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Lively first four F1 Grands Prix on the cards as Pirelli mixes it up on tyre choice
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Feb 2013   |  11:26 am GMT  |  183 comments

The first four races of the new season are set to feature plenty of interest and strategic challenges for the F1 teams as Pirelli announced today that it is making some changes to the tyre choices for those races. They have an aggressive plan for both Australia and Bahrain in particular, where there will be two steps between tyres and softer compounds used than before.

So what does it all mean? Well here on JA on F1 we will be leading the way in online Strategy analysis once again this season, as we have for the last three years, and today we will explain what kind of racing these decisions by Pirelli will give us.

Although experts predict that we will not see the kind of mixed up results we had in the first half of 2012, the changes to the construction and compound of the Pirelli tyres for this season, combined with the choices made for the early races, should make life challenging for the race strategists. It should also make for some thrilling (and close) qualifying sessions.

Here are the choices:

Melbourne: Supersoft and medium [2012 – Soft and Medium)
Malaysia: Medium and Hard [2012 – Medium and Hard]
China: Soft and Medium [2012 – Soft and Medium]
Bahrain: Soft and Hard [2012 – Soft and Medium]

For Melbourne, the Supersoft makes sense as it is usually chilly there, especially with a 5pm race start time, and the Supersoft has the lowest (temperature) working range. This is an aggressive choice because there are two steps between compounds and this is tricky to manage from a set-up perspective, however JA on F1 Technical adviser Mark Gillan thinks that the teams will welcome this move.

It will make for an interesting race, where teams will probably want to minimise the amount of laps on the supersoft tyre after the opening stint, but one or two may decide to be brave.

Qualifying is very important in Melbourne and with what looks like a very close field it will be even more important to get the car set-up for the best possible qualifying position. However, with a big split between tyres, you will have to compromise the set-up to be able to race well, which is where the points are handed out. This provides a stiff challenge for both engineers and drivers.

For Bahrain, they have gone one step harder from medium to hard. This is to protect against high thermal degradation, but the presence of the soft will again mean that qualifying will be a spectacle.

As a rough rule of thumb, there is a 0.5s per lap difference in performance between tyre compounds, but the harder of the two usually lasts a little longer. This is the trade-off. There is a crossover point at which it is clearly better to be on one tyre rather than the other and the secret is to get that right; to spend the maximum race time on the faster tyre. The teams work very hard on Friday in the three hours of practice to work out how to deploy the tyres for the fastest race strategy.

As a reminder, drivers must use both types of tyre during a dry race and the top 10 must start the race on their qualifying tyres, which are usually the softer ones.

It looks like the game in 2013 will still be getting the front tyre and rear tyre temperatures in their respective windows as soon as possible for Qualifying (and at the same time) and keeping them there as long as possible for the race, without overheating. This is what proved difficult last year, partly because of the significant amount of wet running in practice, which meant teams had little information about the slick tyres.

It’s about getting the front tyres at the optimum temperature for qualifying; hence the various rim heating devices seen last year and very complex brake/rim cooling devices.

The rear tyres typically need lots of cooling during a race and the front tyres less so. We have already seen teams unveiling clever devices on their new cars to disperse the heat from the rear tyres with this in mind.

In the race drivers are able to push hard, but it’s also about keeping the tyres in their best operating window. If you are too aggressive it overheats the tyres and then it’s impossible to get them back again. In testing you will see drivers on a long run doing a slow lap in the middle of a run, which brings the temperatures down. But in a race you don’t have that ability, so you can easily get a false reading on your tyre wear from doing that in testing.

One final note; Pirelli has changed the wet tyres this year and if there is no wet running in the Barcelona tests, it will be a big concern if teams arrive in Melbourne with no data on crossover points from wet to intermediate to dry. (The full wet tyre was the weakest tyre of the range last year and Pirelli has taken steps to fix that.)

[Additional Technical Input: Mark Gillan]

Watch out for the JA on F1/UBS Race Strategy Briefing and Analysis on the Tuesday before and after each Grand Prix, with a full in-depth look pre-race at some pointers as to how the races will unfold and the likely strategies and then post-race, a full analysis of how and why the race unfolded as it did. Examples here: JA on F1/UBS Race Strategy Report

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How about tires that are meant to deliver the max performance instead of the mockery they are now…they are utterly and completely fake tires… Why don’t they just put a device in it that randomly causes a tire to explode!


With this big difference in tires, it is very likely that several drivers will sit out Q3 altogether, so that they can start on a fresh set of the harder tire. Then switch to the softer one only for the final stint, when the car is at its lightest.


An ugly possibility indeed 🙁

I wish there could be two F1 tyre companies at least. That would knock off all this nonsense.


I am sick of hearing people complaining about ‘artificial’ elements of the tyres. Pirelli have only done what has been asked of them by the teams and F1 management, why else would a provider go out of their way to may their product wear out more quickly? This was part of bridgestones fear in doing just that.

It just so happens that this choice has actually given them good PR as the majority of the public, and the paddock think that it has worked well and there is far more interest in the sport in recent years compared to other years. Even pay Tv is getting in on the act in a big way as they see the value the sport in its current form gives them(whether pay tv having the rights is good is another debate all together).

As far as the tyres being artificial, this is complete nonsense as pointed out by many. Tyres have always played a big role in F1 and most other forms of motorsport. What was more ‘artificial’ in my opinion was one driver with the fasted car and optimised tyres for their driving style getting pole, and remaining out front for the whole race because as soon as another car gets into dirty air, the ‘artificial’ effects of each car having so many aero tricks prevents the following driver being able to use their skill and attempt an overtake, as they are prohibited by the laws of physics to get close enough to have an attempt. Every car pretty much would follow the same racing line and driver skill is then much more about training, repetition and practice than raw talent.

At least since Pirelli became involved drivers have had the chance to get close engough and then it becomes more of an exhibition of skill between the two drivers rather than the race just being effectively a time trial. For example it may be inevitable that ultimately during one stint a driver will be overtaken, but anyone who has watched the races over the last couple of years would have noted that drivers with the most skill have the nack of being able to hold off a rival far longer, and overtake far quicker when they need to. This is often what earns them higher finishing places in the race. We have seen some incredible examples of skill in recent years with drivers remaining within inches of each other for a sequence of corners, showing respect incredible talent. Of course, there have also been the odd crash, which demonstrates where a driver is maybe a bit raw and inexperience, but this variance in experience and skill would not be so evident in days gone by where a driver would follow in the wake of another car on the same racing line for lap after lap.

Of course there is a balance, and Pirelli acknowledge that but it is far better than watching a procession every week which owed far more to the technology that the actual driver.

As pointed out previously, the rose tinted brigade bang on about the good old days with unrestricted development etc, but if there was no ‘Formula’ restrictions on certain areas we would be watching a procession of auto-piloted space age rockets flying around the track with the team with the biggest budget winning each year. The only talents on display would be the engineers.


Hear hear!!

BTW, anyone that doesn’t spend some time watching NASCAR probably hasn’t heard the same conversations between drivers and pits about tyres (or tires over there) really needs to do so. They are NOT running Pirellis. They DO have tyre degradation. They DO have to strategise. Why do you think F1 would be any different?


OK let’s see. Pirelli “promises” to spice up the action selecting compounds to make for aggressive and interesting strategies. The winners from these races will feature mid field teams…

Then after criticism (from the big 4 teams)they will fall back to conservative compounds where 1-2 pitstop strategies are the norm again.

First why the need for 2 different compounds? Get rid of this rule and bring back refueling then F1 will be good to watch again.


Are you saying it wasn’t good to watch last year?

I’m sorry but I disagree, I’ve worked in F1 for 24 years and last year (once we’d got over the weirdness of the first few races) was really exciting.

You never really knew who was going to win, or what the podium would be.


I kind of liked the weirdness of the first seven races. What are the chances we’ll ever see that again?

Maybe they should go with a Mario Kart scenario – chuck a few bananas on track, let ’em throw a few shells at each other, and every one in a while have the crowd throw out a magical star that eliminates all mechanical failures….come to think of it James, do you have Bernie’s number?


“You never really knew who was going to win, or what the podium would be.”

If that’s based on equal skills among the top 6-7 drivers, then yes I’d agree with you, James.

However, with the current situation, it is not based on equal skills but random tyre reaction / consequenses for different drivers due to Pirelli playing with chemicals back in the lab creating whatever they wish to create.


Yes that was the case until Singapore. After that one it was all very predictable despite Brazil but even in that case rain played a big role. The only exciting thing was Lewis in the U.S.


Has there been any change in the rules to try and make sure all 10 cars do a proper qualifying lap in Q3?


Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe only Mercedes did this last year being that the championship/car performance was so close and it wa after all notoriously tough on its tyres. Very prevalent in 2011 but almost not a problem in 2012.


I really don’t care what the tyre-supplier does as long as no individual Team gets a discernible benefit.

My view is that the majority of the issue with tyres is that there is too much realtime strategy being controlled by people who are sitting in front of computers and not enough by the person in front of the steering wheel.

As such, vast majority of strategies will be decided by near-identical spreadsheets and, voila, vast majority of Teams end-up running near-identical strategies. Doesnt really matter what tyres are used : the computers will all come to basically identical conclusions anyway.

Personally, I’d remove all pit-to-car electronic communications and (you ready for this?) make the driver actually decide how fast the car should be driven instead of some engineer telling him the “optimal pace” for the strategy that the computer selected as best.


Chaps + Chapesses,

I think a dose of big picture medicine is required here.

look at it this way; F1 is an entertainment business, it lives or dies on its ability to provide a spectacle that we all want to watch and pay for. It’s just like the movie business or the music business or tv. But there is one difference that sets motorsport in general apart from the other entertainment industries, and that is that it that it involves cars and engines and tyres, which are all massively profitable industries in their own rights.

So companies like Pirelli, Shell, Ferrari etc are in it because it is a great way to publicise their brands in a way that is not just straight advertising, which they all know we are somewhat inured too. Hence they are all looking for ways in which they can get their brand mentioned. In the case of car manufacturers that’s by winning races and/or signing big names. Mercedes, for example, have probably got more exposure just by signing Lewis that even if he won the wdc for them. Instead of looking like a brand for middle aged men with prostrate problems, suddenly they are mentioned alongside the coolest racer in years. Well worth the measly 19 mil a year.

Pirelli, though, have a problem. Since they are the only tyre supplier they will always win every race and every wdc/wcc. ‘Pirelli wins Monaco’ is not a likely headline is it? So they have to come up with a strategy that will get them mentioned. Hence the more aggressive compound options. Endless talk about tyres equals more times the word ‘Pirelli’ is used equals more tyres sold. It’s all about marketing I’m sorry to say…

but what keeps me watching is that despite the best efforts of the PR gurus and the Rons and Bernies of this world, F1 sometimes delivers those great moments where it’s all about who has the biggest cajones at the moment, and I’ll take all the marketing BS in order to relish that. So maybe the marketing men have it right all along…


How about teams have a free choice of which tire they choose, as long as they choose two different compounds during a race..


Pirelli would have to bring all the tyres they have to a race, which would cost a fortune and be a logistical nightmare


The tyres are individually allocated (barcoded etc.) to each team/driver prior to arrival aren’t they?

Surely teams could nominate their 2 compound choices in advance (as happens now by Pirelli) for the next 4 races (or how ever long Pirelli require due to manufacturing, logistics)?

It’d certainly be interesting to see what they would go for and how different the choices are. I think Monaco will still be a no brainer but somewhere like Silverstone could have some interesting combinations.

Going down this path could potentially have teams choosing the same 2 compounds and setting their car up around that for the whole season so might require a regulation mitigating such a practice.


They would all work out what was the optimum and then they would all choose the same two compounds. It would just shift the choice away from Pirelli and onto the teams, but the outcome would be the same


Hi James and all posters on this forum,

I’d like to say that I hate this site as it’s the first site I go to everymorning when I get in the office (grin)!

I love the articles and I love the intelligent and sometimes comedic conversations about my favourite topic.

I’ve recently been demoted… through personal choice as my excuse was to spend more time with the family. The real reason was so I could spend more time on this website.

All the best James and fans. May the best man win in 2013. My prediction is…..the winner will win on Perelli tyres.

Hope to see some of you in Melbourne.


That’s ridiculous! But thanks for the support!



Is n’t Pirelli running the danger of being accused of manipulating race results in favour of a particular team when they have freedom to decide when to go for tough tyre choices and when more predictable tyres are offered, albeit far more importantly towards the second half of the season, for example:

Scenario 1: Team A marginally ahead in WDC and Pirelli chooses to mix things up with difficult tyre choices for teams to increase the uncertainty of race results.

Scenario 2: Team B comfortably ahead in WDC and Pirelli adopts conservative tyre choices making more predictable tyre choices for teams to minimize risk of Team B losing ground in WDC.


Yes – I believe there’s always a risk. Not sure how big the risk is. It looked to me that the last few races in 2012, Pirelli were deliberately conservative with the tyre choices.

I think it would be awful if tyres that failed to last the final few laps decided a championship. Hence, an inclination to be conservative.


The tyres aree chosen well in advance, in blocks of three or four races at a time (as in this case)


That leaves plenty of races in the second half of the season for Pirelli to make choices to steer the outcome of the championship depending on who is leading the WDC and WCC.


Well said James. I remember the days of Mansell and his famous last minute diving into the pits for fresh rubber, running more than a second a lap quicker and gaining more places or even victory.

Shame no one on the grid wears a flat cap these days though ah well. My glasses may be rose tinted.


Mansell is a good example.

Managing the tyres in the turbo days mid 1980s was a big thing and he got the hang of it and started winning.


Yes James, but tyres back then were still made to the best, but delibrately played with by the manufactuerer to do this or that in order to have a certain outcome. In this case Pirelli delibrately make tyres not last some distance, or even fall off the cliff randomly.


And don’t we all remember the huge dissappointment when he got it wrong in Australia and lost the title when his tyre exploded? They were exciting times.


Second only to “you must start the race with the fuel you qualified with”, the rule to use both sets of tyres is the artificial manufactured bs that F1 has ever seen – I have always recoiled over it.

In my onion these rules should have been gone since KERS & DRS were introduced – and refueling should return to F1. Refueling + DRS + unrestricted KERS and turbos would be the best formula.


I believe the fuel stops were done away with to save the cost of the refuelling rigs and their transportation costs.

Personally I quite like the 2 second tyre stops now – it’s like a race within a race – and allows the pit stop guys to be part of the race.

If cars refueled, the tyre stops will be more leisurely, as it takes longer to refuel than change tyres.


l like the idea of seeing different strategies fighting it out for the top spots. A one stop (Button/Perez/Massa) vs two stops (Vettel/ Alonso/Kimi) vs three stops (Hamilton /Webber).

I can’t remember a time when tires in F1 did not play an important part in the racing. Managing tires is part of what you need to learn to be considered a good driver in each and every form of racing.

l am glad as a F1 follower to see an effort made toward widening the scope of strategies.

Now let see if it brings us just that. Marc


Me too! Love to see a smooth steady driver race against an aggressive one who needs one more tyre stop.

I also wished we had smaller capacity more fuel efficient engines, race against larger fuel hungry engines that require more fuel on board, and hence one more tyre stop.

Tornillo Amarillo

If F1 is a show, Pirelli’s challenges ensures no-processional races, so could be good.

The challenge could be hard for pay-drivers, though (and for Mercedes, 🙂



Lets just have every car have all the best, heavy-duty parts that never wear out or break, or have to be cared-for, and all use some Italian ‘customer cars’ and the racing will be “pure.”

Oh, wait, that’s Indycars already! nvm


Last years problems were about temperature operating ranges, causing a lottery style performance advantage to whichever team happened to have the right chassis for the circuit and track temps to hit the tyre’s sweet spot. (until teams made quite substantial developments to control this more.) Which it appears they have tried to address with the new tyre construction. So now what they do with compounds simply affects strategy/number of pitstops, so it should be good and this is not “fake” racing like the beginning of last year.


Would like to add that i think it was Mercedes who struggled most with tyre temps last year, Ross Brawn was the most outspoken about how hard it was to understand the tyres in 2012. I think we may see a much better season from them this year without them having to devote so much R&D into tyre temperature control…


Why do the teams have to use different compounds in each race? I’m all for different tyre compounds but surely the tems should be able to pick from all the tyre choices at each race and then pick which is best for them. Having to go on hard tyres when soft suit the car is just a false handicap. What’s next? Bernie’s wetting the track!


A handicap is an advantage or disadvantage imposed on a competitor in order to level the playing field. The Pirelli tyres are nothing of the sort. If the teams were allocated different tyres depending on where they sat on the table, so the bottom guys were running tyres that gripped like a super soft but lasted like a hard tyre… yeah, then there’s handicapping going on. But of course, everyone is working with the same compounds. If your car handles beautifully on softs but on hards is more like a bus, you’ve failed in the design or set up of the car.

With 22 cars on the grid, Pirelli will have to bring 242 sets of dry compound tyres to each weekend (I’m assuming they bring a few more, but that’s the dry allocation). Assuming the total allocation of dry compound sets remained at 11 for each team, if the rules allowed the teams to pick any compound for any point of the weekend, Pirelli would have to bring 968 sets of just dry compound tyres to really be fully covered. You don’t see a problem there?


I never said it was about making life easy for Pirelli. If I wanted life to be easier for Pirelli, I’d be agreeing with everyone who’s whining for durable tyres. I’m sure they’d have a much easier time of than that designing tyres that work in narrow windows and degrade in particular ways.

It’s about it being an absurd waste of money in times when the sport is supposed to be cutting costs. Manufacturing and logistics also don’t only have a monetary cost; wastefulness in these areas isn’t particularly “green” either. Neither is massively increasing the number of never-even-used tyres that simply end up being recycled. Sure, recycling is “green”. Never even making the thing that never gets used but you shipped pointlessly around the world anyway, that would then take energy again to recycle it… that’s MORE green.

It also means more cost for the teams. Who do you think provides the fancy expensive wheels the tyres are fitted on to? Don’t the teams also store all their tyres blanketed too? Speaking of which… where will the teams store their quadrupled dry compound allocations?

It’s all well and good to say, “Wouldn’t it be great if…”, but in reality there’s a lot more to it.


The sport of F1 shouldn’t be organised to make Pirelli’s life easier. They want to be the sole tyre supplier. If it’s too much hard work for them there are pther tyre companies who would love to take over


Another sorry turn of events.

This is resembling WWE now.

Bernie might even be knowing who the champion is going to be this year…

Really sad.

James – what is your opinion on artificial racing like this?

This is not more outright race to see who is the fastest.. Its a race with “handicaps” at various stages.. Whats the fun in the that?


Why is this “artificial racing” … Rules define the parameters that the engineers must adhere to in order to race, and that includes intentional limitations.

Otherwise the teams would strap a Saturn V rocket to a skateboard…


F1 could come up with a rule that a driver behind another could remotely control the throtle of the car infront and get past… lots of overtaking no doubt – but also an utter waste of everyone’s time…

Rules can be stupid, as they are right now, or they can be intelligent and add to the spectacle.


I take your point about stupid rules, but in what way is the spectacle not improved by the current tyre(s) situation? If you look back at the most recent ‘tyre wars’ era would you say the spectacle was greater with MSC and Ferrari romping to victory race after race (and year after year)?

Much as I liked and admired MSC, I would have to admit things did get a bit boring.

At the end of the day F1 is a show, paid for by the sponsors – who are selling their product. If the public stops watching, then sooner or later the sponsors stop paying and the cars stop racing.


Given parameters and limitations is one thing, but playing things DELIBRATELY in order to make tyres ‘fall off the cliff’ out of randomness is another.


Well these Pirelli tyres, KERS, DRS. Those tools makes things a bit artificial.


It’s the same for everyone and the engineers seem to like the challenge, so..


James –

Thanks for your comments.

I agree there are considerations for Engineers, as imposed by the regulations, and they seem to enjoy it. Fair enough.

But at the same time, there is a fine line between the need for regulations versus over-regulating to create an artificial handicap.

In other words, handicaps like lower capacity engine, limited testing, etc. are good because they apply to the good of the Auto-industry as cars and engines are more reliable without spending too much money.

However, those handicaps are completely different than making people race with certain handicaps.

The concern is that racing should be flat-out. Period.

That it is not, because the tires are not up to the mark or for other reasons, is surely a cause for concern.

And if that is by design then yes that amounts to Artifical racing.

More precisely, it should remain a sport and not become a Prime time televesion soap.


But audience aren’t enjoying to watch all this artificial stuff.


I’m part of the audience, and I’d rather see more 2012 seasons than seasons of follow-the-leader.

What’s artificial and what isn’t? What about all the regulations on engine specs, materials used, car weight, aero regs, passive/active elements, flexible wings, engine mapping, throttle mapping, etc? They’re all limitations imposed on the teams. Should they be removed too, leaving a free-for-all development race? Then everyone will whine that it’s not real racing, it’s just whoever has the best car (i.e. the most money to develop it).

The more limitations placed on the teams, the more control items introduced, etc., the CLOSER Forumla 1 becomes to being “pure” racing.

That said, I’d rather watch F1 as it is today than a “pure” racing spec series. Not that I have any against the idea of a spec series as such, but I like the developmental and technical side of Formula 1, and that includes challenges like the Pirelli tyres. Ideally I’d like to see spending caps put in place and enforced (I did say “ideally”), but aero regs opened up a bit. Give ’em less money to work with, but let them be a bit more creative with it.


I never stated majority or minority, just said there’s a population. As with any case there are two sides to a coin. Same with F1 at the moment there is a population that don’t like how the tyres are.


James, surely, as a website host, you must’ve noticed there is a population of the audience don’t prefer the current situation.


Sure, but you were presuming to speak for the majority.


Defintely not… Artifical F1 is quite boring… I don’t even care about the results too much, as they hold no real value.

The only reason I keep on eye on F1 now, is to see how badly its implemented. Certainly, it is NOT the pinacle of motor sport. Just a shadow of its former self.

In fact, the only real race this season will be between Hamilton and Nico… and the possibility to see the impact Hamilton has on Merc relative to Schumacher… the rest is just a waste of time, to be totally honest.

F1 is about greed now, and not much more.


Aren’t they?


While other races are about speed, modern F1 is the only race you can win by being as talentless and as slowly a possible. Thank you Pirelli for making us wiser.

Now can anyone imagine Usain Bolt having to wear unpredictable running spikes that he would have change half way down the line, just to make things great for us fans. Praises be!


If F1 was talentless – you wouldn’t have the better driver consistently beating their teammate.

Given that Alonso consistently beats Massa, and Vettel consistently beats Webber; today’s F1 formula still seems to be able to sort the top drivers from the good drivers.


We had the much faster Perez chasing Alonso in a particular wet race and slewing off the road without prompting while overtaking for the lead (and his first race win).

Perez was only quick thanks to Pirellis mocking about with the tyres.

The season only came to life so brilliantly in the second half when the tyre lottery had ended. Then, it became about the best drivers and engineers.

Pirelli has all the data about how the various teams use their tyres. As it is today, Pirelli’s monopoly allows them roll the dice in any direction without question. With such power, they can take the team data and tailor their tyres to the team of their choice. The tools are available to run a mafia like racket if either Pirelli or the FIA desires it.

For us fans, it is about the faster guy and technical wizardry. We must never allow third party influence, otherwise we might as well hand the WDC trophies to Pirelli and the FIA, because they, not the drivers would have won it.


I very much agree with the point that 3rd parties should not influence the results.

Pirelli has an important but tricky role to play in providing a level playing field.


Now can anyone imagine Usain Bolt having to wear unpredictable running spikes that he would have change half way down the line, just to make things great for us fans…

No, but did you know the compound used for the track at the London Olympics was specially formulated to enable/produce faster times?


Well that’s just utter nonsense. Name a race in this Pirelli F1 era that fits your claim of someone winning “by being as talentless and as slow as possible”.

I think you’ll find F1 is FAR from being the only category of racing where tyre mangement is a major aspect.

Imagine Bolt having the best running shoes available, and running against a bunch of other guys who’re all barefoot. If you want to take the limitations of tyre management out of the equation, you still won’t have “pure” on-track racing. You think with tyres that’ll run a whole race no problems that a Marussia is going to be as quick as a McLaren? If you want “pure” racing, it’s not just getting rid of the fragile Pirelli tyres and DRS and the like. You’re talking about a spec series, where everyone’s running the exact same equipment, with the same everlasting tyres, the same fuel load, etc. THEN you’re getting towards “pure” racing, down to driver skill (although there is still questions regarding for example driver size and weight and how to nullify any advantages or disadvantages there).

But then everyone complains about the constantly tightening technical regulations that take away clever engineering concepts and prohibit others from ever even being used. So the purity of racing clearly isn’t a concern there…

In short: People don’t know what they want, but they do like to whine endlessly about how terrible everything is.


Pure racing. Let’s get rid of all this artificiality! Get the drivers out of those technological contraptions and they can all run the pit straight on their pure-racers legs.

I think we might have possibly invented that already, but I’m wanting to give the ‘purists’ something to hang on to 😉



G. Anderson based on 1st testing data supposed that new RBR is not the fastest car on the field and even is like 3rd or 4th in a raw speed.

So, basing on experiences of last years, is the status quo of 1st testing session highlighted in 2nd session too? (and perhaps in 1st racing probably)

And how unreliable are preliminary correlations?



not G. – H. Anderson


I agree with you James, being a masterful racer should be about more than being in the fastest car and staying in P1 for 2 hours.

I hope Pirelli also deliver on their attempt to introduce more pit stops due to higher tyre wear. I do wonder if this is also partly behind the reasoning for softer compound choices?


I don’t want to see fake challenges, even if it is the same for everyone. Either bring one compound that everyone runs, or bring all compounds and let each driver decide. At least that would be more “pure”. If tyres are going to be a part of the story, then let’s have a tyre war again.


What is a fake challenge though?

F1 cars are designed to a set of rules. Dimensions, materials, specifications. Is the limit of engine capacity a fake challenge? What about no active suspension? Sliding skirts? No movable aero devices other than DRS?

Unlimited choice on tyres would be a logistical nightmare for Pirelli. How many sets of tyres would they have to bring?

The tyre rules are just like all the others. And the team that can maximise their speed over the course of a race weekend wins. How the teams conquer these challenges is what makes F1 exciting for me.

Tom Haythornthwaite

Good one!

I hadn’t thought of letting the drivers choose the tyres. Not bad at all.


Well didn’t take long for the ‘I’ll only watch F1 when it’s processional drives round in circles with no strategy or overtaking other than crashes and pitstops’.

One day people will realize that Pirelli did everyone a favour and we got a bit more excitement in our races. Not display circling.



Were all great seasons. 2010 the best we’ve had in years.

2005 and 2006 were also pretty good

Just re-watched 2003 and that was a close year long battle. People’s only disappointment was that Schumacher won again. 2004 I don’t remember all that well and am having trouble sourcing online, so even if we say it is a dud, that leaves 2003 and 2009 as the only seasons in the decade pre-Perelli that were lacking

Since Perelli entered we had 2011 which was dull as ****, despite a couple of fun races, and last year which, despite what people are saying now, I doubt will go down to be remembered as one of the all time greats.

It was a case of “if it aint broke; fix it anyway”. And these calls for jelly tyres came, when? Mid 2010? One of the greatest, closest seasons we had in a long time!


2003 was good, 2005 was dull. Seriously dull. Aside from the championship battle and the Japanese GP at Suzuka that year, 2005 was dull.

2006-2010 were all good seasons, 2010 being the best.

2011 wasn’t really any worse than the previous lot, and only a fool would argue 2012 was not incredible.

So yeah, don’t fix it if it aint broke, unless you make it better.


The only boring thing about 2011 was Vettel in his Red Bull walking it in race after race. I don’t have anything against him, but it got a tad boring watching him go out in Q1 and 2 on primes and walk it in, then just sit in the garage for Q3 til the end and bang out a lap on options, start from the front for the race and disappear into the distance within a few laps. It was certainly impressive to watch, but I think I got more enjoyment out of watching quali than the races a lot of the time.

But I hardly think that was Pirelli’s fault. Not that it would be anyway, given that they’re given a spec to work to.


Rose coloured memories.


This is the difference between Olympic wrestling (F1 with proper tyres) and American wrestling (PirelliF1).

Yes, the latter may be more entertaining for the lowest common denominator, but it is not real wrestling.


Interesting analogy – did you know that wrestling is to be dropped from the Olympics?


Depends if you like watching a tyre conservation and strategy contest or real racing. All this malarky is to overcome the problems associated advanced aerodynamics. Eh! I’ve just thought of a good idea let’s make the tyres wear out so the cars go backwards. The fans are so dim they will not notice this and think it is genuine overtaking!


The soft tyres concerns me greatly. It’s ok to say that Jerez was abrasive on the tyres, but the falloff in laptimes was very disturbing. They will only be able to do 7 laps on any other circuit I feel….

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