F1 Winter Break
New Pirelli tyres to test only at Montreal, race at Silverstone
Posted By: James Allen  |  29 May 2013   |  1:34 pm GMT  |  235 comments

It has emerged that the new specification Pirelli tyres which were promised for the Canadian Grand Prix will now only be tested there during practice and will be used for competition only from Silverstone onwards.

The move means that teams will have two sets of the tyres which will feature a new construction, aimed at reducing the risk of delaminations, to try out before Pirelli make the harder compound versions for use in competition at Silverstone.

This means that there is a risk during the Canadian Grand Prix of a repeat of the delaminations seen in Spain and Bahrain, but as there are no high energy corners in Montreal, rather a series of chicanes and hairpin bends, it’s considered a small risk. Silverstone has some of the highest loadings of the season through high speed corners like Copse.

This move also has a political angle to it, as it eliminates any risk of rival teams asserting that Mercedes’s result in Montreal, should they do well, is down to them having an advantage from testing the development tyres at the controversial secret test the team conducted in Barcelona recently.

The FIA issued a strongly worded statement on the secret testing, which suggests that they intend to take it further, possibly to an International Tribunal and Pirelli may come in for criticism for allegedly not informing the FIA of more details about the test at the time, although permission had been given for the test to take place.

There are suggestions among some teams that certain factions would like to use this episode as a lever to get Michelin or another brand into F1 as sole tyre supplier. Pirelli is close to a renewal of its F1 deal, but it is not signed yet.

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Will these tires be available to Mercedes?

Would make sense to only give them to the other 10 teams to try and reduce some of the advantage they have been given.


There is no fair way to square things up with other teams. The "mistake" has been done, it's been done. We have to live with it like we have lived with other unfair advantages various teams have gained through this or that in the past.

If you deny Mercedes to test the new tyres in Canada, then they will focus on the Canada race properly which in my own opinion is not a disadvantage. If you want other team to test as Mercedes has tested, not all the teams can afford that extra cash for the test, and or Pirreli might not afford the extra money either to produce such amount of tyres for the sake of squaring things up with other teams.

Should FIA throw Mercedes out of the championship? Well a true F1 fan would not support throwing Mercedes out of the championship because of this as I could not imaging an F1 grid of this generation without NICO or LEWIS on it.

In my own opinion, we have to finally let it go with a slap on the wrist, just like we have let go other scandals in the past.


Well Mclaren were disqualified from the 2007 WCC but the drivers were allowed to keep their points. It may be something similar to that.

Interesting that one of the reasons Mclaren and Mercedes ultimately went their separate ways was because of the scandal of 2007 and Mercedes did not like being caught up in a cheating scandal which could taint their image.

Brawn has a history of questionable sporting ethics and Lauda is hardly above suspicion.

After the issue over Concorde Agreement rights last year, when Mercedes threatened to leave the sport, Lauda and Wolff being shareholders too, I wonder what the long term plan is..


Well for Hamilton's sake they better stay commited to F1 because if they don't he'll end up like Trulli or Heidfeld, it wouldn't matter for Nico as he is a cheaper option with less hassle and faster anyway.


What's "a true F1 fan?" Do I qualify?

Personally I think that Mercedes (aka Brackley) should face a 2 race ban similar to the 2 race ban they faced in 2005 for having a secret fuel tank. That squad has a history of blatant cheating.


A true F1 fan are those who love the sport and you are right about the current tyres and regulations, people try to belittle and tarnish the sport when things do go their favourite driver's way i.e. the Hamilton brigade, get use to Nico beating that overrated driver years of mediocre results awaits these people.

Bring Back Murray

This has opened up a can of worms, hasn't it


Well I rather have Michelin than Pirelli anyday, the tyre war in the early to mid 2000's coupled with refuelling were the most exciting days of F1 as pure racinh was concerned, all these useless Pirellis discarding huge amount of marbles on the track and making teams cruising around has to stop, Pirelli and Mercedes are making a mockery of the sport, at Brackley Ross Brawn, Hamilton and Lauda are just not working their only chance of the F1 title next year is in jeapody.


Really? I rember when there were two tyre suppliers. Half the field were uncompetitive because one make of tyres offered such a big advantage over the other.


Agree in that prefer old style flat out racing to current tyre saving formula. DRS and these tyres are so artificial. I couldn't care about the casual fan. I liked it the way it was, personally.


I was a huge Schumacher and Ferrari fan, but even I wouldn't argue that the early 2000s were exciting...

Comparing Pirelli with Michelin OR Bridgestone is hugely unfair. That 1000km test Pirelli did? Bridgestone did one of these with Ferrari every week, with all the others every other week.


The early to mid-2000's were not the most exciting days of oure racing in F1 by any means. Certainly, they were characterised by flat out driving between fuel stops. But is that the sole definition of racing? I would have thought on-track overtaking is key, and almost any period, before or after, was better than the period you speak of in that regard.


Were they?


Let me think, Michelin joined the fray in 2001, and Ferrari won 9 in 01, 15 in 02, 8 in 03 and a further 15 in 04.

I don't know about you, but the Schumacher domination turned millions away.

2005, the rules were changed so greatly, that Ferrari could not compete generally.

Only in 2006, the last year of a tyre war did Renault and Ferrari actually race each other.

Beyond this, most drivers waited for the pitstops to pass a rival, how could that possibly be the best era of F1?

Bring Back Murray

Apologies should have proof read that!

Bring Back Murray

HRC I don't get the comments thst so many people are making stating that the racing was so much better during the refulling era. You are correct - people used to just wait until someone went into the pits - simply step on it for 2/3 laps then pit and get back out into the lead again.

Before refulling we had some of the best racing - i.e the Senna / Prost / Mansell era.

They all seemed to race each other pretty well without refulling / DRS and without tyres that turned to jelly after 5 laps. Am I looking at that era with rose tinted spectacles though??


OK, this whole thing stinks.

First, Pirelli is being dragged in the mud for on track action. Now FIA is dragging it to the Tribunal.

Since you mentioned this Michelin point James, this really is starting to feel like Pirelli is an unwelcome guest in this house. I'm alsmost starting to think that Pirelli were indeed asked to make these agressive tires, and now are being hung out over them by denials that this is not what F1 asked for as a means to justify their departure.

I thought however that Michelin was interested in F1 only if there was another brand to compete with? Let's be honest, French are very good at seeing the bigger picture in F1 and getting things their way. There are endless examples of this. So do they suddenly feel that just being in F1 is benefit enough? Truth is very little good has been said about Pirelli last 3 years.


Jean Todt is French


That is also my understanding: Michelin departed once FIA announced a single tyre manufacturer.

Unfortunately, FIA cannot have it both ways. It's either a single tyre manufacturer who can make tyres on demand with a well defined life/grip, or you have a tyre war where both life and grip are increased as much as possible. Stricter regulations will then come into force to claw back the extra speed that these new, stickier tyres bring.


The whole thing of Pirelli signing on teams has me thinking that perhaps 2 brands is on the table. Maybe even Pirelli wants this - to change how tires are talked about. Right now it's all bad, all bad Pirelli.


It very very simple.

Pireli were asked to make aggressive tyres that WORK.

There is always the implication that the tyres work properly and do not fail.

Pireli were asked to make a faster tyre with a sorter life and a slower tyre with a longer life. Pirelli has failed to do this.

Bridgestone would be able to do it in a snap.

I always thought Pirelli were amateurs. The reason the racing has been exciting is because the Pirelli tyres are a lottery. The tyres are not consistent, even Pirelli themselves doesn't understand them.


You're right. Absolutely right: Pirelli were asked to IMAGINE what the right tyre should be, and failed miserably...

And then they had the temerity to actually want to test them!

Bridgestone, by contrast, always produced the best tyre. Sure, they did 1000km of testing every 4-5 days or so (sometimes testing on Mugello AND Fiorano on the same day!), but that doesn't matter... right?

Off to the cross with Pirelli, I say!!

In all seriousness, why Pirelli is not giving everyone a reply involving sex and travel and leaving the sport, is beyond me.


I hate to say it, but look at Le Mans, or even WRC. Any time Pirelli has gone head to head with Michelin or any other manufacturer, they come out at most, second best.

Michelin has such an edge on tire technology that it's not even funny - when Corvette switched from Goodyear to Michelin, their times dropped over a second per lap.

You are exactly correct: Pirelli was asked to make tires that degrade, and they did that; however, it's implicit that the tires work for more than a few laps and don't disintegrate. A 25 mile tire has no place in F1, except maybe for a one-lap-wonder qualifying tire.


Dave C,

WOW, super angry for a company that's trying to contribute to the show you enjoy via many millions of dollars investment.

Ideas on how to redirect our Pirelli anger somewhere anyone? Perhaps we still remember the bankers? 🙂


I said that earlier but people ignore this fact, Pirelli are a joke and the more damage this does to their brand the better, bring back the tyre war and unlimited revs on engines.


bf1, I believe they work. I even like that they fail.

This whole approach of no failure is flawed.

If I'm supposed to have a chicken in the over for 30 minutes, but leave it in there for 45, I should not be shocked that it's burned.

If I'm supposed to load a car with 1500lbs, but load it with 3000lbs I should not be shocked if something breaks.

If tires are supposed to last 30 laps, and certain teams/cars push them to 45 or at higher loads - what should the consequnces be? I think the consequences of a whole lotta ripped carbon are right.

As for safety...a bit of danger being brought back is not a bad thing.


+1. Adapt your car better to the current tires and problem solved.

And for those who want Michelin back, well, they must've forgotten Indianapolis.

Ask a manufacturer to produce good race tires without the benefit of proper testing is lunacy and the sport is paying for it now. Virtually every part of the physical car is stress tested in some way prior to use in the race, except the tires.

The teams are just far-sighted enough to see their own interests taken care of and that's all. The FIA's been asleep throughout this mess.


No. If a team pushes the tyres too hard or too long the result should be the tyres become very very slow not disintegrate.


And one more thing...this Montreal test is not enough to make it right.

All the other teams except Mercedes need to be awarded 1000km of testing distance on the same tires Mercedes got. Then and only then can we put this behing us.


Yeah,almost like an attempt too little too late.


I actually think that it's not only too little too late, but it's a handicap for Montreal for everyone but Mercedes.

Instead of working on set up with the tires they will use, teams will be dedicating valuable testing time to these tires - which they won't use for the GP. Meanwhile, Mercedes is doing what? Perhaps getting thing setup on the actual tires that they will use in Montreal?

Silly solution. 3 days, 1000km each at Silverstone is the only fair solution.



If you believe Mercedes doesn't have the data, I've got some swamp land I'd like to talk to you about. 🙂

FIA knew, and FIA permitted are two different stories. This 2013 chasis use is an issue. And if you think that 1000km does nothing to benefit a team, please tell me then how cars improve and get faster over the season? Especially since the laps were turned in Barcelona - testing ground they know like home. Basically, Mercedes got another Barcelona test. Do a poll right now and you'll see 93% of people will vote that they believe Mercedes benefited from the test.

Forgive the tone. I'm just asking direct questions. Not at all in anger.


Sebee: Mercedes doesn't know what tires they tested, and probably doesn't have the data anyway.

They've still got the problem that the rear design of the car is fundamentally flawed, and induces too much heat and wear into the tires... Nothing that happened at Monaco suggests they've solved that issue yet.

Yeah, Pirelli should have informed the other teams-- but it sounds like the FIA knew Mercedes had a 2013 car on the track, and knew Pirelli was testing tires.

This really is a tempest in a teacup story, and if Mercedes wasn't in the top 4 for the WCC, no one would care.

But the idea that Mercedes might solve their rear tire problem, and maintain their current one-lap pace, has Christian and Stefano losing sleep at night, and they'll do whatever they have to to prevent that from happening.


BTW hero,

If Senna was your hero, who is your hero now?

Time for a new handle perhaps? hero_is_vettel? 🙂



We'll see how much better on tires Mercedes is. But you don't see this as a possible play?

Nico and Lewis go out on the "test tires" knock out a quick quali lap, come in after 4 or 5 laps, put on the second set, again 4 or 5 laps. Thank you. On they go to the actual tires used in Montreal for valuable setup/eval time.

Meanwhile, other teams are wasting 25 0r 30 laps on each set in the session to try to get to know the test tires. Basically, if Mercedes chooses not to waste time on tires they tested and know, they will get an extra FP session as well while others waste the FP to test these tires.

Also, if Mercedes performs well in Montreal - which is likely, watch out - fireworks will fly!


Burger just the practice sessions don't make up for 1000km and also are they going to get fresh engines just for these tests like Mercedes did?


Or ban Mercedes from the practice session while the other teams test the new tires. Montreal isn't the right place for the test though is it? Doesn't really compare to Barcelona in terms of loads on the tires. Really, a ban of at least one race is required to offset any potential gain they had (which they certainly got) and to punish them for cheating (which it certainly was). It seems incredible that with all the experienced brains at Mercedes that no one put up their hand and said this was not a good thing to do, or at least be more transparent about the test. Only a baby-step away from a Crashgate-like scandal really.

The other teams deserve a test at Barcelona before Silverstone. Same tires, same mileage, same track.


All I will say is that Mercedes spent Friday at Barcelona working on their race set up...


I agree the other teams need that testing mileage to relevel the playing field ASAP. The problem is that Mercedes potentially had an unfair advantage in Monaco and will potentially have an unfair advantage in Montreal too. So I'd give the other teams 1000km testing, and ban Mercedes for two races also.

I'm a strong believer that neither Ferrari nor Red Bull really want to see Mercedes banned, but do want to see the FIA allow them to test their current cars with the new tyres, hence the protest. If you look at Marko's comment (mis reported numerous times I might add!) "When we test for three days, we go a second faster - that's what Adrian Newey says" that tells me that RBR, like Ferrari are desperate for testing time rather than punishing Mercedes.


That ship has sailed. I know Mercedes without doubt got an edge. But in the end you can't undo that test. So with more development, 1000km for other teams gets us as close to even as we can get in this situation.

Same conditions for the other teams. 2013 car, current drivers driving 500km each.


or just say that those 1000km must count to the eight engines five transmisions they are alloewd throught out the season!

that would at least a small handicap (3 race distances)

Alberto Martínez


I don´t think it eliminates the political angle. In case Mercedes do well in Montreal, teams, media and fans will assert that Mercedes’ result is due to the test hold in Barcelona because noone knows which tyres did they use there: current tyres? prototypes for 2013? prototypes for 2014? All of them?

So quite a complex matter.


Well how about that!

No wonder people say politics is a dirty game.

Okay my take on this saga is...

This change of plans by Pirelli has nothing to do with Mercedes recent test but rather it has everything to do with the fact that Force India, Ferrari and Lotus really do not want to let go of these 2013 tyres.

I admit, am speculating here but it seems to me like those three teams put in a petition with the FIA asking why the new tyres were being introduced early when Montreal doesn't have high speed corners.

Also further into their reasoning is why race on tyres that haven't been tried which may turn out to be more durable.

So in a nutshell, if Montreal Friday practice it turns out that the new tyres are more durable, Pirelli will be sent back to the drawing board >>> veloce.


A much simpler explanation might be that Pirelli are simply unable to make enough tyres in time for Montreal.


I fear the tyres will be more durable (and rightly so). The FIA and Pirelli have the bulletproof defence of tyre safety.

"I did it like the old days"... " "I told the teams that they should be united"..." "Pirelli will modify its tires as planned,"

-Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie wants more money and the wretched tyres were hitting F1 followership. The newer fans are vocal, but the older fans who actually deep into their wallets for the sport had begun doing the walkies. Money is always the final decider.

This is what I expect for next week:

1. Clarification of the Pirelli tyre test.

2. FIA order for the new tyres to be raced as from Silverstone.

The above two things will be done on the grounds of "safety." Right now, Lotus is saying they don't care about safety, but we will see.


I suspect that Bernie is trying to prove he is still the ringmaster in F1. He lost his closest allie a few years ago and Todt is flexing his power.

It is the FIA who told Pirelli that they cannot change the tyres. It is the FIA that has pushed through the new engine rules. It is the FIA that hasn't agreed the Concirde agreement because they are not satisfied with the income that Mosley and Ecclestone agreed between themselves.

I think the tyre issue is merely a red herring and wouldn't be surprised to find out that Brawn and Todt have colluded to muddy the waters further. After all, they have worked together for a number of years at Ferrari


You are wrong here, ever since Bernie had to give up some of his control due to GFC. Teams and other stake holders having hard time agreeing on pretty much everything. Unlike like before they had to shut up and get on with it.

The day Bernie gives up full control to manufactures, F1 will hit the wall.



You could be right indeed. Lets not forget that Bernie has repeatedly upset the manufacturers over the 2014 engines, causing them to spend millions they did'nt budget for (for instance, postponement of the start date from 2013 to 2014).

Last year, Merc said that they would get Bernie out of F1 with the bribery scandal. Perhaps, the timing of the "tyre scandal" is no coincidence. Lets see if we are witness to a creeping tale of embarrassment after embarrassment.


Actually its the teams that hasn't 'agreed' a new concorde agreement.


Hey James, you may have weighed in on this but it keeps coming up. I'd like your thoughts. That the delamination affect on the new tires is highly unsafe. As compared to what tires have done for how ever many years, that being sometimes going immediately flat and at times leaving the car and driver totally out of control. I guess I'd rather see a tire carcass flying about than the car flying about.




We don't know what Merc learnt from their secret test, or what advantage they gained for Monaco, and likewise for Montreal, and rest of the year.

Mercedes: Do not get out of jail free.Do not pass Go. Do not collect [is it still £200 ?].


this is just getting dumber as time goes on. do pirelli think for one moment that a few hours and possibly 30 or so laps is anywhere near three days testing undertaken by mercedes.

as wel as this aspect what about the rush to change because of the safety angle? this just proves that the 'safety' aspect was a double blind. pirelli must think that we are all as silly as they are.

talk about amateur night at the local!

double eyepatch

Assuming its 30 laps you're talking about, acoss 22 cars it'll be around 660 laps, which the Circuit de Gilles Villenueve is 4.36km. I think that's pretty comparable to the 1000km this three day test covered


Well it is a way for Pirelli to weather the storm. However it souldn´t give Pirelli and Mercedes a free pass with the test controversy. How do we know that the change is for sure at Silvertone? I mean if some teams don´t like the new tyres after the test in Canada, what Pirelli is going to do?




I doubt there will be a case of teams not liking the tyres, if safety reasons become the FIA's excuse.

Storms like this make F1 engaging, but not if they carry on too long, so I can bet that by next week, this tyre "test" thing would have dwindled into nothingness (with Bernie saying a lot of annoying things in chorus).

Toto Wolff (Merc) says that besides authorising it, the FIA sent representatives to the test. That tells the whole story - the FIA cannot punish itself.


Where were no FIA official during the test.


USA 05 aside, Michelin were great.


There were a hundred ways out of that mess, but Mosley and Ferrari made sure that wasn't an option.


Yes, there certainly were better ways to deal with the situation. It doesn't change the simple fact that Michelin brought the wrong tyres to the race, though.

And for safety, a delamination (even one that breaks a gearbox) beats a high-speed blow-out on a banked track (with concrete walls) every day. Just ask Ralf Schumacher.


If I remember correctly, it was Mosley who turned down all the different options.

Ferrari would not have wanted a notorious victory as it turned out. They didn't refuse installing a chicane on the banking, but Mosley held firm and said it was Michelins fault.



It's being reported that these tyres (which Pirelli is hoping to introduce for Silverstone) will have an operating temperature 5-10 degrees lower than the current one.

Is that going to take us back to the 2012 situation, where Lotus and other teams whose cars look after the tyres can't qualify well because they can't bring them up to temperature fast enough?


Looking bad for those teams which design their cars to suit the current tyres.

Getting messy...


Higher temp.

Your premise for question needs a 5-10 degC increase in tyre temp for the tyre operating temp window.

Then teams more gentle on tyres would struggle more to get up to operating range as quick as others. JF


"This move also has a political angle to it, as it eliminates any risk of rival teams asserting that Mercedes' result in Montreal, should they do well, is down to them having an advantage from testing the development tyres at the controversial secret test the team conducted in Barcelona recently."

I doubt this will stop rivals pointing to the test as a reason for a good result, and frankly, why should it? The chance to run the car for 3 days will surely lead to improved performance no matter which tyres they were running on - they are still going to learn about car setup etc.

"There are suggestions among some teams that certain factions would like to use this episode as a lever to get Michelin or another brand into F1 as sole tyre supplier."

Absolutely. My first thought on hearing about the test was that Red Bull in particular would be delighted at the opportunity to kick up a huge stink and hammer another nail in the Pirelli coffin. I wonder if Mercedes themselves are one of the teams angling for a new supplier? They've hardly had much joy during Pirelli's three year stint.


Michelin knocked back becoming sole F1 tyre supplier because they wanted to use 18" rims instead of balloon tyres on 13" rims.

All the tooling at Michelin's race tyre factory is set up for the 18" tyres used for sports car racing etc.

The F1 teams didn't want to change as the 13's basically gave all the suspension compliance and to change to 18" would mean complete susp. Re-design..

I don't think you will see Michel back in F1 .... Look to the Far East


Why do you think RBR would be keen to see the back of Pirelli? They have won 2 of their 3 championships on Pirelli rubber and are looking good for this year.

I could understand Mercedes quite liking a change but not RBR.


Because Pirelli are showing this year that they aren't afraid of the PR damage making a high-degredation tyre will do to their brand.

It's pretty clear that Red Bull are top of the pile when it comes to producing an aerodynamically efficient car, so having very stable tyres which put the focus back on car design can only suit them, and I doubt that Michelin or whoever else might come in would be prepared to take the risk Pirelli have.

Think back to the stable Bridgestones of 2010 - if Red Bull had the reliability and consistency that they have now in 2010 they would have won that championship by an absolute mile.


Yes, I agree. It absolutely would favour Mercedes as well. I just think Red Bull would rather deal with battling Mercedes for wins and podiums than the current situation where Ferrari, Lotus, Mercedes and half of the midfield can beat them if they have a bad weekend with the tyres.


I am not so sure. Mercedes are pretty quick this season - 4 out of 6 poles. If the tyres are better for RBR would that not play into Mercedes hands as well?


Don't forget that the death knell for Michelin in F1 was when Red Bull voted against other teams and for a single Bridgestone supply, post the Indy fiasco of 2005


Would love to see Michelin back!


No I understand that Mike.

What I also understand is that in any real competition, Pirelli rarely wins.

Also, they were asked to make a tire that doesn't last the full distance... They did that, but in doing so made the tire almost unreadable by the driver, and made compounds that last six laps. Really? I don't recall them being asked to make qualifying tires to race on.

The times are the same this year because of the aero advances evening out the move from lighter kevlar belts to heavier steel belts. Come to think of it, that's probably how they achieved the performance jump over Bridgestone in 2011... And now that the cars are faster, they're not afraid to make a slower tire.

Ok ok, we get it, they messed up in Indy. Name one team that hasn't built a bad car at least once. Given the history of the two companies, i'd put my money on Michelin to make a better tire.


Probably because they'd make better tires.


And we know that how? Would they be allowed to test?


You mean like the ones they used at Indianapolis in 2005!


For some reason you don’t seem to realise that As has been said further down the page:

Pirelli have only produced what they were asked to.

You need to read some of the reports about qualifying times versus race times and look at the number of pit stops some teams made last year to win races compared to this year. You’ll find that what is said and what is reality are two slightly different things.



In my opinion MERC did not take advantage only for future tyres but also to fix their setup, so there is no way back unless all the other teams are allowed to test as well. Since there are 3 weeks between Canada and UK,I think that is the best option to settle things down.


That won't happen.

I read on Autosport that it will be at least 45 days until the International Tribunal will set a date for a hearing. That would mean after the German Grand Prix in July.

Having said that, the president of the hearing has the power to bring this forward if he wishes.

So lets hope this can be dealt with quick so we can move on to racing...I mean nursing tyres again. 😉


Wasn't Michelin favoured by the FIA and Pirelli was Bernies personal deal? This would suggest that the FIA are fighting back against the Bernie show. Shame the tyre companies reputations are all wrapped up in this childish back room politicking.


Funny how everyone has forgotten this one, eh?

In my mind, Pirelli is guilty of only one thing: they gave up on the idea of low-profile tyres, which is how they grabbed people's attention when they first appeared to be in contention for a F1 appearance.

I don't actually believe that they and Mercedes did nothing wrong, far from it. But I do believe that they had to do SOMETHING about the fact that everyone asks them to make something that they can't test, then points the finger when, either a) Pirelli gets it wrong, or b) someone just doesn't like the results.


Michelin doesn't want to be in a sport where there is no competition. They pulled out of Motogp when control tires were brought in.


They pulled out because Bridgestone were far superior. After the 2007 season, when they dominated with Ducati, Rossi insisted on having Bridgestone for him.

By 2009, Pedrosa insisted on Bridgestone by mid season, because the Michelin were so poor.

It became a one tyre formula by default because no team wanted to use michelin


I know that's the official story but Michelin were lobbying pretty hard for the F1 gig until Bernie decided not to back them. So it suggests they were interested but the politics got the better of their interest.


Nail, Head, Etc.


The thing that surprises me and hasn't been mentioned anywhere is that Pirelli were for changing the tyres for Canada even before the race in Barcelona. There was no way they could of got new tyres for merc to test on the Wednesday after the Spanish Grand Prix. Still think it was a dirty sneaky move by merc to use a 2013 car with current race drivers for no matter what anyone says that is agains the sporting regulations and is testing in my eyes.


Out of interest did you think it was dirty and stinky when Red Bull were caught using the dodgy engine mapping last season, or when Ferrari broke the seal on Massa's gearbox at Austin? In neither case were the teams doing anything outside the regulations, just being very clever in their interpretation.

As I have mentioned already, its inconceivable to me that Ross Brawn would have been involved in the Barcelona test, if he didn't have a loophole to exploit that gets Mercedes off the hook. Time will tell if I am right. But for the sake of argument lets assume I am. Does that make Mercedes any dirtier or sneaky than RBR and Ferrari or just smarter at exploiting an opportunity?


There is no rule that says you can't break a gearbox seal. That's the whole point. Unsporting, maybe, but Ferrari didn't hide why they took that decision, it was because of the Championship situation.

There were vague rules which RBR took advantage if regarding engine mapping, something the FIA had to redress, in similar fashion to the flex tests which RBR used to their advantage.

But when you look at Monaco last year, and specific holes in the floor which wasn't allowed, they have no come back. Sauber and Ferrari ran similar ideas but they had slots in them.

Mercedes ran a current car with the teams drivers, something that is not allowed, hence why Ferrari used a 2011 car with their test driver


Completely off topic - did you see the profile on Frank Williams - Architects of F1 - he had a bit to say about Ayrton - you should try and see it if you can, as I am sure you would enjoy it.


To be fair, when the FIA introduced the 5 place grid penalty for gearbox replacement's it was intended to be just that - a penalty. I don't imagine they expected any of the teams to break a gearbox seal in order to advantage one of their drivers. The same with RBR engine mapping, the FIA knew what they meant when they drafted the regulation. Unfortunately for them, RBR spotted a loophole and exploited it. Hats off to both of them, it's part of the game. The point I was trying to make was that I suspect Mercedes spotted a similar loophole in the wording of the tyre testing agreement and exploited it in a similar way. If Mercedes didn't think they had some sort of a get out clause then their behaviour was stupid beyond belief. Try as I might I cannot imagine Ross Brawn doing anything so incredibly, obviously stupid as just rocking up to Barcelona, running a 3 day test and keeping his fingers crossed no one would notice. Can you?


If this test wasn't dodgy, do you think Merc would have kept it under wraps? No, they would made as much PR and political capital out of it as pos. we would sure have heard about the tyre they tested till cows came home


They didn't keep the test under wraps - one of their drivers, apparently, volunteered the information during a drivers briefing.

Anyway, that's beside the point. You Sir, are using this as a distraction to avoid 'getting the drinks in' as both Mercedes finished in the points at Monaco. I am starting to think you might be biased 🙂

I have copied your post as an aide-memoire:

1. Posted By: Phil Glass

Date: May 20th, 2013 @ 11:24 am

ps Merc will start p2 and p3. If they finish in the points it’s drinks all round on me.


The contract Pirelli signed with the FIA allows for 2013 cars to be used in tests.

The relevant clauses of that contract are also deliberately vague (in my opinion); so that, for instance, you cannot say for definite what a Pirelli controlled test is (as against a team controlled test).


I don't know what part of this you are missing here. Pirelli can ask for 1000 kms from a team but not with a current car and current drivers as the sporting regulations don't allow it which is the rules that all teams use. This is the reason Ferrari used a 2011 car. Do u think if it was allowed to use a 2013 car Ferrari would of put De la Rosa in a 2011 Ferrari? Mercedes have clearly been sneaky here. If this was all legal why did it only come out on the saturday of Monaco and not done in a press release and telling all the other teams? Ferrari and the Mercedes tests are totally different.


Its funny how some of you lot condone Mercedes's action here because its Hamilton's team, if it was Redbull that conducted this test the english speaking media and fans would be up in arms, this whole thing is a farce.


You are the one missing the most important part of this unfortunate saga. The contract the FIA signed with Pirelli ABSOLUTELY allows them to test with a current car and for the team concerned to supply drivers (and I imagine, an engineer or two).

Ferrari used a 2011 car, because like the other top teams, they are afraid of exposing their cars secrets to Pirelli. That is what Pirelli have been complaining about since the beginning of this season.

Any other explanation of Ferrari's test with a 2011 car is just pure sentiment.

On the surface, what Pirelli signed with the FIA is in conflict with what the FIA signed with FOM, therefore it is unenforceable, even worse, the concorde agreement has expired and a new signing doesn't seem eminent.

Do you realise that the FIA controls all racing tracks? That it is one of the main reasons FOTA could not break away at their last attempt, no tracks to race on. The FIA is such a hydra that even caravanning associations are governed by it. They know exactly what is happenning at each and every race track and no Pirelli test can occur without their express aproval. In fact, Toto Wolff (Merc) claims that FIA representatives were present at the test.

Red Bull and Ferrari missed out on a trick and are now in full political, sour grapes mode. Indeed, very strangely, Horner claims Red Bulls grouse is not with Pirelli, but with Merc! As if Merc bullied Pirelli/FIA into conducting the test.


You may be missing the FIA stipulation that a 2013 car could be used - but it had to be offered to all the teams and be in the interests of safety modifications. The issue is not the 2013 car (okay it is for some but that's not what the FIA have specifically complained about) its that the test was to be offered to all teams to see who would help.

Pirelli have argued that if they offered it to everyone - they would all disagree and then the test would be held up in legal wrangling.

In essence Pirelli came up between two opposing rulings and chose to circumvent them as their reputation was being soured and they had no faith in the teams agreeing on whether the sky was blue or not and ultimately that the FIA was fairly toothless to enforce safety. The FIA under Todt always wanted Michelin in. Pirelli were Bernies favourites and his deal won. Pirelli are no doubt wary of the hands off approach of this current FIA.


All the teams will have 2 set of tyres? Mercedes too? Again?


One can only assume that Mercedes will not be given the new tyres to test in Montreal...


Still it won't be fair cos the other teams on Friday have to also prepare for the weekend race.

Mercedes having it good.


They will get them. They are not guilty until proven otherwise. Mercedes still think they did not break any rules, which is hillarious.


Would have thought with all the extra testing they've done the tyres would be ready by now...


They are ready. This is just a chance to give everyone a run on the new tyre.


People have mentioned this before, but I think it's best for F1 to give the teams an option of sticking around for a day or two after certain GP's to perform tests like this. The setup is already done and it's most economical and fair to the teams.

With this test taking place during normal GP practice sessions in Montreal, teams will be forced to choose between testing the actual race tires and testing the new tires. It's not really fair to the teams, in my opinion.

Having said that, everyone is in the same boat (except maybe Mercedes - tisk tisk) so it's not like there is an advantage...Just more decision and strategy required.


And test drivers can get some track time.


If there are any practical, non-political (hah!) brains left in F1 today, that's what they should do. For European tracks, costs would effectively be limited to food and board for those involved.


First good idea I have read here


"This move also has a political angle to it, as it eliminates any risk of rival teams asserting that Mercedes’s result in Montreal, should they do well, is down to them having an advantage from testing the development tyres at the controversial secret test the team conducted in Barcelona recently."

Mercedes still have 1,000 km more testing than any other team. If that's Pirelli's aim I think the horse has already bolted.

All revved-up

Fingers crossed. If delaminations occur and gearboxes are damaged resulting in grid penalties - what a right royal mess.

It'll be fascinating to see where Mercedes and Red Bull stand on a circuit where overtaking is the norm. Can't wait.


Pirelli really just needs to go.

They were put in a crap situation where they delivered exactly what they were asked for, by teams and authorities who never really thought it out to begin with. Now they are demonized for it. They should just wash their hands of it all and leave the sport to hang-out to dry.

Anyone actually think that Cooper-Avon or Hanook will do a better job? Because good luck getting another global player like Michelin to come in after all of Pirelli's high-visibility thanks for following orders.


Hankook is performing as well or better than Pirelli in GT racing; I think they'd do well. Cooper-Avon has been making tires for eons; they'd also do well.


Further to this, Hankook just announced that supplying f1 in 2014 is impossible for them given the timeframe, made worse by the last of testing:



Strange - if I was Marketing director of Hankook I would let the speculation ride, as it provides lots of free brand awareness, associates them with F1, which confers premium brand association- and all for free. There's no rush to deny that you have any plan to go into F1 in that situation, is there?


Performance vis-a-vis Pirelli in regional GT series doesn't mean the companies have the infrastructure and distribution networks to be up to job of supplying F1. F1 requires a bit more than DTM or F2 from a logistics perspective.

Pirelli is four times the size of Hankook and still demanded payment for the tires. F1 needs a company of that size to be able to make mid-season changes e.g. changing a steel belt to a Kevlar one on safety grounds.


Who said this championship was boring? Does Hembery suffer a bipolar disorder? I can't wait until tomorrow...


It's just how F1 is!

Whenever you think things are predictable or the racing is getting processional, along comes an off-track scandal to get everyone fired up.

Already this year we've had debates/scandals over: Team orders, slow-running in Q3, delta times, changes in tyre specs, secret testing, team personnel changes, engine manufacturers and associated politics - and it not even June yet!!

There's been so much happening that there hasn't been any protests about the legality of front-running cars.


I'm one of those certain factions. It would be cool if Michelin came back, but I remember them wanting more than one tire supplier to have some competition.


Slightly off the topic... quote from thejudge13.com

"The Red Bull car looked no where on Thursday and according to Marko on ServisTV the secret to Vettel almost clinching pole position 2 days later was the teams reserve driver, Sebstian Buemi. He pounded out more than 400 laps of the Monaco circuit on the simulator to discover the problem. Allegedly, the factory then created 2 new front wings, and Buemi took them to Monaco in time for Saturday qualifying (AMuS)."

Is this true? Can a front wing be developed and produced over night?


In the UK we would say, take everything Marko says with "a pinch of salt".

400 laps would equate to around 600 minutes? Assuming 1.30s a lap?

So 10 hours, and then have to design and fabricate in carbon fibre, a process that takes a few hours to bake in an oven, then spray...

You see my point?

If it was that easy, Mclaren would be winning races by now and Red Bull would have sorted out their issues.

Dr Marko, not the brightest bulb is he?


Don''t you know that while MB were testing at Montmelo, RB were testing on 17th May at Idiada (in Tarragona, near Barcelona). I don' t believe in coincidences, and we all know how good actors and líars they are in Red Bull.



My bet is that there was an engineer (or ten) sitting alongside Buemi Thursday night, and watching every detail. As he was doing "laps", they were drawing up another wing design (be it new endplates, a little flap here or there, etc), and uploaded it to the model in the simulator for his next stint.

Once they found one that worked, they laid up two new wings overnight and cooked them in the autoclave the next day. They paint them up and they dry into the evening. Buemi then swung by that night (Friday), picked up the wings, and then showed up to Heathrow with lots of large, awkwardly-sized baggage... He arrives in Monaco late Friday night bearing wings, and they bolt on Saturday morning for practice.

Of course, this is a last-ditch attempt to get more speed. It's something whereby they only tested in the simulator and probably in CFD as a back-up. If it didn't work, they could always fit the old wing.


I remember reading an article from James a while back saying that it took (I think) about six weeks to design and produce a new wing...so probably not.


Random 79: the six week figure probably accounts for wings that are tested in the wind-tunnel, so a prototype needs to be made and tested at 60% scale, then changes made, etc, then make the full-size one. This was a quick fix, and they may have only changed a few small parts (flaps and endplates).


i watched the interview live on servus tv (living in salzburg 2k's from the hangar 7 away ..

and marco said most of you stated, but the thing about buemi taking the wings. he just talked about buemis 400k's on the sim.



sorry forgot the word "NOT" - he talked nothing about any wings ...

Alexander Supertramp

Read this too. Amazing stuff. I would think they would do it by using a 3D-printer.


Best guess I have is that it was not a whole front wing, but maybe couple of end plates or elements being positioned slightly different.

So basically they might've just fabricated couple of front wing elements.


Michelin back in F1, that would go down well with upto 3 US races........


So long as none of them are at Indy...

As much as I still (more or less) support Pirelli, the thought of the cars flying around Austin at top speed makes me grin 😀


It does nobody any favours trying to play political games with the tyres right now. F1 cant take it for granted that Pirelli will accept whatever terms for next year.


Politics and rubber, politics and rubber. Sounds like a typical day in the life of an MP with his "research assistant".


The dull thud of rock bottom...


The sooner Pirelli exits the better. Their involvement has been an unmitigated disaster for the sport. The tires are unsafe, the tires do not meet the FIA specifications for durability, they have colluded with certain teams to conduct clandestine testing and the mangement of their company is laughable. Everytime Paul Henembery opens his mouth its to complain, make excuses or [mod]. They can no longer be trusted to be an impartial supplier of such a critical component.


For some reason you don't seem to realise that Pirelli have only produced what they were asked to.

You need to read some of the reports about qualifying times versus race times and look at the number of pit stops some teams made last year to win races compared to this year. You'll find that what is said and what is reality are two slightly different things.

I personally hope Pirelli tell F1 to get lost at the last minute.so that I can watch the blind panic that then occurs.

It is often said that there are many great minds working in F1 - you can only be left to assume that this is on the car design and development side of things.

The overall management of F1 can only be likened to the actions and reactions you would expect to see from a spoilt brat in a toy shop!


Can you actually prove any of this, especially while things are under investigation. Especially when another sources suggested that Merc may have been given permission by the FIA.

These types of comments are becoming more common on this site, people stating things as fact instead of opinion, when most of the evidence is still unknown to the public.

Some opinions, supported by a factual argument would serve everyone better rather than verballing based on what people believe, rather that what they can prove.


The tires do not meet the FIA specifications for durability:

Bernie Ecclestone was a leading advocate for the advent of more exciting tyres however insists he didn't want things to be as excessive as has been the case. He said "The tyres are wrong, not what we intended when we asked Pirelli to produce something which did a half race."



My main points are that I don't see how you can make claims like:

1) "They have colluded with certain teams to conduct clandestine testing and the mangement of their company is laughable."

Making an accusation of collusion in this case may mean more than you think. You are really saying that they "deliberately" set out to cheat.


3) "They can no longer be trusted to be an impartial supplier of such a critical component."

Again you are calling them deliberate cheats or even fraudulent.

James, where is the moderation, are you really comfortable with statements like this that border on defamation.

If "Fan" can provide real evidence to back up what he has said, then I would not have an issue, but this is very poor imo.




It's a solution that should not exist in the first place. Nonetheless, will teams have added testing time? Because given that Montreal is a street circuit, the data may not be as useful, when it comes to track use. And teams may therefore place more emphasis on testing what they will race in Montreal.

All this because crazy tyres and no testing don't go together...


Pirelli really has been a disaster this year. I don't know if it is Paul Hembry or the rest of the company but to say they have been arrogant is not an understatement. Some of Mr. Hembry's statements to the press have been at the very least poorly thought out.

The whole testing issue seems to derive from a complete disregard for the sport. The strange claim that Pirelli had invited teams to test last year and that was good enough is laughable. Does Pirelli think teams foresaw the disaster the tires would turn out to be in 2013? Of course they don't.

Now we are holding a "test" instead of introducing the new tires to once again fight off negative press that never should have happened.

For the life of me, why Pirelli didn't publicly ask the FIA for permission to have a one off test with all the teams using current cars is beyond me. Then if a team didn't want to stay behind and test it was up to them, but they couldn't cry foul. Although there appears to be not place in the rules allowing such a test I would be surprised if the FIA and teams did not agree to an exception. EVEN if they did not agree to the exception they would at least have had a chance to debate it.

On to Merc, I have NO IDEA what they were thinking. I think Brawn is smarter than this. Toto not so sure.


I believe Pirelli wanted to avoid a debate between them, FIA and the teams necause they think it wouldn't lead anywhere. So they took the chance, did the test and deal with the problem after.

Pirelli might think everybody will forgive them given that F1 needs tyres next year...

About Merc, I have no idea how they thought this will not be against the rules and that they will get away with it.


Merc definitely benefited....simply because they had more time with the current car and current drivers. So how can one say no benefit? You do additional 1000 km, so you learn.


It doesn't matter AT ALL if they benefited or not. What they did is CLEARLY ILLEGAL. They must be banned for the rest of the season (I know.. I know it's not going to hapen, but they deserve to be banned).


I agree. This is the equivalent of a person who is accused of armed robbery going to court and saying in his defense that he didn't get away with any money so there was crime.


Lol! After the fallout from the "secret" tests, Pirelli wants to douse the anger of Red Bull and Ferrari with some chillax.

F1 wil never cease to surprise with its twists and turns.


Michelin have said they would not consider coming into F1 as a tyre monopoly. Their condition is that there has to be competition.

Looking at Pirelli's current fiasco, they must be laughing their heads off as one major competitor repeatedly attempts suicide, for falling for the monopoly trick for a fast buck.

Michelin's position is the right one and it has proven to be a smarter company than Pirelli; a top company that has let go of principle to produce rotten, wretchedly soul wrenching tyres for a fee.


Maybe this is why Pirelli is signing agreements with teams. Maybe F1 will go back to 2 brands?


Exactly. This entire nonsense would have been avoided if there was more than one team and a choice of tyres.


I can definitely see some PR damage control going on here. However I also saw an element of Pirelli basically saying to the teams, "Well, if you're going to moan about unfair advantage and unanimous agreement when we try to do something to fix the safety issues with the tyres that you've been complaining about then we're going to hold you to that." Or in other words, "You made your bed; now you lie in it." Because my understanding was that Pirelli were allowed to change the tyres on safety grounds. Maybe that is a very cynical interpretation, but I have felt that after two years of being quite reasonable and willing to fit in with the sport Pirelli themselves have become more cynical recently.


The problem is Pirelli have not suggested the tyres are unsafe. In fact, they have stated that these tyres are safer than last year because they delaminates rather than explode, hence allowing drivers to get back to the pits.

Alonso picked up a slow puncture in Spain but because of this years design he got back to the pits and changed tyres.

Safety? It's a difficult situation, because cars and circuits have become safer and safer that the real threat of a car hitting a wall is practically none. Tyres delaminates in Bahrain and just over the circuits boundaries was miles and miles of sand dunes.


Yes, I agree that Pirelli never said the tyres were unsafe in the first place and went to great lengths to justify that fact and that has put them in a difficult position with regards to using a safety clause.

But I do not think it is as simple as Pirelli said this and then that and that's all there is to the matter. They were never going to come out and call their tyres unsafe in the first place in a public sense to any degree because that would have resulted in them being blasted in the press to kingdom come even if they were talking about something very minor and largely irrelevant. IIRC they also said that the delaminations were safer than the punctures, but that doesn't mean that the delaminations were not a safety concern.

I also think it's an evolving situation. Since the Mercedes test situation has come out Pirelli are going to conform to the absolute letter of things, do damage control on that issue and it's logical that their stance may have shifted because of that. Lauda said that the Mercedes test occurred on Safety grounds and that's in doubt so why would Pirelli take the risk of doing something else on Safety grounds and ending up in another spat. Where previously willing to take a broader idea of safety (as in the distinction between unsafe and not as safe as they could be), Pirelli IMO are now saying that they won't.

And in doing so are holding the teams to account for once again drawing battle lines rather than working together to find solutions.


I agree. I honestly dont care if Mercedes used this years car. Pirelli needed to resolve the issue. They have a rule in plasce that allows them to test with a tea, and they applied for the test and got it approved.

Logic dictates that the car with the worst problem is used and that is the current car.

No problem in my eyes. I dont even particularly care for Mercedes (not a fanboy).

The easy answer to this is the races with a 2 week or more gap have a monday test. For a maximum of 2-3 tests per year.

The additional cost is minimal, the back marker teams get more running and Pirelli or whoever, get to do current car tests.

It is beyond any logic to lumber a tyre supplier with a very tight defination of requirement and give them little to no opportunity to test, revise tyres and production to mett or match the defintion.

Whoever thinks otherwise needs to show a little empathy and be less biased.


I long for tyre competition...


I remember tyre competition and it was awful. Tyres play such a huge part in the overall performance of the car that even a small difference between each manufacturer's tyres completely dominates the championship and leads to very unexciting racing


Tyre competition sucked.

It got to the point where we knew which teams couldn't possibly win before we got to the track for each GP & with the new engine specs next year we'll know who can't win the championship by the 3rd or 4th GP.


this latest twist just goes to further show the complete and total disfunctionality of the entirity of the so-called F1 community. having seen many a dirt track oval race at the Sharon Speedway (NE Ohio) as a kid from the mid 50's on, I became a racing junkie in '62 when I got my first issue of Sports Car Graphic magazine. attended my first of many Indy 500's in '64 and first of many North American F1 races @ Mosport in '67. many Trans-Am, Can-Am, F-5000, Coca-Cola Cavlecade of Funny Car, enduro races, IMSA, SCCA Nationals, a couple of NASCAR events, Solo II, Rallyes, hillclimbs, and much more as time progressed. I even remember when I felt CART to be massively superior to anything F1 had to offer at the time... not that any of the above series were even remotely perfect, but none came close to the same level of huge disfunctionality as F1 is today!!! well, OK, 1 did - IndyCar - I still do not know who won the 2013 500 - and I do not care. that means it is just 1 dipshit stupid decision by F1 away from my giving a crap about the present and future of F1...


CART was superior to F1. But it went down the road F1 is heading now, by giving manufactures and other stakeholders too much control.


Michelin have been tweeting today and running a poll about what F1 fans think about a Michelin return http://wp.me/p2HWOP-hiu

This appears to be Pirelli making sure they do not have another race under sporting regulation protests.

SKY News reporter Craig Slater is reporting, "they [Pirelli] say it is only because they couldn't get the unanimous support from all the teams to run the tyre over the full course of the [Canada] weekend."


How about all teams excluding mercedes are allowed to test the tyres in Canada? Otherwise we are in for another political summer.


"There are suggestions among some teams that certain factions would like to use this episode as a lever to get Michelin or another brand into F1 as sole tyre supplier. Pirelli is close to a renewal of its F1 deal, but it is not signed yet."

I think we may have another Gary Hartstein situation here,a sneaky hidden political putsch. We now have a track doctor with no race experience and no handover period from Gary, we don't even know his name.

It is more important than eve that Todt the invisible does not get re-elected.

Since the tyres for next year will be fundamentally different (including in size) it is essential that whoever is the supplier is allowed to get on with designing them.

I would not blame Pirelli if they told the FIA that they were no longer interested, it has cost them a fortune and ruined their reputation in the minds of those who do not understand what they were asked to do, which they have done excellently.

Maybe Todt's nickname should be changed!


Firstly, I don't think delaminations can be called excellently!

Secondly, doing a secret tyre test with Merc's 2013 car and drivers doesn't help either.


sorry, but i gotta comment on one more thing... what is the huge deal about having a half a gazzillion passes during a race??? honestly, and truly, I can get totally excited and be a huge fan of ANY series without seeing even ONE pass made during a dozen or so series I watch over the rest of my lifetime!!! the "pass" is not "all" exciting. the many laps of an attempt to pass is the REAL deal!!! watching a "legend" lap the field or a backmarker having a w/e way beyond his expectation is totally damned kewl. too bad commercial power and money-grubbing has ruined racing...

I now get a REAL kick watching redneck Florida Crackers running their homemade modified Pickups thru a mud bog (for free) every weekend merely 1/4 mile away. their desire to excel is every bit as high as the big-name F1 guys. these local cannot do what Seb and all the others do, but I doubt Seb and the others could ever do what these locals do either... think about it!!!


Completely agree with you.

Senna became a legend, in part, because of his skills at getting through back markers.

He didn't need artificial blue flag rules to get past.

With this fundamental skill removed from modern day drivers, in addition to all the electronic systems making cars easier to drive than ever, how can anyone be compared to the giants of yesteryear?

F1 is following the masses and dumbing down the sport to draw in the casual viewers, they have got what they asked for.


You can't compare F1 now to F1 in Senna's day. In some ways Senna and company had it harder, but in other respects they had it easier. Senna (and other champions) commonly drove cars several seconds a lap faster than those of the back-markers. Blitzing through them was not really much of an accomplishment. In modern F1 all the cars are much, much closer to one another in performance.


Spot on, Senna might have found that everlasting gap a bit tighter now days.

I would love to see what the ground effect can offer to today's F1 cars 🙂


James, any thoughts on the claims that teams are swapping the right and left rear tyres, contrary to their intended side, in order to prolong tyre life?


...and if that's true, is that allowed in the regulations?

They used to do sorts of tricky stuff like that back in the day, but this the first I've heard of it in recent times.


It's not prohibited, so I suppose it counts as a loophole.

If certain specific teams were exploiting this successfully then the loophole would be closed. Since certain other teams are doing it the loophole will probably NOT be closed. It explains why Lotus are so anxious to keep the current steel-belted tyres.

Tornillo Amarillo

So is it Lotus that benefit from the delay until Silverstone? Was it Lotus who ask for that delay?

Maybe they evaluate the risk in Canada as small, but there was already big accidents there (Kubica in 2007, although unharmed)given that there are concrete walls in the Montreal circuit.


If you say you're going to do something, do it.

I agree with James' assessment of why they would suddenly change their minds to avoid criticism regarding the 'secret' test, but this is just inviting more criticism...and considering I'm one of their defenders I shudder to think what others are going to be saying...



"If you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk!" 🙂

- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Stephen Taylor

James Pirelli are close to a deal but not close enough.


Of course if it is a wet practice in Canada then that will scupper that plan. What will happen then?


"This means that there is a risk during the Canadian Grand Prix of a repeat of the delaminations seen in Spain and Bahrain, but as there are no high energy corners in Montreal, rather a series of chicanes and hairpin bends, it’s considered a small risk."

How are they planning to evaluate the tyres when there are zero chances of delaminations in Canada, cause that was the reason for revised tyres ?


They're not going to test if they delaminate or not--they KNOW they won't delaminate, because the test tyres will have the same construction as the 2012 tyres, which had no such issues.

They want to test how the 2012 construction fares with the 2013 compounds, since the difference in construction affects temperature in the tyre, plus we hear that the new-old tyres might well have aerodynamic effects on the rest of the car.


What actual compounds will they be using in Montreal?


Soft prime, Super Soft option.


This situation is reaching absurdity by the minute.

In terms to make them all "equal" they grant all the teams two sets of tyres.

This way, in case Mercedes didn't really know what were they testing in Barcelona, they'll have two pairs of fully branded tyres to directly link the results they gathered with the "right" tyres.

Moreover, those results obtained wile testing tyres different than the ones supplied for FP, will undoubtedly be those for 2014.

Hmmm... and all that in a move to make things more "even"...




There is little doubt in my mind that despite what Pirelli and Mercedes might say, there is certainly something not quite right in this whole episode. The fact that someone is not convicted (if that does indeed happen) doesn't always mean they really didn't commit the offence.

On the Michelin subject, to me it makes no difference who supplies F1 as long as they don't produce bullet proof tyres that can do two race distances!


Pirelli has REPEATEDLY emphasized that they can produce tyres capable of completing the 305km that an F1 race lasts... it's just that they weren't asked to do something as simple as that.


One has to wonder why, when they did what was asked of them, Pireli now finds fickle finger pointed in their direction. If the FIA wanted more information regarding the test then they should have stipulated details desired up front and shouldn't be putting anyone in a 'double jeopardy' situation by claiming Pirelli should have kown what information they would decide to ask for after the fact. RUBBISH!


Many many fans have resented the Pirelli tyres since their first season in F1. It took me about 4-6 races to resent them myself. I think wuss tyres, limited KERS (should be unlimited if in F1 at all, mandatory pitstops, and worst of all DRS have all been awful for F1. I fall asleep watching the races and I yearn for proper qualifying laps. Pirelli have to go I'm afraid.


OK. Who should replace them? And with how much testing?

No other tyre manufacturer in the history of F1 has been asked to make a tyre with the terms Pirelli has had to work with (limit car performance with controlled degradation and NO testing please). So what makes you think someone else would have done a better job?


Good point.


One has to wonder why, when they did what was asked of them, Pireli now finds the fickle finger pointed in their direction. If the FIA wanted more information regarding the test then they should have stipulated details desired up front and shouldn't be putting anyone in a 'double jeopardy' situation by claiming Pirelli should have kown what information they would decide to ask for after the fact. RUBBISH!


FIA agrred for Pirelli to test the tyres with a 2013 car as long as every team was offered the same oportunity.

Well, Ferrari, RedBull and Lotus all stated they got no invitation, so what did Pirelli do with "as long as every team was offered the same oportunity"??

Following this, FIA has received no further info about the test and if all teams got the same oportunity.

So how can you blame this on the FIA is beyond my understanding?!


The outrage seems misplaced. Mercedes were being picked to win Monaco based on three reasons: the string of pole positions dating back to China, the difficulty of overtaking at Monaco, their strong result at Monaco last season.

Mercedes are expected to do better at Montreal solely because it is similar to Monaco due to the lack of high speed corners.

All the teams will know what tires they are testing. Mercedes didn't know what tires they were testing. Pirelli may have changed the tires by Montreal.


Stop and go nature of Montreal will put Merc's traction tyre issues to the test.


Major difference, Mercedes won't be able to hold back the pack to their preferred pace in Montreal, unlike Monaco, there's plenty of places to pass


+1 Spot on! 'Lotta short memories out there. Maybe NASCAR is actually doing a better job, suppose? 🙂 Solve any safety issue and get on with it.


Like you said before James, engineers can't unlearn what they have learned. There has to be something that they picked up from the "secret" test. Also, the race drivers got extra time in the car to learn how to drive on the pirellis (even though it was on the "new spec" tyres). This just smells wrong. Wouldn't be surprised if this instigates the end of the ban on in season testing.


by my recollection pirelli stated that the 'delaminations' were caused by cuts to the tyres from driving over debris.

so, were the tests carried out with simulations? did pirelli 'cut' the tyres to see if delaminations would still occur?

if not, then surely the tests could not be fully validated from a 'cause and effect'scenario.

i do agree that hembery has been downright evasive under questioning and at times when he does answer he decides that RED BULL have to be curbed from domination!!!

so who is pulling whose chain here?


Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe the only way to get around the need for unanimous consent is to invoke "safety". Since it is very unlikely that all teams will agree on a tyre change for Silverstone, that "safety" option still looks like the only possible way forward.

Unless everyone is going to go to the end of the season with the current tyres ...


A bigger question that needs to be asked:

Mercedes were testing the updated 2013 tyres in the 'secret' test.

If they are again allowed to test them in Canada during the practice session, doesn't that give them a 2nd chance to see even further improvement?

They have data gathered from the 'secret' test, and after the Canada practice, more data to move further ahead of the other teams.

Two bites of the cherry eh?

Daniel Aquilina

I like how this decision came in at the last minute like everything else that has happened in Formula 1 this year. Michelin coming back to F1?? I would take that any day of the week over Pirelli at the moment.

Craig in Manila

I'm quite amazed that, considering that Pirelli have already basically acknowledged that the tyres are somewhat prone to delamination and are therefore not up to standard, they are still providing them to the teams for use !

If someone (on track or in crowd) gets injured as a result of a delamination, then surely the lawyers will be queueing-up to take Pirelli to court ?


I think Pirelli has to go. Maybe at the end of 2014 because it would be tricky for a new tyre company to come in now. Perhaps also F1 management have been talking to Michelin and others already, so perhaps 2014 is not out of question for a new tyre company.

Quite frankly many people are sick of having to to defend them. This secret tyre test is Indefensible because the rules are quite clear on the subject -no 2013 cars no current racing drivers- it doesn't matter what Mercedes said or did the supplier has a responsibility. I find it surprising that Niki Lauda had a bet with Helmut Marko - that nothing more will happen to Mercedes on the matter.

Could it be another case of Pirelli saying well we don't have a contract so therefore we are not tied into the rules any longer. Could it also be that none of the teams have a signed Concorde Agreement - hence the legality of an unsigned tyre manufacturer cannot be enforced on them ?

Friday testing at Canada is not like 3 days of controlled testing in a track to yourself many days before the next GP - so that Mercedes had time to analysis, make changes and be competitive for the next and indeed all future GP's .

Lets see, but either way F1 is becoming farcical because it's now being perceived as not transparent and an unfair sport in so many agendas now- that unless equity is achieved for all then long term fans like me will turn away.


For Sebastian to run 3 seconds faster than anyone else in the last couple of laps highlights just how slow they are going. GP2 is more exciting these days. Its not the tyre suppliers fault they gave the fia and Bernie what they wanted. Bernie and the rest of the crew better wake up seen and fix this mess or they will loose the fans and the tyres, and on.Mercedes they should be banned from the constructors title for cheating just as Mclaren we're in 2007.



is a sad situation.

Clearly, Pirelli just tried to do what they were asked to do, but without any in-season tests available have overstepped the limit. Can't really blame hem for that.

However, instead of trying to fix the technical problem and be done with it, now this is being used in a political game. Pirelli vs Michelin, Red Bull vs Ferrari & Lotus, FIA vs Bernie, F1 hard core fans vs big channel switching mob with 10 min attention span...

There's a great risk that if wrong decisions are made, F1 can go the way of WWF, and it would be sad indeed.


1-Merc must have benefitted from running the car for 1000k.
What do you think they learned about the car that they did not already know from the previous several thousand kilometres where they were able to change setup and perform direct back to back comparisons?
Answer-Nothing they did not already know.
2-Merc were able to improve their tyre wear issues from data gathered during the test.
Merc already have heaps of data from the previous races. The only data that would be of any benefit would have to come from additional sensors. There is no evidence nor has anybody suggested that this was done.
It is well understood that the tyre wear is not a setup issue. No amount of running the car will improve the situation without trying different parts, again there is no evidence that this was done.
3-They gained data on the new 2014 tyres.
It is hard to believe that they would not have collected any data during the test that could be related to tyre performance. The question is, how useful is this data and does it give Merc an advantage?
Answer-As the 2014 car is completely different to the 2013 car, no direct comparisons with the expected tyre performance can be made. Any tyre knowledge gained would be of a general nature. This situation where, a team has to be involved in the tyre testing is less than ideal however this is not the fault of Pirelli or Merc.
Note-It makes no difference that the car was 2013 or 2011. The same level of insight would have been gained. The problem for Merc is that they do not know that the tyres they tested will be used or will not be changed sufficiently to render their perceived advantage negligible.
4-Their drivers benefited from the additional time in the car.
There is a learning curve associated with getting used to a new car. In the case of Nico that curve would not be very steep due to the similarities to the previous car. It would be fair to suggest that Nico had already reached the top of the peak . For Lewis it is not so clear. This car is all new to him and you would have to suspect that the additional time in the car may have been a benefit.
5-Merc have gained an advantage from testing with the new 2013 tyre.
It is possible and could have helped them in Canada.
It is no surprise that the new tyre has been delayed until all teams have a chance to run it in testing as this is the one test where Merc could have gained an unfair advantage for this years championship.


You didnt really bust anything


Red herring arguments. Then lets have all the other teams test 1000kms on those tyres and Mercedes sits on the bench, since you claim it makes not much difference?

Besides, the point is: the test was illegal.


We do not have all the information therefore not possible to determine wether test was legal or not. I do not think Merc did anything that they did not have permission to do. I also think they will be punished regardless.

Lots of poster here seem to think this was a 1000k test run by Merc in order to fix their tyre issues. This is not the case.

All I was saying was that apart from the new tyre for Canada,(now delayed), Merc would not have gained any significant advantage over the other teams.

I would have no problem with the other teams taking part in a tyre test run by Pirelli and would welcome limited in season testing.

Bring Back Murray

Goodyear always used to do a good job didn't they, back in the 80s and 90s?


This would be an interesting test. Bring out some vintage '80s GoodYears and fit them to a modern car.


You obviously don't remember the very serious graining & and consistency issues Goodyear had in 1997, i.e. the last year we had slicks, before the horrible grooved tyres came into play.


Bored now! Just fine Mercedes and move on.

Bring Back Murray

Points deduction?


I think we have to go back to the old days of at least two manufacturers, however I would urge caution over Michelin due to the risks they were taking with safety in 2005.

The change I would make is that the teams should be free to select which company they use each weekend in the absense of testing.


And which compound(s) they want!


I'm not sure Pirelli are getting any significant [relatively] bad publicity out of this. Bar a few F1 fanatics that follow all the politics [ie us] all most of the general - tyre buying - public see is the yellow and red Pirelli logos everywhere, I can't imagine too many people in the market for premium brand tyres for their car or motorbike caring less or even knowing a great deal about the current situation.

So does it bother Pirelli? Probably not a great deal from a commercial return point of view, maybe more as a frustration at having to deal with it.


My local garage is a fanatic F1 fan and he stopped selling Pirellis. He knows the quality is good, but because of the fact he believes Pirelli has ruined F1, he is boycotting them and telling his customers to buy other brands.


Oh dear..

I have followed Ferrari throughout my life. I have never smoked Marlboro, I bought Michelin when Bridgestone sponsored Ferrari, never used Acer computers, UPS services, Kapersky etc etc

When I buy anything, I will read reviews in magazines and the Internet, and with this information I make an informed choice. Advertising from any corporation makes no difference to me.

So, if Pirelli happen to make a tyre that fits into my budget and performance requirements, that's the one I'll buy.

Not because tyres that have absolutely no connection to public use are destroying themselves on track.


No one said we judge the consumer Pirelli tyres performance by what we see on the racetrack with F1 cars.

We are talking ideals. If you want to buy Pirellis, you can go to another garage 😛


He really doesn't deserve to succeed in business if he runs it on that basis. Hopefully he doesn't make too many business decisions based on his Sunday afternoon TV viewing.


The point you tried to make was how people don't care about Pirelli's American Wrestling style involvement in F1, when buying tyres for their car.

Fact is, we do. I won't buy Pirellis either and I will tell anyone who asks for advice not to buy Pirellis. Which is 4 people so far who were preparing for long journey for summer holidays.

Not because they are bad road tyres, but because they made me feel very negati9ve about them the way they did things in F1.


His garage is the most popular in this part of the city. He drives an S class paid cash so he is doing fine.

There is no difference between Pirelli or Michellin or Goodyear, they are all good tyres. If he chooses to boycot a brand because of ideological reasons, he can and does without losing 1 penny.


pirelli state that about 10% of the tyre tests in barcelona were the modified 2013 tyres , the rest prototype 2014

but who knows if the test tyres they will provide in canada will be the same as the tyres they tried in barcelona , could quite easily be a modified version ; so all teams should be given the same amount of tyres

Anthony Young

James, this isn't meant as a dig at you, but I think the discussion is hampered by a lack of clear information. I have read various stories that:

1. the new tyre is only a new H;

2. the new tyre is aimed at preventing delamination;

3. the new tyre is aimed at longer tyre life.

Version 3 is clearly implied by Pirelli's statement that four stops is too many. But why then would they ever plan to introduce a new H tyre at Montreal, where they only take the S and SS, because tyre wear is so low there?

Surely if the issue is the H tyre, Silverstone was always the natural place to introduce it, as the H is used there?

But even if they're now only going to test the new tyre in Montreal and not race it, surely it can't be an H, because you wouldn't get any useful data from testing an H tyre at a S/SS circuit?

So maybe the new tyre they want to test at Montreal is aimed only at delamination/safety after all, in which case why did they talk about four stops being too much?

And on this basis, it would mean they're not going to do anything about tyre life now, so why are Lotus complaining?

It doesn't make much sense to me.

Bring Back Murray

2037. There's your answer


Cool. I'll have to stay up a bit late to watch it, but hopefully I'll still get to sleep by 2300 🙂


All the cars between the Force India look tiny in that pic! Funny angle




This is a rubbish solution.

With the present lack of suitable testing the teams are expected to get to grips with a new solution in the already limited time they have to prepare for a GP.

Similar to last years Brazilian final tyre test, and sure, now we have hindsight, look how successful that turned out to be.


@ double eyepatch. your reply doesn't make any sense.

my comment was in response to the suggestion, earlier, that each team be given the 'new' tyres for a one hour session on the friday morning.

that would mean that each individual team would get to test possibly 30 laps on each car. at say 4.5kms per lap a total of 130kms per car. mercedes have had a minimum of 500kms per car/driver combo over a three day period. hardly compatible whatsoever.


"It has emerged that the new specification Pirelli tyres which were promised for the Canadian Grand Prix will now only be tested there during practice and will be used for competition only from Silverstone onwards."

Why can't they be tested after the race? Friday's practice is for getting the car set up for the race. If they spend that time testing new tyres, surely they would lose out on race strategy. They won't be using these new tyres during the race so make more sense to test on the Monday and not affect any teams setup


Pirelli are the sacrificial lamb of a sport where the lawyers don't allow ANYTHING useful to happen.

We used to have glitzy (and costly) car launches. Now teams either force photographers to stand at the other side of the room, or they unveil cars with 'launch-only' panels... pride in one's fruits of labour has been overtaken by the need for secrecy.

We used to have plentiful (and costly) tests, run by bespoke test teams. The mileage drivers did on a race weekend was only a fraction of the total mileage the cars did in any given season. Now drivers, engineers and mechanics are expected to learn their new cars on-the-fly.

Sponsor money still appears to provide for some glitz, to keep the Monaco harbour-master busy, but the business has become ruthless. Oops, I meant the sport... or perhaps not.

Does anyone remember the 1998 season? At the first race, the Newey-designed McLaren was an honest 2" per lap faster than anything else, if not more. By the first European race (Imola), in the last laps poor-old Murray Walker had to pretend to be excited when he saw the two McLarens AND Schumi's Ferrari in the same TV shot — from a helicopter, of course and well-after the lead cars started taking it easy.

BUT in the second half of the season, Ferrari outscored McLaren, by quite some margin. Yes we had some controversy (second brake pedal in the McLarens, wing pods in the Ferraris, Schumi testing several speed limiters in the pits and taking a 10-second stop-go penalty after the race was over, among other things) but it was an epic season... and it wasn't the only one.

This couldn't happen today. Not without testing, not without tyres meant for performance, which of course required more testing (in '98, Ferrari was on Goodyears, McLaren on Bridgestones). Without all this testing, the '98 season would have been the 90s' equivalent of the 2011 season.

Please, PLEASE, bring back some testing. Please let the teams leave their trucks behind in the European tracks after the race, for a couple of days (like Canadian Fan posted, further up). It seems Pirelli wouldn't mind paying the track fees, and the teams would only need to book a few extra days in the hotel(s). Make what happened, which shouldn't have happened, the norm, for the teams that want it.

It is hard to justify what Pirelli and Merc did, but equally, it is absurd to expect Pirelli in particular to do nothing, when it is being accused of not getting the tyres that it couldn't test, right the first time.

Just as it is absurd to expect Pirelli to want to stay in the sport for 2014, when cars will only get more complicated and nobody seems to care how they will develop that year's tyres... which have to be finalized by September. THIS September!


Reading some of the comments here I am astounded at the amount of pairs of rose tinted spectacles there are around regarding the early to mid 00's. These years at the time were regarded as the worst in F1 history. Overtaking didn't really happen, sure there was the odd spectacular move but on the whole passing was achieved through pit stops. The only other factor to determine finishing order was reliability. They tyre war between Bridgestone and michellan did spice things up a bit but if we are being honest only occasionally such as on a track that didn't really suit one, or if it was raining, from memory I recall the Bridgestone wets were superior.

The cars however were far more impressive. The V10 era cars looked so much faster than they are now. I was watching clips from Monaco from 04/05 it is just incredible how fast they go. That for me is the only thing better than now. I was disappointed at the weekend, it was thoroughly boring the cars didn't look much faster than the safety car.

We can argue till the cows come home about tyres. F1 and motor sport in general has always involved a certain amount of conservation of the car and tyres. During those years we were treated to flat our sprints between stops with tyres that were very predictable. I think now it has gone too far the other way, the tyres degrade way to artificially. If you drive conservatively you should be able to get a few extra laps, maybe even a stop less but the penalty for pushing hard should not be as severe as it is now.

But a return to the early 00's? No thanks.


While I agree (even as a Schu/Ferrari fan), that period would have been even worse if no testing was allowed. In 1998, Ferrari reversed a 2+ second advantage from McLaren, about two thirds of the way through the season.

But, after writing the post just above yours, I remembered the number of overtakes Hakkinnen (i.e. tbe championship winner) pulled of, throughout the season: ONE.

(no, seriously: on Eddie Irvine, in the German GP--that was it. He more than made up for it a few years later, on Schumi in Spa, but still...)


I agree. Hakkinen did make several overtakes at the e austrian gp though although that was forced on him by getting punted off by DC.

I always have and always will think that the testing ban is a complete farce. The very concept of teams spending millions a year on a car but not being allowed to take it for a spin whenever they want is ridiculous.

I agree that it went too far teams were spending too much. It can't be too difficult to allow a certain amount. Either have a few organised sessions throughout the season or employ strict limitations on the amount of tyres they are allowed for testing purposes.


The FIA changes the regulations of F1 all the time without needing unanimous consent from all the teams. They do this by issuing a "rules clarification" - the fiction being that they are are simply "clarifying" the existing rules even when they are drastically changing them.

See e.g the engine mapping rules changes from last year. Under the guise of a "clarification" the FIA tore up the existing rules on engine mapping and put completely different ones in their place. Since it was a called a "clarification" the teams had no say in the matter. If it had been called what it was - a regulations change - some teams would have vetoed it.

The FIA could issue a "clarification" to Pirelli tomorrow if they wished stating that the tyres are not to spec and to come up with different ones. This is true regardless of whether the tyres are to spec or not, though I strongly suspect they are not. Pirelli themselves have hinted that they got it wrong through lack of adequate testing.

The FIA is hiding behind this unanimous consent nonsense because they do not want to change the tyres even though they are worse than expected.


Ferrari has been called to FIA's disciplinary inquiry about their Pirelli test... Those who live glass houses...

Long and short is that nothing will happen.

“The FIA has asked Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 and Scuderia Ferrari Team which have taken part in tyre tests in the 2013 season to reply to a disciplinary inquiry in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.

“This follows the Stewards’ Report from the Monaco Grand Prix and represents supplementary information required by the FIA in the light of the replies received from Pirelli, who were asked for clarifications on Tuesday May 28th.”


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