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Hungarian Grand Prix
Pirelli plays it safe with tyre choices for Spa, Monza and Singapore
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Posted By: James Allen  |  25 Jul 2013   |  2:35 pm GMT  |  39 comments

Pirelli’s new generation F1 tyres will make their debut this weekend in Hungary and today the company released details of which compounds it will bring to the next three races.

As last year for the hugely demanding circuits Spa and Monza the medium and hard tyres will be brought, while in Singapore the supersoft and medium will be used.

Last year it was supersoft and soft, but as this year’s medium is essentially last year’s soft compound, the change isn’t as significant as it appears.

More significant is the double step between compounds, which will possibly make the strategy interesting, as the supersoft will be a lot faster but will last a lot less laps in the race.

Indications from the Pirelli tyre testing at Silverstone last week are that these new generation tyres are more durable with less degradation and with the FIA’s move to lower pit lane speed limits, after the accident involving a cameraman in Germany, we are likely to see races with fewer pit stops in the second half of the season.

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39 Comments
  1. Andrew says:

    James, do you see the pecking order too remain the same with these changes?

  2. Clear View says:

    Thanks to the FIA pit lane limit combined with these “not so great tyres” it’s going to mean more tyre managment events rather than balls to the wall hard racing AGAIN!
    Bring on 2014 and hopefully some bullet proof tyres (as engine and car demands are not known yet) and season long wheel to wheel action.

    1. DMyers says:

      Bulletproof tyres = back to the Bridgestone era = no racing whatsoever.

      1. Mark V says:

        Exactly. Then they tried to remedy the negative effect bulletproof tires had on the racing by mandating that only one set be allowed during the race, bringing back, you guessed it: tire management. And then Kimi had a spectacular accident when his lone set of beat-up tires exploded near the end of a race at high speed and so it was back to the drawing board.

        The grass is always greener on the other side to some folks. They have a selective memory about the past, and often lack full understanding of how complex things works that doesn’t prevent them from making reactionary condemnations of decisions that others with more skill, experience and inside knowledge of organizations such as F1.

        So many people that are critical of the tires and other changes to the sport seem to forget that the people who run F1 are VERY SMART. These people are well aware that an F1 car unencumbered by any rules would be way too fast and dangerous. They also know F1 must stay at the sharp end of technology while remaining safe and that the rules should always encourage exciting racing for the people who pay the bills: the fans.

        That is a balancing act that only very smart people can pull off, and even then it doesn’t always work out perfectly (such is the nature of allowing teams to interpret the rules as they each build the cars: unanticipated developments happen). Personally I think they have done a good job to keep F1 relevant while making the racing worth watching. So it isn’t perfect. But when has it ever been?

      2. W Johnson says:

        Where is the racing when drivers admit to coasting around the circuit for fear of damaging their tyres…..that is how ludicrous the situation was until the safety issue of delamination prompted a re think.

    2. Anil says:

      These tyre choices mean drivers will be pushing, especially spa and monza.

      Great news for Lewis fans!

    3. Grant says:

      Oooh didn’t think of that possible impact, but you definitely have point there.

      Hope it doesn’t pan out that way for this weekend’s race.

  3. Chris Ralph says:

    This all says ‘Kimi’ to me for Hungary. Lotus will manage Romain if he gets too racy…

  4. Irish con says:

    I would bet my house that next year Pirelli tyres will be almost back to the bridgestones of 2010. Meaning they will be rock solid basically. All the abuse and jokes about Pirelli this year will cause them to go the other way and 1 stop races will follow.

    1. nicolas nogaret says:

      you must know more about how the new cars will turn out than their makers do

    2. JF says:

      You are likely correct (unfortunately): and then we will see the true meaning of race management. Combine the effects of next years reduced fuel load and increased reliance on batteries, next years races could be highly choreographed before the race.

    3. Erik says:

      Agree, here come the boring precessions. Well done F1..

    4. Azza says:

      I agree completely, bring back fuel stops I say..
      Also be nice to see titanium skid plates brought back! Miss those sparks…

  5. goferet says:

    As this year’s medium is essentially last year’s soft compound, the change isn’t as significant as it appears.
    ———————————————–

    So does this also mean Pirelli are essentially bringing last year’s soft and medium tyres to Spa and Monza.

  6. K says:

    Oh look, another few races with the outcome dictated by the tyres.

  7. Sebee says:

    Sorry for the off-topic, but new Kimi quote gives me gut feeling that he’s not going to RBR. Looks like RBR would rather put 10-15M into the car than into Kimi at this point. Makes sense to me.

    “It might, whatever the decision, feel stupid to somebody else, but then it might just feel right for me. I have no idea what will happen and we have to wait and see what will come.

    “There is no guarantee that the choice will be the right one in the long run, but I will be fine no matter what it will be. You have to live with the decision.”

    1. Sebee says:

      Just saw pics of STR team on custom Red Bull painted bikes. Seriously? They have time for this?

      I’d love to see an article on fun detail things like this in the paddock. You know… Vettel’s toast being cut into Bull shapes with a cookie cutter, Massa constantly having to move over for Alonso at the breakfast bar lineup, STR painting bicycles complete with golden forks and drivers names…fun stuff. :-)

    2. dean cassady says:

      yeah, it looks like a Kimi stay at Lotus.
      But your assumption surrounding the reasoning, yet criticizing is buffoonish.
      Do you really think RB wouldn’t take Kimi if he was reasonably available?
      DO you really think Kimi wouldn’t drive for free if he was given the best car?

      1. Sebee says:

        Buffoonish? Really?

        RBR isn’t winning all these championships because they make bad choices. They are successful because they understand ROI perfectly.

        As for Kimi…let’s remeber this is a guy who choose not to drive in F1 because money not to drive was better and sold all his fans out or tried to sell them on the fact that rallying is better than F1. I think Kubica had clearly proven otherwise, but they bought it. Spare me the Kimi driving passion. He’s here to pull big coin and “not do marketing work” first and foremost.

      2. Sebee says:

        One more thing…Lotus was a 1 or 2 year project for Kimi to show his worth and demand big money after from a big team. Nothing wrong with “looking out for number 1″.

        And no, he would never drive free just for WDCs. I certainly don’t think so. Otherwise he would take Daniel’s salary to go to RBR. Don’t be idealistic, it’s always all about money.

        RBR is playing nice and helping him too. He wouldn’t be able to put Lotus in a vice for salary if not for RBR.

      3. justafan says:

        Senna claimed he would drive the best car for free and that’s basically why he left McLaren but I never heard Kimi saying something like this.

  8. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Yes, Pirelli has to finish this “year horribilis” and concentrate eventually in 2014.

    I have a pray for Mercedes in order to catch Vettel:
    Pirelli please, give us this day our daily durability and forgive us our private test affair as we forgive those who test as well… And lead us not into overheating, but deliver us from go backwards. Amen.

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        There are no facts, only interpretations.

    1. Jack Flash says:

      “year horribilis”? Attempt at mixing English and Latin?

      [L] annus horribilis >> [E] horrific year

      If you are going to quote in Latin; get it right please. Bene facis!

      1. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        Yes, “annus horribilis” is better, thanks, the concept is the same.

      2. horoldo says:

        Um, weirdest JA string ever?

      3. horoldo says:

        Yes!

        Yes Horoldo it is!

      4. horoldo says:

        Glad we all agree.

  9. Dale says:

    That camera guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Poor guy….

    At least the FIA realized safety protocols needed to be adjusted and they acually did something about it.

    1. Random 79 says:

      ‘At least the FIA realized safety protocols needed to be adjusted and they acually did something about it’

      Yeah…but if an employee is injured in a company, the company can’t just forbid all the employees from working there anymore and then say ‘look how safe we are now that no one else can get hurt’.

      Real safety protocols allow people to continue to do their jobs, but in a safer manner.

  10. Michael Prestia says:

    When tires were made to last people complained that racing was a procession, people complain now when the tires don’t allow the drivers to drive every lap at their maximum. The complaining is comical.

    1. Random 79 says:

      Agreed.

      To the FIA:

      You’ll never satisfy everyone, just give us some good races with less shamozzles.

  11. dean cassady says:

    The tiresome tedium of those complaining about tyre, is wearying, to say the least.
    I personally don’t care who the tire (I’m Canadian) suppler(s) is(are), but the last year and a half. of the Pirelis, with the other components of the formula, have resulted in the best spectacle of the past fifteen years, certainly.
    I believe the ‘tire-gate’ was orchestrated to shake up the tire specification, in order to favour one (or more) teams that ‘got it wrong’ or otherwise dedicated a higher proportion of their development effort elsewhere, and now want to pull a cheezy cheat, to gain advantage. This kind of thing has been done in the past, and close observers of the sport will know the players involved, recognize their footprints, and notice a new element is now seeking to master these types of ‘games’.
    So far, it looks like the teams that ‘got right’ will benefit even more; that’s my hope.
    This race will be a turning point in the season, one way or another.
    I am looking forward to finding out which way it falls in the race.
    Good job Pireli, too bad you caved on the specification, but you did the best that could be done in a bad situation, bravo.

    1. Michael Prestia says:

      +1 100% Agree!

  12. Franco says:

    The idea from Bernie Ecclestone to have water sprinkled on the track doesn’t seem like a bad idea anymore when you consider all the above comments.

    James, when are we going to see you do the podium interviews?

    1. James Allen says:

      I’ve got enough on!

      I do the post quali interviews at many races, as well as official press conferenes Thursday to Sunday

  13. Harry says:

    What about Pirelli’s late change of compounds for this weekend in Hungary? Changing to a more agressive tyre selection after the weather forecast for the weekend has been announced is pretty poor form in my books.

    Lotus must be at unbackable odds right about now.

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