously you go around way under the [potential of the] car. It is not a lot of fun and that is how it is.” (March 22, 2013)

        Button:
        =======================
        • “I tried taking it easy on the tyres. They grain. I’ve tried pushing the tyres. They grain. The overall stint time is almost identical. “When the climate is a bit warmer, I think hopefully driving style will make a difference in terms of looking after the tyres and changing the degradation. At the moment, they just degrade and you don’t really have any choice in the matter.” (February 17, 2013)
        • “My puncture happened after I’d already decided to pit. I got to the braking zone at Turn 14, locked up the front left and the tyre just punctured – there was a hole through it.” (April 12, 2013)
        • “It’s extreme degradation and from a tyre that’s doing a [one minute] 35 in qualifying spec and then in the race after eight laps doing [one minute] 48s, it’s a big difference. We’re slower than GP2 cars by about five seconds.” (April 12, 2013)
        • “It’s very tricky and I don’t think you will see many quick laps in the race; I think we’re all going to be given a time to go to and that’s it. (April 12, 2013)

        Sutil:
        =======================
        • “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.”
        (April 13, 2013)

        Riccardio:
        =======================
        • “It’s unacceptable that we are 10 seconds slower in the races compared to qualifying, just because everybody has to cruise around and save his tyres. That’s not F1. We have to be able to go fast.”
        • “The GP2s were faster in Qualifying than we were during long runs.”
        • “We want to drive faster and not cruise around like my grandpa for ten laps in order to be able to push after that. We want to be able to push all the time.”
        • “Of course we could make the current tyres last much longer, but then we´d have to drive slower than F3-cars” (March 22, 2013)

        Maldonado:
        =======================
        • “You can change some things to get maybe one or two more laps from them, but not 20.”

        Niki Lauda:
        =======================
        • “The situation with the tires is absolutely stupid” (March 19, 2013)
        • “Artificially creating more and more pitstops is wrong” (March 19, 2013)
        Lauda said he understands him because it’s not fun for any driver to drive slow just because of the tyres.

        Villeneuve:
        =======================
        • “I saw a few corners of action and then everybody taking care of their tyres. That’s not real racing.” (April 14, 2013)

        Prost:
        =======================
        • “If I talk for myself I would say yes it is maybe a little bit too unpredictable” (May 25, 2012)

        Dietrich Mateschitz:
        =======================
        • “It has become a kind of lottery to find out the window in which a tyre works.” (May 16, 2012)

      3. Justin Case says:

        Don’t apologise for the length of your post….it was informative. I just typed in “f1 drivers praise Pirelli ” and from just 3weeks ago you have most of the grid and principles saying “f1 is great or never better”
        My main gripes were….
        1/ because of moaners like red bull and drivers like Lewis and button etc… The negativity catches on…..I wish everyone harped on about red bulls flexi wings and ride height in 2010………and I mean 24/7 not just one or two sentences in the qualifying recap. Then we could be justafiably outraged cos the team who’s complaining about tyres won the championship in 2010 and 2012 by getting to keep points after their car was found illegal…”.just make sure it’s not there for the next race ” said mr whiting
        2/ red bull racings lack of respect for rules and establishment mimicks the attitude of ‘anti pirelli’ fans who post here. There is no RESPECT for the others answer. To the point where some find it unfathomable that there are some f1 fans who like the new regs……I used to turn it off when Schumacher was a minute up the road and my two Benetton drivers retired (wurz and Fisi)….some didn’t.
        3/ but this summarises the situation perfectly……..when some bloke repeatedly informed JAMES ALLEN that the only reason Pirelli got the gig is because the FIA wanted tyres that cant last more than 20 laps and by chance the italian company lacks the ability to produce a tyre to last more than 20 odd laps!!!!! The theory was gold but the defence and attempt to pick holes in a fact heavy rebuttal written by a guy named JAMES ALLEN…..yes this is what happens when people follow the example of the reigning champs………..

    2. Ross says:

      I love how he does not want to name the driver but does mention the first word he said was “mate”

      Ricciardo or Webber then. :)

    3. ShaBooPi says:

      I completely agree… Unfortunately whiners are more likely to make noise than satisfied fans. Hopefully F1 and journos don’t just react to their noise but get a proper picture of the overall F1 audience. As for the teams, one in particular loves complaining when things don’t go their way.

  85. Wat says:

    - Alonso wins with a car easily 1.5 second a lap faster than the rest: what an amazing driver, flawless, all the driver.

    - Vettel wins with a car .5 seconds faster than the rest: it’s just the car, innit mate?

  86. Truth or Lies says:

    I thought it was a pretty good race and that Fernando Alonso drove very, very well as did Kimi and Felipe. Alonso’s pass of Kimi and Sebastian in the same corner at the start was pretty special.

    It was also really great to see Felipe on the podium again, though I am still not sure he’s 100% back to his pre-accident best. However he is getting stronger all the time and clearly gaining confidence, which counts for so much.

    The Pirelli tyres are of course still an issue, but the racing, though a little manufactured at times, wasn’t too bad and I’ve seen far too many ‘boring’ races in previous decades to classify this one as such.

    Mercedes are in real difficulties and Saturdays front row lockout almost makes it harder for them, as they look really very foolish tonight. Still Rosberg drove a good race in the circumstances. But what about Lewis, he really needs to take stock. He could start by using his radio less…
    Be interesting to see how this plays out.

    I think Mark Webber is really struggling as well, he did ok to come back and get good points, but his starts are now really terrible. I am keen to see how he copes in Monaco where he’s been very good before, but it looks to me that following the Malaysia issue with Vettel and the team, his hearts not in it.

    As always well done James, btw, you should be on the tv commentary :)

  87. Peter says:

    I like pure racing on the limit, but I fear that changes to the tires will punish teams which have made the better development job and will favour the ones like Mercedes. The tyre specs had been defined before the season and the teams had developed their cars accordingly, so how can now such an important factor like the tyre characteristic be changed. Drivers are limited by so many other factors such as rev. limits, wing dimensions, min. weight etc. If they change the tires that must not advantage or disadvantage any teams, which will be hard to achive.

  88. Torchwood Five says:

    As far as I can tell: Pirelli were given the brief to make tyres that would fall off after a few laps, however, the 2013 problem stems from Pirelli deciding, apparently off their own back, and nothing to do with FIA or Bernie Ecclestone, that teams had gotten on top of the 2012 tyres in India.

    So for me, I don’t buy the “we were given this brief” excuse for this years’ problems. Pirelli brought this on themselves.

    For 2011 and 2012, I recalled the steps the authorities went to on consecutive years to reign in Michael Schumacher’s string of championships, so accepted the situation.

  89. Ross says:

    Can anyone remember a really good Spanish Grand Prix?

    This race circuit produced dull boring races long before Kers, DRS and Pirelli.

    All three managed to make a classic race out of Valencia. The problem is the circuit not the new rules.

    1. Trent says:

      One of the more intelligent comments on this board.

      People need to look through the last 20+ years of races at this circuit and see that they are notoriously dull with only a couple of exceptions.

      Not a bad race today, when you look at it in that context.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      Only Spanish Grand Prix I remember is, Hakkinen retiring on last lap due to Engine dragon breath :)

  90. mhilgtx says:

    Well the view point you have of the race can surely be colored by the commentators.

    First congratulations to Ferrari for pulling off 8 pit stops flawlessly. I have no way to judge whether Alonso or Massa were better than the rest since the car was clearly much better.

    I was wrong in predicting Vettel and RBR for victory. Due to lack of due dillengence, and experience I didn’t consider the long straight and the tires. RBR is just pretty slow on tracks that are front tire limited, in this case front left. I also thought pitting with Masa was short sighted but maybe it was not pitting earlier, but I thought RBR would try a 3 stop strategy all along.

    To me the advantage of Lotus’s 3 stop over Ferrari’s 4 stop was nullified by the relatively short pit stop length. It seems to me the past races were all around 24-25 seconds and this race was much less, I will have to go back and look.

    I felt sorry for Lewis when he said “I have just been passed by a Williams” or maybe it was Sauber, anyway he sounded thoroughly defeated and even a bit sad.

    From reading the comments it sounds like the UK broadcast was pretty dreary. Will Buxton and the US guys were pretty excited by Ferrari’s strategy of going hard and pitting more. These guys tend to be more positive about purely figuring out what is going on than the guys in the UK broadcast seem to be.

    My take from the season so far is that in any front tire limited race you can pencil RBR out and Ferrari in, unless they have a problem and in that case Lotus’s Kimi is there to pick up the pieces as he has the most consistent car and maybe driving style.

    1. mhilgtx says:

      I meant to also add, in a rear tire limited track, RBR will be the winner provided they don’t make a major mistake as well.

  91. new_F1_fan says:

    If lotus can manage 3 stops and get regular podiums does it not say the tyres are not as bad as made out?
    Also about the Mercedes….if they knew that their tyre degs were higher, why did they not preserve them in qualifying? Qualifying lower but having better tyres might have helped in the race.Red bull have used that strategy effectively in the past…
    Also why did they go for three stops?

    I think we may see pit stops go down as the season progresses…like last year in the second half of the season when teams figured out a way to do 1/2 stops in a race.. To all who say DRS and tyres are destroying races…Nobody wants to see a parade…

    I used to watch F1 races while growing up but lost interest during the schumacher era..the previous two seasons have restored my faith….

    Different situations always affect different teams…
    1) williams lost their edge after driving aids were banned..
    2) Ferrari have had problems due to banning of testing..
    3) RB were able to utilize Aerodynamics effectively to win championships..
    4) Last year gave the smaller teams a better chance at competing with the big teams…

    So on and so forth..

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Why not stick with last years tyres then?

  92. Hansb says:

    All this moaning about these tyres… I dont get it.
    Would all these people still put their comments when Merc or RB had another glorious win today?
    This track is very tough on tyres, still Alonso was able to push 90% all the way.
    Maybe the Ferrari win today had something to do with Mr. Hamashima too. Without knowing all details I feel SD did a very clever move contracting him.
    Clearly Ferrari have a fast car but today they were the best in their strategy, pushing from start to finish, making that 4 stop work.

    I wish Pirelli wont react too quick and wait a couple more races to see how all teams adopt to the current tyres.
    First of all it is not good to influence a championship by changing the tyres midways, secondly if teams get to grip with tweaked and more durable tyres we could end up having dull races at the end of the year.

    1. “I wish Pirelli wont react too quick and wait a couple more races”

      You want to see another 5 delaminations? What if a driver gets injured, or worse? Will you still think Pijelli should have kept to these useless, *dangerous* tyres?

      1. Hansb says:

        I think there is a huge difference here.
        You point out about safety (which is OK of course) but that in itself has nothing to do with the tyre degradation some teams suffer with.

      2. You don’t think there’s perhaps a link between how easily a tyre degrades, and how likely it is to delaminate?

      3. And you don’t think here’s perhaps a correlation between how quickly a tyre degrades, and how likely it is to fail?

      4. Justin Case says:

        A tyre is most likely to delaminate when it suffers a slow leak puncture…..and the driver continues to drive at high speed. This builds heat in he casing and with pressure continually falling, the tyre cannot hold itself up and it will break apart.
        You would have seen many of these through the years watching f1…..however none of them would have been blamed on the tyre manufacturer because most people knew that tread wear had nothing to do with the sudden collapse of the structure of a racing tyre. Just ask Lewis when he drove on his inters to the canvas……and then into the kitty litter in china 07.

      5. Hansb says:

        @Clayton
        No, I guess you are wrong and insinuating something here.

    2. Me says:

      People moan about the tyres when they don’t win, it’s human nature.

      Ferrari will not be complaining at the moment, wait and see what happens after the next race, if they do badly, they’ll complain.

  93. Sdsparacio says:

    This will never change in any form of racing. You need to understand the tires and the car and driver need to adapt. It’s racing and we hear all efis whining from a few of the top teams! Get on with it guys.

  94. Yago says:

    Although it is off-topic, I want to say that I was wrong about the hard tyre change, and it was marginal. I thought that red bull and mercedes were going to be benefited by this change, but the new hards only last one lap more than the old ones approx. So I retract, as this is not enough to be benefitial for these two teams. It actually is better for other cars, as JA pointed out, because of the change in the temp working range.

  95. chris severin says:

    Why doesn’t everyone that thinks “this isnt racing” and its crap just stop watching, stop repeating themselves and pretending to be die hard experts on forums and leave the rest of us to enjoy?

    1. John M says:

      Because we don’t want to!

    2. Judging by the percentage of people who are complaining compared to the percentage who appear to be happy with the situation, F1 would be in big trouble if that were to happen.

      You may be able to give up on something easily enough, but I’m not going to give up on a sport that I’ve loved for 20+ years just because one shoddy tyre manufacturer thinks they’re some kind of “saviour”, fixing something that was never even broken in the first place. I’m going to join with others campaigning against tyrants and combined, our voices may just be enough to get F1 back.

      1. Chris Severin says:

        Ha ha, I love it! I’m afraid your passive aggressive snipe happens to be wrong, I also have been watching for 20+ years and although i agree that drivers not being able to push for 100% of the race isn’t ideal, I don’t feel that the current standard of races warrants such dramatic criticism as is being splashed about by the “wanna be journos” that write on this blog.

      2. I don’t know what you’re talking about with regard to “wannabe journos”.

        I have no desire to be a journalist. I’d much rather be spending my time doing something else, to be honest. I just want my F1 back.

  96. Racing Fan says:

    Does anybody know where to find information about the number of engine used by each driver so far this year?

    1. James Allen says:

      They all fitted their 3rd new engine on Saturday according to report from FIA tech delegate

      1. Vivek says:

        Dear James,

        May be you can add this piece of information, I had requested last year too.

        I am not surprised, that my post on a link to another site that provides wonderful information on these aspects was not posted. I suspected that would happen :-)

        No complaints though, but this information is very handy as we move through the season to the later stages.

        Regards

      2. James Allen says:

        I’m sorry I don’t know what this refers to

        We allow links to other sites, there are loads on here.

      3. Vivek says:

        James

        I made a reference to a site called vivaf1.com in my last post on this thread. It did not get posted. Apologies for not being clear on this.

        Towards the end of the last season, I was looking for info on engine cycles and had put up a request for such info on one of the posts in your site. There was no response. Hope this clears the background. In any case, it is not a compliant.

        Back then, I stumbled on to vivaf1, which has an excellent stats page on Engine cycles, reliability issues faced by the team etc.

        Regards
        Vivek

      4. James Allen says:

        Links to viva have appeared here so no problem

  97. quattro says:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/107400

    Let us now hope that Red Bull has not managed to buy itself a cheap championship by making Pirelli, midseason, change the tyres to better fit their car. That would be a slap in the face to engineers of other teams that actually have managed to design and adjust their cars to what is thrown at them, and drivers that are intelligent enough to adjust their driving…and to fans of those.

    One of the biggest manipulation of all time if it happened and VET cruised to another easy title.

    1. Me says:

      “and drivers that are intelligent enough to adjust their driving…and to fans of those.”

      Specifically… Ferrari fans

  98. IP says:

    Boohoo it’s all Pirelli’s fault for doing what Bernie asked them to. Anyone remember 2005 when tyres had to last a whole race? All they stopped for was fuel.

    How about bringing 3 compounds to the race weekend and letting all drivers start on a fresh set of anything they want but force then to run each compound in the race?

    1. Elie says:

      Yeah I agree

  99. Bana says:

    James, what do you think of the fact that Pirelli are constantly trying to save their faces by making really lame excuses like “If we make a better tyre, Red Bulls would walk it, and no one would want that”? I’m far from being their fan, but I think it’s not exactly fair to Red Bull if the tyre manufacturer is doing everything for them not to succeed and using it as an excuse for producing terrible “racing” tyres.

  100. Kbdavies says:

    Welcome to Farce 1 (F1)

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      No USA 2005 was a farce!

      1. Not much in it between that race and what we have today, to be honest.

        I’d like to see modern day Pijelli tyres deal with that banked curve!

  101. Random 79 says:

    Congratulations to Alonso, Raikkonen and Massa.

  102. Wes says:

    James,
    Id be interested in an analysis of different driving styles in light of hamilton being told to lift in turn 3 and the next race being monaco, where massa was once told by smedley that he was lifting too much in turn 1.
    What does vettel do be quicker than webber? Alonso than massa? Schumacher than barrichello?

  103. zx6dude says:

    This isn’t racing as I think it should be. I don’t want to go back to processional racing, but this was ridiculous. It is way to too artificial. I think it sucks when drivers are not allowed to race because if they do, they kill the tires within a lap or a couple of laps. F1 should not be mostly about tyre management. Yes tyre management is part of racing, but not to this extreme. I hope Pirelli tweaks the tyres in a way that keeps racing interesting and allows drivers to race mostly flat out.

    What can I say? A superb race from Alonso. Didn’t put a foot (or tyre) wrong.

    Very weird that Mercedes is so fast and yet during the race it just goes backwards. Once again, judging by the interviews, due to tyres.

  104. IgMi says:

    I don’t think that an F1 race is a sprint race. It is a (short) endurance race. Drivers don’t race against each other wheel to wheel unless their respective race strategies brought them together on the race track.

    While those moments could be quite exciting they are not the all the excitement that a race brings. I find it challenging but quite enjoyable to follow various strategies and how those make drivers to gain (and lose) time as the race progresses. It is thrilling not to be able to tell the pecking order until quite deep into the race, and even then there is a some level of uncertainty how things may end up.

    The tires (the only component not under teams’ control) contribute to this a lot. I would not change them (until the next season, when I would, just to mix the things up again).

  105. zx6dude says:

    Re-post from a chap called Steve on the Sky sports site, I loved it and I hope Steve doesn’t mind as I’m giving the credit:
    Formula 1 has been advising the international athletics federation to try to make long distance running more enjoyable for fans. Runners will have to choose between wearing flip-flops, wellies and high heels, and must use at least one pair of each type during races.

  106. Kbdavies says:

    Fastest lap times 4 yrs in a row. Though the cars are faster, the drivers are not pushing anymore. How anyone cannot see there is something wrong with this defeats me –

    2010 1:24.357
    2011 1:26.727
    2012 1:26.250
    2013 1:26.217

    “It is too easy to overtake, so no point to really fight again because you cannot hold him behind.” – Kimi Raikkonen. The only person pusing today was in clean air most of the time – go figure.

    Plus, i am really getting tired of Paul Hembery’s excuses for Pirelli. Today, he said the layout of the Circuit de Catalunya led to “high levels of degradation, which should not be seen again to this extent for the rest of the year”. Remember in testing, we saw similar levels of degradation, which Hembery blamed on “low temperatures” and said it would be better in the higher temps expected for the race.

    If the tyre manufacture cannot even predict the preformance of their product accurately, or predict the levels of degradation, how are the teams suposed to do this?

    Also, Pirelli changed the hard compound this weekend based on data gathered so far, but the degredation is still as bad. Remember they also changed from Medim/Softs to the Medium/Hard. Now they will change the compounds/construction from Silverstone.

    This farce is certainly not what the FIA asked for. The whole thing is as much a guessing game for Pirelli as much as it is for the teams. If this was a a normal business model, contracts would be withdrawn and compensation required. They have simply failed in their remit, and it isn’t the first time.

    This is NOT the FIA’s fault, the blame firmly lies with Pirelli.

    1. BW says:

      / the drivers are not pushing anymore.

      2010 1:24.357/

      Let me think… was it this race where Button gave up pushing behind MSC in order to save his Bridgestone tyres to the end? Where Hamilton passed Vettel only in pits, but finished with a Bridgestone tyre blow at the end?

  107. richardc says:

    What a disappointing race. I just don,t get Pirelli,s mindset?? In fact the arrogance is what gets to me. Following todays race they have decided to change things so there are no more 4xstops. Yet apparently Ferrari came to the race knowing it would be a 4xstopper??!! How did Pirelli not know this?? Or did they?? I actually think it is time for the FIA to step in and flex some muscle.Pirelli need to be told to tow the line. F1 is the pinnacle of motor sport, going as fast as you can for the whole race. This not however the case any more. I therefore recommend the FIA sort this one out asap!!

  108. Lawrence Lavery says:

    There is nothing wrong with the tyres. They made a traditionally boring GP weekend fairly interesting. People have short memories. People complained about Michelin being too good when FA was winning races for Renault. People complained about the tyres that had to last a full race. I do think F1 cars should be going faster though. The sprinting that people want was when refuelling happened and people complained about that because overtaking happened through pitstop tactics. I am not an F1 engineer or know anything about the tyres Pirelli will use for the rest of the season but I think each race will be different i.e. one team will do well at one GP and badly at the next. In Monaco we may see tyres lasting for relatively a very long time. Also, Mercedes GP look like they will be strong in qualifying for the race there so it may force other teams to take a risk in strategy and we might get a very interesting race. I think FA and NR drove really well today. I think KR could have pushed harder. Love reading the passionate comments on here. Roll on Monaco.

    1. Vivek says:

      KR could have pushed harder. I thought so too, but it is certain he was driving within himself,because he had to make the tires last over 3 stops.

      Lotus is able to make its tires last longer only by sacrificing some pace. KR fastest lap was more than a second slower than both FA and FM.

      It would have been fascinating to see Lotus go for a 4-stopper and KR push as much as Alonso. That is really the only way to figure out the pecking order. Right?

      1. Me says:

        “KR could have pushed harder”

        Could he? how on earth do you know that?

      2. Vivek says:

        Please read the reply by Kimi in the Official post race PC, to the question posed by Pierre Van Vliet.

        Kimi makes a clear reference to the way Lotus as a team went about the race and what they could have done differently. It implies he needed to drive within himself. Kimi spent quite a bit of the race, driving to target times. It is just a logical deduction. Alonso also did the same, but probably only in the last stint.

  109. goober says:

    After last night’s race, I’m so conflicted. It appeared to me the cars were cruising around for most of the race, but I was astonished to see the winning total race time was within a few seconds of the times of the previous couple of years.

    For the first time in 25 years, I may just take a few races off this year. I don’t care that races 10 years ago were “boring” – you could see the drivers on the limit, and that was exciting.

    When is the first safety car going to appear? Probably Monaco.

    1. Andrew says:

      “When is the first safety car going to appear? Probably Monaco”

      Only if there is another delamination – driving round like grannies is unlikely to cause the drivers to lose control of their cars, even at Monaco.

  110. Dani says:

    I am sick of the moaning about the tires…Pirelli sucks…drivers can’t push…all that nonsense.
    Listen, we saw today that drivers can push all the times, Alonso did it. Just because Hamilton and vettel can’t do that in their respective cars, it’s their problem!! I can’t believe people saying this is not racing this is not Motorsport, helloooo??? Did u forget how booooooring the races were before Pirelli made degrading tires ?!? Do I want to see red ill winning all the times? Screw that. I’m sick of the lobbying red ill is doing at the moment just because they are not winning. I read that Pirelli will change the tires from silver stone onwards..bravo! Some people seriously need to keep their logic in check: the teams design their car however they like, if Ferrari and especially lotus designed their cars to be gentle on tires good for them !! Red bull and Mercedes could have don’t the same…enough is enough…stop moaning about the stupid tires people !!!!
    The only criticism I have against Pirelli is the delamination, that needs to be fixed. Other than that 4 stops 3 stops 2 stops who caressssss…all I know is that the fastest driver and the fastest won today! All u know redbull, Mercedes and ” Motorsport” fans u can moan all u want.

    1. Salvo says:

      Agree 100%

    2. Salvo says:

      Agree with those comments

    3. Mike from Colombia says:

      Life before Pirelli ?

      Sorry – 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 were all great seasons and much better than the contrived circus that we see now.

      We had gladiatorial battles in the past. We now have a shambles.

      1. Dani says:

        No we don’t.
        this year is not any different than the years you mentioned: we have 3 world champions fighting for the world championship this year and the battles are amazing. we dont know who is winning until the final pitstops, was it the same in the years you mentioned? NO. yes there were battles but the amount of overtaking this year is much more. why do you think we have a shambles, i dont understand that. the teams who designed the fastest cars are winning, so nothing changed. its just the formula is changed and that’s fine. my 2 cents.

    4. Me says:

      Nope.. the man in the fastest car won today…

      Whether that’s the fastest car at the next race, we’ll see…

      1. Dani says:

        oh really? so your saying the way alonso drove on sunday wasn’t superior..please…he passed 2 cars on the outside of turn 3 !!!!! give the fastest guy some credits..im not a fan of vettel, but i get sick of people vettel won his championships because of his car..thats just rubbish..yes this year, the ferrari seems like the fastest car, good for them !! alonso deserves to be in the fastest car, do i see massa winning races? NO.
        formula one is a car/driver combination.

      2. Me says:

        The world champion in any given year invariably drives the best car.

        In my view Keke Rosberg is pretty much the only driver to win the world championship while not having the best car.

        How or why Alonso deserves to be in the best car… I’ll never know… why does he ‘deserve’ anything?

  111. alexbookoo says:

    Is it scientifically possible to make a tyre that doesn’t degrade much, but which wears out after 20/25 laps? Low degradation, high wear – allowing drivers to push without losing the mixed strategies and the falling off the cliff phenomenon that does make things more interesting towards the end of some races.

  112. dufus says:

    Good drive by Alonso.
    Special mention to Disco Dan Ricciardio !

  113. Ryan Eckford says:

    That was terrible from Pirelli, probably worse than that actually. I have never seen a pole/front-row holder drop that far back in a dry race without being involved in an incident, after a dry qualifying, and the worse thing about it is that it has happened two races in a row.

    People want to see great racing, but they also want to see honest racing, not tyre blowing up, or giving up on cars that have a great amount of downforce. More downforce should equal more reward, but for two races in a row, we haven’t had that completely.

    Around Barcelona, tyres should last:
    Hard – 33 Laps
    Medium – 22 Laps
    Soft – 16.5 Laps
    Super-soft – 13.2 Laps

    And, there should be 0.3 seconds between each compound per lap, which would mean the super-soft is 0.9 seconds quicker than the hard tyre.

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      Time differences are per lap.

    2. Dani says:

      Just because the Mercedes car is getting poles and is fastest on 1 lap, doesn’t mean they are the fastest and deserve to be winning. Last time i checked, winning gets done on sunday..on the podium..too bad they designed their car to be very fast on qualifying under Low fuel and very slow on race day. Notice how its not just about the tires, how come coming down the first corner, the mercedes car is already losing time to the others and everyone faster than them. its because the car is full of fuel, they did a bad job with the car, mercedes has had this problem for the last 3 years. instead of fixing it for this year, the problem is even more amplified.
      you definition of ” honest racing” doesnt make sense..66 laps races are not low fuel 1 lap qualifying laps. when mercedes and redbull fix their problems, they will stop moaning and so will you. my 2 cents.

      1. Ryan Eckford says:

        I am not just talking about Mercedes and Red Bull, I am talking about everyone. Lotus were not pushing at all for fear of hurting their tyres, and they are considered to have the best car in terms of managing tyres.

        I have never seen anyone in Formula 1 fall that far behind after starting on the front row without being involved in an incident or having a reliability/technical issue.

        The term that I meant by “honest racing” is that positions should not change dramatically over the course of the race, from start to finish. 1st to 9th in Bahrain, and 1st to 6th, as well as 2nd to 12th is quite dramatic isn’t it?

        People want to know when they ask questions about Formula 1 is, ‘Who has the fastest/best car on the grid?’ At the moment, there is too much confusion, and it is robbing the fans of true and honest racing. The racing that we have at the moment is “TOTALLY ARTIFICAL AND COMPLETELY FLAWED”.

        Everyone in Formula 1, including the drivers, teams, rulemakers, media and everyone who follows Formula 1 regularly should be embarassed that a driver of the calibre of the 2008 World Champion should finish a race being lapped after starting on the front row, and without being involved in any incidents at all.

        At the moment, we have tyres that cannot last a period of time that is adequate, we have random batches of tyres that are ripping off their rubber, and it is a massive safety issue.

        Eventually, we are going to get to a point like Indianapolis 2005, where we can’t go racing because the tyres can’t do their job, or we are going to have a situation where a driver is seriously injured or worse as a result of rubber ripping off the carcus of the tyre at well over 300km/h as they are about to hit the brakes. Do you all want F1 to be like this?

        I know we haven’t had a driver death in F1 since 1994, but that doesn’t mean the sport is bullet-proof. The way the sport is going right now in terms of the tyres, we are going see the first driver death since 1994, and I dread the day of this happening, but unless change happens, a driver will die while racing a Formula 1 car.

      2. Ryan Eckford says:

        1st to 6th, as well as 2nd to 12th in Spain

  114. Benalf says:

    This blaming game is really a waste of time and a shame to read. During the last decade fans wants to “change” F1 to make it more “exciting”, FIA and the teams change regs and people complain, FIA bans ingenuity (tuned-mass damper, DDD, f-duct, blown-diffusers, off-throttle diffuser blown..) and you hear complains, one, two, one tire supplier and people complain. The bottom line here is people complain if the team/driver they’re dying for gets screwed.
    Lots of fans cried out load for the unfair FIA-Ferrari alliance in the 90 and 2000′s but they think it is OK if a couple of teams ask Pirreli to change the tire compounds to improve the race pace….Isn’t that the same?

    I think what Kimi said says it all, meaning that everyone has to deal, to a more or lesser extent, with the same technical challenges. Some teams gets benefited, some less and that’s something that has been happening in F1 every single season, and I still welcome that.

    I personally think the tire regs should be modified…improved, same with DRS regs, blown diffusers, KERS, etc. But doing such changes DURING the season is not only against the sport; it clearly shows bias in favor of a few, and at the end of the season a lot more of money to be spent by teams in adapting to the “sports” regs.

    One of the issues in listening to the fans, something that also happens to democracies worldwide, is that changes should be made based on the majorities opinion. I like to rephrase that by saying that majorities has the right to make the wrong decisions. Most of the changes (regs, tires, bans) the FIA has made in recent years show a tendency to move away from the concept of technology-advanced-based sport and moving closer toward a racing show….everyone here should take part of the blame.

    I wish F1 has a smaller set of general regs and somehow get into an agreement by which those regs remain stable during a reasonable period of time. Among other things:
    1) Design and provide with a set of fixed compounds (5) for all the races, no changes allowed
    2) Allow ALL the teams to access to profit funds with a base amount for teams who couldn’t obtain points; let them grow
    3) Allow discretionary use of kers and DRS systems (current of new ones) by the drivers. Let the most skilled drivers to win races
    4) Reduce the amount of interation between driver-piwall-race simulators to reduce the input provided by highly developed optimization software during-the-race, and letting the race engineers-drivers to make most of the decisions..same as (3).
    5) Reduce race fees and race tickets prices to allow for a large fan presence in circuits and allow for a more local sustainable sporting events.

    I could write a few more but I think it’s enough for now.

  115. qvx says:

    Tyres are same for all. Those who can’t deal with current tyres are just moaning.

    1. Me says:

      Those who aren’t winning aren’t happy… obviously…

  116. Sethu says:

    I have been following F1 for 2 decades and certainly do not feel the current tyres make the racing any more artificial or a “lottery” than usual.

    The past five races have been anything but a lottery. It’s been pretty clear that the Ferrari and Lotus are the quickest on race day. Red Bull might be good on certain track/temperature conditions while the Mercs are struggling in races, much like Toyota struggled to stay in front after a good qualy.

    We’ve had years where teams were dominant because of engine superiority, either in power or in reliability. Even to the extent that Enzo Ferrari said “Aerodynamics is for those without a good engine”.

    We’ve had teams dominate with aerodynamic advantages (most recently Red Bull), as well as those with greater reservoirs of engineering and financial power (Ferrari about ten years ago). We’ve even had the odd team succeed due to technical innovations that were later banned or copied in the very next season. I consider all of these as competitive advantages during the period in question.

    There is no reason, as far as I am concerned, to consider the ability to manage tyres today as anything but a competitive advantage. Ferrari and Lotus do it the best at the moment. They can drive faster overall on the same tyres than anyone else, just like some cars went faster because of better engines or better reliability, etc.

    It would have been a lottery if you had a Torro Rosso or a Caterham win as frequently as a Ferrari or a McLaren fo a sustained period of time. It would have been a lottery if the FIA decided to allot different types of tyres to each team in the race. As long as the best teams are winning consistently, it is not a lottery. When the 4 best drivers in F1 (or even if they are from the best teams) are the top four in the championship, it is not a lottery.

  117. JohnBt says:

    Congrats to Nando for his 2nd win in Spain, it’s been awhile since 2006.

    Alonso was the only one charging like there was no problem with his tires degradation, most were skating on ice. I was hoping Kimi will be closer to Alonso but after Nando overtook Kimi on the options there was no looking back. A raging bull in charge. And he had a puncture at the end of his first stint, now this is what Alonso meant about luck.

    Felipe is back in form and that’s good for Ferrari. If he carries on in this manner a win will soon be in his pocket, hope so.

    Gosh what ever happened to Hamilton was mind boggling the way he just fell back so drastically. His worst race ever.
    The all time quotation in F1 ‘I can’t go any slower’ is a classic.

    If Nando can run away with these fragile tires and Pirelli will be tweaking them to last longer which they should!!!(at least 20 to 25 laps) the WDC will be his or Kimi.

    At the podium as Kimi as possible he didn’t give a damn if the press never showered him with the attention he should be receiving. I’ll be all too glad and pleased if he grabs the world title this year.

    Gotta give Rosberg the credit for holding out on the tires so very carefully. You could feel Nico yip toeing as many did too.

  118. Max says:

    Tires, Tires, Tires.

    Do we ever get bored.

    Was it an overkill today with the tires?
    Maybe a tad, but not by much.
    Last year we also had around 3-4 stops/driver and we remember it as a very good race between the Williams, Ferrari and Lotus.
    Mercedes isn’t the fastest car just because they can take most out of the tires in 1 lap.
    That’s the only reason they are so strong in qualy.

    Guess what, other teams have focused on race pace instead of qualifying, and why not. The points are awarded on Sunday, so why not focus the resources in trying to get around the track as fast as possible for 1h 20min – 2h?

    People need to realize that Alonso was the fastest today, not because of tires, but because he could manage his speed on the track and his speed throughout the entire race perfectly. Vettel couldn’t, the Mercs were way off, the Lotus was good.

    By the way, the overtakes on this track from 2004-2010:
    6,2,7,5,2,2,11
    From 2011-2013:
    90,51,71

    Which do we want?

    I’d rather have the last three please. (but DRS could be scrapped)

  119. IgMi says:

    I like the unknown factor that tires add to the races. There is nothing wrong with that. They are just another part of machinery that adds to the decision when to push and when to conserve, with the bonus that the decision quite often has to be re-evaluated mid race.

    They may be a dominating factor in that thought process, but so what? There would always be something that dominates which way to go. I like when that dominant factor is out of teams’ control, like weather, for example. I cannot wait to watch a race when the forecast is rain, or better yet, an unpredictable weather. Now we have that more often than not with the “unpredictable tires.” Love it!

  120. Yak says:

    James, is there any indication yet as to what happened with Grosjean’s car? Seems a bit odd for the rear suspension to just break. Being the rear right, I’m wondering if maybe he took turn 8 a bit too aggressively and hit the high kerb there. If it hadn’t failed already then, maybe the high downforce while running down that back straight finished it off.

    As for the tyres… haven’t been much a fan this year, but this race really didn’t sit well with me. The train following Rosberg at the start, with what seemed like no one wanting to risk the tyres to make a move. Too much coasting about. And the two very similar-looking tyre failures that both seemed a little suss. Punctures from carbon fibre debris or front wing contact I can understand. But this year only 5 race weekends in we’ve seen a bunch of failures that just happen seemingly out of nowhere. Even if they are from debris as Pirelli seem to be claiming, are the tyres maybe a little too fragile? So many failures in such short time seems a bit much.

    Feel a bit sorry for Lewis. While he probably wasn’t coming into the team expecting to be in a position to quite comfortably lock out the front row of the grid, he probably also wasn’t expecting the polar opposite race performance. His, “I’ve just been overtaken by a Williams,” comment had me laughing though. They probably didn’t find it as funny in the Williams garage though.

  121. Nick4 says:

    Agreed with Dani above. Even Nico Rosberg conceded that Merc need to design a car that uses its tyres better and not blame Pirelli. The teams have to manage the regulations as they see them and if they get it wrong they have to fix the problem or else they won’t win. Alonso and Kimi especially are also demonstrating great driving skills in the process. For all of Lewis’s speed and race craft he has to manage the situation as best as he can and complain less. Last year Alonso had a notably slower car and yet he still competed for race wins and even the championship.

  122. Anton says:

    Wait a minute. All the teams did their winter testing at this circuit. You telling me that they didn’t see this problem back then and didn’t engineer their cars accordingly?

    1. Yak says:

      “Winter” being the operative word here. The conditions were completely different in testing.

  123. Feral says:

    First, congratulations to Alonso & Ferrari….Kimi, Massa.
    Pirelli are only doing what they are contracted to do make tyres that degrade…But the delamination of some tyres is a big worry. (not a puncture or wear but delamination)

    What I don’t get…Is F1 is suppose to be going green, smaller engines, less fuel usage, collecting energy from braking etc. BUT spend millions on tyres that don’t last and more wasted tyres for landfill…where does that fit in with the revelence to the rest of the motoring world.

    A big V8 fan, but can live with the turbo V6 :)

    The tyres are a real worry and can make some entertaining results. Is it really racing when the best drivers are not permitted to go flat out to see which is the best man & machine. It’s not F1 the pinnacle motorsport.

  124. Craig in Manila says:

    Ok, I’ve been watching F1 since the early 80s.
    I reckon I’ve missed maybe 5 or 10 races on TV in that period.
    And I’ve been to one race per year since 1985.

    In the “good old days”, we used to hear a voice saying “Push push push” or “He is catching you”. The driver then did his job and drove the car to the max.

    Now we have the faceless men in the pits and their spreadsheets/software telling drivers to “slow down”, “do not race him”, or “You need to do one minute thirty-ones only”.

    We have the fastest-lap in the race being done by some guy who qualified 19th and finished out of the points.
    His fastest-lap was six tenths faster than the winners fastest-lap and 1.3seconds faster than the pole-sitters fastest-lap !!

    How is this right ? How is this F1 ?

    If this is the direction of F1, then I am lost to it.

    I didn’t turn it off last night but I came the closest that I have ever come.

    Sad.

  125. JB says:

    Topic of this year: “nursing tires!”

    Every driver had to nurse their tires. Ferrari just more downforce on the fast corners making the tire savings easier.

    Raikkonen who got second was driving pedestrian like throughout the race. Is this suppose to be racing?

  126. Elie says:

    Congratulations to Fernando who drove a great race . No one was going to catch him in Spain that was clear from his attack on the first lap and the subsequent pace of both Ferraris.

    I just finished watching the race and almost wish I didn’t watch it-it would be the first time in a while. Whether you support Pirelli or not – there is too much emphasis on them when going racing for all involved ,including us fans. Tyre delaminations is a bit of giveaway. The other thing is that the FIA banned reFuelling and asked for degrading tyres which was a double whammy really. Perhaps with more durable tyres teams like Mercedes may have been more successful or Ferrari may have a won a heck of a lot more.

    The commentary during the race did a lot to fuel the fire on the Pirelli argument, with DC and co’s comments on the onboard lap of Raikkonen. Yes he is careful, but the car is well balanced and Kimi is super precise – be makes it look easier and yes he had one less stop – so he had to be more careful than others!. You have to balance the total situation and express that to less informed audience. Rather than fire them up and say “this is not what I want to see” ( truth be told want to see this less than anyone) . Further- Im a fan who favour Lotus and Kimi and they seem to be revelling with this formula- but deep down I doubt any driver who was an all or nothing racer whi used to drive on the limit every second could prefer this- a further testament to his incredible ability to adapt.

    Every team and car is slightly different on different rubber – so why not let them run diff rubber- all 3 compounds . On Soft rubber the Lotus is faster than most teams – yet someone decided to can it for Spain. Should we expect success at Monaco- I think not because of the traction advantages of the Ferrari and the high downforce advantage if the bulls

  127. Kev says:

    One team is able to go faster and another team do one pitstop less than the competition to cover the same distance faster than everyone else with the same tires provided to everybody.

    What is the problem now, the tires or the team who designed the cars that chew up the tires. Sensible ones would say the latter :-)

  128. johnpierre says:

    i don’t know if this is allowed but i wanted to re-post a comment for everyone that thinks this is not racing to read. it is just ridiculous that some how what happened today at the Spanish GP was not racing. this straw man argument, that the tires are the problem is just flat wrong. it is similar to saying that because we have we have a engine allotment i,e we have to look after the engine in the race or for the race allotment and therefore we can’t crank the horsepower up this is not racing because we (i guess red bull) can’t drive to our full potential.

    here is the comment:

    hero_was_senna Reply:
    May 12th, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    Imagine that!
    I’m not sure when you first started watching F1, but pre the Ferrari/ Schuamcher era, F1 was strategy, no driver could drive flat out for the whole race, they had to look after the car, fuel and tyres.
    Find a video of F1 in 1985, watch the likes of Prost trundling round for the majority of the race and pass cars at the end because he saved his car, tyres and fuel.
    Or find a copy of Mansell winning the 1987 British GP, where he and Piquet destoryed the others, but he made a pit stop for a punctured tyre and came from 29 seconds behind to beat Piquet.
    There are so many instance over the years when races have been exciting because of problems with cars, rather than the snooze fest of Vettel qualifying 1st and disappearing.

    1992 Monaco GP. The race was boring beyond belief, only Mansell changing rubber five laps from the end and Senna defending on worn out rubber elevated it to classic status.

    so very well said…

  129. johnpierre says:

    well despite most of everyone’s comments on how this was not racing or a farce, not including the last bunch of comments, i think that this was a brilliant drive from Ferrari and Alonso. it is sad that all anyone can concentrate on is the tire issue. it looked to me that ferrari throw caution to the wind and said “we are not going to tip tow around today (to use one detractors words), let’s just go flat out and no matter what the degradation is and see where we end up.” obviously they felt they had the car to do it. isn’t that what everyone whats to see, flat out racing well today ferrari were the only one’s that could do it and make it work and they took one extra pit-stop so what. they should be applauded for their effort. instead their victory is being hijacked by the tire issue. and this idea that 4 pit-stops is to many, is just silly. does that mean if someone wins a race because they chose one to everyone else’s two, that makes that win any less relevant or justified. please, if red bull could win a race with 5 pit-stops they surely would do it. as it turned out today they didn’t have the car to challenge for the victory, does that mean it is the tires fault?

    1. Me says:

      “obviously they had the car to do it”

      1. Benalf says:

        it’s always like that; you have to have a strong car if you want to win.
        Ferrari showed us yesterday that in some circuits, where the pit time is not that long, you have the option to race with a different philosophy; go as fast as possible and keep fresh tires….other teams will switch to that strategy too for the rest of the season.
        What Fred did yesteday was great. He drove a terrific first stint and followed the plan perfectly. He and Felipe, brought back Ferrari WC into contention. Congrats!

  130. Kimi4WDC says:

    We have such a talented pool of top drivers at this moment. To a point, it’s a bit disappointing that we can’t see them compete in sport where all boundaries a pushed to the limit.

    Well, Formula 1 ended being a sport some time ago, it’s a show.

  131. F1 dingo says:

    This may have been said already, but I’m a little suprised that the media headlines are that 80+ pitstops confuses fans. I remember Schumacher pitting 4 times at magny cours a few years back and taking a great win. The issue isn’t the number of pitstops or the fact the tyre degrade, its the fact that while the tyres are on the car they can’t push them.

    Maybe i’m naive, but could Pirelli not alter the compound so that the rubber could be ‘pushed’ for the full stint before they fall off the cliff? thereby meaning cars like Red Bull can push throughout a stint and teams like Lotus who have designed a car easier on their tyres can still eak out an advantage?

    For example only, and not bias on these teams, Red Bull could push for 12 laps before the tyre performances collapses, but Lotus could push for 16 laps due to their car design?

    We need cars that are designed to be easier on their tyres to be rewarded, but all teams need to be able to drive flat out so to speak.

    Just a thought…

    1. Benalf says:

      That’s a nice thouth but I am afraid that with the current downforce levels it’s gonna be difficult to design a tire that stays put for a long stint and then starts degrading fast. That would require a different compound in the outer layers and a softer one in the inside, right above the metal mesh.
      I think the challenge is for the teams to adapt the levels of mechanical grip so the tires can spread the pressure pulses over a large surface area without graining that much. When Pirreli increased the lateral stiffness, the amount of graining and the possibility of total delamination went up -that’s just my opinion-. It seems that Merc has a terrific chassis, high downforce, and high top speed but at the expense of putting a lot of load on the tires. That’s perfect for qualy but terrible with full tank and race trim. If the find a compromise between downforce levels and mechanical grip to preserve the tires better they should win a couple of races this year

  132. Jon says:

    Everyones moaning about the tyres, and rightly so, there have been a number of tyres in the last few races where the tread has come away from the carcases. This I see as more of an issue that the fact they have to nurse there tyres.

    Every driver is in the same boat with nursing the tyres, and it’s down to the teams to produce a car that manages this the best. Currently this looks like Ferrari and Lotus. So well done them. I much prefer the fact that races are more unpredictable now, and not just bore fests where you qualify you pretty much finish. Cars not being able to overtake etc. That’s not racing either is it?

  133. fausta says:

    It just seems like the teams that have done poorly designing and adapting their cars to the current regs (which include the tires) are the ones complaining. It would be unfair to help them by changing the tires. Shouldn’t their be a reward for doing a better job then the others? This would be a punishment, especially for Lotus.

    Congrats Alonso, well done~

  134. Elie says:

    I said last year when these tyres were a bit better that such a narrow operating window compared to tyres in years gone by, must surely not have the reliability or certainty of a more durable tyre during the construction of the tyres and now look a what we have this year.

    That said there is something seriously wrong with F1 that we have a supplier to F1 changing the nature of the “sport” mid season because some teams have problems. Well there are several teams doing just fine aren’t they!

    We all saw what happened last year – every team improved their tyre performance after summer. It’s ok for fans to be critical but Pirelli and FIA Cannot react to everything immediately and need to give this time!

  135. puffing says:

    http://deportes.elpais.com/deportes/2013/05/12/actualidad/1368381726_616026.html

    Mr. Joan Villadelprat is a former F1 engineer.
    (Only for multilingual, I’m afraid.)

  136. Iain:R8 says:

    Maybe the tyre situation has gone just a bit too far. For me, in the past, Pirelli’s Paul Hembery made some ill considered remarks about the situation. I think this irritated a number of people both inside and outside F1.

    The reality is that every team is given a huge amount of data about the tyres and it is up to them to interpret it, and use it when designing their cars. If anybody wants a glimpse of the type of data. Have a look at that supplied for a F3 tyre http://www.avonmotorsport.com/resource-centre/downloads. F1 gets much more data. F1 has always required drivers to look after their tyres, nothing new. Rather than just putting the blame on Pirelli, maybe we should be criticising those teams that have failed to interpret data correctly, and ended up with a poor design. Remember that all performance aspects of the car, aero, suspension, tyres etc., are interdependent. So Red Bull and others, saying that it’s the tyres that are stopping them achieving their full potential is incorrect. In F1 everybody seems to have a ready excuse :) Changing the tyre design as suggested by some, is blatantly unfair on those who have done a good job so far. Maybe a small change to compound mix is all that is required. The embedded steel belt looks like a good idea, because it appears to be stopping violent deflation. Though I wonder if it is affecting the overall thermal characteristics.

  137. Rich L says:

    It seems obvious to me that the majority of people that are “Pro pirelli” currently are Ferrari/Lotus/Fernando/Kimi fans. I have no real allegiance to any team or driver but am purely interested in watching good hard racing, what we are seeing currently couldn’t be any further from that.

    The tyres they have provided this year have gone too far down the road of performance degradation, to the point that we have seen at least 1 de-lamination every race, how long before there is a serious accident as a result of one of those tyre failures?

    Watching the in-car footage during the race was painful, very rarely did any driver appear to be driving on the ragged edge and instead were clearly lifting and doing everything they could to conserve the tyres, this is not like anything I have ever seen before in all the years of watching F1. To liken this to the turbo days on any other era where you had a finite amount of resources at your disposal to work with is disingenuous, in those scenarios you were at least able to push for a part of the race, on these tyres pushing is punished with dramatic performance loss so drivers are being actively discouraged by their engineers from racing one another, i’m sorry but that belies the name of motor racing.

    The worst thing of all is we are in a relatively strong period with regards to drivers, sadly we are being robbed of seeing them do battle because to do so would effectively ruin their race. Sad days indeed.

    1. Benalf says:

      it’s not about being a Ferrari/Lotus fan; it’s about to be consistent with the regs. If you change your scope during the season, you’re artificially changing the pecking order at the expense of the teams who designed their cars better suited to the tires. The best thing FIA sould do is go back to the original season tire package and leave it like that ’til the end of the season. If your team is not the one enjoying the show -like in my case- suck it up and wait ’til 2014

  138. SK says:

    Now I’ve had 24 hour to mull it over, I think maybe we’ve just had so many good races recently that this dull one stuck out. Back in the Schumi era it was this dull every week.

    Could it be that Merc and Mclaren not being in the race is making it seem even worse than it is? Without their challenge, only 2 or 3 cars are really in with a shout.

  139. Bboy says:

    If Pirelli make a bullet-proof tyre, with fantastic temperature ranges, with great durability, wonderful flexing characteristics…

    If they bring back testing…

    Then the winner of the races will be the team that works the hardest and makes the best car and puts the best drivers in them.

    Is that what you all really want?!?

  140. Gareth says:

    F1 just cannot win cant it? The words of Frank Williams in the 90s echos, this is a sport but it is a business as well. Businesses want to see racing which is unpredictable, with numerous winners this year we have had that. Back in the early 2000`s everyone said F1 was BORING!
    By the late 00`s it had got its excitment back but overtaken still lacked, so the FIA came up with KERS, DRS and tyres. Whether tyres are destroying the sport I am unsure, there needs to be a balance. Spain was frankly silly, with too many pit stops and people trying to go slow but part of being a racer is using tactics to make the tyres last. If we didnt have tyres like this the odds would be on a red bull walkover. We cant have it both ways, either we accept the F1 of today or we go back to the dark days when F1 results were manipulated. See 2002 for many instances.

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