F1 Winter Break
Drivers split over the Schumacher inspired debate on what kind of race F1 should be
Posted By: James Allen  |  10 May 2012   |  5:13 pm GMT  |  332 comments

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 with some drivers like Mark Webber on Schumacher’s side and others, like Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, seeing it as part of a modern F1 which is more entertaining for the fans.

“I just think that they’re playing a much too big effect because they are so peaky and so special that they don’t put our cars or ourselves to the limit,” Schumacher said on the CNN network recently.

“We drive like on raw eggs and I don’t want to stress the tyres at all. Otherwise you just overdo it and you go nowhere.”

Webber agrees with his rival,”Always drivers want to push to the limit, it’s in our DNA, ” said Webber. “THe last couple of years it’s changed. There’s a large element of pacing going on and that’s a new trade for us, at this level. Sometimes it can be a bit frustrating, the engineers can get frustrated with how powerful the tyre can be. We can have phenomenal tyres but the racing might not be as exciting. So depends who wants to do what for the sport.”

There’s no question that the moves made on the rules in the last 18 months have made the races more spectacular with a ten fold increase in overtaking at a track like Barcelona compared to the Bridgestone days. Many fans have had their say on this site and elsewhere and there is strong support for Schumacher’s point of view. But at the same time, F1 is aware that it needs to broaden its appeal and the sport has changed from a series of short sprints, to a spectacle full of uncertainty as drivers are forced to react to the tyres’ performance going off. As Webber says, with tyres that degrade at 0.01s per lap and refuelling, the drivers push to the limits, the fastest car will always win and it’s not much of a race. With the current rules, there are times to push (especially in qualifying and at key stages of the race) and times to conserve. It’s an ideological question of what teams, drivers, fans and administrators want F1 to be.

Vettel said this afternoon, “The racing in the last couple of years, since we changed a couple of things, has become much better. I had a race here where I followed Felipe for 60 laps. Nowadays you know that your chance will come in the race. We get a completely different inside the car from what you see outside the car. You have to look after your tyres more than three years ago. Take 2009, we were allowed to refuel, we had new tyres and they lasted longer with not much degradation, it’s a different quality inside the car because you can push every lap. Now we fuel the cars up, the cars are much heavier, it puts a different stress on the tyres. There’s more overtaking, which I imagine is seen as a better quality from the outside, because things happen.”

Alonso agreed with Vettel.

Some other voices from the drivers are as follows:
Sergio Perez “You have to manage your tyres in the first lap to have a more consistent pace and then after that you can push. I find it okay, I have no problems at all with it.

“Perhaps in Bahrain it was a bit too much. But I think it makes the race more interesting for the team, for the drivers, for everybody. It makes it really great because of how you have to approach the race. I’m happy.

As for this prospects for this weekend’s race in Barcelona he said, “It’s going to be a dramatic race for the tyres. I expect high degradation, but it’s the same for everybody. It’s not easy, you have to adapt all the time to different condition. Yes you want to go flat out but you have to take care of the tyres.”

Romain Grosjean: “I think you know what the deg is before the race and then you have to play with it and adapt yourself. For sure you cannot run at 100% for all of the race and it’s part of the game. The driver has a big influence on the tyre. It’s a lot of work with the engineers to save the tyres and see how you improve yourself and if you can make a difference at the end of the race, then good.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “I don’t know any different, Michael has spent more time here and known different stages. I’ve come in and driven on the Pirellis and I haven’t had a problem with it. I’ve adapted to the situation. I don’t know about driving on raw eggs..but for me I’m driving in F1 and it’s awesome.”

Mercedes CEO Nick Fry observed that one of his drivers doesn’t like the Pirelli way, while the other one, Nico Rosberg, welcomes the opportunity to do a better job with the tyres than his rivals. This debate over tyres, he said, “Is a question for the teams and the organisers to answer and we support Michael on having a strong point of view on this. It may not be a point of view that other drivers share, but it is a perfectly valid and intelligent point of view.”

For all the latest news from the F1 paddock in Barcelona including reaction to the debate on F1’s direction, go to http://connect.jamesallenonf1.com/f1-news

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The Ferrari International Assistance F1 years completely turned me off watching F1. I think Michael underestimates the F1 audience/fanbase. If you watch F1, part of it is being fascinated with EVERYTHING being on the edge - not just the drivers who could just thrash round in any car in any class - but also the engineering, the tyres, the strategy. That's why I like all the increased access in F1 at the moment with Twitter, team based online pitwalls etc and blogs like this. I'm constantly trying to work out who has the edge, how and why. Predictability is VERY VERY boring. Michael and the other negative drivers just have to learn to mix it up a bit.


FIA rule quote:

25.2 Quantity of tyres:

"During the Event no driver may use more than eleven sets of dry-weather tyres (six of “prime” specification and five of “option” specification), four sets of intermediate tyres and three sets of wet-weather tyres.

A set of tyres will be deemed to comprise two front and two rear tyres all of which must be of the same specification."

So what racing driver would wish for a possible 11 trips to the pits in one Grand prix? Eh? Such a tangle of pit stops clearly favours the 'average' driver.....just like shuffling a deck of cards....it eventually depends on the pit team expertise than on the outstanding talented driver....like Lewis or Fernando. No its a no-brainer and I completely agree with Schumacher.

In addition there is a naivety about the politics of F1.....Pirelli gain hugely from all these options and engineered 'drop-offs'....this is serious money.


F1 has really become boring with Pirelli tyres all you hear on radio is "manage your tyres, manage your tyres" and when the engineer says "push push push" the drivers reply "no tyres" ... I totally agree with Schumi and Webber that these tyres are undermining performance standards of both the cars and importantly the RACER ! how can a F1 driver be told to go slow ?? Is that RACING ?! FOR HEAVEN's sake ... more overtaking is NOT fun if its driven by TYRES and ONLY TYRES ! its just pathetic .. bring back the good old 90's and 2000's michelin + bridgestones ... those were awesome F1 years !

kowalsky is back

what the fans want is real racing that's at the same time fun to watch and not pocesional.

This is the best the brains of f1 could achieve.

may be they are not as wise as we thought they were.


A ban on testing by the is not assistance. Ferrari, who own two test tracks have been penalised by the FIA far more than any other team, on many occasions.


I am an F1 fan, therefore I like to see the best drivers in the world competing against the each other in the top formula of motor racing, the sport.

It seems to me that you want to see the new F1 strategy GAME, where a number of players see who can manage the unpredictable situation the best.

A number of driver said that you never know what is going to happen in the next race. That would have been great if it was because everyone pushed to the limit (which F1 use to be) and every time someone else win. I agree that the Ferrari golden years was not great for the other parties, but it has happened a number of times in the past as well that a specific team dominate for a period of time. That is F1, best team with the best driver win on the specific day.


I agree. Everything needs to be put into context. In the Schumacher era you had a crazy situation where i believe Schumacher/Ferrari even had their own variant of the Bridgestone tyre compared to the other Bridgestone runners. That's NOT in the interest of the sport surely. Today, teams and drivers need to optimise cars and strategy continually to adapt to track temperature and degredation etc. The variables have increased which give a whole new dimension. Its still F1, no doubt about that. I would like to see qualifying fully derestricted with no limit on tyres and fresh ones of choice for the race. Qualy should be flat out no compromise.


I'm confused - you say "If you watch F1, part of it is being fascinated with EVERYTHING being on the edge" - yet you then go on to defend an era in the sport where practically everything within the car is conserved, managed, paced and run at far less than its actual peak or limit..

I whole heartedly agree with your desire to watch and be fascinated by a sport where thousands of individual parts and a single driver are always courting the edge and the limit.. Sadly though that is the F1 of the past.. Today's F1 is all about conservation and longevity management..

One could even take this sentiment further and apply it to the current tracks where, while I'm sure we all greatly appreciate the safety improvements of recent decades, most of the modern tracks have been totally neutered with their large concrete run off areas, so the limit and the edge, is now much further removed from the actual track demarcation because there is little to no actual penalty from running wide or out braking oneself.. It used to be that if you ran wide, you ran a very high risk of beaching the car in gravel.. Therefore courting the edge of the tarmac was a part of being on the EDGE!

If you go back over history, most of the "bad for the show" elements like refuelling etc all only came in because some bright spark figured out they could get to the end of the race quicker if they did x,y & z and pushed hard enough for long enough to build a gap that gave the team time to a, b or c.. Now with everyone starting in the same conditions, having to race both tyres etc etc - there is far less scope for having a radically different approach to the race, thus there is less reason to push as hard as possible - you only need to push as hard as the guy behind you because you've both got enough fuel, and you've both pretty much got to stop the same number of times..

The current regulations have effectively removed the scope for pushing and being on the edge for long periods of time.. which is bad for F1 in the long term - after all this is not meant to be a game of chess..

My quick fix.. ban pit -> car radio completely! Go back to pit wall signs ONLY.. Its then up to the driver to manage it all, with a tiny tit bit once a lap on his progress/strategy - not a constant stream of information from the pit wall driven by the plethora of sensors being closely monitored in the car.. I *HATE* hearing the engineers dictating how a driver should be driving at any single point in a race that decision really should be down the driver - if not, they may as well just have a remote control robot...

I want the unpredictability factor once more.. when being in front 10 laps from the end did not virtually guarantee a win.. I long for more "random" mechanical failure due to pushing too hard for too long.. I long for a more technically free and limit driven formula.. After all it was this formula that led teams to research and discover better more reliable ways of doing things and thus gave us ABS and many other tremendous inventions and advancements that have now filtered down to road cars.. I want to see things like Schumacher @ Hungaroring 1998, and Senna @ Monaco & Brazil.. Drivers pushing the very limit and staggering belief with a superhuman ability and skill that just leaves you speechless in absolute awe of their courage and ability..

Above all, I don't want to see a formula where every driver gets out and describes his efforts for managing and pacing himself and his machinery based on what the engineers on the pit wall and back at the factory were calculating in real time as the safest option to get to the end of the race..


Beautifully put, Ray, everything seems to be stuffed up these days, doesn't it!

I'm finding classic racing is very entertaining now, what with the different sounds/looks/speeds/etc., etc.

We're not getting that in F1 now, and 90% of the comments/conversation is about tyres, and it is obvious the teams/drivers are all crippled by the tyres, ie, they cant RACE each other!


With all the critisism of the tyres I'm surprised Pirelli are still prepared to supply tyres that go off as badly as they do.


What we are seeing is HOLLYWOOD RACING. None of winners so far this year can hand on heart say they planned their wins and expected the race to go as it went.

This may settle down later on in the year as teams understand their packages better.

It is not a matter of preferring passing over processional racing, any viewer would take this but this is not what we are seeing.

We are seeing manufactured passing over processional racing. DRS, KERS and now wild Pirelli rubber.


Yup, it's sports entertainment, even the overtakes are now scripted. We're heading towards a place where F1 has no more substance than American Wrestling. Why not just go the whole way and put the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan in a pair of Ferraris in a wall of death match and replace the flag with a table to drive through?


Well said Laura. Totally agree.

I think many, many people continually forget, Pirelli were requested/told to make changes with the tyres to spice it up.

And every Team knew this and agreed before the season started.

I think it should also be noted that we are just 4 races in, the teams and drivers will adapt and conquer as the season goes on.

Also, the MS I remember drove a race in stints with multiple tyre changes.

As for 'veeru' comment with regard to predictability.

Respectfully, I disagree and the record appears to contradict your statement :- 4 different winners/teams in first 4 GP.

'The Formula 1 Gran Premio de España Santander 2012 kicks off the first European leg of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship - and it could not be more open. None of the teams is going to the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona in the firm belief that they will dominate, because nobody knows for sure'.

As for the FIA [assistance] quote.

Now, that is funny [& true].


Craig, it has been engineered to be wide open. It's artifically wide open. The sport has been warped and twisted to suit the people who just want to see overtaking, regardless of the skil or substance of it. What is the point of clamoring for more overtaking if most of the overtakes are against a defencless driver on older rubber at the mercy of DRS. It's only overtaking in the broadest sense of the word. There is no substance to any of it.



Vettel's comment above I think is best. It seems as if Schumi wants to have track days in his retirement, where he can push all he likes and doesn't have to be bothered with tires or conservation. Vettel's right in pointing out that, to the fan, that doesn't make a lick of difference and more passing is better.

Processions = bad; passing = good! I can't believe how many people disagree with that.


You're joking right?

What's the point of having 60 overtakes if only 6 of those are actually between drivers/cars with same tyres or same wear on them?

The rest are because they are on different strategies or because some "burned" the tyres too quick.

In China Kimi went from 2nd to 12th in 2-3 laps. That's 10 overtakes right there. Did you enjoy them?

Just imagine a new guy to F1..seeing how easily they pass eachother. What will he think of F1 and this sport? He's gonna turn around confused and dissapointed.


More overtakes does not equal better racing - it's like saying that in a football (soccer) game more goals = more entertainment so lets make the goals twice as wide or use 2 balls. Having the potential to overtake is good, but sometimes not overtaking can be just as exciting (as in the case of DiResta holding off the challengers). Introducing trick tyres and two different magic buttons (KERS and DRS) and then counting the number of overtakes as your measure of success is a very narrow view of things.


Comparisons are getting glib here. Let's refine the analogies: apparently, it's not the passing, but the opportunity to pass that is exciting in racing.

Accepted. By the same manner of thinking, football isn't boring because there are only 1 or 2 goals a game, it's boring because there are only 5-6 shots on goal per game. This makes sense.

However, on the same token, you cannot deny that Pirelli (and let's mention KERS and DRS too, as they have been dragged into this) provide much more of an OPPORTUNITY for one car to pass another than were available during the Bridgestone years. Processional races pre-2010 were not 2 hour excitement-fests owing to the copious amounts of passing OPPORTUNITIES; they were processional because their were no passing opportunities. Period, full stop.

And artificial? Given the Formula One is a regulated sport, Pirellis are about as artificial as clay courts in tennis.

When was the last time Roger complained about the lack of grip at Roland Garros, or the lumpy grass at Wimbledon? Oh that's right, he didn't, because it's the same for everyone and it's part of the sport (oh yea, and he hasn't become a cantankerous old man yet).


Well absolutely. Let's make the nets 30cm tall in tennis, the pockets on a snooker table the size of buckets. Basketball nets the size of a small car anyone?

It is ARTIFICAL (and please let's not go down the 'everything on an F1 car is artificial' route as by this lowest common denominator standard everyone man made ont he face of the planet is artifical.

James Clayton

What most long time racers like to see is an OPPORTUNITY for a pass. I'll happily watch a driver staying right behind another for 20 laps if he's right up there any there's a possibility that a move will happen at any point.

As people have pointed out, the rules have been adjusted and adjusted to allow closer racing (ban on double/blown diffusers, DRS), just to have that taken away from us because the tyres shred to pieces when following.

Peter Scandlyn

Agreed Laura.

I just don't understand the present mindset which permits the tyre to dominate the race.


It isn't the tires that dominate the race, it's the car/driver's ability to use those tires that dominates it.

(this is my last post on the matter!)


'It isn’t the tires that dominate the race, it’s the car/driver’s ability to use those tires that dominates it'.

In your one sentence about what factor dominates the race, there are two references to bloody tyres!!


I don't find fascinating the fact that a driver cannot push the car because the tyres will go off. The results are not showing who's got the best package in terms of speed, setup, driver, aero, tactics. The results depend in big part of the conservation of the tyres.

Look at Kimi in China. How on Earth can he fall from 2nd to 12th in 2-3 laps? I'll tell you. Because of the tyres.

In Bahrain Kimi had the speed and the car to catch Seb, but he couldn't because the tyres DIDN'T allow it. They went off and all he could do was to follow Seb, just like Seb is saying he was following Massa. How is that any different?

I do agree that tyres should count and strategies made around tyres. But these tyres deny the talent in some fast drivers and enhance the talent of those who know how to nurse them. This is not RACING. Racing to is going fast. This is conserving tyres.


Erm, except that 'package' is the key word here! The combination of driver, setup, aero and tactics are what determines how much a tyre goes off.

Usually I tend to side with the 'purist' side of the debate on these things but tbh I'm actually quite positive about the changes this year. I don't see it as being like last year when, for a while, the tyres were extremely short-life and everyone ended up doing about four pitstops. What has happened instead is that use of the tyres have really opened up the strategic side of the sport; the gap between the options and the primes is much smaller this year and makes it difficult to gauge which tyres are the fastest as the track evolves through the weekend and even the race itself. To go back to your question - why did Kimi lose 10 places in China? Because for a while 3 stops looked like the best option, but then it became apparent that two stops was better. Kimi, having made his 2nd stop at about half distance, was left to fend for himself on them for half the race...in the end, he managed to do about 22 laps (more than one-third's race distance) but couldn't quite make it all the way - partly because he made a mistake getting onto the marbles.

Another point I will make is, returning to last season, the teams figured out how the tyres behaved eventually and some of the wild swings we saw early in the season evaporated as time went on (I will ignore the role DRS zones played in this in this post). At the moment I don't think it's a simple case of the rules favouring particular drivers/driving styles; its more the teams haven't got on top of how to use them to help maximise 'the package' yet, and everyone is hence struggling a bit from race to race. Once they do get more on top of that puzzle then the races will become less variable from weekend to weekend and a pattern will, I believe, start to emerge.

Finally I don't see F1 2012 as being a season where everyone tiptoes round for 90-odd minutes and the least slowest guy wins. Rather its more about knowing when to push and when not to; selective speed rather than eradication of it. To a degree, Sundays have always been about this, about that the race management of many changing variables compared to the flat-out qualifying on Saturday. Returning to my first point, my current belief is that the tyres have helped with this crucial aspect of races, rather than hindered them. It has given the teams (as well as drivers) a challenge in trying to maximise their individual packages, and I believe they will continue to rise to it and that a pattern will eventually emerge. Of course though, there are still races to come, and scope for beliefs to be updated.


Sorry, but racing Is about going FAST... AND about conserving equipment TOO. Take NASCAR for example. It's about racing at more than 200mph. Drivers increase speed temporarily running in "couples", taking advantage of aerodynamics. STILL, this can't be carried throughout entire race, because of engine temperature conservation. Even in F1 there is fuel and engine conservation considerations in race strategy.


Each race,the fastest driver and car combination wins.



I want to see the fastest win, not the best at managing tires. Pit stops were changed to stop a series of short sprints, now we have a series of short tyre management sessions.




Totally totally agree


You say potato. I say potarto. (Hmmm doesn't work so well typed rather than spoken!)

Some cars appear to 'conserve' their tires better than others AKA they allow the driver to get to the front and win the race.

To quote another classic, to finish first, first you must finish. That could be to finish first, first you must produce a car that works with the characteristics of the current tires, then you must be super smart with your qualifying and race strategy and finally you must employ a driver who gets the absolute maximum out of the previous two criteria to enable them to win races ....which may frequently involve driving at the very limit of the car and tires available and generally doing things that an average joe bloggs like me could never do thus impressing me no end even if that includes periods of extreme conservation when there is a margin for doing so.

Admittedly if your car, strategy or driver performance means that there are teams out there who have to 'settle' for low order points on a regular basis, the 'conservation' going on must be highly frustrating. I guess those teams just have to get a better car, strategy or driver.

Funnily enough, the one thing they can't do is get 'better' tires. Instead, they're the one thing that is actually a level playing field for all the teams and therefore an effective spirit level for the whole sport. A good old public moan isn't going to change this..... I hope!


Could not have said it better!!!!


They are indeed a level playing field for the driver, we all know that. But they are an artifically weak playing field, which dicate the style of racing for a generation of FAST drivers.

We are so blessed to have all of these great drivers on the grid right now - what does F1 do with all this tallent? - ensure that none of them can be seen by their fans flat out for more than a couple of minutes on a Saturday... Brilliant.


Kimi couldn't pass Vettel because they were both on new sets of hard tyres and the Red Bull was able to keep the flying Lotus at bay. It is the best possible argument both FOR and AGAINST.

FOR: Kimi got in a position to challenge because of tyres and his car's pace.

AGAINST: Kimi could not get past because of tyres and Red Bull's pace.

So what do you want? Someone coming through the field to challenge for a win or just lapping up for the entire race stuck behind someone?

I really don't see the debate.


If it is anything predictable, it is more predictable now than ever!

"the one who saves an extra set of tires will have the edge!!". Plain and simple.

Increased access to F1 doesn't make it exciting. It is racing wheel to wheel that makes it exciting.

Do you get excited by watching the twitter feeds during racing?

negative drivers?? Michael only said that tires are making a huge difference to a point that racing drivers are unable to push themselves and the car.

He didn't ask a tire that lasts for two grands prix.

ohh, by the way "Ferrari International Assistance F1 years" is not funny.


Wheel-to-wheel racing has more to do with aerodynamics than with tyres, IMHO. Also, "touch rules" and a huge, full of "blades and vanes" front wing have a great contribution for a lack of very close position disputes, though some drivers have been atempting them.


More along the lines of 'sad but true'


Please describe to me this wheel to wheel racing that went on in an old school processional race.

For me, increased access does increase my viewing pleasure. I do actually get excited reading twitter and learning something new about the sport I love!

Having thought about it, I don't think it's the driver who has the extra set of tires who has the edge. I think the car and driver combo that is most effective at getting the best performance out of the tires (any tires) does have a massive edge however. But isn't that how it's always been?

And agreed, I didn't find the Ferrari International Assistance F1 years funny either.


I dont understand why everyone wants to talk about the past? The fact is that in the past the regulators of the sport were not as informed and that lead to certain cars gaining hugely distinct advantages over others. Yet it was different back then because usually innovation that gave and edge was usually coupled with reliability issues. Under heavier and heavier regulation from the FIA for legitimate reasons reliability is not so much of an issue. If you don't have reliability issues and some teams have huge budgets in comparison to others you will end up with processional racing as they can develop their car to be better.

Its actually quite funny that some people are talking about drivers skill and speed as if you need more when the tyres don't degrade to win. Yet looking after tyres and knowing when to push is nothing to do with speed or skill?!

When the tyres don't degrade for me it's more the car percentage that counts (agreed inter team driver rivalry would be more about one lap speed than conservation) than the drivers in comparison to racing other teams. If Schumacher was being genuine with his debate then why has he never put forward or argued passionately for everyone to use the same chassis or engine etc? That is the only way you would be able to test the drivers pure speed and skill against each other (except inter team rivalry) fairly. Low degradation tyres would just push the big spenders back to the top and we all know Michael likes that.

I see this argument works for Michael in more ways than one, it's an excuse for his team mate currently getting the better of him and it's protection of his legacy in that if he leaves now unsuccessful on his return he can claim in his peak it was all about pure speed and skill and not this conservation rubbish. Lets not forget the only thing that comes close to being a little bit benchmark-able in equal footing sense are the tyres, all the drivers get exactly the same.


[mod] What makes you think its Pirelli tyres and not DRS + KERS thats making the racing more spectacular. We are watching a **sport** Tomorrow you are gonna cry you need some show for the 100m Olympic final just because one runner is winning all the time.

[Please don't be rude to other readers. It won't be tolerated - Mod]


We're heading towards a place where F1 has no more substance than American Wrestling. Why not just go the whole way and put the Undertaker and Hulk Hogan in a pair of Ferraris in a wall of death match and replace the flag with a table to drive through?



Look at this clip of the 1979 French Grand Prix.

THAT is wheel to wheel racing. THAT is what we are missing today. Not twitters, blogs etc.


Firstly, if everyone could stop pointing out that 'tyres have always been a part of F1' that would be swell - we all know that this is the case, repeating that answer all the way down this page just indicates a lack of will or inclination to post anything other than the 'stock answer'.

Where the problem is for me is that they are now artifically engineered to fade away quicker than ever before - playing to the strengths of those drivers who are enterted for the world tyre saving championships and providing a glass celining preventing the outstanding tallents from displaying their SPEED and SKILL at driving on the edge of adhesion.

So, as an example, Button becomes faster and Hamilton becomes slower to the point where they merge into one grey band of tallent --- no-one shines, no genius is on display. Instead what we get is a lottery for the race win. There is a point where unpredictability becomes predictable and F1 becomes (even) less a sport and more a dice roll. Not through natural evolution, but through a deliberately engineered artifically weak component.

F1 is the pinacle of motorsport? Who are we kidding. Any analogous race car with 'proper' tyres will go faster round any track in the world over a rce distance. An F1 car is only as good as it's weakest component, which is undoubtedly the tyres. Therefore, a modern F1 car in inherrently weak.

Again, what do we want to see?

A)The world tyre saving championship where (I can't believe I'm saying this) a MEASURED approach to racing at 200mph wins the day

B)This generation's genius drivers gievn full reign to showcase their tallent for dancing a F1 car on the edge while the earth shudders, Angels weep and men and women baste in their own juices while watching?


They never existed, give me examples.

Sadly the Schumacher, Todt and Brawn taking the mickey out of everyone years sadly did


no it it is funny


Judging by the drivers response in the press conference I suspect that they have all been briefed to say as little as possible.

Pirelli is in a very powerful position and the teams are fully aware of this.

Craig in Manila

Agreed. Pirelli now seem to be sponsoring everyone and everything (logos are popping-up everywhere) and it'd be fair to assume that recipients of Pirelli's money will not want to be saying anything overtly negative.


You both may not be aware, but Pirelli's contract is with F1 not the teams.

The signage at the side of the track and the signage on cars and driver overalls is set down and confirmed with FOM.

Because of F1 wanting a single tyre manufacturer, the terms that Pirelli and Bridgestone, had before, are similar in effect.

This is also the main reason why a Schumacher, who never once openly criticized a sponsor in his life, feels like he can comment about Pirelli.


Craig, great to hear from another fan 🙂

Re: I honestly don't know about the "partner" issue, maybe it's to do with the car industry rather than the F1 team?

As far as I know, Bridgestone severed their ties with Ferrari when they took over as sole supplier, and that included their advertising not carrying the Ferrari brand.

I would imagine other teams or drivers would take issue with Pirelli if they did have personal contracts.


In my opinion Michael is not directing his criticism at Pirelli but at the tyres which F1 asked for. I have not read anywhere Michael saying "Pirelli tyres are bad"..he is saying "the tyres are bad".

Having said that, this years tyres have a weird operating window, which after 4 races the teams are still not sure how the tyres will react. That's not really what was asked.. These tyres are too impredictable. Having RBR and Lotus lapping 1sec faster than everybody else in China was crazy.

Craig @ Manila

I am aware that Pirelli have a contract with F1 to be sole tyre supplier.

I note that some high-profile teams are now listing Pirelli as a "Partner" on their websites. Are you saying that this is also a requirement of the overall F1 contract ?

How are you sure that Pirelli do not have additional contracts directly with individual Teams and/or drivers ?

PS. My hero was Senna too.


Degredation is one thing.Blocking the track with slag is not logical.1 racing line is a joke.

Monaco will be a procession.


Remember Monaco last year? But for Sutil et al's bad timing it would have been one of the most exciting finishes to a grand prix ever, who knows, maybe the very best. Looking forward to Monaco much more on Pirellis again (predict 10 way battle for the lead induced by a 1 stopping Perez...)


sorry don't agree, there would have been no overtakes at the end last year. At best we would have seen a 3 way repeat of Senna and Mansell.


It would definitely have been one of the best had it not been FIA decided to allow tyre change which pee'd the entire world off.


When has Monaco not been a procession?


Before refueling came in.

Pre-94 there was passing at Monaco, It wasn't easy but it was possible. There were 29 overtakes in 1993 for instance.

Overtaking at Monaco only really turned into a rarity when refueling came in for 1994 as teams then started using pit stops to pass cars rather than getting drivers to risk the car too much.

Pre-refueling you had to overtake on the track as there was no guarantee the car ahead would make any pit stops.


Monaco WILL be a procession; just like 85% of the races that were on Bridgestones.


Monaco is always a procession. weird tyre wear might stop that though. Engage brain or read a history book before posting perhaps?


well that was nice


He has a perfect point it will be worst than ever with it being the most limited track for overtaking and obv highest danger in relation to obstacles/barriers simply an accident waiting to happen.

With the levels of degradation on the very limited Monaco circuit. Maybe one should try thinking before one thinks 🙂


The drivers and teams have to do the best they can with the possibilities open to them. That has always been the case. As long as the rules are the same for everyone, it's as it should be (within obvious limits). The drivers want to do the best they can with the "package", but some seem to forget that tyres are a part of that package, and always have been. There was a time when a set of tyres would be used for more than one race! The drivers of those times coped with that!

If there is something regarding F1 and tyres that should be changed, it's this daft business of having to use both types of tyre during the race. That is that aspect that detracts from "pure racing".


"There was a time when a set of tyres would be used for more than one race! The drivers of those times coped with that!"

Yes but you didn't state that those tyres did last much better than current ones.





you want to go flat out but you can't


Yeah, that's what I thought "RACING" was ALL about!



Isn't that what Saturday is for - to show who has the fastest package over a lap at the limit?

I keep thinking about this Schumi comment, and one day I agree with him other I don't.

On one hand we want drivers to push. On the other we want them to be able to pass and have a shot at it. On one hand we want F1 cars at the limit. On the other we want variables that make drivers react and adopt.

I was with Schumi, but I'm beninning to think - hey Saturday Quali gives you your falt out fastest driver/car. What's the point to go out there and do that over and over and over again Sunday? Sunday, you have to deal with a few more monkey wrenches, use your brain, handle the challange at hand.


That'a a lot of hands!


Good point! Sunday is more brain power than horse power.


Well said!


In the past, not always the fastest driver was on pole, but the one with the least fuel. Now, sometimes the drviever who saves least tyres is on pole, not the fastest. The same as ever.


I'm not sure that's true. It's still a big advantage to line up first.


Yes that's what Saturday is for, but points aren't awarded for pole.

One of the biggest problems I see at the moment is that the drivers who push flat out and perform well in quali are quite often penalised for it in the race. We shouldn't have drivers being forced to purposely miss out on Q3 (Kimi in Bahrain) in order to maximise their chances on a Sunday.

The rule requiring a driver who gets into Q3 to start the race on the same tyres is an outdated rule carried over from the Bridgestone era. The tyres have changed, so the rule should too. It simply isn't necessary with the current regulations (DRS, KERS and Pirelli).


Yes, but it's not all about points is it? If it was everyone would be a Schumi fan since he has most points, etc.

I understand your argument,, but it's still an advantage to be up front and every driver pushes to be there Saturday.

Bottom line each weekend we get to see the fastest and most skilled based on conditions. You can't set your best home to work time everyday. Sometimes some traffic lights are red, know what I mean?


Saturday only gives you 1 flying lap and that's it. On Sunday the driver has the chance to show his consistency, his overtaking skills (which in Saturday are not needed), how well he's phisically prepared, tactics etc.

I hope you now see the difference between Saturday and Sunday.


Great point, makes complete sense.


That is a great way to think about it. I agree.


How many times do you hear an engineer telling a driver to conserve fuel, change engine maps etc because the teams are marginal on fuel?

The teams are deliberately maginal on fuel to carry less weight, but as a result are not able to run the engine at maximum for the entire race. This has nowhere near as much effect on lap time as the tyre degredation, but as a point of principle it is the same thing. The teams are preventing the driver from getting the maximum out of the engine. It's so annoying when a team tells a driver to conserve fuel (slow down), especially when it's entirely within their own control.


You're right Andy, but i don't find it annoying when they slow down, the reason they slow down is because it is faster, when viewed in the long term of the entire GP.

James Clayton

I haven't heard it once this year. I think the teams are surprising themselves with just how little fuel they need to finish a race on Pirellis (aside from Red Bull and Merc last race, of course)


I have, Australia this year with both McLarens


there always has , and always will be ,the need to conserve something in motor racing ; it goes with the territory

how about fuel loads , engine life , gearbox life , brakes ...haven't these things to be 'managed '

great drivers have always been best at this management ...if schu can't compete like this maybe it is time for hime to quit ....again


You missed the point, he didn't say it shouldnt be about conserving, he said they put too much emphasis on tyre management and too little on driving fast.


Audifan you are correct but I think what Michael is saying is that the tyres play too big a role in it.

The tyres at the moment are the limiting factor - to the stage where we don't have to worry about engine life/fuel load/brake life/balls out late braking/somehow holding it together at speed around a corner because at the moment the tyres will ALWAYS crack first.

I can't believe I'm saying this but I think I agree with Schumacher?


I remember a similar debate in the mid-1980's over fuel limitations, meaning turbo drivers had to spend part of the race cruising to avoid running out of fuel.

Perhaps frustrating for the drivers, but this additional factor of unpredictability was often fascinating for the spectators, with some sensational race finishes (Hockenheim 1986 was the one I remember most of all).

It's a great season in 2012 - there's no doubt that the grass always seems to be greener with F1 fans!


I could not agree with you more. It's no coincidence that Fangio won so many races at a time when you were lucky to finish with a working car; he was a master at winning at the slowest speed possible and conserving the car. In those days any number of things could go wrong, so for example they couldn't spend too much time on the rev limiter - the tyres are just the same, and that's motor racing.

James, what's your opinion?

Daniel Bullock

During Fangio's era they races were twice as long as they are now. Which is something everyone seems to overlook.


I said, I see both arguments

F1 has always been about managing things like tyres, engines etc as well as knowing when to push flat out and when to conserve. I like to believe it's a thinking game

James Clayton

But previously it was about conserving things because that's where technology was at; you'd be lucky for an engine to last a race and they couldn't MAKE tyres that could last a whole race.


The balancing act has been fascinating this year but I also see the tyre issue could equalised if there were a number of tyres allocated for qualifying & a seperate allocation for the race. Then teams would not be compromised for reaching Q3 and the battle for the race would be equal to all teams as they would all have the same tyres to race with.

James your thoughts?


love it is a thinking game


No problem with thinking game, but at the moment the tyres introduce another element of LOTTERY (the don't work consistently from one driver / car / team / day / track to another).

It's bad enough that inevitably the weather, luck / timing of stops and back markers make it, at times, bit of a lottery.

Next step: pick starting positions from a hat ?


Well put.


"As Webber says, with tyres that degrade at 0.01s per lap and refuelling, the drivers push to the limits, the fastest car will always win and it’s not much of a race". We have a much closer field this season as Webber will know, but instead of the drivers having to be at their brilliant best to find that extra tenth, it's all about the tyres. What is good about that? Its not much of a race either is it?

Why should we have tyres that fall apart after a few laps, or if you follow closely behind another car or if you push them hard. How is one supposed to race on that?

How about tyres that all the drivers can use and have a chance to fight for wins and points, with no one talking tyres after the race? The drivers still have to manage the tyres, if you abuse your tyres locking up, flat spotting them or going off track, you still pay the price but you are able to push the car and yourself to the limit and the best driver wins.

If you are less aggressive, you can win driving like that. If you are more aggressive you can also win and we have a true battle of pure driving takent. Different driving styles are simply different strategies to win a race and that is part of Formula 1. What is wrong with that?

Would love to see Kimi come from 11th to second or even win a race because he was on the day better and faster than the drivers ahead of him, not because he had new tyres and the others did not.


A true races can win from 17 or from 11th irrespective of the tire. When engine, gearbox everything has to be managed properly, whats wrong with tires?. That the same in real world. When my new tire is supposed to run for 60k miles, if I abuse them it wont even last for 30k. So I have to handle them.

If MS wants strong tires, he can opt for the regular road car tires, which will last for the whole season.I would recommend using Michelin

The problem for MS is not the tires but the special treatment he is not getting from FIA and the tire supplier. If those support is back, he wont complain.


Its really easy to understand Michael's argument : he is questioning whether tyres should play such a critical role in race outcome , he is concerned that racing has become more about tyres than anything .


"In what race, during the WHOLE BRIDGESTONE ERA, did a mid-field car battle through the pack from 11th to fight for the lead?"

I recall several races where cars came through from the back of the grid.

There were several times in 2005 where Raikkonen had to come from the Mid-Field/Back of the grid. Remember Suzuka that year?

I also recall Schumacher at Imola that year starting Mid-Field & finishing 2nd right behind Alonso.


"A true races can win from 17 or from 11th irrespective of the tire. "

Schuamcher won from 16th at Spa 1995, back when everyone used the same GoodYear tyres. No special treatment needed there.


@hero_was_senna - And that was excellent defensive driving or toothless attacking from Hill. Hill had wet tyres and couldn't get by Schumi's Benetton on slicks, in the rain. The Schumacher of the 1990s was superb, even without Bridgestones.


Totally different cars/rules/everything but the german crybaby.


I don't remember the rain lashing out only for Schumacher. Right James?


re: James Allen



As did very aggressive defensive driving against Hill




So watching Kimi track down Vettel wasn't exciting sport?

I don't know many people who slept through it, the only ppl who have said boo are internet warriors who worked up a head of steam after Schumi opened his mouth.

On Bridgestones, Kimi would have got up to 8th after the start, and then spent the race stuck behind someone while the winner finished 50 seconds ahead of 2nd place.


Kimi on equal tyres would've passed everyone. He was on true form. Yet he makes one chance and is punished by his tyres losing their peak performance after a lap of being within a second of a car.

That's not racing. The tyres need to stand up to atleast 5 laps of wheel to wheel racing.

If the options last a 15 solid laps and then slowly degrade by .05 of a lap for the next 5 onwards that would be great.

Then the prime that is maybe .5-.75 slower a lap that lasts 20 solid laps and then degrades by the same rate as the option.

Teams would have to compromise outright pace with more pit stops to a slower tyre that you could gamble will over the entire race save you that extra stop time.


In what race, during the WHOLE BRIDGESTONE ERA, did a mid-field car battle through the pack from 11th to fight for the lead?

The only races where anything remotely similar happened were affected by rain or pace cars, and the car out of place was well and truly out of place (e.g. RBs first win at Hockenheim... in a Ferrari, on Bridgestones, in teh rain, with SCs).

Pirelli made Bahrain exciting. How many exciting Bahrin GPs (let's expand that to exciting GPs on Tilke circuits) were there on Bridgestones?


If you listen to want Kimi said after the race.

He pointed out that you need to be on it for the whole race. By getting stuck behind Massa for a couple of laps he reduced his window of overtaking with Vettel. He did get one shot, but chose the wrong side. Without the laps behind Massa he could probably have had another shot, or two.

So in fact, the pirelli tires require drivers to deliver at their maximum all through the race. That is good news.


Well said!


"As Webber says, with tyres that degrade at 0.01s per lap and refuelling, the drivers push to the limits, the fastest car will always win and it’s not much of a race". We have a much closer field this season as Webber will know, but instead of the drivers having to be at their brilliant best to find that extra tenth, it's all about the tyres. What is good about that? Its not much of a race either is it?

Why should we have tyres that fall apart after a few laps, or if you follow closely behind another car or if you push them hard. How is one supposed to race on that?

How about tyres that all the drivers can use and have a chance to fight for wins and points, with no one talking tyres after the race? The drivers still have to manage the tyres, if you abuse your tyres locking up, flat spotting them or going off track, you still pay the price but you are able to push the car and yourself to the limit and the best driver wins.

If you are less aggressive, you can win driving like that. If you are more aggressive you can also win and we have a true battle of pure driving takent. Different driving styles are simply different strategies to win a race and that is part of Formula 1. What is wrong with that?

Would love to see Kimi come from 11th to second or even win a race because he was on the day better and faster than the drivers ahead of him, not because he had new tyres and the others did not.


Look at the driver whose comments initiated this discussion;

Michael Schumacher was at his prime during the years where cars started and finished the race as they were.

Of course he was happy with the virtually indestructible tires at that time since he was always at the front.

Hes simply a grumpy old man longing for the "good old days".

Formula 1 is the best it has been for years.

No point in moving backwards.


I think Michael should look at Roseberg's data again as he seems to be able to use the same car and tyres in a more efficient way which I think it frustrating for Michael as he has always been used to being Nunber One.

If Bridgestone came back into the picture I think Michael may find that he will be still fighting to get up the front as his younger rivals will also adapt very quickly to the situation.

The racing at the moment is exciting and we have had different winners each round and that's great from a spectators point of view and the Champoinship.


Bar China they've either been equal in pace or michael has been comfortably faster....


Dunno bout that!



+ 1

Bring on the turbos!


+2 🙂


Completely disagree with both of you.


Completely disagree with your disagreement 🙂

Seriously, F1 is much better 2012 than 1992-2002.


Schumacher is 100% right, I watched F1 on many occasions live (spending a mini fortune travelling the world) pre and post the tyres degrading as much as they do now and although there was less overtaking the sight of seeing drivers push to the limit used to be amazing and when you sew an overtake you knew the skill that went into it.

It may just be me but when I see an overtake now, I just think its DRS or Tyre wear that caused it and not driver skill. You look at great Schumacher, Senna etc drives of the past and their showed they dominance by almost lapping the whole field. Some may take this as a negative but with cars so similar now can you imagine the fights we would have if the tyres lasted longer. We sew how Vettel with a much better car than the rest last year conserved his tyres instead of showing the field how much of a better car he had by truly dominating the race like the old greats did.

We may be talking about a new younger era, however I am a pretty young F1 supporter for many years and I have to say I am getting a bit bored of it at the moment. Great we see different cars winning but can you truly say that is all down to the tyres or how close all the cars are this year. We sew what happened last year with the same tyres but a dominate car! One on the most processional F1 for years.

I want to see the drivers push so hard that they get out of the car exhausted knowing what a great feat they have just achieved. I remember Alonso saying when the tyres first came out that he got out of the car and was not very tired, a feeling he was not used too previously.

To me F1 has become a driving Miss Daisy in fast cars. Sure seeing more overtaking may bring a new fan to F1 but it also may lose its die hard following.

Only time will tell of course


+ 8 (sideways). I'm getting tired of this form of F1.


Great post Marlon, completely agree. I am loosing my interest in the sport as it is just designed now at attracting the casual fan in a dumbed down F1 campaign.


Isn't that what Sky is for?


You clearly haven't seen the coverage Ted Kravitz has been doing. He is simply excellent and goes into more detail than he was ever allowed to do on the BBC.


Well put.



The removal of the thrill is more Aero related than tyres as such im sure of that. Remember the days when they used to drift round the corners?? that was the glory days died out by early 90s though 🙁


I can't ever remember an F1 race where drivers did qualifying laps from start to finish. Tyre degradation has always been part of F1.

If they put 2006 spec tyres onto Schumacher's tyres now, he'd complain they didn't have enough grip.


Schumi did it at Hungary in 1996 with a 4-stopper. It was amazing, and it is something that you would never see with the new tire regs, which I think is partly to blame for the moaning these days.

That said though, it was a one off, and the fact that I can look back over 20 years of watching f1 and come up with a lonely example goes to show how engaging 50+ quali laps is for the audience. SNOOZE!

Give me rain, give me attrition, give me PIRELLI!


Good point (or was in 1998?). But then again, Schumacher COULD do qualifying laps this year if saved his tyres in quail and he pitted 6 times in the race.

If he'd stopped twice in Hungary he would have had to manage the tyres and tip toe at the end of the stints.




What I want to see, are Pirelli tires without the FIA regs. Meaning, make multiple sets of ALL compounds available to everyone, and get rid of the 2 mandatory compounds and quali tire rules.

That way you can get Perez on super hards driving around 1-stopping, while Button can dole around 2 stopping on mediums, and Schumi and Hamilton can 3-4 stop on supersofts.



How times have chnaged.

When they re-introduced grooved tyres, no end of drivers were angered by the decision. Jacques Villeneuve in particular was very vocal about his feelings.

Yet Michael was more than happy because it allowed him to decide with Goodyear and subsequently Bridgestone on the design and characteristic the tyres should have. They were tailor made.

I remember races in 1997, where Villeneuve would work on his car throughout qualifying to make sure his Goodyear tyres were fit to last the race.

Bridgestone, at the time on Panis's Prost and Damon Hills Arrows, had races were they were the stronger rubber.

Yet it was always Villeneuve that had the better race pace, his performance more measured than Schumacher's typical driving.

The problem as I see it now, is that Schumacher as a 7 times champion still has a considerable voice in F!. Yet he has not won a race in 6 years, a championship in 8, but he is still headline news. The problem is, a 43 year old "past it" driver shouldn't have the relevance that his misguided advisors think he deserves.

Throughout history, drivers have had to preserve some element of their car. Has everyone forgotten that we don't see engines changes anymore, or gearbox changes. F1 has become an endurance event.

The race might be over in 2 hours, but the engine and gearboxes have some hours still left to run.

Schumacher is proving second time around that he needs it all his own way otherwise he cannot compete at the top level.

Personally I think it was always so.

It's fascinating that Perez, Rosberg, Vettel and Alonso have said they have no problems.

Here's a question for you all.

Schumachers forte was winning races with multiple stop strategies. Usually more than the other drivers. Sometimes equal.

Can anyone tell me if he ever ignored the sprint format and actually made less stops than his adversaries?


Prior to 1998, Williams was the preferred car for Goodyears to test on. Goodyear would make tyres specifically with Williams in mind as they were the fastest car the previous year and we had tyre competition with the Bridgestone. Only after the first 3-4 races in 1998, did Goodyear change their preference to Ferrari and Michael. Nobody was happy about the grooves, because it meant less grip round the corners. But the tyres were fine as they allowed the drivers to push for every lap. It was a fascinating year 1998, one of the best.


You're right on some points.

Williams won both championships in 1996, so development for 1997 centred around them for as they were the leading Goodyear runner.

In 1997, Bridgestone had entered the sport so Goodyear obviously focused on Williams.

In 1998, Benetton had changed to Bridgestone, but Mclaren changed from Goodyear to Bridgestone just weeks before the season, because they claimed Goodyear, who were pulling out at the end of 1998, had broken the 2 year contract they had with Mclaren.

Renault had also withdrawn from the sport and Newey had left Williams, all factors that made it obvious within 3 races that Ferrari were the better team to back as Schumi won in Argentina.

The grooved tyres came in for some criticism during their time in F1 because when Bridgestone and Michelin raced each other, the tyres would get quicker as the tyres wore down, until there was hardly any groove left.

In fact, the tyres always got quicker as the grooves wore away, essentially removing the groove made the tyre a slick!

If you really want to know how important the pit-stop/fresh tyres/re-fueling era was to Michael Schumacher, bear in mind, that in 2005, when tyres had to last the race, he only won 1 race, when Michelin refused to run at Indianapolis with potentially dangerous tyres.

I remember 1998 for 2 main reasons, the Hungarian GP which Michael had to get "19seconds in 19 laps", a quite brilliant strategic victory, but funnily enough with no actual over-taking, and the massive pile up at the start of the Belgian GP.

Oh yes, and the fact that Hakkinen had to be gifted his 2nd victory by DC.


Nice read, thanks


A lot of what you say there is true, but the fact that the ferrari's tyres wore out was more down to that Schuey was having to drive the nuts off it every corner as it was totally down on power and downforce compared to the Williams. I'm not a massive fan, but I think most people would accept that Villeneuve vs Shuey in the Williams, we know who would have won...


Which would hold true if Irvine his team-mate wasn't wearing the same tyres down at the same rate.

Re: downforce and power, I agree with the DF but the power was about equal in 1997.


In 1997, it was widely believed that Villeneuve had a fundamentally faster car than Schumacher and the rest of the field. That's why he had faster race pace. Yet Villeneuve struggled to wrap up the title, and spent almost ten years in the sport afterwards (without a large break in the middle) being lackluster.

Schumacher did just fine on the Goodyear tyres between his debut in 1991 to 1998, and every team used the Bridgestones in 1999 and 2000. So it's ludicrous to claim that he could never compete at the highest level if things aren't all his own way.


Don't think for one minute that Ferrari used the same Bridgestones as the rest of the Bridgestone runners...for years Bridgestone gave Ferrari a completely different tyre to even Bridgestone customers.

Schumacher had every advantage you can think of...

I'm sure Barrichello's autobiography will be well worth the cover price and we can all unravel just how those seven world championships were won...


Say 5 of them. Let the other 2 (94-95) for Briatore's book, if he ever want to tell his dirty little secrets...


It was from 2001 that Mclaren started complaining about Bridgestone. Schumacher already won three titles before then, and 44 races, most of them not even on Bridgestones.


You miss my point. In 1997, the Williams was recognised as the best car out there, but it was also driven by Frentzen who only won at Imola that year.

In fact Frentzen got 6 fastest laps with the car, yet Villeneuve got only 3, but race victories was 7 to 1

He retired from 5 races and disqualified from Japan.

It's not about outright race pace, it's also about getting to finish first.

I have never particularly rated any driver from 1994 till 2001, so won't argue JV's case, yet he thrashed a Frentzen that all experts knew was quicker than Schumi.

As to your last point, 91 to 98, he had 1 win in 92, and 93, 94 an illegal car and subsequently drivers who weren't in his league TBH, plus also a subserviant team-mate at Ferrari and we have the most boring period in F1 history, and I'm a Ferrari fan.

Can you imagine if that had been Prost and Senna during that period at Ferrari. No-one would have cared about the others, because it was gloves off. Yet we're meant to tune in every week, knowing that MS would be in front of RB and they would walk away with it.


I'm not going to argue so much about 2002 or 2004 being dull, but Frentzen certainly wasn't quicker than Schumacher in F1, with only one pole in that Williams. And the guy who trashed him struggled to wrap up that title over Schumacher.

Schumacher was very impressive up until the early 2000s (when the peiod of domination started), so he certainly didn't need it all his own way.


"Schumacher is proving second time around that he needs it all his own way otherwise he cannot compete at the top level.

Personally I think it was always so."

Couldn't agree more!


Schu tended to make less pit stops when he tactically crashed into other drivers


Monaco 95-1 stop as sposed to Williams 2 stop, believe this happened a couple of times during the season despite Williams & sometimes even ferrari having a faster car.


That's another chest-bottom, pinchers-picked example.


i have no idea what that is supposed to emply but see the whole 1995 season for refference and you should see what i mean! he dominated in a 2nd/3rd best car at best and made everyone else look completly silly.

credit where credit is due he has won more races than anyone else-more championships the lot and in many different car, tyre situations etc-cant just critisise they guy off the bat like he's some middle of the road rookie.

and this is comming from a damon hill fan!




+1 you forgot to add ultimately the grooved tyres was the reason villeneuve retired too.


Schumacher has spent too much of his F1 career in bed with a company that built tyres to his and his team's liking. Whatever the why's and whatever's he should accept the status quo (who, coincidentally, also faked retirement) or quit. Damn it was close but I resisted the "re-tire" pun. Till then.


What about the goodyears that he used in 1994/95 were they designed for him. Also are you telling me he was the only one getting special treatment by a tyre manufacturer. Your telling me Michelin didn't give Renault or mclaren special treatment?

His point was a more general point about the fact f1 was putting too much emphasis on tyre management and as you can see from the debate on this site a large amount of people agree with him.


1994 has never been proven but most suspect that car was illegal with traction control.

I see Briatore involved, Brawn, Symonds and maybe the biggest rogue of all, notorious for much cheating in touring cars over the years, was Tom Walkinshaw.

1995, a great year from him, and some great drives, but the re-fueling era was a God send for Schumi.

He could have a light car, fresh tyres every 15 or 20 laps. He was young and without question the fittest by a mile.

The others have all improved his fitness levels, MS has no advantage anymore and it shows.


He is now 43 and hardly making a fool of himself. Sure he isn't what he once was but he is still damn fine. Personally I find him an inspiration when you consider he could be the father of some on the grid.

As for your tarnishing of his achievements the fact he is still around shows how good he was. The best drivers always find a way.


As Eddie Jordan said, even among the teams that used Bridgestone tires, Schumacher always had compounds a class above what other teams could hope for, and they were all on Bridgestone!


"modern F1 which is more entertaining for the fans."

Its cheap thrills James, that's all it is.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I agree with Paul L.

There is no more of story to the races. No hunting down and overtaking through sheer determination and grit.

It' just a case of managing your degradation and hoping that the race come to you. That towards the end of the race your tyres are fresher than the guy in front of you to get within 1 second.

...you are then gifted an overtake by activating a flap and passing the guy in front as if you were in the left lane on the autobahn.

Entertainment?? No way. Think about quality dramas vs cheap soaps.

Watching "old" F1 was like watching a quality production piece...slower story lines and more time for characters to develop. Watching the "new" F1 is like watching Eastenders (as it has been over the past 15 years)....ever changing cheap story lines with little credibility and an overload of gags.


+1. Brilliant.


They have Eastenders in Colombia??

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

I live in Colombia, but am British.


No, that soap opera was Montoya..


I disagree. Lots of passes today are from DRS, but many are not, and they are just as fascinating as the passes of the good old days.

Most overtakes in the past were in the pitlane. Perhaps that's not artificial, but it's not exactly hunting down and sheer determination and grit either. Perez and Alonso in Malaysia, that had everything you're talking about even without an overtake. So by no means is DRS an automatic. Later on, Rosberg started on pole and won the race! It's not like DRS or the Pirelli's are mixing things up to the point of complete randomness.

Here's how I've come to accept DRS: Trulli trains and Alonso stuck behind Petrov in Abu Dhabi 2010 were artificial. The faster car couldn't pass because AERO (not skill or bravery) would not allow them to. Now, we wipe out that artificial blocking nonsense and allow the faster car an opportunity to take advantage of its speed so faster drivers can actually battle with the cars they should further up. DRS is necessary today because of today's aero and the cost of following a car. Was it necessary decades ago for good racing, no. But you need to consider DRS as part of the modern package.


Everything in F1 is a compromise. For me, the debate is about the *why* of each compromise, not the *what* each compromise. Is it needed because of physics or driver ability? Or is it needed because the of the artifice of rules?

Then chuck in safety, just to make things even more awkward.

At heart, it's whether we want F1 to be a sport or a game... and how we compromise between the two.

I honestly don't know what I feel about the tyres. There have been times when the racing has been awesomely exciting (nods to Mark Webber here...) and others when it's been nothing more than the limit of a probability equation.

I really don't know. With DRS and Pirelli's tyres it does sometimes feel like a rule-twisting game, but I can't separate that from the same rules that banned the gound effect + skirts + extractor fans concept.

Help me here.


It's been said before but maybe the solution is to reduce the total grip? And the easiest way to do that is reduce the surface area by giving the drivers narrower tyres. You could increase the durability and the drivers could go flat out because narrow tyres = insufficient grip = skidding and flatspots = a need to change more frequently.

Yes would probably be a step back in terms of safety, but modern composites and decent run off areas should address that. Actually on that the challenge would be to ensure the runoffs cost the driver in terms of time without killing the car or driver.


That's the debate isn't it?

I can see both arguments. Johnny Herbert was telling me today that he thinks the racing is great and that fans don't appreciate how much the drivers are pushing because it's all relative. Drivers always want maximum grip for the sensation it gives and moan when they don't get it. He was very interesting on the subject and will be addressing it on SKY's coverage this weekend


On Sky's practice coverage today Johnny Herbert also said he feels Schumacher has a point in that tyres are becomming too important.


telling us to go watch SKY while you work for the BBC?! James you might get in trouble for that!


Not at all. Being impartial and saying it as it is. Herbert is good on this subject.


I wonder if Johnny Herbert would be saying the same if he was actually driving one of the cars?

I would be interested to see Martin Brundle and DC blasting around the track like they did for the BBC in the past... Would be interesting to hear what a former drivers think of how the cars are now, compared to when they were driving 🙂

Could be an interesting Sky/BBC co-production there don't you think 😛


DC would still be very much in touch with the current cars, Brundle and Herbert though very different days!


Exactly. If the drivers were given a jet engine and glue instead of tyres, we as spectators still have to respect their skill at getting the absolute most out of such a vehicle.

F1 evolves. It isn't a static format with tried and tested parameters. Different teams get more out of the regulations than others at different times. So do different drivers. to be honest, the only thing for sure at the moment is that the tyres are the same for everyone. So whether a team or driver likes them or not, they still have to use all their skill and smarts to to push them to the limit and consequently get the results they want.

Might I suggest that, presuming Schumacher's the same driver he always was and the tires are equal for all, if he's having to 'manage' his tyres to the detriment of his results, the problem could be with the car Mercedes have given him?


Funny man Kevin, we think alike sometimes, shock horror!!! So so true.


No he just is not and never was near as good as the results and illusions of the past suggested, I think its brilliant that he came back to set the record straight hats off to him, must have been his consience 🙂


Any chance you'll be streaming that coverage on JAonF1.com, eh? 😛


From what Schu seems to be saying though, it's not that the drivers are pushing to the limit albeit with less grip and greater degredation than they are used to, its that they are no longer pushing to the limit so as to minimise the degredation.


Superb post. I was waiting for every driver's comments. Racing is not all about driving on straights with long lasting tyres. We spectators should also be kept under the radar since we pay for the tickets and we love to see overtakings, pits mistakes, frowning and waving drivers, babes with banners.

And Perhaps Schumi is too old to learn some new things among the new lined up kids? Kimi has been the best example in this case.


Kimi is a great example. What happened to him in china was plain silly!


What happened to Kimi in China, is effectively what happened to Vettel last year when with 1 stop fewer for tyres, Lewis came through and won the race.

The only difference is this year, the teams are closer so one strategy mistake doesn't cost you 1 or 2 places, it can ruin your race.

Do you know what's even better about these tyres?

The fact that Vettel can qualify on pole and can't just build a few seconds lead and win. He has to drive the race and feel pressure.


Yeah, he is a sleeping Giant! and thats a one race to forget, but he improvised in the next race, which always makes racing a better game. Intriguing for other drivers too.

PS. I am not a Kimi fan at all.


Yup & they learnt from it & see what happen in Bahrain after that, P2.

So drivers just need to adapt, even comback WDCs.


The bottom line is that no matter what the situation, people are going to be complaining about something. At least this way, there will be less people turning away from F1, because it is so unpredictable, and more people tuning in. When there were processional races there were just as many (if not more) people complaining. One thing is for sure, those processional races didn't attract any new viewers!


"One thing is for sure, those processional races didn’t attract any new viewers!"

Thats actually incorrect. F1's viewership has been increasing constantly over the last 10 years.

Even when there wasn't as much overtaking F1's viewing figures were still going up.


From the low point of early 2000s when Schumacher was winning everything you mean?

True that they started climbing from 2006/7 onwards.


I think they have just gone a bit too far this year with the tires. Sure there are always areas one has to look after on a race car but the tires are just too sensitive this year and seem to play too large a part in the outcome.

I didn't like the processional races either, but this is a bit much.

I am probably the only one, but I miss refueling during the races. The added element in the pits I always enjoyed. I haven't liked the full tanks at the start kind of racing myself, but again, I am probably the only one.


"tires ... play too large a part in the outcome."

No. They don't. Everyone has the same tires. It's the driver, car and team that completely determine the outcome. They choose how to best use the equipment.


I agree with you. Give us back refueling and better tires. Stop dumbing down F1.

I don't even know who wins a race by luck and who wins by skill this year. Seems like a single lap behind another car kills the tires. Tuning off from F1 for the first time in years.


No to refuelling that's contradicting your wish for luck related results anyway (ie safety car in relation to race car track position etc etc) no refuelling one dry tyre compound and unlimited tyre's that's the only fair way to suit all drivers all teams and more importantly all fans, No fans = no F1 sick of all the what if variables in F1.


What about keeping the tyres and dropping DRS?

I think having both is the problem. A car on fresh tyres overtaking a car on old tyres does not/should not need DRS to ensure the pass.

THAT is what is taking away the spectacle to knowledgable fans (in my opinion...)

Not sure about re fuelling...

BUT I would love to see less marbles, as PR for a "greener" F1 the track at the end of the race is a disgrace. There used to be marbles but not like the last few years....I am not a greeny by any stretch but it just looks bad.


Maybe not in Schmi's Briegestone and Goodyear years, but historically tire management has always been a part of F1 (2 of Moss's greatest victories were at Nurburgring and Monaco in 1961 where he managed to beat the Ferraris by managing his tires better. The tires are the same for everyone. Suck it up Schmi.


To look at history, what about Fangio's legendary win at the 57 Nurburgring, or even further back but no less a race, Nuvolari in the Alfa beating the Mercedes and Auto Unions in the 1935 German GP.


Not +1

In 1961, they couldn't produce better tires. Nowadays you know better tires exist, they just aren't produced. That is the whole problem. Teams are fighting for every last tenth on car development, only to see it scupper away when you hit the cliff in the corner after the pit straight. You then know you have to survive a lap losing over 2-3 seconds.


I have followed F1 for a fare while now (35 years or so.), that doesn't make me an expert I understand but, as a fan of f1, I feel what we have now is at the very least somewhat a better show than most of the previous ten seasons or so as 2003 and 2007 were for me entertaining seasons. Show! entertainment! might sound like the kind of vocabulary you don't want relevant in F1 if you are a "true racing fan". I can see the point some fans make when stating that drivers should always be able to race at full speeds over a race length. Was it truly ever as such?

I remember drivers having to look after their tires for as long as I have watch. Maybe not to the extent of today but still a skill required.

I remember drivers having to watch their gas consumption as, not only they had to start with a full load, but that load was limited, the same for all. they would adjust the turbo boost to control their fuel burning.

I remember that you use to have to manage an all out attack not to overcook your brakes.

I remember...what i am trying to say is that, the 100% all the time is not realistic.

F1 talks a lot about tires lately. F1 itself, the medias, the fans. As nothing else much seems to go wrong with F1 cars, it is the one culprit of sort.

I have enjoyed what I have seen so far this season, but I know that soon we will see all the teams come to terms with the tires and I would not be surprised if fans then start complaining that the tires are too predictable.

Finally, they are the same for all so I can't see how the tires can hurt the fastest drivers or the fastest cars more than the rest.

If changes are made to "fix" the tire situation, I hope it won't lead us back to predictable races.



Don't forget things then were at the limit of the technology they could afford in the day.

In a way, things were so much on the limit, it could indeed break down.

Now you know wat CAN be done, but is just isn't done.

When did you see a novice driver spin out? Not as much these days.

When did you see a mechanical failure? Except for a certain Mercedes, not so much these days.

Remember Spain 2001(?)? Hakinnen losing in the last few laps due to a clutch failure? I miss the tension of a car making it to the end or not.

It is al traded in for tires, tires, tires...


Marc, great post, my thoughts are exactly the same!


This is probably one of the best comments I've read on the internet regarding this whole debate in the last month or so.


Honestly, I view Michael as the best driver of all time.

But this cry-baby whining about tires is unseemly and degrades his image.

Everybody has the same tires.

Just drive.


Just to add some flame,

I amon Michael's side.

Today's tyres are a joke, and for me, long time F1 fan it is not fun or pleasant to watch.

I always bring the argument, that following such suite as DRS and these tyres, we'll end up with something like mandatory overtakings, crashes or random-black flagging... just for fun, because it will be totally unpredictable.


Cant understand why the drivers moan about tyres of all things as there all on the same brand and the same compounds available.

But as I have said before there should only be one dry format compound available on race day to keep it a known quantity even playing field with unlimited stops/tyres available to keep them pushing.

The perfect solution with no room for drivers moaning about un equal degradation in comparison to there rivals as all the cars are set up/designed on the same platform tyre keeping everything fair on the basis of in coming race day products ie the tyres.


MSC might want to go flat out all the time but without re-fuelling he would run out of fuel so I don't really see what his problem is. Learn to manage the tyres and fuel, or go.

Gareth Foches

I find myself browsing and following F1 less and less since 2009. I can't put my finger on why, there are so many things wrong with it.

Here's one though:

The definition of "race" has been thrown out the window by the most technological advance race on earth.

It's now not about absolute speed, but just fast enough to finish in front, or at all (with lack of fueling). The days of jaw droppingly lapping the entire field is over.


"It’s now not about absolute speed, but just fast enough to finish in front..."

It was ever thus. Fangio was famous for it, and others as well.

Only a complete idiot would lap the entire field. Would he get more points for it? A bigger trophy? A prettier girl?


Michael is just being a crybaby. For all his greatness, he cannot figure out a way to maximize his cars performance envelope within the same parameters and challenges as faced by all other teams on the grid.

What about Nico in the same equipment or Kimi, a recently returned driver who knows of the bygone tire era Michael pines for.

Never forget this glory years were the product of unlimited testing and budgets as afford by Ferrari and Bridgestones custom made suited to and for MS and only MS. Michael made maximum returns on his opportunities in the fiscal, commercial and political environment of F1 at that moment in time. To even consider that his greatness during that time was done on an even playing field is folly.

At least now, the playing field is more level, albeit somewhat contrived. It is now racing with the human element instead of an exercise in the engineered capabilities of a modern F1 car repeated in lap clusters of 2 or 3 stints.

Schumi's legitimate claim to on-the-edge greatness were his qualifying battles with Mika before the tire wars came into F1.


'He can't figure out a way to maximise his cars performance envelope'.

Erm, I would strongly suggest looking at his lap times from his last few races. He has been very quick, even quicker than Nico this year but has been desperately unlucky. His claims have nothing to do with his results; he is simply stating that they are all driving around too slowly.


I'm thinking that the old dogs are showing their age. They were the best in their days and the times are a changing. Very evident when you see what some younger ones are saying about this topic. Even Alonso seems to be able to adapt to it.....

Peter Scandlyn

... seeing it as part of modern F1 which is more entertaining for the fans!! Really, from the drivers?? Yeah, right - it'd be the last thing on their minds.


I'm troubled both by those who say Schumacher is 100% right and those who condemn him as 100% wrong.

I don't think the tyres ought to be at either extreme. Though I agree with those that say they degrade a bit too easily, I don't want a massive change in the opposite direction.

Button was amusing today:

"I think our car aerodynamically is strong and mechanically it's not too bad either but sometimes it doesn't seem to click and that must be the four things that are touching the circuit."


Interesting article James. One point you didn't mention was that, before 1994, when F1 racing was at its peak during the Piquet/Mansell/Prost/Senna era, drivers had to preserve their tires, conserve fuel, engine, & gearbox or they risked not finishing or being passed at later stages of the races. In fact, some of Prost's best wins against Mansell or Senna were due to these factors. And most fans over the age of 40 regarded that era as one of the best for F1 in terms of racing and excitement. I love the new rules - they truly test a driver's speed and intelligence. Let's hope it stays. BTW, Schumi's comments will not be looked at favourably. If he won because he pushed every lap to the limit, and if the best cars win, then one must conclude that most of his 91 victories were due to the fact that he had the best cars and tires at his disposal, and not necessarily that he was the best driver.


Your on the money 100% !!!!!!!!!!

I can remember Prost "The Professor" pacing himself during the race only to come back strong and win during the closing stages of the race.

The drivers in this modern era who have that precise feeling for the car and tyres will produce good results with the help of their engineers.

In some races this year Button seemed to have a good balance and strategy.

It's going to be a great season with very different results which should make for some entertaining races.


The difference between then & now is that drivers had more freedom in how they ran there races.

You could take the hardest compound & go the full race without making any pit stops or you could take the softer compounds & run flat out planning to make a stop or 2.

There were many examples of drivers such as Prost taking the hardest tyre compound & driving to preserve them while others took softer compounds & drove flat out.

Now you don't have these options because not only are they all forced to stop to run both compounds but both compounds wear ridiculously quickly which forces everyone to drive to conserve them regardless of compound.

What shoudl be done is to bring all 4 compounds to every race, The hards can go the distances, The medium/soft.super-soft's wear at differing levels, From there let drivers/teams run races however they want. No mandatory stops, No silly must strt of qualified tyres, Just let them race how they wish.


I've made that point before in this context. Yes you are right. Pre 2000 you had to manage the engine, gearbox etc because these used to break a lot


I didn't appreciate this aspect until a few years ago Alonso suffered some engine failure in the Renault during one of his World Champ seasons (can't remember which race) but afterwards he said that circumstances meant that he had to push harder then he thought prudent, and sure enough, his engine failed. As others have said, it takes more skill to manage all these factors than merely trying to drive as fast as you can ALL of the time.


One of the best races in F1 history was Silverstone 1987, when Mansell used fresh tires to claw back a 15sec deficit to pass Piquet on old tires for the win. Had the pre-Pirelli tire rules been in effect in 1987, Mansell would not have won as there wouldn't have been a noticeable difference on either car's tires. How easily people forget history.....


I do agree with Shumi,I much prefer the drivers driving on the limit with lower fuel levels for 99% of the race then the current situation with the pirelli,max fuel etc. F1 is about relentless speed it shouldnt be hobbled.


I've watched F1 since I was 6 years old and it was first broadcast on the BBC (1976) and I am genuinely enjoying F1 at the moment.

Many comments on this subject insinuate that skill is no longer a factor and Formula 1 has turned into crap shoot based on tyre degradation. A glance at the current championship standings show Red Bull, Mclaren, Ferrari (lets not mention Filipe), and Mercedes at the top. Not much change there over team/driver results when compared to recent years. If the best teams and engineers were winning before then they appear to be winning still and the racing is fun.

If drivers aren't winning they'll find something or someone to blame (it's as it should be!), but the cream always seems to rise to the top one way or another.


A Happy Camper


I think Schumacher is frustrated because he sees the potential in the car but he cant push the potential to the maximum without taking out his tires. He could have been frustrated in Bahrain because it looked like he could have pushed for more posistions but then had to back off to conserve. Everyone has to cope with the tyres and I do not think he is having trouble with that part or that he is "past it";It looks like he wants to race hard and to the maximum and I cant blame him for that.


Whilst the racing certainly "appears" more spectacular anyone with a modicum of knowledge knows that a race may not have been won by the fastest driver. The contrived racing we have at present is not pure and is the worse for it. Of course tyre will degrade as they are used but the driver should still be able to push to the limit available. the problem now is that the tyres fall off a cliff and the drivers have to cruise too much, this is evidenced by the fact that they are not tired at the end of a race. What about some middle ground, the tyres at the moment are just too extreme and also leave too much debris. Or what about the FIA setting the rubber compound so all tyres are relatively slippy then the drivers can push hard all day, if they've got the skill and endurance to stay on track.


just got my son watching F1 this year.

he was stymied by kimi's fall to 14th in china, then subsequent second place in bahrain.

after asking me how this is possible, i told him that a driver must look after ALL of his equipment. tires included.

he is begining to learn the old axiom "smooth is fast".

p.s. he has looked up some of the older line astern racing, and thinks todays racing is much better.

couldn't agree more.


I see F1 as a team sport. If it was only about the drivers, then let's give them all the same car, set them up all the same way, and let them race.

What makes it interesting is that teams have to squeeze the maximum from the package that they have, and that is not easy to do these days - it does require skill from the whole team. What makes it even more interesting is that different teams have different packages, a combination of different chassis, engines, gearboxes, suspension, aero elements, pit crews, engineers, stragetists, drivers, etc. I would argue that they all have "different" tires (metaphorically speaking) as the same tire would not behave the same in different packages.

I would think that drivers would always drive the car to the limit, it is just that the limit is always changing. Constant change requires constant adjustments from the package (during testing, practice, qually, and then the race itself). Some team cope with that better in one situation, and some in another situation. I welcome the situation where it is hard to say who is going to make the best adjustments.

I am a Kimi fan, and it hurt me to the bone to see him dropping from 2nd to 14th in China. I was not upset with the tires - I was upset with the team strategy (and with Kimi a little bit as I see him as a team member). I had the opposite feeling when I saw him challenging for the win from 11th in Bahrain.

What was important to me in both cases was that it was exciting. And that is what I want from F1.


Just want to make a point against one of yours.

You say drivers always drive to the limit, but do they?

How many times have we seen a driver put in a fast lap out of nowhere and the commentator to say, where did that come from?

Isn't that why Alonso gets so much credit as a race driver because he doesn't give up, he's remorseless.


The issue here may be the definition and the perception of the limit. One definition of the limit may be "The maximum speed a package can go at any given time to get the best possible result at the end of the race." It includes a lots of thinking from the whole team to determine what that maximum speed actually is at any given time (during the qualifying and the race), drivers included. With that in mind I am not surpised to see fast laps that would look unexpected from the outside - they would be tied to a team strategy that most of us don't have an immediate insigth to and we may not understand it right away (or at all at the end). Commentators would comment them how they see them in a real time, too often with too much flare (but that is why they are partially there), and sometimes they do make comments that make me thinking are we watching the same race.

Talking about Alonso, I am not a fan but I respect him as a driver as in the past he appeared to be able to increase the package limit with his driving skills, quite ofthen well beyound expectations. That is what makes a good driver in my eyes.


"beautiful" post... thanks!


Disagree with Schumi. The racing since 2011 has been far, far more entertaining. We would never have seen some of these races with the Bridgestones.


I would disagree, I think the racing since 2011 has been far too artificial, far too gimmickey & thus less entertaining!

Watching cars cruise easily past via DRS or via tyres is not entertaining to watch as a fan. Its boring, dull, unexciting & dead boring!!!!


What kind of race F1 should be?

Is it the one where MS will always win with FIA and the tire supplier support or the one where everyone is on level playing field and the true racing company and the true racer wins?

There is a say "Only the person who doesn't know to dance will find fault with the stage".

MS is finding fault with the tires, really?


Drivers have always had to consider some element of the car and nurse it through the race. It used to be engines and gearboxes and fuel levels but now it is tyres. I personally miss wondering if a car is going to finish a race, that element was always the one that gave that final impetus of excitement in a closely fought final few laps. The Bridgestones were a reason F1 suffered image problems for years as they simply allowed the fastest car to disappear into the distance from the start every race. You could pretty much watch qualifying and know the race result.

The way some people are launching scathing attacks on Pirelli is laughable - they are simply doing what they were asked to do! Complain about the people who asked for the tyres instead.

Drivers never race at 100% for an entire race - never have and never will. Personally I think the tyres are fine and they should get rid of DRS and KERS. The tyres give the drivers something to think about, some feel to monitor and it is a differentiator. Gone are the days of clutch pedals, manual gearshifts, direct driver control of an engine. Lets leave them with something to think about.


I hate the current artificiality in F1. Tyres designed to degrade quickly, compulsory use of both compounds even when one of the maybe doesn't suit the car or driver and the overtaking gizmos of DRS & KERS. What happened to cost saving?


guess I'm getting old! seems to me when the legends of the sport had to make do with one set of tires and one tank of fuel we saw some pretty good racing. Fangio, Graham Hill, Moss, Phil Hill, Surtees, Stewart, Lauda, Andretti and others knew how to race didn't they? then we complained, "there's no passing, it's boring, let's have pitstops..." really people, if pitstops are what you want then watch those good ol' boys of NASCAR race those taxicabs in circles.


I have recorded most races since the early 80's, I have collected other races as far back as I can find.

Do you know what? Most races in the early 70's or even 60's weren't these glorious over-taking battles which Hollywood and the U.S. of Advertising demand.

They were tactical battles and maybe one over-taking maneuver which was written about and put into legend.

The problem with Dijon 79 wasn't that it's not one of the best bits of driving F1 has ever seen, danger, skill and bravery encapsulated.

It's become a pointer as to what F1 thinks the public wants, hence why F1 thinks we want over-taking but missing the subtleties. I

t's talked about because it was a rare event. Not because we saw it every week

DRS and every Playstation button we have now doesn't make it better, it cheapens the spectacle.


Completely agree!

People are too focussed on constant entertainment & a hundred passes per-race when historically F1 has never been like this despite people thinking "It was a lot better in the 60s/70s".

SPEED Channel's Dave Despain made a comment about Nascar recently which kinda suits the situation.

In the 80s races were won by laps, There wasn't as much side-by-side racing & wasn't as many passes/lead changes yet all the fans loved it & nobody complained about races been boring.

Now they go a race at Texas where the leader wins by 2 seconds, There's only 2 cautions & a few less lead changes & people call it boring.

Moving back to F1, When we had less overtaking the racing & overtaking we did see was truly exciting, Overtaking really meant something.

Now there is so much passing that seeing a pass happen is getting less & less special, Some of the DRS/Pirelli created passing is frankly flat out boring to watch.

I think were getting to a point where overtaking is been devalued as a result of the fact its now expected rather than appreciated.

Its now quantity over quality.

Were getting more passing but of a lower quality & im not finding the passing or racing were now seeing anywhere near as exciting.


There is a big gap in performance if you compare the Bridgestone and Pirelli tire.. The tires shouldn't be as good as the Bridgestones but also not that bad as the Pirelli's..

I like drivers who beat up there car lap after lap, in order to win or gain places, and at the moment you hardly see that anymore.. Thats a shame imho.

Mike from Medellin, Colombia

Yes, tyre management has always been a PART of F1. But not the most dominant part in terms of the spectacle and drivers being able to demonstrate their true skill and flat out pace.

We didn't even talk so much about tyre during the Michelin-Bridgestone tyre war era.

It's just gone too far.

I now only look forward to qualifying.


France 2006 Qualifying. Go watch that. That was entertaining.


"We didn’t even talk so much about tyre during the Michelin-Bridgestone tyre war era."

Are you kidding?? That was all they babbled about!


Qualy is the most contrived part of the whole weekend.

It comes down to who gets a clear lap with fresh tires and no gas left in the tank in the last 5 seconds. They lurk in their garages watching each others times until the computer tells them when to rush out and do the one perfect lap.

I that's what its all about then they needn't bother with Sundays at all and could all go home a day early.

I'm *sure you turn off the telly or watch football on Sunday, yes?


I don't agree. It's right on the edge. Some of the quali laps in recent years have been sensational.

I will agree it's not great when the P7-10 cars decide not to go out again in order to save tyres.


Yeah not great when watching quali, but I'm okay with it based on the fact that I know it will add some spice on Sunday.

TV Director only shows one car at a time and most of the times it's the guys you see on the front few rows in a any case. If in Q3 there were long spells of no cars on track I'd agree, but doesn't make much of a difference really.

Delayed gratification...

Andrew Halliday

I think the current qualifying is a bit too staged, looking at it really negatively you could say the first session is virtually pointless as everyone knows which cars will drop out, the second session is ok but it's a shame the a great lap in Q2 means nothing so long as you finish in the top ten. It really comes down to the last 10 minutes being the only part of the session with real importance. Of course the lower positions are decided in the first two sessions but it seems that the top ten need to jump through too many hoops to have a shot at pole.

I used to like the one hour session where each driver could do up to 12 laps and there was more flexibility with when drivers could do their laps.


I don't agree with that either James back in 2010 on the bridgestones I used to love the mad rush in q3 when all ten cars were out I'd be sitting right on the edge of my seat listening to Martin brindle screaming Alonso 1m32 but here comes vettel Hamilton quickest in sector 1. I wish it go back to that today's quali not as exciting

Michael Grievson

Why can't he FIA put a rule in place to say all cars in q3 have to complete at least one flying lap and set a time or it's to the back of the grid


I think Schumacher misses being able to drive through the field if his race was compromised. If you get a puncture, start from the rear of the grid due to mechanical fault or lose a front wing hurts your race more than it did back in the 2000s. The ability to come back through the field like he did in Brazil 2006 etc is just not an option with current tyres.


I just love Ricciardo's comment "I don’t know about driving on raw eggs..but for me I’m driving in F1 and it’s awesome."



+! 🙂


The small performance window of the Pirelli tyre is a bigger problem than their durability. Skill and calculation (including tyre management) should be always be encouraged to be the defining parameter in relative performance of the cars.

At the moment we're dangerously close to luck (namely changes in track temperature from quali to race day) determining the pecking order, which cannot be right.



Could you ask Michael to compare in detail, what he remembers from racing the old GoodYears of 1992/1993, that had to be managed with full tanks too, to racing today's Pirellis, regarding degredation and wear, response to attacking them or putting in a cool lap, the perceived width of their temperature windows, if they caused more/less marbles and stuff? Just so we could imagine what it is and was like?

Everyone uses to compare the Pirellis with the Bridgestone/Michelins, but that was with refuelling and optimum weighted stints, you can barely compare that.

Schumacher however, is the only F1-Driver in the world that has driven two different tires under no-refuelling rules.

I bet asking him about the feel and handling of both tires will be a delightful insight to everyone around the world, that no one else than him can give. And maybe that would also clear some things up, which might have been misconceived in the past weeks.


Something else to consider regarding Pre-1993 when we last had no refueling was that drivers had far more tyre options.

Goodyear took 4 compounds to each race, The hardest compound could go the full race distance, Sometimes easily, sometimes they did need looing after for a few laps. The Medium/Soft. Super-Soft compounds all wore out at different levels & required 1-2 stops.

What you often saw back then is some drivers running hards & going non-stop, Others taking the other compounds & running flat out knowing they needed to change tyres.

You also had drivers swapping strategies, starting on one compond planning one strategy but pitting, switching compounds & moving to another strategy.

Back then drivers had options, If you wanted to conserve take the hards, If you wanted to go flat out take one of the softer compounds & plan to stop.

In terms of performance, The Goodyears were less critical as far as operating window goes & if one compound didn't work for you, You simply went to one of the others.


and *I bet it will lead to still more useless whining about the tires.

Tell him to just shut it and drive.


This is meant for comparing not for valuating.


Great idea.


The joy and skill of Monaco though is surely more watching drivers skim past the Walls - knowing someone (or several) will bin it in the barriers sooner or later. It's less a race between cars and more a survival.

That said I imagine some interesting tyre deg could alter even Monaco this year.


I think it wise to take note of what Paul Hembery had to say about Schumis remarks;

1. Pirelli have only made exactly what the teams asked them for.

2. The lack of the EBD's this year is affecting the cars a lot more than was expected and thereby exagerating the tyre issue.

3. He thinks that "very soon" the teams will have engineered a solution and that this issue will be short lived.

4. He proves the point by stating this years medium tyre is to all intents and purpose last years soft, the very tyre that was used for more laps than any other last year.

So be patient and reserve judgement, the best is yet to come.


100% behind Michael on this one...the tyres are too much of an influence on racing. Look what happended to Kimi, dropped around 10 places in a couple of laps because of the tyres, this is not racing and shows little reflection on what a driver does best (driving 100% flat out). Pirelli have good intentions but have overstepped the mark here...deg is way too high


I'm wondering if it really is about MS complaining for himself or maybe he as the senior driver in F1 today is able to start discussions about topics that younger drivers might be not willing to bring up? after all he doesn't really have to worry about his future career like the other drivers?

My biggest concern with the tyres is in Quali where soon it will be that Q3 is a non-event because teams are wanting to keep fresh tyres for the race? Will Q3 end up being who sets the fastest sector time without even a full lap of fury to determine the top10?


- Bring back re-fuelling

- Make Q3 a one lap shootout

- Run all 3 qualis on quali fuel

- Dont allow drivers to save tyres


Refueling has been the worst mistake ever in Formula-1 history, just alongside shifting the aero-balance from the floor to the wings by introducing the floor plate.

Refuelling made pit work less important (pit stops became really boring too), at the same time it replaced overtaking with fuel strategy and it made all cars handle equally well from the beginning of the race to the end.

Now we have cars that handle better than the others when loaded and worse than the competition when light and vice versa, some of them handling almost equally well regardles of the load but neither better or worse than the others. So now we see cars starting well and flawing later or starting worse and catching up well. That gives more overtaking opportunities alone!

The plank on the bottom of the cars took off a lot of ground effect, so now downforce is to a higher degree created from the wings. That made the cars more sensitive to dirty air, because ground effect aerodynamics are less sensitive to dirty air than wings. As a result cars are hard to follow and we need artificial stuff like DRS to compensate the loss of downforce in corners, when following someone, with an artificial speed advantage on the straights. That was utterly an stupid move and needs to be corrected in the future.


I see where you are coming from. The ground effect influence on racing I never experienced, I was too young so I don't know enough about that.

Humbly and for the little it is worth, my philosophy focuses on removing as many of the factors restricting drivers from driving to the limit. Anything preventing this such as a race-load of fuel is an evil that isn't complementary.

Also, I have to disagree on the refueling at stops. They didn't allow cars to handle equally well, they allowed the natural performance of cars to shine. If anything the pit-stop is less important now because there is less opportunity to utilise the time in the pits strategically. Now you can only lose time in there, not gain time like before.

Anyway, this is just my opinion of what I would like and it won't apply to everyone. As long as natural racing comes before entertainment we can be happy.


I think the Pirellis are fantastic, and those like Schumacher only have a vested interest as they are struggling to come to terms with managing their tyres as well as others.

Also, his assersion that you can't push 100% is just rubbish. It's not that you can't, it's knowing WHEN to push.

F1 evolves. In the 2000s you had increased reliability and stail, robust tyres tailored for parade finishes. Yet in the late 90s if you pushed 100% your car would break. Before that, you had to manage both tyres and frail cars.

The tyre management element Pirelli has introduced is brilliant and the only ones complaining are those who have been crap at it thus far. Sour grapes.

And for those fans who also don't like the tyres, then go watch touring cars or something, as tyre management is a critical element of almost any advanced form of motorsport, and it should be.


I don't think it is correct that Sergio Perez saying "I expect high degradation, but it’s the same for everybody." It is not the same, clearly some cars eat the tires a lot more and the setup is so difficult that it is almost a game of chance that you'll get the advantage.

Drivers can try to save tires but with a bad setup and bad car design. He can only do so much.

I still think Schumacher has a valid point because currently tires are dominating the competitiveness. Not aero, not driver skills.

Tornillo Amarillo

James, can anybody explain why this season is better than 2010?

In 2010 it was 5 drivers in contention and many overtakings, what is wrong with that?


Overtaking wasn't particularly high in 2010.


There was more overtaking in 2010 than any season since 1989.

There was 547 overtakes in 2010 & an average of 28.79 per-gp.


A good point made to me this evening is how many race laps did Schumacher complete before Bahrain? Not many. It was also the worst race for tyre deg.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes it was compared with years before (not to now that there are artificial overtakings).

Canada 2010 is the model to follow for Bernie and others, but I don't understand why they want that with these Pirellis and DRS.


wouldn't it be nice where overtaking was as a result of superior driving/car combination. What is the point of just overtaking by artificial means.

Make it real by drastically reducing all the fance aero stuff, rely more on mechanical grip and then you would have pure racing. If you like a "show" watch NASCAR.


Artificial overtaking is overtaking caused by DRS, not by tire management.

Drivers are always on the razor's edge, in the past it was the edge between grip and wall, now the edge between too much or too less tire degradation/temperature. I can understand why Schumacher doesn't like that, I think no driver really does. But most drivers see their chances of a race win growing with this element of surprise, just as they do in wet condition.

No driver seems to say that he really likes driving these tires, everyone just says it makes racing more interesting. Think about it.


It's not artificial if the state of the car and its tyres are in the drivers' and strategists control.
They have to get from their grid slot at the start to lap 66 the fastest way they can, losing as few places as possible and gaining as many as they can. Hasn't that always been what F1 and motor sport are about?


Absolutely right James. The idea is to get from start to chequered flag faster than anyone else on the grid. Pretty simple. Why some here seem to think it needs to be a lap record every lap to be interesting is beyond me.

Those who don't seem willing to acknowledge that tyre management has always been a part of F1 are either new to the sport or have short memories. Someone made a suggestion above about switching to just one compound choice for a weekend, I think that idea has merit, but otherwise leave it as is. If you want to get rid of DRS, then you need tone down the over reliance of the modern cars on aero or we will be right back to processional racing, and surely no-one wants that.

Also, maybe those suggesting we watch NASCAR if we like a 'show' should go watch top fuel drag racing. That's a 'sprint that's 100% for 100% of the time'...


I don't think it's right that the argument is being presented as a choice between a 2010 Bridgestone-style tyre which could last a whole race and the 2012 Pirellis that can barely last 15 laps. There's a huge middle-ground there for Pirelli to aim for - a tyre that delivers some rewards for intelligent tyre management, but that has enough durability to allow a driver to attack AND PASS the car he's chasing down. Intelligent tyre management is a skill that has a place in F1 for sure, but it shouldn't be trumping everything else. IMO it's all a question of degrees, and at the moment it's too heavily weighted towards tyre deg.

I also agree with comments about ditching the stupid "use both types of tyre" and "start the race on quali tyres" rules: the former prevents teams from optimising their cars to a specific tyre and strategy, and the latter achieves nothing other than to hand a huge advantage to the driver who qualifies in 11th. These things would certainly be much easier (not to mention wwwaaayyy cheaper) to change than Pirelli's 2012 tyre design.


On the debate, it is clear that most of the impartial, intelligent people (such as James Allen, Martin Brundle) are inclined against Schumacher, while also understanding his argument.
Most of those passionately agreeing with Schumacher tend to spew a lot of irrational nonsense in his defence.
Personally, I think the crucial point is that modern F1 cars do not provide exciting races without these high-deg tyres. Those who say that it is artificial are talking hogwash. There's a lot of things more artificial about F1 than some high degradation tyres. e.g. DRS.
Processional F1 is not very fun to watch (but I watched it anyway).


Impartial? - I doubt it! [mod] High deg. tyres reward for the wrong reasons. The truth is that they will not withstand sustained high energy inputs necessary for chasing down and real overtaking. - Now drivers are overtaken because their tyres are rapidly falling away
These tyres are simply there for to spice up television viewing. - Nothing actually to do with proper racing at all. Anyone involved in broadcasting or F1 management has an axe to grind in this debate, but proper race drivers are apparently thrown on the scrapheap.


Schumacher is 100% right. It's like asking the world fastest runners to wear the worst shoes in the world and see who can manage them better.

And some of us realize that and say "hang on a second, we are not in the business of shoe management, we are in the business of running fast".

Even if it is part of the tradition, why not screw that. The audience pay to find out who is the fastest driver, not the tyre manager. Hardcore F1 fans may love it, but F1 is complicated enough for casual fans. I think it is important to point that out and time to simplify it.

As for the tyres duration, it would be nice to see if drivers can drive at least 15 qualifying laps then they fall off the cliff.


I think the drivers view is less important than the spectators view on this. The drivers trying to influence the inherit bias of the rules should be avoided. The inherit bias at the moment is toward preservation, there are winners and losers, but that doesn't make it wrong, it would be even more unfair to change this to suit an influential driver like the 7 time champ. Let's all just enjoy what we have, and hope that the fast drivers sheer speed will equal the skills of the smart drivers, that's what made the Prost/Senna battle so special.


Hi James, why Lewis never voice his opinion?

If tyres are like BS, the gap between he and his teammate would be just like in 2010.

Craig in Manila

Lewis is being quoted as saying .....

"I feel that I'm still driving aggressively in the races, but I'm not attacking as much as I did in the past in order to save my tyres.

In races this year I could have been attacking more, but then I wouldn't have had any tyres left before the end. It's frustrating, but my engineers tell me that I have been using my tyres better than Jenson [Button] this year. That's a positive that I'm very pleased about."

Basically, it sounds not terribly dissimilar to what Schumacher has been saying in regard to the view that he cannot attack as much.


"We drive like on raw eggs"......this analogy has slipped passed me.....anyone?


I think it's a 'bad translation' from walking on eggshells, ie. have to drive carefully and not break them.


I think MS means that you have to be way too careful with the tyres. Like handling raw eggs, which are delicate.

Thats the best explanation I got.


He's entitled to his opinion, but the fact of the matter is that it's up to Pirelli to make the tyres they want. On any impartial basis, F1 now if more exciting and interesting than it was in Schumacher/Ferrari's 'Golden Years', and while that excitement may be a little contrived, its the nature of a sport that is fundamentally speaking a broadcast entertainment spectacle that it evolve to be entertaining and interesting. As others have said, a good driver will get on with it and be competitive under whatever circumstances they race under, and I can't help feeling that Schumacher is just missing the unfair advantage he used to enjoy with Bridgestone.


It is a tyre strategy and conservation exercise not a race, argueably not F1 any more. The younger drivers are simply glad to be in F1 without rocking the boat, and have little or no experience of pushing to the limit of themselves and/or the car in F1. As Mark Webber says pushing to the limit is in their DNA. I would say find another way than this rather poor substitute for racing. Rewarding drivers for conservation is contrary to the ethos of F1.


Thank god the Bridgestone era has gone. I for one gave up on the sport based on the precetion it had become. F1 for mine is more than just outright speed. You have to be smart not just driver and team and that's why the constructors championship should be as important.

I think we are privileged for the first time in many years to be guessing who is going to win. At least now we don't have to pray for rain to mix it up. Now it's an added bonus!

Pirelli a very smart tyre manufacturer!!! Best decision and direction F1 has gone for many a year.

Whoever wins any race this year thoroughly deserves it as does the team.

As for Monaco I hope they use hard and soft with a rain interruption 3 times throughout the day!!


MS is just a driver out of his time. The reason he is largely alone in the 'debate' is because most of the people that agree with his position have retired.

This reminds me of that book/movie, The Road. An older man and a young boy, both in a post apocalyptic world. The older man keeps teaching the boy to be frightened and that things used to be so much better. The boy, born after the apocolypse, knows no different and is really just being held back by the older mans fear and inability to adapt.


The tyres shouldn't drop off so quickly. Take Kimi at China, the tyres should drop off so you get a bit of reduced performance, not a sudden and total loss


Not a fan of his but I agree with Schu.

These days, even grannies can drive them coz u just need to drive slow to preserve tyres 😀

Yes of course we want overtaking, but I think that's the word everyone has been misled by FIA survey. We actually want FIGHTING, NOT OVERTAKING.

These tyres don't help drivers to fight. Yes they help overtake but that's like made in Taiwan quality type of overtaking. I'd prefer overtaking done with skills, not down to tyre advantage or anything.

At the moment, F1 is like a PlayStation style of racing. Which I guess the majority of gamers can achieve the same if they were given the chance to drive in F1.


It comes down to this -

If you want to drive hard and fast in the race you are punished.

If you want to drive in a measure, controlled and in a less exciting style you are rewarded.

Simple as that really.

Guys who are not naturally THAT fast are doing well and they think it's AWESOME

more docile, less dynamic are doing well.

more dynamic, edgy drivers are doing more poorly.

turn back the clock 20 years, give em these regs and tires. senna would have been hurt, as would have mansell, whereas prost would have dominated without competition - and we all know how popular he is and what a loss that would have been.

bet hamilton wishes he could turn back the clock a decade or two, where they rewarded a driver for actually being FAST.


If tyres were introduced as a solution to the stalemate in overtaking of years gone by caused as a result of modern aerodynamics packages, perhaps the answer is to 'dumb down' the spec of the aero packages and improve the tyres. This would enable the drivers to drive to the limit while still maintaining action-packed races. Of course, such an approach is very driver-centric and would detract from the cutting-edge technology and team-based element that we've come to associate with F1.


I missed the Schumacher era as I was in the Army from 2000 to 2006 and gave up trying to watch it! So how great are Michaels achievements? I don't want to upset anyone but he had the many 'competitive advantages; Ferrari had the largest budget, a dedicated second driver, the FIA, Ross Brawn and Bridgestone made special rubber for Ferrari only (irony?).

Secondly, why are Pirelli testing the 2013 rubber? Surely the teams should be so they can design a car around them. If tiny differences do make a difference then it seams odd that they design the car for unknown rubber? Its not good for the sport, Pirelli, the engineers or the drivers who are pulling (or pushing!) in different directions.

That Pirelli, DRS, KERS and the RRA (perhaps) have certainly made the sport more exciting; the increased variables are hurting the integrity of the sport. As a case in point I don't believe that Vettel is getting the respect he deserves as double world champion! Subjectively, I miss the sight of a car 'twitching' on the edge of its grip levels corner after corner. Remember how Senna or Hamilton could drive so aggressively, so one the edge... Thats what I miss.


You lucky lucky man then you were not subject to the permanent damaging staining of the brain of that era, knowing/absorbing what i have now on that era i would take a bullet instead of ever going through that any day! (pardon the pun) solution to it all lower aero effects have one single dry compound and unlimited stops with still no refuelling absolute winner, 🙂


Thanks man! But the problem is for me as a fan is that my opinion of Schumacher is diminished. 7 WDC is amazing BUT we all know (and love) that F1 is not a level playing field.

My opinion is that F1 could still be as entertaining if either the tyre deg or refueling ban were changed. Just one veriable needs to be removed so it returns to the driver/car factor not the driver/car/tyre-strategy/dumb-luck that it is now. F1 should be a test of pushing 100% not about pushing 80%; integrity should come before entertainment or Formula 1 could become the Brittany Spears of the motersport world.


Hopefully they'll be using the same tyre compounds next year - with the teams having gathered hard data on all the current tracks the 'lottery' element will be superseded to a large extent by the 'skill' element.


Frankly, I think there is a huge difference between Formula One fans that have followed the sport for 20+ years, and those that have only been following for a few years. Not a broad sweeping statement that covers everyone, but I do believe fans that have been following for decades value the spirit of Formula One, of being on the limit, more. I get that F1 is commercializing and such, to a broader audience. Do I care what this broader audience wants? Not really. I guess there is the difference. And unlike the broader audience, I'll be a fan for the long haul.


Surely the principle of racing is to get from A to B as quickly as possible with the equipment provided. Part of this should include tyre management. It's just another part of the drivers skillset. If the car can't handle the pace and chews up the tyres too quickly, then that's up for the engineers to resolve. It's a true team effort to win a GP which it should be.

Saturday is about delivering your ultimate pace, Sunday is about completing an endurance event. MUCH better in my opinion than the early 2000's and the sprint race mentality we had with the tyres and refuelling.


Schumi is bang on the money

he said that, nowadays, you could only go to 60-70% of your/the car's limit

which, frankly, is ridiculous

it's like forcing a marathon runner to become a "race walker" (also an Olympic discipline)

you build in artificial obstacles/variables and see how the competitors fare

you could also take the 100 meters SPRINT and decide to make it less predictable by giving the runners a choice of JOGGING shoes, holding the race on GRASS and green-lighting the event under ALL weather conditions (so that, with some bad-luck, they would effectively run on the muddy green)

all of which, would make the race LESS PREDICTABLE, and make Usain Bolt wonder whether reaching the FASTEST humanly possible TIME was still the main goal

what we now have makes it IMPOSSIBLE to ascertain who is the fastest driver in the world / on race day

it's heaven for F1 journalists though, because ordinary fans like us can no longer understand what happened without endless "behind-the-scenes" info

let's hope that by the end of the season, we will have had 10+ different winners

in which case, everybody would see that winning is completely detached from the drivers' raw speed

incidentally, it's hardly a surprise that the YOUNG drivers like it the way it is

in the olden days, the top driver in the top car would dominate races or battle them out with his chief rival

nowadays, MANY drivers (even merely decent ones) have a shot at glory in inferior cars, IF everything just happens to go right with the tires

you might as well watch a dice rolling competition


Tough one as we all want to see drivers push themselves and their cars to the limit, but yet we all want to see great passing and races where with 20 laps to go it is anyone's race. Qualifying for me is the best example of where teams and drivers throw everything they have to get pole (Senna's 1988 Monaco qualifying lap a great example of a driver pushing it to the limit) but even that has become watered down with teams getting into the final round and then not bothering to go out to save a set of tyres.

The races this year from what I have seen has been great fun with lots of different teams mixing it up (a Sauber chasing down a Ferrari for a win would never have happened back in Schumacher's heyday). My point I rarely think Formula 1 will ever get the mix for a perfect season done right (when Schumacher cruised to titles people moaned on his personal attack all you want tyres cos you have 12 sets more in the pits plus any you want from your teammate). So best to enjoy what we have.


F1 has been dumbed down and is no longer a meritocracy for the fastest racers. The tyres are a leveller of talent. Tyre management has always been a skill to varing degrees, but not to this absurd level. Tyres "falling off a cliff", is akin to Wacky races and Mario Kart, rolled into one. The public have gotten things backwards as usual. F1 is a sport 1st and entertainment 2nd.

Post 2010 and the introduction of Pirelli, we have been subjected to a x7 increase in overtakes and minus the wet races, how many of these races could be described as a classic? The answer is none.


On a somewhat unrelated note, DRS should be allowed to be used anytime anywhere on the track during the race. There would be some drivers being too greedy with it and falling off the track. There would be some drivers not so daring and they would lose time. I think it would make a lot more action packed and less predictable races (not that the races this season so far have been predictable). Just a thought.


Give them some proper tyres and DRS and KERS will take care of the rest. We dont want raw eggs!!

The people here who are in fear of races w/o overtaking are forgetting that we already have KERS and DRS


Hear , hear. Exactly what I said on other posts.


Cant understand why its taken so long for this debate to happen. If people want a lottery, go watch something else, tyres are ruining the sport, bring back racing.I want to see the fastest win, not the best at managing tires. Pit stops were changed to stop a series of short sprints, now we have a series of short tyre management sessions.


I seem to remember around 1998/1999 Damon Hill saying he struggled to ever get to grips with the grooved tyres introduced around that time and Schumacher pointed out to Damon that as drivers get older they struggle to adapt to new things and that accounted for Hill's problems... top be fair, probably true.

However now the shoe is on the other foot he's the old driver criticizing the tyres rather than realising he's not adapting as well as the very younger drivers who as the article points out see no problem. Also too the 'benchmark' drivers Alonso & Vettel have no problem. Why? Because they are good enough and young enough to adapt, as schumacher was able to 13/14 years ago, but no longer can.


I am not a technical expert but surely more durable Pirellis where drivers can push together with kers and drs will be more exciting for both fans and drivers.


I fully agree with Michael Schumacher.

Give all the teams hard wearing tyres to race and allow the best driver/car combination to do their best while speeding and in overtaking – possibly wasting their tyres – which would eventually lead to tyre changes at different times for different teams when required.

The current situation (with stupid rules i.e. that certain types of tyres must be used at every race) makes no sense.

I am certainly not impressed with all the current “artificial” over-takings through DRS, etc we see. It might work for Bernie’s TV interests, but not for me as a long-time supporter of F1.

Please allow the best teams and drivers in F1 to surface again.


Bring all Pirelli compounds to all races. Get rid of the two tire compounds and quali tire rules.

Let those who want to 1 stop on hards do it; and those who want to 4 stop on super-softs do it as well.

No one would complain, and we would have amazing racing, on Pirellis.


Qualifying is th