F1 Winter Break
Pirelli yields to pressure; changes from Montreal onwards
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 May 2013   |  11:56 am GMT  |  415 comments

[Updated] The chorus of disapproval from affected teams, as well as calls from media and fans to do something about the high degradation tyres has led Pirelli to announce today that it is to make construction changes to its tyres from the Canadian Grand Prix in June onwards.

The Italian company blamed the lack of adequate winter testing in suitable climates for producing products this year that have fallen short of the standard required. They admitted in a statement this afternoon that they underestimated the demands of the current F1 cars on the tyres. Pirelli is conducting meetings at its Milan base to establish whether any compound changes are required as well.

The news will come as a blow to Ferrari and Lotus, which mastered the delicate Pirelli rubber in Spain last weekend to take the podium slots, as well as Force India, but will be welcomed by the powerful lobby led by Red Bull and Mercedes calling for more durable tyres.

Pirelli boss Paul Hembery said, “Our aim is to provide the teams with a new range which mixes the stability of the 2012 tyres and the performance of the current ones. As a company, we have always moved quickly to make improvements where we see them to be necessary.

“After evaluating data from the first few races this year, we’ve decided to introduce a further evolution as it became clear at the Spanish Grand Prix that the number of pit stops was too high. The Spanish Grand Prix was won with four pit stops, which has only happened once before in our history. These changes will also mean that the tyres are not worked quite as hard, reducing the number of pit stops.”

Also spurred on by the recent spate of high-profile tyre failures, Pirelli has decided to return to the kevlar belt construction of the 2012 tyres rather than the steel belt used this year, according to Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

It was telling that the TV coverage in the last two Grands Prix, produced by FOM, has broadcast numerous messages from drivers like Lewis Hamiton saying, “I can’t drive any slower” and engineers urging drivers to take it easy and protect the tyres. This has increased pressure on Pirelli and provoked a backlash in the media and among fans.

Having opted to be more aggressive in the 2013 tyre range, Pirelli is having to row back on that, citing the increased levels of downforce the teams have generated over the winter overstressing the tyres. Pirelli also blames the lack of a suitable test car for them to track test the products before introducing them. The 2013 range was developed by Jaime Alguersuari and Lucas di Grassi using a 2010 Renault.

“It was a combination of factors that have come together, “Hembery added. “We didn’t want to make too many dramatic changes, and we do not want to penalise those teams that have taken a design direction to look after the tyres.

“Equally, we had to do something to improve the situation.”

Ideally what Pirelli should aim to do is recalibrate the tyre to maintain the current pace but with slightly less degradation and less wear, to trim it back to 2/3 stop races.

The development tyre tested out in Spain at the weekend was very slow, almost 2.5 seconds off the pace and with very poor warm up, so that is not the answer.

But it is never desirable to change fundamentals part way through a season and inevitably some teams will gain and others lose from this, which could cast a shadow over the outcome of the championship.

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India are entitled to feel aggrieved as they have engineered their car around the tyres that were handed out to all teams in testing and at the start of the season, but there are warning signs that fans are starting to turn away from the current style of racing.

In making the change Pirelli acknowledged the link between perceptions of its F1 tyres and its road tyres and now participation in F1 might affect that,

“We’d like to thank all the teams for their continued and extremely valued support as we worked with them to identify the correct compromise between the pure speed that makes us the world leader in the Ultra High Performance sector and a global spectacle that is easy for Formula One fans to follow,” said a statement.

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This will not end well.


Something had to be done the track looked like a warzone after the race,debris everywhere.

The Gp2 cars are burning up these tyres,the f1 cars are frying them.

Bring on more durable consistent rubber.


I agree, and the whiners prevail again.


May 15th, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I submitted earlier on this topic, and the biggest bank accounts do have the most pull with FIA, However the circumstances surrounding the “Delaminating” of the Pirelli’s in practice, and the race is a major concern, and that should be resolved in the name of the drivers safety, and everyone on the circuits, but to alter midseason the tire compounds entirely, Stirs the proverbial pot intensly.


Don't like this at all. Changing the rules in mid season to advantage one of the teams. RB and Mercedes get their design wrong and they want the rules changed to suit their designs.


btw, Brawn is not complaining about the tires just Hamilton. Brawn stick to the rules and he knows better since his diffuser was a good example...


Merc have already been punished by changes to the hard compound, I assume you were just as unhappy about this?


I personally was against any change...previous and this one too because changes mid season are just plain wrong as they will favor a certain team.


If the Red Bulls start dominating again after this tweeks, I'll stop watching this year championship.


Unbelievable, and than there are still people who think F1 favours Ferrari.. The past 2 years Ferrari had trouble heating up their tyres, but never complained..

Now Red Bull cant cool them down and we need tyres tweeks.


Also several guys already proved that in fact the race itself compared to last year wasn't that slower..


Last but not least, why didn't they ban the blown diffuser during the season, while it was clear that only red bull had the upper hand? That cleary destroyed a complete championship, by Vettel winning the title almost half way through the season.


It's not just about Red Bull. Even the Lotus that can make these tyres work, does it by going slowly. You only had to watch the onboard footage of Raikkonen in Spain to see that even while he was trying to hunt down Alonso, he was still taking it pretty easy to keep the tyres going.

In terms of sheer times compared to last year it might not seem like they're going all that slow. But these cars are quicker, and are being held back by the tyres. Yeah it sucks a bit for teams like Lotus who can crawl around and make the tyres work over a longer distance, but IMO that's hardly F1.

It's also not like they'll suddenly have no advantage. If their car is kinder on its tyres, that's still an advantage. Even if in some/most cases it'd put them in between the "normal" strategy and being able to go one stop less, so they'd lose that trick, it's still a handy thing to have in the pocket. If they're stuck behind someone who goes into the pits a lap early to try come out on fresh rubber and set a quick out-lap to stay in front, the Lotus in clean air with plenty of life left in its tyres might be able to just go all out for a lap and come out in front, rather than having to just respond with following strategy. Better tyre life might mean in the closing stages of a race when a RB/Merc/whatever in front is coming to the end of its useful tyre life, the Lotus might have plenty left to keep pushing and close the gap or make a move.

IMO at the moment it's the few guys who can make the tyres last long enough (by going slowly) vs everyone else. Alonso winning the race on a 4-stopper, and still cruising to make those work, isn't my idea of Ferrari really making the tyres work. If it was 4 stops in race strategy of 66 quali-style laps I could understand. Similarly with Lotus' tyre-friendly car going one stop less... when the tyre-conserving strategy is still 3 stops, something's a bit off.


Regulations against blown diffusers were made to stop Red Bull.

Regulations against engine maps were made to stop Red Bull.

Changes in DRS usage in quali were changed to stop Red Bull.

The idea that the FIA is trying to benefit Red Bull is laughable, and I'm anything but a fan of RBR.


As others have made the point, the changes weren't made to the benefit of one team over another in the middle of a season already underway.

Red Bull's technical innovations were all deemed legal, and they could use them over the course of a season to their advantage.

Ferrari and Lotus have done the work to maximise the 2013 tyres as they are - and now they get that changed on them so the other teams can catch up?

In short, this is BS.


But they didn't do it mid season,

moving the goal posts is fine if its done at the end of the season then its the same challenge for all the teams but not to change things mid season.


Blown diffusers + DRS were not changed during the season.. Engine maps were illegal.


Add to that list: Regulations against how much the front wing could flex were made due to Red Bull's wing.

It is annoying when accusations are made without looking back to see how previous scenerios were dealt with.




I guess that depends on which team/driver you support.

Bjornar Simonsen

Nope. I smell disasters and controversies ahead.

If Ferrari looses out this year due to these changes, I'll never touch a Pirelli tyre in my life again.






I will never touch Pirelly regardless of who wins.

I like Bridgestone and Michelin.


Hear hear! How I miss the bridgestones... Guess we took them for granted.


Get a DVD off the shelf of a Spanish GP from 2007 to 2010 and review that thought


ME TOO!!!!!


Certainly won't if Sebee wins 4 WDCs on the trot.


Geez finally!!!

I think there should be a different competition/series for Tyre Management, and those interested in that can knock themselves out there.


finally? mid season change is just plain cheating for teams who got it right. I wonder what would happen if FIA changed the rules back them with the diffuser row???


There is, though the series in question also tests a number of other forms of management and - at times - outright speed and skill. It's called World Endurance Championship (the clue is in the name), and its much longer format enables a variety of strategies and driver skills to combine to make things interesting.

The Ferraris in the last WEC race did 4 stops (ignoring penalty ones), which is the same number as their F1 counterparts. The larger gap between stops means there is time for something other than tyre management and twiddling one's thumbs to play meaningful roles in the result.

F1 should accept it is a sprint series and tailor the requirements it makes of its drivers, cars, teams and fans to suit the timeframe it uses.


I respectfully disagree. An F1 race is a combination of sprint and endurance, and the ability to optimize when to push and when to conserve (and the conservation is not limited to tires alone). Ultimately, F1 championship is an endurance sport where various components are being preserved to last more than one race (by regulation or by choice), and with champions being declared at the end of the season.

On a separate note, talking about pushing 100% all the time, the expectation of wheel to wheel banging and "pure racing" (whatever that may mean) just ignores all the complexities that teams face and takes away from the off-track efforts that hundreds of people in each team put in to win over their competitors.

For myself I like this current version of F1 than that one that preceded it, and just for that reason I would not touch anything (except change the tires again, but for the next season).


Every farmer can go flat out on new tyres, it takes a master to do that on worn tyres...


A race is about being the fastest, not tyre whispering.

I'm sure a boxing match held in an ice rink with pillow gloves would show the real "masters." Its just that it wouldn't be boxing anymore, so masters of what?


No a race is about who gets first from on point to another under a set of rules. You can change the rules if some teams couldnt get it right, they didnt do it with RB neither Brawn so why now? checkbook for RB bought F1


A +1 to you, sir. Perhaps not the perfect analogy, but it will do.

Apologists for the current drift in F1, ie the bandages to address "uber aero", are helping kill the sport.

Kill AERO, and the benefits will flow like fruit from a well tended orchard, i've been on about this for years now.

A bandage is a bandage, regardless the color.


Martin Brundle said he could keep pace with the pace of Alonso and Raikonen such was their lethargy. Driving on the ragged edge for the race duration takes far more skill and the fastest drivers reap the rewards.


so why they took full traction on F1? cause you would see the difference from the boys and men. And when they took full traction assistance wasnt on mid season. Again F1 goes against skills and now they do it mid season becuase some teams and drivers arent men enough to get it right? that is just cheating the teams and drivers who work harder...


Martin who?


Somewhere in Brazil and France, the ears of Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean are burning.


The fact that he said that, does not make it true.. I highly doubt he could..


Driving fast yet not destroying the tyres is a skill in and of itself, and it is thus no surprise that, despite the evil antics of Pirelli, the top drivers have found themselves heading the championship.


I'm a Vettel fan, so clearly I should be very happy.

But such a change mid season is simply...lacking integrity. 🙂


I use to be Vettel fan since his first test with sauber, his first race and 1st point with sauber and his 1st win with Toro Rosso. But I m not anymore, his lack of respect for his fellow teanmate and lack of respect of the sport and the rules change all that...Vettel lose his way and winning got over his head...


tyre management has always been part of F1 genius.


Never to this level... Tire management to a level of preventing racers to race? I think you parachute drop on the wrong series...


yes, it has been to this level the problem is that some team couldnt let go their downforce design thinking they could manage the tires and they were wrong so now Bernie cheat the fans, as usual, making mid-seasnon changes. Diffuser was worng as well but was between the rules they didint change it mid-season


How can they do this mid season? It's clear some teams are dealing with the tires much better then others. If this affects the running order dramatically I will be turning off. This is just not fair!

unF1nnished business

Agreed, this is politics and business at work.


Tend to agree with both you and @David, but am willing to wait and see. Clearly 4 stops in Barcelona was too much - it's the same for everybody, but 4 stops...! If Pirelli make the right improvements then no team need be unfairly benefited or disadvantaged. Those that look after the tyres still will, those that don't won't!

unF1nnished business



If 4 stops was so bad in Barcelona this year when alonso wins how come 4 stops wasn't even mentioned as a problem in 2011 when vettel was winning?

Double standards?

Andrew Barratt

Sport is business and if people are switching off because of a perceived lack of "racing" then they have to react


Exactly how I feel.


Hi Chris.

I'm not sure if it will affect the running order. Wouldn't cars that are gentle on the rubber still be gentle, and if so, then they will still likely make one less stop/use the option more during the race? Could be wrong, but I think maybe that the teams looking after the tires best at the moment have superior temp management.



read the new article by James....there is an explanation.


Complete manipulation, politic and farce. Yes, it was not ideal....but now it is just completely manipulated to help Red Bull and Marcedes.


No... Like Quade said above:

"If Red Bull produce the fastest car, then let them win until eternity. We who are not Red Bull fans (I’m Lewis and McLaren) will bear it with dignity and grace, in the spirit of fairness. It is not Pirelli’s remit to slow down Red Bull, thats called cheating (or better, manipulation)."

Well put, and you should have tires than can cope with the loads...

But whatever, I don't really think its a case for manipulation for one team or another. Pirelli has stated:

- the aim is for 2/3 stops

- the cars are much faster/have more downforce than they anticipated during development

The mandate to Pirelli is to have tire degradation for 2/3 stops per race. Maybe the best cars on the rubber do 2 stops, the more harsh on tires do 3.

They said they are making modifications to keep in line with this.

I just hope that, as a bonus, besides 2/3 stop races in the future, we also get a tire which can be pushed so drivers fight. Not really holding my breath for it...


no, that wasnt the mandate, moreover, before RB owner talk to Bernie, Bernie didnt say a word and Pirelli defend their position after Spain race. Suddently RB owner talk to Bernie, Bernie speak 4 stops was wrong, and pirelli admit was wrong (contradicting their first statement they did what they were asked to do) I smell payout to bernie from RB owner so pirelli has to obey Bernie commands...


"Well put, and you should have tires than can cope with the loads…" Which (or whose) loads you would use as a reference? Tires are same for everybody, car design is highly regulated (same for everybody), and teams are expected to compete within those parameters.


But you have to build the car that will be the fastest over the course of the entire race considering all elements that you have been given as part of regulations and tyres that were introduced originally are part of it!!!!


As Paul Hembery said, the change shouldn't affect the running order much, but might give Red Bull a small boost. Whatever the case, I hope we can see drivers pushing harder and racing each other with their cars closer to the limit than we saw in China and Barcelona.


It is unprofessional of Paul Hembery to keep mentioning Red Bull. Pirelli is the tyre supplier, not race fixer.

If Red Bull produce the fastest car, then let them win until eternity. We who are not Red Bull fans (I'm Lewis and McLaren) will bear it with dignity and grace, in the spirit of fairness. It is not Pirelli's remit to slow down Red Bull, thats called cheating (or better, manipulation).


Well said.


Will you also say that Red Bull should ignore engine cooling to produce the fastest car and then blame Renault if engine blows out? They are free to build the fastest car considering all the components...just like all other teams did. If tyres were different, Ferrari would approach the design in a different way.


i think racing would be a lot better if they revert to bridgestone spec durable tyres with a little less rubber on the thread so that they don't last so long but can cope with being pushed to the limit.

i also suggest that mercedes go full throttle on the tyres and see how it affects their race pace.


If Mercedes tried that they would run out of tires by the halfway point in the race.


prophecy is life's least proffitable occupation.


I see you're an optimist... 😉


Pinnacle of motorsport???

Btw, congrat Vettel for winning the 4th titles.

When team that can't resolve tyre issues simply whine to get it changes....

I feel sorry for FI, Fer and Lot that actually include tyre as part of the performance.

Especially Lotus....they have only minimum amount of resources...if the tyre changes cost Lotus calibration issues with the design of their car and wind tunnel, i will never watch F1 again.


I'm a force india fan, and right now we score points in every race, which I like. But its articficial, which makes it not as fun as actually WINNING those points. Hopefully we can race the Williams and Saubers now, and beat them on track.

Vettel is no where near winning the title yet btw, and I expect a classic championship fight from here on in. I don't know who you support, but would you really wanna see your man win the title because of the round black things? What satisfaction could there possibly be there? Where you a Mansall fan? How cruel was it when he lost the championship in 86 because of one dodgy wheel?



That was excellent.


Last year the two cars on the grid lightest on tyres were Lotus and Ferrari. The tyres were adjusted by Pirelli knowing full well it'd hamper: Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren & Sauber, with Ferrari and Lotus benefitting.

That wasn't an accident, it was on purpose, as Mr Hembery insinuated his remit includes making tyres that prevent RBR from winning. The unfortunate upshot of this though is that the tyres have destroyed any form of racing.

Look back at Austin last year, a great battle with Lewis & Seb, Brazil was a great race full of excitement, but now we have Alonso winning by a gizzilion miles thanks to Ferrari approved rubber. Sorry, that's no different to the boredom level of 2011 when Vettels car was epically fast.

Well done Pirelli, and here's hoping that we get a return to some drivers actually racing each other !!


pirelli should remove that steel belt from within the tyre. it retains too much heat because steel has a much higher specific heat capacity 0.45 than rubber 0.20 kj/kg/k.


You are cherry picking results what about Korea, India & Japan when everyone had the tyres figured out and where everyone were on similar strategies, and where Red Bull just stormed the rest of the field. Those races were much worst then Spain this year.

Martin (not Whitmarsh)

Did anyone ask Pirelli to design tyres that make F1 cars look painfully slow? Every time we went to an onboard camera on Sunday, the footage was pathetic.

Drivers lifting massively in corners that an F1 car should be able to take easily flat out.

Drivers braking 50 metres too early, coasting into corners and waiting forever before getting back on the throttle.

Drivers not bothering to defend when they are attacked because put up a fight and the tread will come flying off the wheel a lap later.

Pirelli were asked to produce tyres that degrade, forcing 2-3 stop strategies. They haven't.

They have produced tyres that are inconsistent, unpredictable and cannot be RACED only managed.

They are also downright dangerous. When/if the tread comes flying completely off a tyre in Monaco without warning and sticks a driver in the wall, maybe just maybe FIA / Pirelli will wake up to the disaster they have created that is current F1.

Sunday's race was one of the worst I have ever seen in 30 years of watching Grand Prix racing. At times it looked like F1, GP2 and GP3 cars all sharing the same track and you were hard pressed to find one genuinely impressive overtake after the first couple of laps. A series of overtakes by guys with tyres switched on past guys with no grip whatsoever generates no suspense and zero excitement.


So you didn't see Alonso and Kimi driving, right?


it looks like you havent seen much in 30 years.... vettel won spain in 2011 with 4 pit stops i didnt hear him whine then

Scuderia McLaren

Martin Brundle is right. Good summary MB. Agree 100%.

Andrew Barratt

Well said. With tyres as restricted as this the teams could save a fortune by asking pensioners to take a diversion from their normal Sunday drive and do a few laps around Silverstone. The sport is rapidly decending into a farce and unless something is done to address this then viewers will switch off in droves and drive down sponsorship revenue. Tough on one or two teams who seem to have solved the tyre issue but the good of the sport has to over-ride their position

Stuart Harrison

Good comment. I think Pirelli missed something in translation when asked to "reproduce Canada 2010". Canada 2010 had tyres that were raced at 100% performance for the whole GP.

Alonso was quoted as saying he drove at 90% in order to preserve the tyres, and he stopped 4 times. It's all well and good that Pirelli should explore the options, but this is too far. They've at least accepted that this is too far and are moving rapidly to restore sanity.

The fans are notoriously fickle, if we're not complaining about one thing, it's something else, but currently the only complaints I hear are about tyres. It's got to the point I'm fed up about hearing about tyre complaints all I'm complaining about is how many complaints about tyres there are!

Seriously, peg it back towards the Bridgestones and let the teams' technology do the talking for a while.. even if we end up handing Vettel another title.


" ... worst I have ever seen in 30 years of watching ..." You must have missed those years where each race was simply a procession around the track based on the qualifying position. And what about that wonderful race at Indy, when half the field chose not to race? At least this year the winner is not a foregone conclusion.


Qualifying has become a bigger determinant of race position in 2013 than in any year I can remember. The processionality is simply better hidden by the fuel-saving DRS zero-sum position swaps.

Martin (not Whitmarsh)

I don't care who is the winner. If it is Vettel I can always change channel before he Whoo - hoos on pit radio and gives the world his obnoxious finger when he exits his car.

As a spectator I care about watching an entertaining, competitive, skilful race. What happened on Sunday was the polar opposite of entertainment.

One more thing ... the wear and excessive degradation may be a major worry for a minority of teams but the inconsistency of these tyres is the worst culprit and reduces the race to a lottery for even the best teams.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa on a 4 stop strategy stated that he felt sure he had the pace to at least challenge Raikonnen for 2nd until his final stint where the tyres were so terrible that he had no choice but to back off and enter extreme tyre conservation mode.

Pirelli's inconsistent, unpredictable tyres robbed Massa of the chance to fight for 2nd place and robbed this deperate viewer of any thing that vaguely resembled a competitive race on Sunday.


True, but just like James said, Raikkonen & Alonso were competitive. If they can drive competitively then why cant others. Maybe the other drivers just need to learn how to conserve tyres better. It just seems like a farse to change regulations half way through the season because Vettel drops his toy out the pram and starts crying his eyes out.

I think if more thorough peactices on tyres were carried out at the start of the season, we wouldnt need to change rules and provide inconsistency throughout the season.


RAI vs ALO was a competitive race. As the plots of lap times show.


Very well said, and i have been saying the same in virtually every post i've written regarding these tires.

The mantra Hemebery comes up with all the time that they have simply produced what the FIA asked them to do is clearly nonsense.


I couldn't have said it better. I am concerned about Monaco. This is a safety issue.


Maybe look at all the relevant info available in other posts on this site. If you do that you will realize that it's not so bad as it's made out to be. Wuld still like to know what this F1 where tyres last a lifetime, but engines, fuel and gearboxes do not, look like


"The team brought a number of updates to Spain but the team still struggled with Perez qualifying ninth and Button 14th. Overall, the team were 0.3 seconds slower in qualifying than in 2012. That compares to Mercedes who were 2.1 seconds quicker while Lotus and Ferrari were generally 1.2 seconds faster.

In the race, the team actually achieved the same finishes as last year. In 2012, Lewis Hamilton finished eighth, ahead of Button. In 2013, Button headed Perez in the same positions.

Interestingly, Button finished 79 seconds down on the leader at the chequered flag in 2013, compared to Hamilton finishing 78 seconds adrift in 2012. Perez finished 81 seconds behind in ninth, compared to Button who finished 85 seconds adrift in the same position the previous year."


6. Posted By: Yago

Date: May 13th, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

I am going to put here a comparison between 2013 and 2011, that I already posted before in another thread, but I think fits better here:

Pit stop 1 Pit stop 2 Pit stop 3 Pit stop 4

Sebastian Vettel (Spanish GP 2011) Lap 9 Lap 18 Lap 34 Lap 48

Fernando Alonso (Spanish GP 2013) Lap 9 Lap 21 Lap 36 Lap 49

Total Race Time Vettel 2011: 1:39:03.301

Total Race Time Fernando 2013: 1:39:16.596

Two tenths a lap faster the 2011 Red Bull, with blown exhausts in their full glory and with Hamilton pushing Vettel to the end of the race. On the other hand, in 2013 Alonso cruising during his last stint and held back by Rosberg during the first one.


Love it how this bring some proper perspective to what is actually happening.



I agree. Martin Brundle and David Coulthard were saying the same thing.

Button said this after the race (I know he moans a lot, but if Mr.Kindly Tires is moaning about tires you have to stop and listen):

‘When we’re going round doing laps three seconds slower than a GP2 car did in qualifying, and only six seconds quicker than a GP3 car did in the race, there’s something wrong. This is the pinnacle of motor sport. We shouldn’t be driving round so slowly to look after the tyres.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-2323499/SPANISH-GRAND-PRIX-2013-Jenson-Button-tired-procession.html#ixzz2TGiE4500

Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Im all for tyre management, but when I watch a race, I want Vettel and Alonso and Kimi et al to amaze me with their precision, speed, focus. I dont want to watch on board cams and think "I could do that". And its not just that they look slow, they are going slower. Lap times dont tumble as the race goes on (as they did in earlier years), fewer and fewer fastest laps are being set. You generally see a few in the opening laps of the race, and then one or two after each pit stop phase when someone is trying to play catchup and then everyone is just going around at roughly the same time.

I think it was telling that Gutierrez set the fastest lap of the race in a car that is at best the 6th fastest and was over 3 seconds quicker than the leaders pace at that time.


Alonso seemed to be pushing most of the time --- I must have been watching a different race though..


Really? Alonso too, was not entirely happy about the race, saying it would have been confusing to the fans. Most drivers want to actually earn their victories as races, not as tyre huggers.


Thank you for saying what I wanted to say. I'm happy with this decision. Hope we'll finally see some real RACING. I couldn't care less if some teams gain or lose any advantage.

Michael Prestia

vs no overtakes??? which is what you are asking for. Processional racing here we come again.


That's true, I can't remember a single overtake before Pirelli came to the rescue.


Nope, we really do need a sarcasm font 🙂

Apologies for misunderstanding 🙂


I guess sarcasm really doesn't travel well over the internet 🙂



There have been enough people exaggerating about how good F1 was before Pirelli 'ruined' it, there's no need to exaggerate the other way as well.

It wasn't 100% excitement before Pirelli, but it wasn't 100% boredom either, otherwise we all would have switched off years ago.

Have an opinion by all means, but be fair.


Your memory is very, very bad... there are amazing overtakes in all history of F1. check youtube if you must.

Yes, there are way more overtakes now. But is it really an overtake when the guy in front can't even defend!?

Yes, i don't like it when a car behind is faster and can't overtake because of aerodinamics influence. But, DRS mostly solves that...

The tires, like they are, well... you can't race them.

F1 should be somewhat of a show (money comes from somewhere... :\), but not entirely show. It should be about technology and speed... and driving mastery. Like, for example, the overtake of Alonso outside turn 3... That was great... It was also in 1st lap with new tires. In the middle of a race, nobody is going to be fighting like that... (case in point, when Seb was told no to resist Raik).

Now, THIS (driver being told repeatedly to not resist, not race, not push), has NEVER been a part of F1. And I don't really think anyone likes it (racing fans anyway).

It is maybe palatable for those than really don't want to see RB winning and accept this as a way to somewhat make sure there is not chance for RB to be much superior (is it NOT know for sure that they will be, btw).

BTW, if we put the fastest guy on pole (and succesively slowest down the grid) and then make them race, its only natural that there's little competition. So, you only get much fights if the performance level is very equivalent. Arguably, this is rather difficult when you consider all variables involved. But I prefer to watch that more pure and true racing, rather than to watch some manipulated reality. These tires are like mandating everyone a 15mm restrictor for engine air input and let them go... "racing".


Well well this kind of tyre degradation ended up in a boycotting of a grand prix in Indianapolis once.. d0es anyone remember that because now it seems to be on to have tyres that go off. Get rid od drs and make refueling optional again. Make teams start a race on a full tank of fuel with a control fuel tank.


'Make refuelling optional again. Make teams start a race on a full tank of fuel with a control fuel tank.'



I think the miches were exploding at Indy, not just degrading.


That wasn't Deg though was it, that was tyres puncturing on drain covers iirc


No. The sidewalls started to crack and they wanted to put a artificial chicane, so Bridgestone and Bridstone running teams rightly said "no ways". It wasn't Bridgestone's fault that Michelin came up with faulty tires for the race.


No really. It was that the Michellins couldn't handle the forces generated at one of the corners. It took only one blow up on Ralph Schumachers car for Michellin to swallow the pill as a principled company and advice its clients not to race for safety reasons.

There is not one current F1 track that generates the immense forces the Indianapolis track does, yet we have had numerous delaminations and not one safety call from Pirelli.

Mike from Colombia

100% agree - bring back refuelling and make the fuel tank small enough to oblige a minimum of 2 stops.

Get rid of DRS.

Bring in tyres that are a little more fragile than the last Bridgestones...but no-where near Pirelli 2012/2013. I don't car who makes the tyres.

Problem is that many people think that that the overtaking from DRS is a real "treat". It is not. Now try taking it away from them...it will be like trying to take away a sugary drink from a child.


The answer is to quit covering bandages with more bandages. Uber Aero has to go!

Stop and think about it, or have it explained. ALL these problems disappear if AERO is reigned in.



Paul Hembery mentioned that they don't have a test car and they are basically guessing (no doubt through some sophisticated computer models) what the wear and degradation of the tyre will be.

Do you think the teams need to work with Pirelli, to help them get some actual on car testing time and real world results with these tyres? Then if its a bit more collaborative the blame game we are currently seeing will be lessened somewhat.



The teams do need to work with Pirelli, 100% agree, but the trick is getting the teams to work together with Pirelli, instead of just pushing their own agendas.


The big culprit is the FIA. The in-season testing ban is ridiculous. Only having two sanctioned test sessions during the off-season is ridiculous. And Pirelli having to make do with outdated equipment is ridiculous. I remember back in the day (late 80's/early 90's), Goodyear would have two or three tests in-season to test out new rubber, constructions, etc and would invite all their teams. Add to that huge amount of testing year round meant a huge amount of available data. Now, we're left with simulators and guesswork, which while very good, is no subsitute for real world experience.


It's the teams that want the in-season testing ban, not the FIA.

They had another vote on it last week and pro-testing proposal only got 3 votes.


Why don't they have a testing day on the Monday after a few select races? This would reduce the cost and they'd already be at the circuit they were going to test at anyway.


"The chorus of disapproval from affected teams, as well as calls from media and fans"

I think this sentence would be more accurate if the fans disapproval came first and foremost

- "the chorus of disapproval from affected FANS (as well as the media and certain teams)"

Hembery was bombarded with messages on twitter and the Pirelli facebook page couldn't delete the comments on their wall quick enough to keep up with the angry fans. When interviewed on the BBC his first comment was that the "fans" were clearly not happy.

Certain people probably want to paint this story to appear like Red Bull 'lobbying' (which Red Bull deny) is the primary driver for this change, but the fans have caused this change and the media (begrudgingly) tend to reflect the opinions of the fans eventually.


Well, Red Bull and Merc fans alone would be enough to flood the FB comments. Meanwhile, Lotus and Ferrari fans are happy and wouldn't bother to comment. So I don't think ALL fans disapprove.


Also, a fair few Force India fans are unhappy despite at least some of them acknowledging their team is benefitting from it.


But is it not just RB and Merc.. Button also complained about tyres so clearly mcLaren were not happy too. Agree it is unfair on Lotus who have been able to manage tyres (not sure yet if it was just right conditions for Ferrari on Sunday like it was in Bahrain for RB, to get the most out of these tyres). Hopefully, although a big Vettel fan, RB won't runaway with the championship so we can see a lot more action and quieten the people who think Pirelli did this just because of pressure from them (not just them)


The championship has just been manipulated.


It's never good to make a change like this mid-season, but they already had (the hard tire in Spain). What if the tires were the same high deg, but incredibly hard to get into the right operating temperature? Then Mercedes (presumably) would be blitzing the field, with everyone else huffing and puffing in behind, and would that be fair?

Maybe Pirelli should've had the 2013 tires ready by October 2012, and each team could have a testing session with them using their 2012 cars.


This is something NASCAR has been accused of. I thought F1 was above that. Sigh.


If F1 drivers moan and complain about a bit of slipping and sliding because of tires, just imagine what they would say if as some suggest AERO was taken away in F1 and it was all about mechanical grip?!

Yeah right! I imagine Job Action would be immediate. Driver's Strike!


Anyone objecting to reversing the dominance of AERO in F1, as you seem to be, simply has not thought it through logically and to completion.


Is that 2013 you are referring too, or just a comment on the championship in general ?


Good one!

Just don't like such a major change mid season. And I enjoy Vettel's work as you may know.

I would have preferred if Vettel and RBR had to work around this challange, instead of having it solved for them. I thought the first races were quite enjoyable myself.

I looked at pole times, race distance times and felt that F1 was quite fast considering the stops. Just because the cars weren't planted on rails below the drivers and they didn't like the sensetion we change mid season?


Re-manipulated you mean.

Why did Pirelli go so agressive on this years tyres? To benefit Ferrari of course who couldn't get the 2012 tyres to work as well as they'd like. The fact it's destroyed any form of racing is not how it was meant to work out for them.

The uncomfortable truth.


I'm not naive. It's always been manipulated.

But whatever the formula is, it should remain for the duration of the season. However, we've had plenty of rule refinements in past years that hurt one team, benefited another. I guess this just adds to the precedent.



Val from montreal

I would rather have a championship that is fought on the limit of SPEED rather than tippy-toeing around ..., Schumacher was right last season , F1 cars going at safety car speed is stupid and boring and NOT F1 ...


I showed you that race times and pole times were comparable to previous years. In fact, nearly identical. So this "slow" argument is flawed.



Maybe, well, just maybe, the engineers managed to gain some performance from last year...

Given how good these guys are and the amount of resources, I'm gona bets its a very probably maybe...

So, what you mean to say is that race times are identical... so, Pirelli has given tires which are slower by close to the amount of performance the teams gained in a year.

I'd say that's poor performance tires. Worse, they are not structuraly strong, and they don't allow racing (please look up definition on some good dictionary if needed ;)).

In the comments by Paul Hembrey, he said teams gained 2/3 seconds from last year. I guess we're about to find the true pace of this year's cars from Canada onwards.

Actually, personally, i couldn't care less if they are going slower of faster, I do want to see them RACING and FIGHTING without fear of having no tires mid-race. If you saw F1 in the 80s n early 90s with qualy tires (and turbo engines which lasted 20kms - out lap, qualy lap, in lap or thereabouts), then surely you can appreciate we're not far from that in tire wear... as for tire performance... well...


"Ferrari, Lotus and Force India are entitled to feel aggrieved as they have engineered their car around the tyres that were handed out to all teams in testing and at the start of the season"

Rightly so, and if these changes are solely the result of political lobbying then it makes the 'sport' even less appealing. However, tyre changes should absolutely be implemented following yet another delamination on Sunday. Cars not achieving optimum speed is a problem for the teams; a driver suffering a huge and unexpected puncture at 200mph is something else entirely.


Yep, Hembrey was saying yesterday that a tyre change would only help Red Bull. And here comes the chane. I'm not sure why, but the hierarchy in Formula 1 seem to want to do whatever possible to give Red Bull another championship. If the tyres stay constant teams can develop their cars to handle them, as mentioned, like Ferrari and Lotus.

In short, the world of Formula 1 is bending over backwards to Red Bull once again and I still haven't figured out why.


Hey Phil

I dont think this is being changed to suit RBR, this change is being pushed by the fans. I know you probably dont like Vettel and RBR but they are currently leading both championships now and could very well win both with the current tyres judgeing by the tracks still to come especially towards the end of the season. The majority of fans seem not to be happy with the racing, cars are not racing each other on track and it looks (for want of a better word) crap. Pirelli were told 2/3 stops and with there two hardest compounds they cant achive that so it needs to change. A change of tyre will hopefully let all the teams race hard and put their foot down.


It was exactly the opposite until now. All rule changes went against Red Bull ...


Disagree Phil, most of the restrictions over the last few years have curbed Red Bulls advantage and made the grid much closer. People have got to stop looking at Red Bull as the source of everthing evail in F1.


IMO, first and foremost F1 is a showbiz and then all other businesses that fly around. Of course, Mr Ecclestone is the owner and knows well how to pull the ropes to maximize benefits. Though we the fans might believe sport is the most important thing in F1, in truth the sport is only the basis to support the necessary showbiz glam. I suspect that a young driver that consistently breaks all records is most appealing for showbiz right now. This might not be the full equation, but it is an important term of it.


That may be so but the flip side of that is vettel storming off into the distance from pole and winning a fourth championship, personally I would rather a bit of variety over the same person breaking records.

Knowing who is going to win is guaranteed to lose viewers, as it did in the Schumacher era


Hi James,

Do you think that the Lotus had the pace to come 2nd with a 4 stop race?

I think Ted over on Sky suggested that Massa was always set for 3rd regardless of Kimi's strategy.

Also regarding the strategy, surely the trick here is to set up a position where the 2 stop strategy is about 5sec faster (but on the limit of wear) than the 3 stop strategy?

This way those who push and are aggresive could win on 3 stops with overtaking.

This would have Ferrari, RBR, Mecedes pushing all the way and we could have Force india and Lotus also up there with their well paced races.



No. It will be explained in the Race Strategy Report this afternoon.


ooh, look forward to it - one of the most informative post race articles one can read on the web 🙂

Any thoughts on my suggestion for target tyre types that should be brought to GPs?

I like the idea that there should be at least 2 strategies at play.

I think the problem at the moment is that these strategies (eg in this race) both require too much preservation, there should be one that allows for drivers to push hard.


Super unfair. So it is very clear from Hembery's own words:

"It is a bit bizarre - unless you all want us to give tyres to Red Bull to help them win the championship, which appears to be the case.

"I think it is pretty clear. There is one team who will benefit from a change and that is them."

Red Bull and Mercedes need help, they put pressure on Pirelli....so we can say that starting Canada we will see red Bull domination and a much stronger Mercedes.

So...I assume that this is where Red Bull will say that F1 will be a sport again (super manipulated).


So some think it is fair for the tyre supplier to mention and F1 team?

This is something that has never ever happened before in the history of F1.

The more Paul Hembery mentions Red Bull, the more I conclude that he is out to manipulate F1 results.

...And for the "religious," I am not a Red bull or Vettel fan.



Luca D M,would never allow it if it would

impede on the red cars in any shape or form.

You can bet on that.


Yes, I was. I was against any changes mid season because it is not fair. Any changes that can come as an outcome of performance analysis of cars is a manipulation to help one team win.


Interesting, because I can't find any comments from you after that article.


If Red Bull don't like it, they know where the door is. They won't be missed!


ONE WORD - POLITICS, MANIPULATION and a complete farce!

Scuderia McLaren

That's 6 words, assuming we are counting after the hyphen.

It's probably safe to assume you won't be happy when Vettel wins title No.4 to equal the great professor Alain Prost.


He should never be mentioned in the same sentence as Prost. That guy barely touched a kerb with 1000horsepower of all or nothing turbo power. Seb would go cucumber farming with 750 horsepower of safe reliable sucked to the ground v8


Sebee, Vettel (is that your name) - Prost took quite a few race wins from Ayrton Senna. Someone at Red Bull struggles and cheats to keep his 36 y/o team mate at bay.


Yeah, I'd like to see a shootout between Prost and Vettel in the RB9. It's a 2 way street Elie!


Well said.


Equal to Prost?

Did Prost win the 4 straight in a row?

I think not! 🙂


I swear AlexD, this is all just to keep the fans interest via outrage, comments activity anger and protest.

They are doing all they can to not keep us happy. And we're one unhappy bunch!

First, most were upset at the tires.

Now, most will be upset at the politics.

Next, Ferrari fans will be outraged at RBR having an advantage over Ferrari thanks to the tire change.

Finally Vettel will be 4xWDC because of the changed tire - they will say.

Me? I'm mostly unhappy about all this unhappiness!

I think we can agree at least on one thing. You like the tires or not, such change mid season is rediculous. Should we riot like they do in Paris?


I am unhappy about tyres as well, but to change mid season is a farce, manipulation, politics and a pressure from red Bull. What I cannot understand is how Red Bull managed to become a stronger force than Ferrari. And what about a Ferrari veto?


Glad you know about how powerful Ferrari is (how they get more share of TV money etc). That knowledge helps defeat the arguments you are making.

The fans simply do not appreciate the nonsense Pirelli has introduced. Fewer and fewer people have been buying tickets to attend farcical "races" (ask about the current panic at Silverstone). Profits are being lost to fan disenchantment.

The people who like the tyre farce are typically part time F1 fans with little understanding of the sport and who will never watch a race. To make matters worse, those from the football fan World, might come with the footie fans partisan attitude to rules and regulations, but it doesn't work that way in F1.

It isn't about Red Bull, Ferrari etc; its about the health of F1.


It's not necessarily a farce if:

-The tyres are 'unfairly' affecting some competitors (however you may define that - randomly helping some more than others through no fault of individual teams)

-The change was unintentional.

The goal is to make the tyres degrade more than previous years (pre 2011) while not benefiting or hurting any particular teams.

Making the change mid-season might either be:

-unfair, because it now unfairly benefits some teams

-fair, because it is removing the unfair benefit to some teams.

It really depends if you are of the opinion that Ferrari/Lotus etc have better performance on their tyres due to engineering skill, or due to 'how things worked out'.

It is just my opinion, but the inconsistency in teams between race weekends, the huge differences in performance, the struggle to fix the issues despite huge resources (Merc & Red Bull) indicates that the tyres are just very hard/impossible to work out. In other words the unfairness is current and they are working to fix it. That Ferrari/Lotus are better off currently not because they designed a better car, but they designed a car that the tyres happened to suit better. Again, just my opinion at this stage.


*gets out fingers to start counting*


You will soon start counting fingers of Vettel again....enjoy.


Well, I guess Pirelli took it too far with these tires. I wouldn't give up on Lotus and Ferrari title hopes just yet though. They just start making one stop races, when Red Bull and Mercedes makes three 😀


That´s fine with me. But RB will keep moaning for the rest of the season if they can´t make just one pit stop. I´m not sure I can handle that


I guess that tips the scales pretty heavily away from Lotus to RBR when Kimi makes his decision for 2014. Maybe he has already signed.

Very sad that the brilliant adventure that has been Lotus F1 is rapidly losing its crucial components: Allison, Pirelli spec, and most imp Kimi.


The learning from this for Kimi is that Red Bull is the team to be with because they have clout!



do you really believe that this change was due to lobbying from RBR? Or are you only saying that Kimi may interpret recent events in such a way?

My impression is the Pirelli is going to change the tyres as a reaction to the numerous negative comments from drivers, commentators and the general public. But I may be wrong.

On a final note: the current saga demonstrates quite clearly that at present there is no real mechanism to regulate unilateral tyre changes by the sole tyre supplier in F1. Even if the current change can be argued to be on safety grounds, what we have seen is that the tyre supplier could in theory do what they want. (If they do not mind the bad publicity that goes with it, of course.)


the biggest pressure was from Bernie and RB owner checkbook 😛


No of course not, there were other factors

Pirelli say the biggest pressure was from the teams wanting to keep the same tyres


James -Yeah I reckon he's already signed. But at that the same time all this nonsense might just make him wonder if he should stay inF1. He can drive on any tyre anywhere any time and be competitive but all this nonsense may make him walk- he might have just lost a championship because of word he hates - politics.




Why on earth do you assume this has anything to do with Red Bull? RBR have categorically denied any form of ‘lobbying’. The outrage from the fans about the current tyres is perfectly clear and Pirelli's number one concern is their public relations.

If you want to go into this "conspiracy" area, everybody knows that Ferrari has always had a special relationship with the FIA and they are more likely to have an influence than any other team. Clearly Ferrari want the current tyres unchanged, do they not have any "clout" anymore?

In my opinion it is much more likely that the FIA are keen to end the period of Red Bull/Vettel dominance than encourage it. Hembery has basically admitted that they don't want to improve the tyres for the benefit of the racing BECAUSE Red Bull and Vettel will dominate.

I can’t see these changes can possibly have anything to do with Red Bull “clout” anymore than the last changes in the hard tyre were intended to punish Mercedes.

Pirelli have failed to meet the brief or replicating Canada 2010 style tyre wear and have instead created tyres that are ultra sensitive to temperature and therefore suffer unreasonable amounts of thermal degradation. A change is positive for racing whatever team you support.


James Allen has his finger at least near the pulse. He said that Red Bull have clout - you don't believe it, saying it's a conspiracy theory.

Who of you two goes to all the races & talks to the people that matter?

Yes, I thought so.


But Renault make the engines..... 😉


But why should they have clout?

It used to be Ferrari who had ALL the clout & to some extent they do still - e.g. extra payments because of their "special" position in the history of motor racing.

Why should RBR have leverage? Is it because F1 is extremely impressed by huge wealth & Mr. Mateschitz has a big lump of cash?

I bet the guy in Thailand who invented the drink wishes he'd got more for it.


This is not about Red Bull in any way. ALL the teams have complained about the tyres, as have most of the drivers. The fans have also voiced their opinions, as have the media.

Why anyone is seeking scapegoat Red Bull on this issue defeats me. Mateschitz is not even the first team owner/principal to voice a negative opinion on the issue. Montezemulo criticised the tyres, Lauda, Brawn, Whitmarsh, Horner...the list goes on.




Funny...Ferrari used to be in that position...


How does a drink manufacturer have clout over the established legends?

Is this to do with Bernie and his bromance with Vettel?

The sooner Bernie goes the better.

I can't wait for LdM to have his say

Heinzman (Fan of: ALO)

That is very sad if you are not joking James. This reminds me of Ferrari crying about asymmetric Michelins back in the day. From a Ferrari fan: it was not on then and it is not on now.


"...but there are warning signs that fans are starting to turn away from the current style of racing"

And what will happen is after the change Ferrari and Lotus will be sent back and will struggle? Fair?


I wouldn´t underestimate neither Ferrari not Lotus, not yet. I´m going to wait and see what take place.


They're still good cars. They still have a decent package.

Is it ideal, no but there's no perfect solution to this and you can't have more races like in Spain.

You could argue Pirelli didn't intend the tyres to be that extreme, so revising them to meet their original goal - now that they have real data from this year's cars - means the tyres may be how the teams expected them to be more like from the beginning.

I still think Alonso and Raikkonen will be up there

It's all about getting the balance right. And on balance, if things have become too unbalanced, it should be corrected. It doesn't mean it need be a dramatic swing in the other direction. I don't think we're about to see Bridgestones.


Vrrrooom, vrooom....snore. Welcome back to processional racing....

With this cave in, F1 has has basically admitted that attempts to promote more interesting racing via tyre-forced pit strategies is doomed. Now we can watch the cars circle round and round at "really flat out racing" pace...with fewer passes, fewer lead changes, and fewer battles. Everyone will run nearly the same strategy, with the only variation being who gets the undercut. With the current reliability (which in historical terms is outstanding), you will pretty much know most race winners by lap 5.

Now we can watch even more races where the pole sitter disappears off into the distance...and it will probably be a purple or a silver car. Which really is the point of this whole change from Bernie's point of view....


...and yet everyone bangs on about how good the race in Texas was last year...

...and no one complained about the 2012 tyres did they?


Oh look, everyone is doing a 2 stopper today!

Mr. Horner, the crew asked if we can switch one of the F1 screens over to the Eurovision Song contest...since things are so routine here today.


No that's only Kimi Raikkonen the one that won in Australia with the fastest lap on the oldest tyres and one less stop.

Sorry boys but Eurovision is not sponsored by Red Bull so you can't watch it.


I will start to record the races and watch them with fast forward after the first two laps. Have most of the people really forgotten how boring F1 racing was before Pirelli started to supply the tires unless your favorite driver was leading the race?


A lot less boring than now. Back then, there was a point to watching qualifying and the race intently. I spent much of last race reading a book while keeping half an ear on the commentary and still found most of the events telegraphed laps in advance. That definitely never happened in the 2000s. (Last time I remember that happening was Spain 1999, which even at the time was acknowledged to be one of the most boring races in F1 history).


At the end of the day, it's a show, the customer (i.e. fans) has the strongest voice.

If it stays as such, Ferrari and Lotus are benefitting but the customer is unhappy. If it changes, RBR and Merc will benefit a bit more, but at least the fans will stop being unhappy.


"stop being unhappy"

Except the fans of Lotus, Ferrari and Force India if the changes disadvantages their teams.


True fans are not happy. Fans of processional driving, that just demonstrates the CFD and windtunnel results, might be happy, but those who wants driver skills, team setup of the car etc. to be of importance, are not happy. I for one will reconsider ever buying more tickets for F1-processions (having just been to Spain, best race there for years), and doing other stuff with my TV.


Is that true? Because how will the fans react if Red Bull dominates the remainder of the season because of this change?

Stephen Taylor

That for me sugnals the end of any chance Kimi winning the WDC for this year I fear. On the other SV and LH will gain from this.


Red Bull and Mercedes might gain from this, but think of this:

The Lotus is fast, and is kind to it's tyres, even when they have all the durability of a soggy Weetbix, so with more durable tyres the Lotus should well and truly be able to look after the tyres...but it will be able to do that while going that much faster 🙂

So don't count Kimi out just yet...

Stephen Taylor

Yes but they don't have the resources to develop the car quickly enough, particularly now as James Allison has jumped ship and the fact they operate on much lower budget compared to Ferrari and RBR etc.


That's a point, but - except for James leaving - that's been the case for a while now.

Regardless, if there's one thing Kimi has it's consistency, so he should be right up there.

I don't know if I'd say he was favourite to win, but I still wouldn't count him out.


Isn't that called a win win scenario?

Stephen Taylor

Not if you're a Kimi or Alonso fam, like me! Only Merc or RB fans could be happy at this news.


I cant understand how this is possible or fair, all of the teams were given the rubber to test during 2012. Ferrari and Lotus did the best work and therefore are looking strong, to take that away now makes the championship a farce.

It changes everything... as a betting man both Ferrari and Lotus looked good from winter testing, so those who backed them are being penalised because Redbull and Mercedes have spat their dummies out

It’s a joke


They weren't given every compound to test out. And only during FP1 in Brazil. I could be wrong, but if so I'm not far off the mark.


Yeah, just realized this. Indeed, those who placed their bets based on pre-season test or based on early races will now be feel manipulated.


Yes, but F1 historically has changed things so anyone who bets on it should know that.


There's always evolution, and sometimes rule changes, but to a certain school of thought this could be seen as an outside influence dictating the championship, which is something else entirely....


Real nice Pirelli,

A regulation should be kept throughout the season unless its dangerous. Red Bull are sore losers so they complain, and everybody knows babies having tantrums always get their way.

Just what everyone wants to see, another facinating chamionship won by RBR (NOT).

Its boring as sin. Lotus and Ferarri have just had any chance taken away from them.

The sport just gets more boring and boring because regulations are always changed so the favourite team/driver can win year after year. It just makes it so boring to watch.

If Vettel wins this season then ratings next year will drop like flies, regardless to the new generation 2014 season.


This is unheard of. James, there are no words to describe my disappointment. Not only is the Red Bull the worst team ever to win a championship (I'm talking about their attitude and their ethos), but they also had a nerve to shamelessly lobby so publicly against something that was equal to all the teams.


Unheard of? Pirelli changed the hard compound before Spain, but people weren't interested in that because it only effected Mercedes.



This from a Ferrari fan... one has to chuckle...


and right a reply for RB fan maybe?



Good to see common sense win the day and as early as Canada >>> even better!

As regards to the teams that have preferred these raw egg tyres, am sure they won't feel too hard done by because they too felt F1 was heading in the wrong direction with 4 pitstops, plus, it's very unlikely that a car that enjoyed good degradation with the 2013 disintegrating tyres would suffer with more durable tyres in fact, I see those teams even doing better on worn tyres.

Phew, totally relieved with this news and mighty glad for teams like Red Bull and Mercedes for competition isn't really competition when your rivals have one of their hands tied behind their backs.

Now as a personal request to Pirelli, they really don't have to keep changing their tyres, all they need to do is re-launch the 2012 rubber every season (that degrade but gradually) and leave the rest to the teams.

Right, here's to looking forward to an exciting reminder of the season, it's about time the pedal-to-the-mettle racers came out to play.


Changing the tyres mid season when teams have designed there cars for these tyres, spain would not have been the farce that it was if the drs had been deactivated. F1 does not need drs now we have these tyres so get rid of it


Changing the tyres mid season when teams have designed there cars for these tyres is an even bigger mistake, spain would not have been the farce that it was if the drs had been deactivated. F1 does not need drs now we have these tyres so get rid of it


To hear Lewis say he cant drive any slower and all the passive overtaking is too much. I want to watch racing where drivers can drive and racers can race, not this "be careful, watch your tyres now" its like my mum has taken over F1. Boring' I'm off and I wont be back until racing has been resumed!!!!


So...see you at Monaco?



Does this mean drivers will be able to race again? I really hope so. Seeing Hamilton in 12th, and Vettel told to let Kimi pass him is not motor racing, it's a farce.

"inevitably some teams will gain and others lose from this, which could cast a shadow over the outcome of the championship."

Not as much of a shadow as having the tyres dictate the entire championship which is what was at risk of happening this season. F1 should be a an equal belnd of various factors, not 95% tyres 5% the rest. Thank god Pirelli have done something about it !


well , I'm not happy about this !

pirelli didn't tell me in advance so that I could bet my life savings on vettel for the WDC and RBR for the WCC

best thing that pirelli can do to make this change is to go back to the late 2012 spec , all the teams have lots of data on this

it will mean more boring racing of course , but it is what lots of people seem to want


I read somewhere that Pirelli blamed the old Renault car they are using for testing because it doesn't have the same level of downforce, surely they can add as much downforce as they like to it because they aren't governed/limited by any rules...


The 2010 Renault did a 1m 21.3s lap in quail that year in Spain. That would have put it P8 on the grid for this year's race, so not so far off.

But clearly the downforce levels are higher now.


Ironically, isn't it Red Bull who are opposing in-season testing? Serves them right.

James, can Ferrari and Lotus veto this change of tires? Surely this midseason change would need approval of all teams.


Not at all. Pirelli can change if they want to.

Especially as there is a safety angle with the failures in Bahrain and Spain


McLaren ought to buy that!


Roll on next year for the 2014 McLaren Mercedes Gillette Slim Turbo Honda Renault MP4-29 🙂


Hehe good one Peter


Fans will turn away not because of the current racing but because of the tools of the trade being changed to favour one team over another.

It now looks like Pirelli are favouring RB over the others. I hate to think what the media would be saying if it was Ferrari whining and getting the tyres changed to suit them!

A fair fight is not one where the tools are changed mid game. Everyone had the 2013 spec rubber to adjust to in winter testing and yet the team with the biggest budget being RB has not made it work and instead of lifting their game they preferred to change the game altogether... Politics are alive and well in F1 it seems. Poor form RB, Merc and Pirelli!

I know which products I will be boycotting.


F1 and the FIA really have no one to blame but themselves. Testing bans and restrictive rules means that teams, even ones with RBR's resources, really have no recourse to make necessary changes. So they have no option but to whine and complain to the powers that be. Unfortunately, it means that teams that got it right from the beginning are being punished.


It's swings and roundabouts. Last year Ferrari had warm up problems with the 2012 spec rubber while others had no problems.

Yet no changes were made to the tyres mid season last year. Consistency is the key, they didn't change the rubber last year mid season so why this year?


"yet the team with the biggest budget being RB"

Sure about that?...


300 million last I heard, and that's what we know about...

If anyone can top that, let me know.


Read business F1. RB was the team most opposed to the resource restriction agreement and trying to use loop holes to hide payments to a certain Mr Newey.


Yes, Me, I believe RBR's budget is the biggest in F1. Who do you believe it to be?


So...you're sure they've got the biggest budget?


But there are warning signs that

fans are starting to turn away from the current style of racing.


Am not sure any F1 addict would turn away for long even with the banned 2013 tyres for nothing keeps fans curiosity more than a close championship that goes all the way to the end of the season.

Now what would really send the fans heading for the hills is seasons that get settled as early as Spa and drivers winning races by an arm and a leg e.g. 2010 had boring races but thanks to the close championship, the fans were held under the spell.

I hope Pirelli remember this when they're designing their new rubber.


Some of us turned away as soon as Sky got involved, if I can't watch all the races live then why bother watching any, bit of pathetic reason maybe... but, there you are.


@ Me


No die hard fan would give up that easily hence the phrase ''die hard''

Alberto Martínez

Do you know if changes in the structure of the tyre will affect aerodynimamics of the car and the weight?


More importantly, has anyone in the FIA considered this?

Will the minimum weight go back to 640kg?


Good questions, and I suspect they should. The steel belted tyres this year total 2 kg more, and kevlar is likely to have different elastic properties to steel so the tyre is likely to deflect differently.

Alberto Martínez

It makes sense!

Besides Mark Gillan has confirmed that the change to the construction of the tyre will probably alter the shape when in contact with the ground, so that will change the flow and aerodynamic balance around the car.


This is very interesting James.

I have long team's a supporter of perelli's involvement on F1 and have enjoyed the way tyres have spiced up the racing. Initially I was annoyed at a lot of posts from fans complaining about the tyres as I have always been fascinated by engineering challenges the sport requires almost as much as the drivers. However over the last few races it does appear to have gone slightly too far. Watching the pole sitter in barain tumble down the order and then seeing Hamilton dissappear out of the top 10 really killed the enjoyment.

Alonso's race was amazing but the thrill of last year was the close racing between the best teams and driver's. When Sebastian and Hamilton are lifting through corners beacuse the tyre will fall apart if they push is just not enjoyable.

Last year there were swings between different teams in terms of performance but that appeared to be due to genuine engineering development. This year does begin to feel like a lottery. How can seb win with a pit stop in hand in barain and then lose by over a pit stop in the following race?

i think perelli have a very difficult task ahead of them. If ferrari or lotus become uncompetitive after the change fans will become extremely annoyed and the outcome of this championship will be severely tarnished.


Sprinters sprint, set the car up, to be kind to the tyres...unfortunately many teams seem to be stuck in the you can only win from pole rut. Alonso has shown that a well balanced car that has adequate quali pace and decent race pace is more than a match for the q3 specials made by merc and rb.


Merc set their car up for the race in Spain.


Should have set it up for Malaysia then...


Good news.

As a viewer I'd rather see Red Bull 20 seconds down the road, but drivers actually racing for third than everyone currently doing all in their power to avoid actually racing each other.


Sure you would Mrs Vettel.


While I agree that the tyres, especially in Spain, are having too much effect on the racing I fear that this change will now mean Red Bull & Vettel will now walk away with the championships!!

As siad teams like Ferrari & Lotus have adapted their cars to look after the tyres better than other why cant the other teams change their cars to suit as well instead of demanding the tyres to the change?

Pirelli have done a good job to bring some excitement to the races & I dont want to go back to the Bridgestone era of 'follow the leader' races


And so much for he genius Newey....


"but there are warning signs that fans are starting to turn away from the current style of racing."

Maybe if the media and some teams stop going on about it fans won't even know. I mean, what difference does it make to me as viewer if they're going 90 or 100%. As long as they are racing. So yes, Vettel wasn't racing at the front but he was still going the maximum available limit.

Change tyres, but then give free reign on engines, fuel & drivetrain. Then let them loose on a Sunday and see who comes out on top.

F1 is suffering from the hole it dug itself. Fix the real, core problem and stop having knee-jerk reactions to what whoever is moaning about this week.


"Fix the real, core problem..."

And that is??


Michael Prestia

Don't all teams have to agree for the change to take place??? That is what Pirelli said at the last race... now it is a unilateral decision?


The teams can't all agree - they seem incapable of it.

Pirelli have to make the decision and should make the decision...just hopefully the right decision...


James excuse me my ignorance but the thing I don't quite understand is that if there's a track all teams know in and out it's Barcelona.

So if as a F1 team you do your testing on the Barcelona track wouldn't you build a car that looks more after its tyres knowing the degradation is so high?

Please clarify?


Far from being ignorant, you're right.

Ferrari and Lotus seem to have done just that,

Red Bull and definitely Mercedes less so, and now Pirelli is making a change that will be seen to be aiding the latter while punishing the former, which is basically where all this controversy is coming from.

It's all going to end in tears...


Embarassing for F1 , Pirelli is definitly not a world class supplier !


Interesting...that Red Bull became a stronger force than the Ferrari. If...starting Canada, I will see Ferrari and Lotus struggling all of a sudden...I will finally have a real reason to do something else during the weekend. It can be a very positive change for me personally. F1 is not longer a sport...it is pure politics. It was always like this...but this is the first time I experience it so brutally.


What’s with all the complaining about mid season changes being unfair? Don’t remember all this fuss last year with the numerous “clarifications” issued by the FIA at various stages of the season. This is what happens in life, its all about being reactive to change.


Why not just let 'Formula 1' as a name go the way of the old Pylon Air Racing, and just rename the sport 'Formula Red Bull'?


Or more accurately-



Amazing state of affairs. I thought Pirelli had more about them. There must be huge pressure from within to have caused this capitulation. Only time will tell if its the correct decision. Who says F1 is boring.


So the teams that have learnt to master the tyres and can subsequently drive to the max will now lose out to the teams that whined like small children.

Gotta love F1


"Maybe if the media and some teams stop going on about it fans won’t even know."

So you this atrocity hidden from the fans?


Do you think wrestling fans should be told the truth about that sport, or you prefer that hidden as well?


Mercedes should donate one of their older cars to Pirelli for testing purposes, so the new tyres will work on cars built according to the Brackley rather than the Enstone way.


Finally...I'll reserve judgement until I see if the racing improves.

I commented a few weeks ago that I thought it was strange that no pundit was willing to criticise the Pirelli tyres even though they were obviously having a detrimental effect on the racing.

Now suddenly all of them are coming out and saying its too much. Nothing was different at the Spanish GP to all the other 2013 races with regards to the dry tyres. Who is directing these guys and are we really hearing their true opinions, or just what they are allowed to say.

Also they should make the wet tyres better too. I've read that the reason they never race in proper wet conditions these days is because the full wet tyres are terrible. They would never cope in races such as Fuji 2007 and Silverstone 2008.

Pirelli are just full of excuses. "Its testing and its too cold, they will be alright when temps are normal" "Its the high temperatures" "The teams have too much downforce" (from above).

I recently watched the 1985 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola which is well worth a watch, a fantastic race. There is a fair bit of talk about the tyres throughout the race between Murray Walker and James Hunt, alot of it saying how the Pirelli tyres are not up to the standard set by Goodyear. With Murray saying "It looks as though the Pirelli race compound is too soft in comparison with the Goodyear compound" as a good example of how the conversation generally goes. I laughed out loud when I heard that.

Anyway, I think it is time for Pirelli to go and for someone else to have a crack at it.


This is ridiculous and here is why:

in 2005, it was decided that tires will last the whole race and only refueling will be allowed..clearly that hurt Ferrari and that year, 2005, was ferrari's worst year in many seasons..they only won 1 race ( Indianapolis) because all Michelin teams didn't race. did Ferrari lobby to change the rule, change the tires?? NO !!! i love how people say FIA is ferrari assistance and all that crap.

After today's news, it is clear to me that pirelli is changing the tires because of the amount of lobbying and public moaning redbull has been doing..along with mercedes. more so redbull, are so upset they cant get the maximum out of their cars. how is this fair?

people talk about the cars being slow this year.. didn't FIA ask pirelli to make tires even more degrading than last year? we knew tires would last 20 laps..if redbull and mercedes can't make that happen, it is their problem.

pirelli said today that the pecking order won't change that much but that risk is also there, the risk that this decision will favor one team on the other ; ie redbull.

pirelli said the changes are being made for pirelli and not for the teams..that doesnt make sense to me.

I hope lotus and ferrari still come on top after these changes are made, i really hope redbull lose this year because they are the worst losers ive ever seen. I really hope they learn that winning is not given to you, it is earned. i have much stronger words to say, but i will keep them to mysef. very upset.


Did you moan last year when Ferrari broke Massa'a seal in Texas, and moved over half the grid to the dirty side of the grid when they had qualified in a place that gave them the right to start from the clean side?


ahahah your funny...actually, what ferrari did was supper clever ! that was totally allowed and no where did it say that was prohibited. they found a loophole in the rule and used it for their advantage, good for them ! a very clever move by ferrari i would say. besides, that has NOTHING to do with the current argument.


Ok, I admit I was trying to be a little bit playful with my question. The problem here is your blaming Red Bull (who lead both championships btw). What you have to blame is the stupid amount of pit stops on Sunday, and commentators from all channels and media telling their watching/listening public this is not good enough, or this has gone to far. Fans have also said that there was far to many stops. F1 and it’s sponsors can’t have this (In sponsors case – won’t hang around for this). Petronas can’t have LH saying I can’t drive any slower for example. I know where many people are coming from, but this is a commercial decision, not a Red Bull one (though I will admit they have been a touch vocal on the issue)

I support Force India, and its a bit surreal at the moment. We simply run what amounts to a test day. We're not racing anyone, we can't catch those in front, and we are not challenged from behind. There's no tense pitstops, where we are say 20 seconds ahead of a Williams with a pitstop to make etc. We get passed by quicker cars on different strategies because we let them by because we are not racing them (and it’s not in our interest to because it uses tyre life – yes tyre life to fight for a position in racing). Of course I want to race Saubers and William’s and win every time, but part of sport is sometimes having the disappointment of coming out second best.


"did Ferrari lobby to change the rule, change the tires?? NO !!!"

You can bet your life they did...


How 'bout the mass damper ban in 2006? That had Ferrari written all over it.


let us assume they did, did anything change for the year of 2005? NO. change was brought for 2006. so it didn't matter they lobbied. whereas this year, red bull is criticizing but guess what, they got what they want. 2005 is not 2013.



Great news! I don't care who might or might not gain advantage from the new tyres, but one thing is for certain: F1 fans and F1 as a whole will only win. Give me back racing, pushing, real overtaking and defending!


The joke is that Vettel's time for Barcelona was quicker than last year, except Ferrari and Lotus were quicker.

Red Bull have only complained when Ferrari has finished the races, ie in front of them!


Some people say that in 2011 Vettel was also on four-stopper. Does anyone remember Red Bull calling to change tyre construction then?


Thought we were trying to make this a sport less about the aero effect, more about the engineering/racecraft? There was nothing wrong with the spectacle of Sunday, I really enjoyed it.

This is a massive massive give to Red Bull / Mercedes. They don't want to be wasting their huge budgets in the wrong area and it shows that by pulling enough media/FOM strings they can get their own way.

Smells like 2006 and mass dampeners all over again.


"Smells like 2006 and mass dampeners all over again."

When Ferrari complained?... wait?... do they do that?...


I presume the FIA will also now mandate that cars must be full of fuel so that the drivers have to go at full speed (and not save fuel); drivers cannot back off towards the end of the race to preserver the car; maybe let's stop the drivers braking into corners because we want to see them flat out at all times!

Come on! F1 has always been about driving as fast as possible to win but no faster. It's always been about managing resources. The tyres were given to the teams last year for them to test with an design their cars around.

This is now the second mid-year tyre rule change that has shafted the Enstone team (remember Michelin in 2006?).


The Michelin saga was in 2003 and not 2006 if i remember right. The problem was with the lip of the tire that started to widen as the tires warmed up expanding to a size that was wider than what regulations mandated.

Michelin agreed that their tires were indeed expanding and changed the compound. In the end Schumacher won the title by a hair's breadth, and i dont think it was down to the tires. It was more down to the fact that Williams and Mclaren kept splitting each others points allowing Michael to sneak past them.


The tyre change rule was in fact after the Monza tyre tests when Bridgestone/ Todt complained that the Michelin were actually bigger than the regulations allowed.

Michelin had to change the design which was sufficient to derail Mclaren and Williams challenges for the last few races.

The Enstone "shafting" you refer to was in fact the mass damper that Renault had run from 2005. Once again a car which challenged Todt's Ferrari team was destabilised after the German GP.

Thank god,for a change, Enstone overcame this, winning the championship with Alonso. Lets hope history repeats itself


10/10 for Paul Hembury and Pirelli up to now!!

I guess I am a little isolated with what I think??

Frankly i'm utterly bored of this so called tyres saga. Maybe 4 stops is one stop too far but I don't see what the big issue is with not knowing who the winner will be until the last stop or sometimes not until the last few laps. There have been a number of tyre delaminations which Pirelli need to get on top of but none of them have caused major incidents. I also understand the performance of the cars has increased from 2012 to 2013, but c'mon that isn't a huge surprise!

I hope the fans and journalists who have been calling for tyre changes aren't also the ones come November who are recoiling at another predictable Vettel championship, because that's what is likely to happen now (let's face it he or Red Bull don't need any extra help). I just think it is really poor form to change something so fundamental as tyres part way through the season. A football manager builds a team over the summer, perfect their strategy in pre-season training, start the season in top form and then five games in are told that they have to play in wellies with a beach ball - is that fair, would it happen?

Ferrari designed their car badly last year and couldn't turn on the hard tyre all season which greatly hampered them, that is there fault for not getting on top of it. In the same way its Mercedes or Red Bulls fault for not extracting consistent performance this year from cars that don't maximise F1's variables.

There were 7 out of 7 winners last season (using essentially the same rubber) whilst teams got to grip with the tyres, people were lauding Pirelli with creating an exciting Formula. But, ultimately the top teams got on top of handling the ever so slightly delicate rubber and normality resumed. This time round the top teams have been at the front and no doubt they would have improved the handling of the rubber without the meddling of teams, fans, journos, FOM. Lets not forget Vettel romped home in Bahrain 3 weeks ago with seemingly very little complaint.

I accept some fans will be put off, well so be it .... you can't keep everyone happy but surely the people that have followed the sport for decades are the ones that matter, than the ones which follow whichever sport is in vogue or Sky happens to throw the most money at. I've never understood why a mobile operator cares more about a new customer, rather than somebody that's been with them and paid every bill on time for the past 15 years. Well I do a bit but you get my point.

F1 has been more about strategy than wheel to wheel racing for many years and it has evolved as teams maximise development in each and every area to gain lap time. Rule makers close loop hole after loop hole to try and close the pack and make it entertaining for your average fan, also adding gimmicks like DRS along the way. Engines aren't able to be developed so teams explore efficiency in fuels for example, aerodynamic constraints are rigid and even pit stops in the last season has seen a huge arms race - with new bearings, hydraulic jacks, traffic light systems etc. With pit stops reaching a limit, the usage of tyres is obviously a critical area to gain time and for all we know some teams may or may not have jeapordised aerodynamics to priorise better tyre usage.

Strategy has always been part of the sport but its critical now and there is a lot of lap time and positions to be won and lost. The sport has evolved and a lot of fans and teams have moved with the times. Apologies to all those out there who miss the Prost v Senna v Piquet v Mansell days but they were along time ago. Far too many people have short lived memories, Vettel in 2011 running away with the title, or similarly Schumacher dominating for years, people were crowing this is the last time i'll watch the sport. It is so much safer and so much more professional and drivers are less likely to risk accidents because a championship is about bringing the car home time after time. There isn't the drama of engines going pop a few laps from the end as cars are almost bullet proof.

Pirelli have done a spectacular job, a job which they were asked to do and have delivered in my opinion. Barcelona historically is a boring race but Pirelli brought talking points they brought intrigue and drama to the sport and I for one hope that they don't write off. There is always an agenda in this sport, and its interesting that FOM play certain driver conversations like 'Lewis - I can't drive any slower' on Sunday'. It plays to fans hearts and they are controlling what people are thinking, those that can't forge there own opinion. For all we know these conversations could have been going on for decades but fans demand more from the sport, they get more insight and they don't like bits of it and focus on them.

The sport is fantastic, I watch, read and digest so much of it but frankly i'm baffled by what seems like a majority of schizophrenic F1 fans. I have invested 30 years into following the sport, I am not going to switch off (or threaten to switch off) because my favourite driver or team can't make some tyres to last in a couple of races. I'm baffled - rant over.


Ben you are not alone, but I guess we are on the "ancient" group of followers nowadays, probably because we don't do PlayStation racing, and probably because we've seen too many engines blow, cars crash, drivers killed and rules change over the years

I've "only" been following F1 since 1968 (I guess that is before James Allen was born), and stiil have fun watching, and while Iam not jumping with joy over multiple DRS areas and short lived tyres, I do think they improve the show and up to a point, the racing too, by bringing more challenges to designers/drivers/strategists

Now we have the "fans" who will swear by their drivers/teams no matter how good/bad they are doing and criticize the others, sometimes not politely

Then the "conspiracists" who are sure the powers that be manipulate everything to help/damage the teams involved

And of course the "purists" who want unadulterated racing, no matter what the development costs, no matter how boring it becomes, no matter how one sided for the wealthy teams it ends

I think if you don't like it don't watch it, let the rest of us enjoy


Ain't these changes mostly to prevent treads coming away when there is a cut in a tyre?

(at least I thought so)


I have to say I'm worried that the wonderful season of F1 we had last year, and even this will be no more.

Just a little tweaking of the tyres toward more durability will surely mean that the richest team will dominate. things were not perfect I grant, but anything is better than the Schumacher years !!


To change tire compounds mid-season is unfair. This is not a sport if one team getc favored over other due to this change. Whatever be the fans' or teams' reactions, FIA must have stuck to the same compounds for fairness. It is like changing the type of ball in football or pitch after first innings in cricket or goal posts width after one team has been leading in a match. Atrocious to say the least. I never thought RBR could have so much influence over teams like Ferrari or Lotus that have been in F1 over so many years. This shows success breeds clout (e.g. Ferrari in 2000s).


Jon Noble's tweet sums this up perfectly...

"So, a 2011 Spanish GP where Vettel wins on 4 stops is ace. This year he stops 4 times and it's the end of 'racing'. Am I missing something?"

Martin (not Whitmarsh)

@Joe - “So, a 2011 Spanish GP where Vettel wins on 4 stops is ace. This year he stops 4 times and it’s the end of ‘racing’. Am I missing something?”


What you are missing is that in 2011 Vettel was pretty much flat out from start to finish to make his 4 stop strategy work.

In 2013? The exact opposite. Cruising round in a car capable of so much more just to avoid destroying the sorry excuse for tyres that are fitted to F1 cars today.


I think you'll find Lotus, Vettel and Mercedes were cruising around because they wanted to make a 3 stopper work.

Ferrari were on 4 stops and driving hard.

There is nothing in the rules to say you cannot make 5 or 6 pit stops. The 3 stoppers CHOSE to stop 3 times and had to drive accordingly.

It is a simple trade off, just like downforce/drag.


Very good point. I remember 2011, Fernando was leading on lap 1 and was a lap down when it ended.

James, can you please explain us why the two 4-stop races are so different?

Safety can be the only reason to change tyre compounds mid-season and I understand that point but why the delamination's took place on the back of the field cars only? I guess the front running teams never had a delamination.


It's perhaps a little harsh to refer to Ferrari (Massa) and Mercedes (Hamilton) as back of field cars. Both suffered what appeared to be a delamination of their rear tyres - although Pirelli claimed they were punctures.


Right! I couldn't remember who had it. Thanks!

It makes sense to change the tyres for safety reasons but if Pirelli say that they are changing them so that fans could follow what's happening in a race then it doesn't make sense.

I have been following F1 for a decade now and don't have any problem in following races this year too. In fact I found the Spanish GP intriguing.


Funny all these so called complaints, me & my friends were enthralled by the race. We were kept guessing about who was going to triumph between Raikonnen & Alonso right up till the last segment of the race. And also when was the last time we saw an overtake for the lead at Barcelona? Senna v Mansell '91 or Schumacher v Villeneuve '96.

This so called pressure from fans & media is absolute rubbish, listen to the real fans at the FOTA forums, you'll see most of them are happy. It must not be overlooked that column inches in the media can be bought very easily with the sort of money Red Bull have. And I've known people paid to write favourable reviews for products on the Internet. So why can't people be paid to become 'angry' fans. Would Red Bull stoop that low? Of course they'll stoop lower than a snake's belly if it helps them to win, just like their lead driver did in Malaysia.

Don't buy into this rubbish Pirelli, the 2013 Championship is already more exciting than 2001, 2002, 2004 Championships combined. Don't risk ruining it!


Too bad they realized that only now. They should have changed the tyres after the first race when it became obvious that a few teams have a lot of advantage over all the others thanks to the tyres. F1 tyres should be neutral to most of the teams, not suit only two: it's just not fair. Too bad the crappy tyres already influenced the championship.


Are you saying some teams were not given the chance to design their cars freely? What is the advantage that was given to Lotus, Ferrari or Force India that was not given to other teams that made them able to design cars that take the specs of the tires into account?


It's not the racing fans don't like, it's the teams telling drivers not to push.

I say, ban team radio and let drivers decide when to push!

Putting more on driver skill is always a good thing imho.

I'd also like to see DRS abolished and the 2 compounds rule and top 10 quali tyres rule abandoned, and drivers given the choice of the full range of Pirelli tyres.


James, any thoughts on how much this will influence the championship. You state that it's a blow to Ferrari and Lotus. Pirelli says that it won't change the performance order (which they need to say). Will it be a game changer ?


It's impossible to say without seeing what they change to.

It may be that the mechanical and set up work Lotus and Ferrari has done will still give them an advantage on the new tyres. Time will tell

Stephen Taylor

I know pirelli said there aiming for 2-3 stops but do you think the construction changes means we might the odd 1 or 2 races that are one stop and which circuits could those possibly occur?


not sure why the fans are so turned off. the racing has been great and the best drivers and cars are still at the front. If the tires are so awful and forcing the fastest cars to go well below their potential then it logically follows the second tier cars should be more competitive on a relative basis. That's not happening so this outcry about the tires is a bit of misdirection. I agree that there shouldn't be 4 stops and that firming things up is a good idea but the fact is that we have great racing amongst the best drivers and teams so nothing is all that different. Does anyone really want to go back to when 90% of the races were just a procession?

Johnny Canuck

I like Vettel well enough. Greatly respect Alonso's ability. Am always entertained by Kimmi. Button and Lewis are both great talents. Despite the importance of pay drivers at the back end these days, the field is blessed with several world champions and some younger drivers with good potential. In the end, I don't much care who wins .... I just want to see these guys allowed to race, not coast around at 85% preserving tires for 60 laps and skipping meaningful qualifying because saving tires is more important. Spain was an embarassment to the sport and hardly qualified as "spectacle" in any sense, though Hamilton's "I was just passed by a Williams ....." at least provided some dour humour.

Clearly Pirelli got it wrong with the tires this year. While changing them during the season certainly seems questionable, even worse would be watching 14 more races like the last one. No doubt Pirelli has instruction from on-high to make changes, and I for one applaud the move. DRS should help keep the races from turning into the processionals of past years. With luck, F1 will be fun to watch again as the top drivers are allowed to push and show their skills as racers, not tire managers.

As for Red Bull being "sore losers" while calling for changes ..... they certainly did lose in Spain. But last I looked they were 14 points clear in the Constructor's and Vettel still had a slim lead in Diver's, even after a couple of tracks that were particularly hard on tires. Some losers! Whatever elements of political gamesmanship are involved in the calls for change to the tires, in the end I think it will be the best thing for the sport and a necessary move to keep fan interest. Tire managament has always been a part of F1, but right now it's the whole show. Let's go racing!


I thought I was watching the Pirelli F1 Time Trials last Sunday. There was no real racing happening. Everyone was on their own pace, and it was darn slow.

Redbull will benefit from this for sure, but Ferrari has a very good balanced car which looks like it could win at any circuit.

I think Alonso could have won in the two races that he had failures in, Malaysia and Bahrain. It is Lotus that will suffer badly, while Mercedes will improve but not sharply.



Great analysis of the situation.


It is amazing how fans are never satisfied, and quickly forget how loud the chorus of complaints were about the monotonous races at the end of the Bridgestone era. Now we have calls for a return to these times?

It is also telling the role that FOM have played as highlighted by James in the number of broadcast messages of late in race criticizing the tyres.

Now Ferrari and Lotus will be punished in effect for producing a car that was too good on the tyres. I am sure that if Red Bull or Mercedes were in Lotus' position and collecting podiums they wouldn't be complaining as loud. Teams all had the same knowledge of the tyres when designing their cars, Lotus just did a better job, and that should be the end of it.

Money talks- if you can't beat them, get it banned.




a victory that is manipulated is not a victory that comes itself. it might serve you in the end, it might not.


Off topic a bit, but any news on next year tyres, aparantly we might be going back to larger rears again

Michael Prestia

Don't the teams have to unanamiously agree to the changes? Isn't this the way it works? Why would Lotus and Ferrari agree?


Perhaps they want better tyres?...


Damn if you do, damn if you don't. LOL.

I think its going to affect Lotus more than Ferrari. Probably pole for Merc & fighting for win amongst RedBull, Merc & Ferrari.

Let's wait & see.


if a change in tires hands Vettel his 4th straight championship let's not hear how brilliant a designer Adrian Newey is. if he's so brilliant he would be overcoming any perceived shortcoming in the tires as Ferrari and Lotus have done...just sayin'

All revved-up

I think there is a lot of spin by both sides. What we want from Pirelli is not A or B, but C.

It is not:

A - tyres that degrade when drivers push them; or

B - a processional race.

What we want is C:

Soft tyres that are 1 second quicker and last 15 laps flat out before they fall off a cliff; and

Hard tyres that last 25 laps flat out racing before falling off a cliff.

If Pirelli says they don't have the technology to produce this, the put the contract out for tender and have Bridgestone, Goodyear etc step up.


Whatever happens now, pirelli will come out of it the worse for wear. Tires too soft, Fans complain... state intent to fix the problem, Fans complain.

What people dont understand when they call for tires that 'Can go flat out for 15 laps before they drop off' is that if they can go full throttle for 15 laps, the teams will cruise the tires non the less, and make them last 30. Every and any advantage for an F1 team could be the diffrence between a championship or second place, and the biggest time loss is in the pits.

Paul du Maître

Let me add my voice to all those who think that changing now is not fair. As other posts have said before, all teams had tested these tyres, they just have to work on their tyre management and stop complaining! It is possible, as Lotus has shown...

When the ban of blown diffusers was envisaged and tested at the Silverstone GP a couple of years ago, the rules were kept as they were and blown diffusers were not forbidden. At the time, everybody claimed that it was the right thing to do as rules should be held constant during a season. My feeling is that the situation is identical now, and that the tyres should stay as they are.


Red Bull design a car that is heavy (aerodynamically) on the sidewall of the tyre and complain when it doesn't work?


Whoops, didn't mean to send.

It's a joke, frankly. Very disappointing to hear its happening.


Very disappointing to see James Allen pushing the FIA/Ferrari/Pirelli agenda by spinning the situation as Red Bull "lobbying".

Red Bull has nothing to do with this beyond that the tires were created to hinder them.

Shame on you, James.

Scuderia McLaren

NotIced this too Michael. It's fairly obvious where James sits on the matter. But journalists CAN have an opinion too. If you want to see real bias, head over to... oh better not. What the hell, it rhymes with Moe Howard.

Personally, I am just happy Alonso's title hopes have been dealt a severe blow. But unfortunately Kimi is in the cross fire. At least Hamilton can remain on the lead lap now instead of learning to drive with more mechanical empathy.


Really? And you've seen this for yourself within the F1 paddock?


You couldn't see from the paddock that everyone except for 3 cars was hopeless, limping around at 50%, no one defending, driving as slow as they could, still 4-stopping?

I want competition in F1 as much as the next guy. But Red Bull earned their success fair and square. The least we could do is not make them out to be the bad guy.

If the goal is to hinder them, then we should do it transparently with rule changes reducing size of wings, cost controls, etc. Underhanded tire tricks isn't the way. F1 needs its integrity now more than ever as it's making its first impressions on all kinds of new markets.


But Red Bull earned their success fair and square...

When you are in a hole, it's generally accepted, the best strategy is to stop digging 🙂



I thought Ferrari have been complaining about the tyres as well...

Is there any data to reinforce the assumption that with 2 or 3 stops Red Bull would dominate again?


Hi James, have a quick question for you;

changing the tires to make them more durable, will that mean they will be harder to warm up for qualifying, or just last longer? Will there be any difference in their operation-window you think?