Posted on January 19, 2014


This week the FIA announced a three-year contract extension for Pirelli as the sole tyre supplier to Formula One and as part of the deal the Italian company has managed to enshrine in the new sporting regulations plenty of protections, to avoid a repeat of the embarrassments of the last year. The contract extension, which will see the Italian company act as sole supplier until the end of 2016, was a long time in the making as Pirelli insisted on changes to the sport’s testing regulations in order to provide more on-track data and to have adequate means to develop More…

Posted on September 13, 2013


One of the defining stories of this 2013 F1 season has been the rise of Mercedes and the way they not only grabbed pole position in eight of the first 12 qualifying sessions (by getting the most out of the Pirelli tyres), but also got on top of heavy tyre wear issues in races to allow Rosberg to win twice and Hamilton once. Analysis by former Williams chief engineer and JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan of photos of Mercedes wheels, taken by leading F1 photographer Russell Batchelor of XPB Images, shows the complex internal design which Mercedes has More…

Posted on August 27, 2013


One of the notable stories in the background of the Belgian Grand Prix weekend was the renewed push on Michelin to come back to F1, either to compete with or to replace Pirelli. And in yesterday’s Le Figaro newspaper in France, the current boss of Michelin sport, Pascal Couasnon, confirmed that the company was ready to come back to F1, as long as the decision is made by the end of October and the FIA is willing to change the character of the sport, away from fast degrading tyres. Michelin also wants an undertaking that during its tenure F1 would More…

Posted on June 30, 2013


FIA president Jean Todt has demanded that F1 tyre supplier Pirelli attend a meeting of the Sporting Working Group, which was already scheduled to take place on Wednesday and is now set to be dominated by the quest for a safe solution to the tyre failures suffered by Pirelli in Silverstone. THE SWG comprises FIA representatives as well as the Sporting Directors of each of the 11 Formula 1 teams. Todt wants the Italian company to offer a proposal at the meeting of how it plans to correct the situation after five drivers suffered blow outs during the British Grand More…

Posted on June 1, 2013


A statement was issued by the FIA on Friday night which takes the story of the secret tyre tests conducted in May by Ferrari (with a two year old car) and Mercedes (with a current car) to the next level, in calling them to co-operate with a disciplinary inquiry. Ferrari being drawn in is an interesting development, given that they were one of two teams, along with Red Bull, to protest against Mercedes over its test. On the face of it Ferrari’s test with a two year old car was within the rules. At the same time Pirelli has issued More…

Posted on May 29, 2013


It has emerged that the new specification Pirelli tyres which were promised for the Canadian Grand Prix will now only be tested there during practice and will be used for competition only from Silverstone onwards. The move means that teams will have two sets of the tyres which will feature a new construction, aimed at reducing the risk of delaminations, to try out before Pirelli make the harder compound versions for use in competition at Silverstone. This means that there is a risk during the Canadian Grand Prix of a repeat of the delaminations seen in Spain and Bahrain, but More…

Posted on May 17, 2013


[Updated]In the aftermath of the decision by Pirelli to make some changes to the 2013 tyres from round 7 in Canada onwards, there has been a backlash from those teams whose cars were working well on the tyres. Lotus boss Eric Boullier and now Ferrari’s Horse Whisperer column have attacked the change and Red Bull in particular for lobbying behind the scenes and in the media for a change in tyres. Pirelli is caught in the middle and whatever changes it makes from here onwards it will be perceived by some fans as having affected the outcome of the championship. More…

Posted on May 14, 2013


The sudden announcement by Pirelli that they are to change the tyre specifications from the seventh round of the world championship onwards will inevitably raise many questions: who will it favour, what are the implications for the racing? With no testing available – a significant part of the reason why Pirelli has struggled to get the tyres right this year – they will have to use a construction solution that has been proven to work in the past, rather than try something new. JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan was chief operations engineer at Williams until the end of More…

Posted on February 13, 2013


The first four races of the new season are set to feature plenty of interest and strategic challenges for the F1 teams as Pirelli announced today that it is making some changes to the tyre choices for those races. They have an aggressive plan for both Australia and Bahrain in particular, where there will be two steps between tyres and softer compounds used than before. So what does it all mean? Well here on JA on F1 we will be leading the way in online Strategy analysis once again this season, as we have for the last three years, and More…

Posted on October 15, 2012


On the same day that Red Bull’s daredevil Felix Baumgartner went faster than the speed of sound in a free-fall parachuting stunt, most of Sebastian Vettel’s rivals must have felt that they too were witnessing a man disappearing away from them at undiminished speed. Vettel’s performance in Korea, like the one in Japan a week ago, restored him to the top of the drivers’ championship in emphatic style and the first 1-2 finish of the season underlined that Red Bull is now back where it was in 2011, taking front row lock-outs in qualifying, with Vettel controlling the race from More…

Posted on August 21, 2012


Bored with waiting for the F1 season to start up again? Tired of crossing off the dates on your wall planner until Spa? If you are missing your fix of F1, we’ve produced a “Summer Special” podcast, which features plenty of new material as well as some “best bits” from the six podcasts we have produced so far, featuring Mark Webber, Ross Brawn, Heikki Kovalainen and many more familiar names. Download it and take it on the beach or just click on the player below to listen. In case you haven’t heard the series so far you can listen to More…

Posted on May 10, 2012


Michael Schumacher said today that he is very pleased to have launched a debate on F1 about what kind of sport we want it to be; one where the drivers push to the limits or one where they have to manage the tyres. And in the paddock today the other F1 drivers have been giving their views on the discussion. The younger ones, who by and large have limited or no experience of racing on the Bridgestones used up to the end of 2010, say that they are quite happy to race on the current tyres. Others have mixed views More…

Posted on April 27, 2012


Pirelli boss Paul Hembery has responded to criticism from fans and drivers that the tyres are too big a talking point in F1 at the moment, saying that the situation will resolve itself soon and the tyres will become less significant. This week has seen a flood of comment on this site and elsewhere following Michael Schumacher’s criticisms of the tyres in Bahrain. The 7 times champion said that drivers were unable to push to the limit on the 2012 tyres and added, “I just question whether the tyres should play such a big importance, or whether they should last More…

Posted on August 29, 2011


Sebastian Vettel may have led team mate Mark Webber home in a triumphant 1-2 for Red Bull yesterday, but behind the scenes feelings are running high between the team’s technical chief Adrian Newey and the F1 tyre supplier Pirelli about the safety of what Vettel did yesterday. Pirelli were unhappy with Red Bull for running extreme camber angles, outside of their recommendations. The reason for doing this is to get better turn in to the corners. But the problem is that with the unique vertical loads every time the car goes through Eau Rouge and then the high wheel rotation More…

Posted on May 9, 2010


The 12 Formula 1 teams under the banner of FOTA are due to meet this morning (Sunday) in the paddock in Barcelona to discuss a number of subjects of which tyre supply for 2011 is the most burning issue. The teams have said that they want a decision this week. All teams are now deep into the design phase for the 2011 cars and they want to know what tyres they will be running on, particularly if they are to be different from the current ones. At present there are three principle avenues open, including Pirelli, Michelin and Avon. However More…



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