Analysis: What Pirelli’s mid-season changes will mean
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 May 2013   |  3:01 pm GMT  |  292 comments

The sudden announcement by Pirelli that they are to change the tyre specifications from the seventh round of the world championship onwards will inevitably raise many questions: who will it favour, what are the implications for the racing?

With no testing available – a significant part of the reason why Pirelli has struggled to get the tyres right this year – they will have to use a construction solution that has been proven to work in the past, rather than try something new.

JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan was chief operations engineer at Williams until the end of 2012 and has a deep understanding of how the tyres work and what is involved in this change.

Here, with his input, is our analysis of today’s decision.

When Pirelli says the tyres from Canada will be more like 2012 tyres what does that mean?

The 2012 tyres were more durable than this year’s tyres, which suffer from high degradation. Pirelli has indicated that it will change the construction of the tyres to be more like the 2012 products.

The 2013 tyres have a different construction from the 2012 products, with a steel belt inside the tyre in place of last year’s kevlar belt. It is likely that this decision will be reversed with the revised tyres, as Pirelli moves back to a proven solution.

The weakness of the 2012 tyres was wear; typically the inside shoulder of the tyres would wear out and teams would run the tyre until there was no rubber left on the shoulder and then make a pit stop. However the teams understood how to manage them quite well by the end of the season.

For 2013 Pirelli tried to fix the wear problem by getting the contact patch of the tyre more reasonably positioned, but it seems that in changing the construction to achieve this they have gone too far.

Although the reason given for the change is that four stops is considered too many for a race and they would like to reduce that to two or three stops, there is also the safety aspect in light of the tyre failures in Bahrain and Spain. In changing the construction, they have obviously done something to affect the tyre’s integrity.

Which teams will be most affected by these changes?
Thermal management of the tyre is the key this year and teams like Ferrari, Lotus and Force India have prioritised this in their 2013 designs. All three have good aerodynamics, but they have engineered in a way to keep the tyre in its ideal operating window by a combination of a stable aero map, a mechanical package which is in sympathy with the tyre and a good set-up.

Red Bull has very good aerodynamic package, as it has for many years now, but inferior mechanical package and thermal management of the tyres.

These weaknesses assume less importance with the changes Pirelli is making, they are likely to increase the operating window of the tyres and increase the durability and that reduces the importance of the thermal management.

What challenges does a change of tyres seven races into the season present to the teams?
The knock-on effects of a change of tyre construction are considerable and this is a major headache for teams, especially as they are about to commit more wind tunnel time and resources to their 2014 designs.

It is unlikely that a change of construction can be made without this affecting the shape of the tyre and how the contact patch with the ground forms. When part of the tyre leaves the ground this changes the shape of the airflow to the floor of the car.

The teams have spent many months modelling this in the wind tunnel and in CFD and if the shape changes even by a few millimetres, this will have an effect on the way the front wing interacts with the tyres, and with the flow down the side of the car and underneath the floor. It will impact the aerodynamic balance of the car and teams that have pushed to get on top of that will suffer.

We are getting close to the time when the teams were hoping to move the 2013 model out of the wind tunnel and start devoting more time to the 2014 model. This change of tyres will complicate this for everyone. particularly for teams with limited resources, it will make for a real headache as they try to stay competitive in 2013 and not lose ground in 2014.

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In other words....Kimi and Lotus are ***ked


Kimi is a legend. He will find a way as he did in 2003. He is still the fastest driver in the world in my view.


Kimi is a fast Driver, but not the fastest. His title tally is half of Alonso' and a third of Vettel's. Says it all.


Why? Even if they just went straight back to last year's tyres, Lotus was one of the best cars on those too and I'm sure even if the car wasn't straight away as compatible, they'd have the know-how to get it happening. Maybe even better than before, given they've maybe had to develop this year's car to be even kinder on tyres. On the other side of it, Mercedes, one of the teams who struggled on them last year, will probably still struggle on them this year unless they fix the car design. We can see clearly in the races, their tyre problems are not to the same degree as with the likes of Red Bull. A slightly more durable tyre will still fall apart on the Mercedes unless they sort out their design.

The idea that these changes, whatever they end up being, just means an instant Red Bull domination is misguided.


Truth is no one really knows

Silverstone will give a good indication if it's dry


...well that won't happen will it?

Actually this descision stinks - it benefits Red Bull and Vettel walks away with the WDC. Even if it doesn't benefit RBR and Vettel wins then people will always say he won his 4th WDC because the rules were bent to help him.

It penalises the teams that have designed cars to work with the 2013 spec tyres, and they are now punished for working to the rules. It also penalises the smaller teams who can't afford more wind-tunnel work for 2013 cars to re-validate on the new tyres.

Pretty disappointing really...




Unreliability has prevented Kimi from titles in 2003 and 2005.

Now, politics and the weight of public perception of what racing should be is going to cost him an opportunity at cementing his legacy as an F1 great.

I'm not for a moment going to suggest that this years title is now perhaps tainted, but when certain teams design and engineer their car to match the rules, regulations and tyres provided, then they should be justly rewarded with an opportunity to win the championship. Changing the structure and/or compound of the 2013 tyres is almost certainly going to push Lotus back to where they were last season, ultimately depriving Raikkonen of a second championship.

Lotus, Force India and Ferrari have best understood how to design a car around the tyres which the teams knew were coming for 2013. Lets not forget that they all had the chance to test the tyre at Brazil last year.

I do agree that the racing has become somewhat limited to the extent to which the tyres are degrading. However, to change them mid-season, thereby directly costing a team and a driver an opportunity to win the championship is harsh to say the least.

Time will tell if the racing will improve. There were a couple of one stop races in the second half of 2012 that were best forgotten. My fear is Pirelli will go too far in the opposite direction now and Vettel will cruise to the title. The Mercedes have made nothing short of a hash of their season by failing to understand the tyres and how best to keep them alive during a race. They should not be rewarded through whinging.

I digress


Kimi and Lotus had many good results last year on the old tires. He ended 3rd in the championship with 7 Podium finishes, only 3 less than Seb. It sounds like the new tires will be 2013 compounds with 2012 structure so the wear will most likely be a bit worse than last year but not as bad as current. This may not be so bad for Kimi, I don't think Lotus has the capital to get him the Championship even if the current tires were kept in place, the development pace of the other top teams is just too high.


One of the most balanced posts I've read.

Agree. They have created a form of racing that means you drive to a delta, so let the team with the fastest delta win. Don't change the tyres (except for safety).

Change the tyres next year and get rid of this delta rubbish. If RBR storm ahead under those conditions and win easily, so be it. I hate the team, but there performance has shown that, as a complete unit, they stand well ahead of the other teams.



In 2 years they will be driving to a delta determined by the fuel flow restrictions, now they're driving to a tire delta, before it was a transmission delta, or a fuel delta, or an engine delta. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A DELTA!!

did everyone forget the chaos of last years opening races? by around now the teams got a handle o nthe tires and started developing properly, then Pirelli listened to the teames that were whining (RBR) and brought more conservative tires to the last 5 races which were mostly 1 stoppers and boring.

I'll take a hard charging 4 stop race over an eked out 2 and a cruising 3 ANY day!


This may have to be my last comment on the subject of tyres...

I think it's unlikely we'll see a compound change next year, providing Pirelli are still the supplier (and there's a good chance their either or both of FOM and Pirelli management don't want to proceed after the damage caused so far this year...) then I think that, with all the other regulation changes, the teams would not thank Pirelli for messing with the tyres yet again.

That being said, what is seen from the new tyres in Canada will be important, as that's pretty much as good as it's likely to get from here in.


Tyres will be conservative next year


Totally agree.


Let me remind you Kimi couldn't win the title driving multiple Newey cars and true they were fragile but so was Vettel's 2010 and 2012 car yet he compensated for that and won the titles, also Kimi got beaten by Massa in 2008 and in 2009 before Massa's accident so hardly a F1 great, but sure we'll find out next year when he joins Redbull, just like we're finding out about about Hamilton's true pace as he's been beatem by Button and now struggling against Rosberg.


@ Dave C

"Let me remind you Kimi couldn’t win the title driving multiple Newey cars"

Did you not watch any races during 2005?? Or just any of his Mclaren career?? Either he was starting from 11th cos his engine had already blown at some point during the weekend, or it'd go up in flames whilst he was winning by 30 seconds


Hey Dave C, if you want to change your name please feel free, one of us probably should as having a Dave C and a David C just isnt what fourming 1 (the act of partaking in a internet based discussion)is about. Now I know some people will be unhappy at name changes in the middle of an F1 season and that maybe we should wait until 2014 for the new website design. But regardless of who this favours im for it.

On the tyre issues, i think its quite fessable that the change was Pirelli led as the main reason they are in F1 is to promote their brand and while they can quite rightly say that they are trying to fufill their brief, its a bit of a PR disaster for them when you have the best drivers in the world saying Pirelli tyres are useless every two weeks. Also its possible they have discovered a reason the tyres seem to delaninate / puncture / break quite often and in adressing this they would have had to change something in the tyre which would change performance anyway hence they can use current complaints to save them some embarrassment. Either way their brief was 2/3 pitstops and 4 is more than 3 so it could be argued they failed and are trying again.

Hey James if you read this and with the lenght of it you could be forgiven if you didnt, it would be interesting to get an article on the torro rosso upgrade as i thought they would get both cars into Q3 in spain 11th and 12th in the end. It looks like they left williams and sauber behind and are mixing it up with force india and mcclaren. I would love to see one of the lads promoted to RBR next year bring through the youth MU style "markos motley crew"


Newey car so what?? His famous mp4-18 couldn't even be raced due to safety reason. Kimi had to race with 2002 chassis in 2003 season and still manage to kick @$$ and almost won the title.


Paul, just remember the name. Not to be confused with a David C, whose posts that I've read have all been reasonable and intelligible. This one is straight out of the Planet-F1 forums.


Kimi couldn't fix those Mercedes engines mid-race, could he ?

First go and watch some of those races before comparing the Mclaren (2003 & 2005) and Red Bull.

And as for 2008, Kimi basically owned Massa until the Spanish GP before the wise guys at Ferrari decided to listen to Schumacher's advice and backed Massa. The result is - "Kimi Raikkonen still Ferrari's last WDC even after 2012".


Hamilton was not beaten by Button in terms of pace, he was occasionally out-thought by a more experienced and intelligent driver but he was faster than Button almost without exception. Rosberg is an excellent and much underrated driver and yet Hamilton has still had the better of him so far in 2013 despite Rosberg being the settled Mercedes driver. He competed with Alonso in his first season in F1 and destroyed Kovalainen so I would say that doubting his outright pace is verging on the ridiculous.





Be clear Hannah!

Yeah...thanks Pirelli for trying to belittle Vettel's 4th WDC. Now I'm going to have to hear it all winter long how it was the tire change that made him champion. Which everyone clearly knows is like, so totally false.


Wicked? 😀


it's a bit sad, they have to change tires again. Lotus and Ferrari to certain extent have done a better job than Red Bull with these tires. If you build a car with so much down force, but destroy their tires, so be it. A sad day for motosport.


Sebee, if the cars can get heat into the harder tyres they'll be just as fast but with better life; Lotus and Ferrari are screwed, Merc and RB will be happy.


Yes, it's sad.

But there is a funny part in the sadness. You want to know what it is?

Longer lasting tires mean harder rubber. Harder rubber means slower lap times. So now F1 will really be slower. You won't be getting GPs that are 3s or 7s slower than last year. Prophecy realized through complaints! I will so roll on the floor laughing if that's the result.

How does the saying go? Be careful what you wish for!


In other words we might get to see the cars racing each other instead of the delta. In other words we might get some racing.


It's just shameless lobbying by RB to get the tyres tuned to their car. They couldn't care less about the racing. The same race in 2011 was pretty much identical in terms of fastest lap, race time and number of stops. Except Webber won that one.


No Doobs, You are wrong. Webber didn't win in Spain in 2011.


In other words vettel will easily win drivers title with out any competition. In other words webr back boring 1 stop races again.


If we "flipped back to 2010 spec tyres" then we would be asking Bridgestone to come back.


You seriously think teams weren't doing this last year?

And that teams won't continue to do so?


Nope, but it's a step in the right direction.


This isn't in reply to your comment, just wanted it at the top of the page for everyone to read.

Tech Regs Article 12.6.3:

Tyre regulations will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.

I wonder if all the teams actually approve this change. It may be that it would benefit all of them. Otherwise I'd assume a few teams would be protesting the rules


But what does Article 12.6.3 actually mean? I'm pretty sure neither the FIA nor the Pirelli had a good idea by Spar last year what this year's tyre would be like. Pirelli were still testing back then weren't they?

Surely issues of the construction or durability of the tyre are the domain of Pirelli, on paper at least. During their 3 years in F1, Pirelli have changed their tyres (in season) on quite a few occasions before.


Good find mate. Seems ALL the teams must have agreed? I haven't heard of any teams outraged by the decision but that could change.

I'm a RB fan but I don't agree with the change. I feel for those teams who have sussed out the current tyres and are making inroads into RB's recent dominance.

Maybe give the teams another set of options on race day instead? It's all well and good to have multiple pit stops but they need to have tyres to fit when they pit. Currently it's like putting on your cleanest dirty shirt!


...........?? If this is in the rules, and I believe it as I can see it, maybe the protests are about to begin. #:)


Well we might see racing further down the field but we're likely to see another vettel flying quali, race into the distance, easy wins parade - at least for a number of races.


When decribing Red Bull you forgot to say ...and a great driver. Just to put the record straight.


Well the teams are supposed to build to the regs that year. If Red Bull have the most impressive aero package that's wonderful but if the other teams have spent time and money making a car with better mechanical packages that suit the formula they find themselves in - surely they should be rewarded?

The red bull is fast but anyone could say 'oh we built the fastest car if only....this, this and this were true'.

Red bull are trying to say that the formula has been designed to punish them ( which is true to an extent - the racing was deemed dull when RBR had a fully blown diffuser and mastery of the tyres) but it's also the case that changing the formula is going to punish other teams for building to the specs they were given.

Red Bull are clearly an awesome team, with a genius designer and a well funded coterie of experts in all areas - they have won for 3 years because they learnt and adapted better than others. The problem is they seem to have decided that rather than build up their weaker areas this year they should complain until the formula changes to meet their requirements.

I respect teams building to what they think is going to be the fastest package but this is like Adrian Newey preferring a tightly packaged KERS system which often caused failures in his cars - then arguing that KERS should be abandoned because it doesn't suit their car. Others did a better job in that area - let them race to the formula.

Pirelli should tweak the tyres if there is a safety issue (the delaminations etc) but to disadvantage teams who built to manage their tyres is directly undermining the championship in favour of a team who didn't care to learn and built to their strength.


Maybe, but that will be because they built a FAST car rather than a tyre-babysitting hybrid. I want to see fast cars in F1 - so if they do they deserve it (and I have NEVER EVER been a RBR fan before I am accused of that).


Is that what Vettel did all of last year? There were a few occasions where he was pretty clearly on it all weekend (e.g. Suzuka), but many where he wasn't. Look at the US GP. Vettel was quickest in quali, made a bit of a gap early on, but Hamilton came back at him and eventually got passed (and on track, not through pit/tyre strategy). And this was very late in the season, when the teams understood the tyres and had quite thoroughly developed the cars. Abu Dhabi, Hamilton took pole and Vettel only managed what, third or something before his fuel-related penalty? Singapore, which he went on to win, he only managed third on the grid. Out-qualified by a McLaren (which typically then fell apart in the race) and A WILLIAMS. In the last race of the season he only managed 4th in quali.


seriously that's whats going to happen and that is not racing by any means!


How will we get more racing when everyone is on the same strategy, and when more team will use the tyres similarly?


Because cars will actually race cars, instead of lap deltas. What do you define as racing - cars breezing past others with total ease?


if you thought that in 2012, cars were racing at full potential, and you actually saw racing wheel to wheel instead of tip toeing, then you probably didn't understand f1 in 2012 atleast.


I'm not saying that, but it's a step in the right direction, and I understand F1 very well ta. Even I realise they can't flip back to 2010 spec tyres 1/2 way through a season.


In other words a big blow for lesser budget teams like Lotus & Force India who are currently doing well. Perhaps Ferrari less affected with bigger budget.

So Mercedes pole likely for all the rest of the season. While RedBull, Mercedes & Ferrari to fight for wins.


Seems to be a pattern developing. Doesn't matter what the mid season changes are, any changes cost the teams a bunch of money and all but three of them don't have the cash to spare.

Lotus is a bit too close for comfort in the constructors at the moment but the gap will open up quickly, they just can't afford to chase the changes. Sometime around Singapore RBR will be pushing to mix up the tire selection again.

I hope to see Lotus staying in 3rd in the constructors but by the end of the year they will be miles off Ferrari and RBR. They will be happy to stay ahead of Mercedes.

With less budget to respond Force India will fall below McLaren into their natural spot at number 6.


The Lotus is a fast car fundamentally, so hopefully we should still see Kimi and Grosjean up there.

Its farcical to win based on tyre management, rather than race craft, I'm sure Kimi would prefer to win fair and square. I wish him good luck for this season.


Pretty sure Kimi would just like to win, regardless of how it was done. That is, after all, the point of racing.


Hate to tell you this, but tire management is part of racecraft.


Indeed, always has been.

Drivers used to have to manage brakes, engines and gearboxes in the past, (and often fuel too), but these are pretty bullet-proof now so only thing they really have to bother about is tyres.

Also, why are 4 stops confusing?? Is it the "NOW" generation that can't keep up. The tyres should stay the same throughout the year unless there is a safety issue.



But there was not anything unfair about the tires. What is unfair they have to change the tires again, because Red Bull is not happy. Tyre management is part of motoracing.


This is what I believe F1 should be about. The most advanced racing cars in the world, with the best drivers, free to race against each other. Yes this involves strategy, development etc and would obviously involve getting the right balance between engineering, downforce, strategy and tyre management as always, however the importance of tyres is way too extreme this year and is now more important than driver skill and ultimate car pace.

What we have seen this year is drivers not pushing themselves to the limit (70-80%), not defending position, teams dictating track position ("dont fight, let him pass"), and boring meaningless qualifying sessions (Mercedes on Pole, so what?)…

Button who is widely seen as one of the best drivers in tyre management, summed it up nicely.

‘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.’


Kimi didn't have a problem with the tyres, he is not a moaner. Things were fair and square as all of the team had the same opportunity to test their tyres and to design their car towards the tyres. Now the tyres are being changed to clearly take away a design that Lotus has done well. Lotus doesn't have the resources to completely change their car design.


And with no testing it'll be impossible for them. Game over. Give the silver to the whinging Bulls and bring on the turbos.


That picture says it all. Horner meeting with Bernie and Paul Hembery: I can imagine the conversation:

Horner: Guys, we need tyres that suit Red Bull, not Ferrari!

Bernie: Totally agree, how's Seb supposed to win 'our' next championship?

Paul: Alright guys, are you're all so big and powerfull, we will chane them. Don't tell Domenciallo though!


Actually, since I'm a fly on the wall I know it went like this:

Bernie: Paul, shut all these moaners up would you?

Paul: Which ones?

Bernie: All of them. Teams, Drivers, Fans...all.

Paul: Done.

Christian: Danke.

Toto: Ta ta.

You watch, 1 pitstop will be removed, total race time will be same. There will be same amount of "racing". Place your Vette4 T-Shirt orders. I have mine in already!


Put me down for a XL thanks mate 🙂


I can just see his t-shirt now - " I can't last on thin rubber" "even if I change four times I have to come in "

I will send some rubber for Sebastian and Jenson to stick over there head. Maybe that will shut the fockers up. " Did you say..Yes it sounds like that" l


Raikkonen does And comes second. Must be why he's so popular. Especially with the ladies 🙂


No one lasts as long on thin rubber.


Just thinking the same Phil. I don't think it's a joke at all. Why bother with pre season testing. At a time when everyone is talking about saving money think this is a bit strange. Still you can't say F1 is boring(yet).


they underestimate what Ferrari can do


Well That is as if Ferrari is not Powerful enough and they can't pull any strings. Luca equally runs F1 as Bernie. Sad that his team can't convert them into championships.

The entire field slowed down and Pirelli saw that things were not going quite right as planned. I am sure Ferrari and Lotus will not have any issues. Lotus was managing their tires very well last year. So what is the problem if they go back to last year tires. They will still do a good job. Same with Ferrari. They had managed Tires very well last year. Their 2012 car had other issues which was sorted out. I dont think this will slow down Ferrari and Lotus.


The times and number of stops from this race compare to the same event in 2011. Only difference is RB won in 2011.


While I realise this is meant as a joke, this sort of thing amazes me. For YEARS the FIA et all have been labelled Ferrari International Assistance. For YEARS people have slammed F1 for being too lenient on Ferrari. Now, the minute a decision goes against Ferrari (and no one is sure that this is even the case) people are saying that the sport favours RBR. A touch of consistency needed perhaps?


Yes, Wayne, "consistency" in rules. Have the same rules, and specifications (yes, including TYRES) enforced for the entire season. Not changed halfway through, just because a few teams and drivers can't make the most of them. Last year was a fabulous unpredictable season until Pirelli went conservative with the tyres. From then on Vettel won almost everything, and we had boring, processional, one- and two-stop races. Yes, Red Bull brought a ton of upgrades after the summer break, but Pirelli also went conservative on tyres due to complaints. Now you Pirelli-bashers are ruining another close-fought unpredictable season. Wake up! To your "I want to see fast cars in F1" comment in a previous post, why don't you stand at Maggots for the Silverstone race, and tell me this year's F1 cars aren't fast? 300 clicks too slow for you, eh?


Look more closely and you might notice the 8 other teams.


Those same years that bought limited testing, something Ferrari have never agreed with and probably been Ferrari's biggest loss over the other teams over the last 5 years. Cause yeah, they have been well supported. Get real Wayne!


Well RB has been the team that was complaning te most. And they were very vocal about it saying things like racing was over. Ferrari, on the other hand, when they moan about something they do it behind close doors, under the radar and in a more professional maner. RB is way too blatant.

I´m sure Luca won´t just sit back and relax. I wouldn´t be suprised if at this very moment he is on the phone with Bernie asking to have something in return.


Well, as a Tifoso, I have to agree with Matescitz unfortunately, racing's over. They told Perez he can't race Button for that would destroy his tyres.


The change is likely to save McLaren too. Nice.


McLaren has bigger problems than only tyres. They make upgrades that don´t work


If they are not modeling the sidewall flexure properly then that would mean the tires aren't behaving like they are in the model they designed the wing from. Thus the wing won't produce the numbers that correlate to the numbers produced by the model. Hence "correlation issues".


The excuse they make about correlation flies in the air when it is realised that Ferrari used the same Toyota wind tunnel as they did. The Toyota wind tunnel is widely regarded as the best in the World.

I believe that "correlation" is tongue in cheek for; "we do not have drivers that can set up the car." We all recall what happened last year with Jenson.

Lewis should have been replaced with Kimi or Hulkenburg. That would have taken setup out of the equation.


I was thinking correlation and parts that don´t work as expected. Although drivers are might be a problem too


The vast majority of McLarens problems are to do with the way the sidewall of the tyres flex this year.


Like upgrading Lewis with Perez.


Bernie claims Pirelli went and did their own thing:

"The tyres are wrong, not what we intended when we asked Pirelli to produce something which did a half race ," he told the Daily Express.

"Pirelli know it and they're doing something about it. We'll go back to last season's type of tyres, which gave us some close racing."

I say its good riddance to bad rubbish.

This saga makes me wonder if Pirelli will want to continue after 2013, they've had a pretty rough time this season. Best to have multiple tyre suppliers.


Multiple tyre suppliers will just see less racing and even more dominance, because teams will pay to have tyres specially made for them.

Jonathan Lodge

multiple tyre suppliers?

at the rate this is going there won't be any tyre suppliers next year!

It is farcical that Pirelli are getting all the blame for what is wrong with F1.

Homollified chassis together with engines and gearboxes that must last too long has made F1 what it is.

Tyres are the only variable left... so the supplier has been required to make dodgy tyres and is getting the blame for it.

With only Pirelli prepared to take the flack we must hope they won't pull out. If they do the cars will look very silly sliding around on bare rims!


If the new changes stops the tyres coming apart like they did for a number of teams (Hamilton in practice, Massa in the race) then it can only be a good thing. Would hate to see a tyre split and cause a serious accident. They still haven't figure out what caused that problem so might be best to go back to 2012 tyre and find out what is going on with 2013 tyres


lets not forget force india had a de-lamination at this race, the tire is not safe and needs to be changed come what may, you can all blame redbull, etc, but all that is is conspiracy. Pirelli have made a mistake and the tyres are not safe , one could only imagine what would happen if on a Alonso manover they de-laminated going back to 2012 spec is the right thing to do


I agree entirely. Can you imagine one of these tyres giving up when a car is going full pelt around parabolica or any other high speed corner? Disaster.

From what I read, however, I am of the understanding that the use of steel bands (2013) instead of kevlar (2012) in the construction of the tyre are why Pirelli think we have had these sudden de-laminations in the last two race weekends. What really infuriates me in this is Paul Hembery trying to blame debris on these failures when they happened yet once again he backtracks and owns up to Pirelli and their over aggressive construction being the cause. Pirelli don't need to make Bridgestone spec 'procession' tyres. That's just Hembery throwing the toys out of the pram. There are always in-betweens. Other formulas have tyres that can both be raced flat out when required while needing to be managed over a race distance. If Pirelli can't produce such rubber for F1, they should get out of the game entirely.


It's sad that facts do infuriate you. Surprisingly, these de-laminations do not happen if there is no debris (or similar), even if the tyres are out of rubber already.



The cars run over the marbles after the race to pick up rubber so it can't be that bad...



Read again, carefully.


Well interesting that suddenly this year there is so much debris on track. These are problems I haven't experienced in the last decade of F1 so the only logical conclusion is that the tyres are weaker this year than before. I'll see what Ferrari think if Alonso's tire delaminates at Monaco halfway through the race. Also debris on track? tell you what its probably caused by the marbles left behind by ... you guessed right,the tires.


This is true. I find it ridiculous that they did not bring out the sc at Bahrain when one of the Saubers lost most of its front wing at the start. You can bet your bottom dollar that it cause one if not both of Felipes delaminations. Then you have pundits blaming Pirelli straight up ! - problem we have is people watching don't understand AND now we gave Skysports creating a soap opera at ever turn .


AFAIR both factors were to blame - if debris made the cut (and I seem to remember after each incident the cut was mentioned), then the construction of the tyre made it de-laminate. There hasn't been a case of de-lamination without the cut in the tyre.


I haven't read anyone from Pirelli confirming that the failures are solely down to debris on track. As I said above, Hembery now seems to be blaming the de-laminations on the construction of the tyres.


Oh well done Pirelli on bottling it after one bad race.

This is ridiculous. All the teams tested this years tyre at the end of last year. Now teams that designed with that in mind are going to be screwed over because some teams (i.e. the red bull babies) are crying.

Barcelona is notoriously harsh on tyres, so why is it unexpected that they had to pit 4 times as opposed to 3? For pretty much every race of the season they would be back to 3 stops anyway; especially as all the teams come to terms with the tyres like they had by the end of last season.

The only thing Pirelli needed to change was the adhesion problems that have been causing failures.

Let downs.

Let's go back to aero being the only thing that matters again then...


One? We've had this shambles on and off for half of last season and most of this season.

Wake up, it's not just RBR crying it's most of the teams, all of the press, many of the pundits and the majority of the fans.

Martin Brundle's recent article "enough is enough" sums it up for me.

RAI's fans need to take a chill pill and worry about the sport not just their man. RAI is an excellent driver, he'll still be in the mix, but he'll just have to race for the points (which he is brilliant at doing) rather than just baby-sit the tyres for 60 laps.


@wayne:why should kimi have to race for just points???

why should f1 be a big players playground only?

lotus have done a lot smarter job than the likes of redbull and mercedes with their huge budget...

@andrew: when did you ever saw any wheel to wheel action from bridestone era if a faster car passed a slower one it usually dissapeared up into the distance..there used to be no counter attack as such...and how are you calling it a lottery this really baffles me..the top 3 drivers in the championship have races this season how is this a lottery???



I dont understand how can one be so blindsided to look at championship tables and say as to who did a smarter job in terms of building their will be interesting to see how many millions red bull and mercedes spent to achieve their point haul as opposed to lotus..

I guess you will get your answer right there...

you just want the biggest spender to win the championship and likes of kimi to fight for minor points while vettel runs away with the championship I dont see any point in that sort of formula 1, where smaller teams are penalised for competing with the big boys


@Toni That's just not true. It is nothing to do with luck. If it was to do with luck, the top teams wouldn't be at the top...

And they 100% know what is wrong with the tyres, it's the fact they aren't at the right temperature. It's mastering how to maintain that temperature throughout the race that the teams are trying to do. And that is NOTHING to do with luck. The Ferrari has been massively quick every race, and the Lotus massively quick every race but one - so I really don't know what you're on about there.

Your 'smart guy in school' analogy is ridiculous by the way. There's no guessing involved. The teams had an almost identical tyre to test at the end of last season, so people could design their car around the characteristics of the new tyre.

The technological development is in the vehicle dynamics, mechanical set up, and still aero.

The mastery of driving is in driving with balance, finesse, consistency, strategy and intuition of how to push the tyres.

Making the tyres significantly harder are going to boil the technological development purely down to aero, and the driving skill purely down to being consistently quick. These are the best drivers in the world, so there isn't going to be much between them, which is why races used to be so processional.


Lotus have done a smarter job? Sorry, are they leading the drivers or teams championship then? Am I looking at the wrong tables?


Hey, man, its a lottery because of this:

No one, even at Lotus or Ferrari, know exactly what is making the tires work so good on some occasions (yes, because those teams also had so so races this season already).

When you get a result out of something, without really understanding what you did to earn it, its luck, not smarts or knowledge or better car/understanding.

Hence, lottery.

Like a multiple choice question, you might get lucky. Now, if you're the smart guy in school, you won't like that someone moves the answers. If you're not, you tend to like the lottery... at least you have a chance.

There are plenty of racing formulas designed for anyone to have a chance. F1 is not it. Its to show technological development and mastery of driving.


I don't know where you get your stats, can you provide any proof of your claim?



I was referring to Wayne's comment. Some people claim things like fans and teams are against these tires, etc... But when you ask them to provide proof of their claims... You realise it's his opinion more than anything else.


Sorry, what stats are you referring to?


Jesus, try looking in any newspaper or F1 site. Try here for a start:

There are plenty more like it if you look. While there are pretty much none that suggest Pirelli got it right.


Yes, one. Only one race has been out of control.

In what way has it been or is it a shambles? Last season the top teams still dominated as they should, and the same is happening this season already. The opening 7 races of last season were fantastic, where there was actually opportunity there for the lower teams to compete as getting the mechanical set up right wasn't something that could just be bought.

In regards to your comments about being a Kimi fan and needing to think about the sport, I'm not a fan of him - don't be so presumptuous.

Last season and this season is the most exciting formula 1 has been in a while. It is good for the sport. Producing a tyre that renders vehicle dynamics and mechanical set up redundant & placing all importance on aero will just go lead back to the 2011 season, which was extremely boring in terms of the championship fight.

And just picking up on what you say about babysitting the tyres, don't you think that's a bit of an exaggeration? If it was easy to drive these tyres, the competition would be extremely close every weekend, and we would have the starting grid as the finishing positions bar a few first lap overtakes. The tyres have a small operating window, and they degrade severely outside of that window. The challenge was to keep the tyres in that operating window. Why is the current racing this season less of a spectacle for you than in 2011 for example?


Getting to grips with tries and creating a racing strategy around high deg tires popped up in the 2010 Canadian Grand Prix and everyone went so crazy for it that Bernie asked Pirelli to make them 'entertaining'. Pirelli have done their job and now all of a sudden everyone's scolding them. At the rate the sport is going they'll get to spa and re-introduce Michelins. Think I might start following Bobsled racing from now on. At least they don't have tired to be constantly complaining about. Seriously, it's like changing umpires half way through a football game because the fans and one team aren't happy with the decisions.


@Toni, I agree with the second half of your comment, about hopefully the drivers having more of a choice of saving tyres for tactical purposes, but not the first half about the design and performance.

Your comments about the performance and design are so disrespectful, and perhaps a bit ignorant - not trying to offend you at all.

The reason red bull have dominated with newey is because their car has the best aero, that cant be denied. But designing a racecar isn't, or at least in my opinion SHOULDN'T be all about aero. It should be the combination of aero, vehicle dynamics & mechanical set up (arguably with the way power is employed like we are going to get next year with ERS & bigger KERS etc).

The teams absolutely know what they have to do to get the tyres to work, it's just very hard to do, and by and large it is not circumstantial. I say by and large because the Williams win last year was good fortune, it just so happened their set up suited that track at those conditions, and also Rosberg got lucky with the cold & wet in Malaysia hiding the Mercedes problem of overheating tyres. Those two incidents were not deliberate. The rest, though? Totally through design. Lotus and Ferrari have better vehicle dynamics works than Red Bull at the minute, and they're seeing the benefit of that now that the tyres are a more important factor. McLaren would be right up there too if they hadn't ruined their aero package by trying to go down a completely different route to last year.

The fact of the matter is, the teams got the 2013 tyre last year to test and to design their cars around. At the moment Ferrari have done the best job at this, Alonso would be leading easily right now if it weren't for his two failures (based on pure race pace). Red Bull haven't done so. They have more downforce, but they ignored the fact they wouldn't be able to use all of it without getting on top of the tyres. That's a failure on their part. I'm using the term 'failure' here very lightly as their car is still awesome, and they're leading both championships, even if it is a bit through fortune haha.

The response of the tyres is far from random, and it's pretty harsh on the teams that have designed their cars around the tyres they were given, to change the tyres dramatically and potentially screw them over. Like in 2011 with the hot/cold blowing issues. That got banned for 1 race and Vettel went from dominating to being over 30seconds behind Alonso at one point. They changed the ban after that race as it was simply not fair to change the criteria so much once the season had already begun.


@ Wayne: So you randomly brought Kimi up to me for what reason then...?

No, I've not forgotten the first 7 races of last season (which is not half). I mentioned it in one of my other posts. The beginning of that season was not a lottery. Yes, the Williams came out of nowhere and won one weekend, but why should there be an outcry over that? Yes, their aero is far less sophisticated, but they got their mechanical set up perfect for that race, and so they deserved to win. The other races where won by McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull and one by Mercedes purely because of the cold and wet.

And yes, there have been loads of other championships that have been exciting and gone down to the wire, but none of them had such on track action throughout the season.

So what is it you find exciting? The years of Ferrari domination? Vettels 2011 rampage?

The tyres have made the sunday race so much more exciting. I completely agree with DC's viewpoint in his latest column. 4 pit stops is too much. But without changing the tyres (other than to fix the adhesion problems), you wouldn't be getting 4 stops at monaco or canada etc; so there's no need to change the tyres drastically. And I'd much rather 4 stops than the starting grid to be the finishing order.


You said:

"Last season the top teams still dominated as they should, and the same is happening this season already. The opening 7 races of last season were fantastic, where there was actually opportunity there for the lower teams to compete as getting the mechanical set up right wasn’t something that could just be bought."

I'd buy into that argument if the teams who got the best of the tires KNEW why and how they achieved it.

As it was, and again as is this year, its mostly circumstantial. You happen to get into the groove, into the right conditions, and the tires have "some" performance. If you don't, tough luck, you baby them throughout the race, and take what you can (like rosb or ham did... or even vet).

The thing is, this random effect benefits everyone, EXCEPT those guys which know what they are doing and building a fast car. The problem is that most recently, it seems that's just RB and Newey and all the rest play catch up...

So, they go into ways of turning tables... and this time it was a big overshot! (Pirelli really did underestimate the downforce gains the teams would gain over the winter... well, that would never end well). Matter of fact is that without constant testing and tuning they are trying to do something quite difficult.

I hope we get more racing! Actually,I hope i don't hear more radio calls concerning keeping tires alive and not to race, defend, attack or whatever...

IF a driver chooses to save tires by not defending (or defending less), or not attacking or whatever, FINE. But right now, there is NO choice... they either do it, or you get what button and perez got for their fight last race.

Very fun, a little bumpy, a not tires after...


That didn't stop Felipa Massa going from 9th to 3rd? It didn't stop Alonso's brilliant aggressive racing at the start and throughout the race to make his strategy work...

And that's not at all true, which is why the top teams are still at the top. If the track gets colder, you drive to put more heat in the tyres, if it gets hotter then you don't let them overheat either by driving style, wing angle, diff settings or brake bias. That's not a lottery.

And we are getting far more racing and overtaking in the last couple of seasons than the last decade or so. Or do you like processional 'racing'?


and I did not say YOU were a RAI fan, don't be so presumptuous.


You and I just define 'excitement' very, very differently. It's that simple.


So you have conveniently forgotten the outcry about the lottery for half of last season then? Handy that isn't it.

There were plenty of down to the wire championships long before these ridiculous tyres. HAM's WDC springs immediately to mind, that season had everything a racing fan could want. And there were plenty before that too!


How is keeping the tyres in a narrow operating window good for racing? You can't defend as going off the racing line effects tyre temps, you can't chase drivers down for risk of leaving the window, you can't risk breaking late in case you lock the brakes. It's basically a 50 lap time trial. Not to mention that every small change in weather effects track tempertature and turns the engineering challenge into a lottery.


And who's to say that Kimi wouldn't be using his favourite swear word, s***, to describe these tyres during every interview if his car wasn't so good at nursing them?

Swings and roundabouts.


his tyre hit the clifft and fall off from 2nd to 14th in china last year. Did he blamed the pirelli??? No.

There were many occasions last year when his tyre lose performance after SC period or track getting cold thoughout the race, did he blame the tyre??? No.

Lotus failed to heat up the wet compound tyre even until now, did kimi blame the tyre??? No.


The teams tested a slightly different tyre from the one Pirelli presented. It isn't fair to move the goalposts and it is rubbish to create poor tyres.


and is it fair to change the tires now? if Red Bull starts winning the majority of the races from now on, how are you going to to justify it?

Lotus and Ferrari have designed their cars around these tires. Obviously Mercedes and Red Bull have issues around Temperature management and destroy their tires very quick in comparison to the opposition. They need to understand this issue, instead of asking Pirelli to change their tires because they can't sort it out.



Fan attendance on race day doesn't make the money, it's TV


If de-lamination happens in Parabolica, driver would just slow down and quickly pit seconds later.


You mean it dropped in 2009 due to the economic downturn and attendance has been growing since?


Tire delamination is unacceptable. Imagine if it happens at Eau Rouge or Parabolica If for no other reason thats why the tires need changing. I hope it does not mess with the running order though.


You'll find that race attendance has been dropping due to the tyre sham. Less race attendance means less revenue for F1 teams and cirquits, it hits the continued viability of the sport squarely between the eyes.

Its the fans that have spoken with their feet and caused panic.


What was wrong with the 2012 tyre? We had seven different winners in seven races. The WDC wasn't decided unil the final laps of the final race. Plenty of on track passing. Plenty of pit stops. I don't understand what problem they are trying to fix. Go back to the 2012 tyre.


Here! here!


Because you're wrong.

The 2012 tyre wasn't available during testing in Barcelona and Jerez, it was the 2013 tyre. That's what all had available to build the car around.

Now, they will introduce a new tyre, mid-season. That's wrong!


They didn't start making their car in February, the only real test which influenced the teams designs for the first few races was the one in Brazil free practice last year. It's a bit wrong that one team should almost fluke the correct way to treat the tyres.


Perhaps you've forgotten Singapore, Japan, Korea and India last year, where the tyres were too conservative and the races were DULL Red Bull-dominated bore-fests...


I believe Hamilton was wining in Singapore until his car failed due to reliability.

McLaren got lost in development for remaining races before coming back strong, which added to the excitement of the championship to me. Nothing boring about last year IMO


Mclaren didn't exactly get lost in development in that period, RBR simply had a chance to make full use of their DDRS on the long straights of Korea, Japan and India.


The article is clear. It hurts midfield and small teams budgets and plans for next season. So Raikkonen can kiss this season good bye after Monaco


The action and unpredictability was only the first half of 2012. By the end of the season the teams all had a good understanding of the tyres and we were back to 1 stop races.

Now that all the cars have been developed further, with more downforce, what kind of races do you think we'll get with the 2012 spec tyres? Boring processions again.


I think Pirelli also made them more durable mid season and basically handed the championship to Vettel. Same this time...?


My understanding from Paul Hembery speaking with SKY at the weekend was that the tyre deflations were now safer so drivers could more easily return to the pits with undamaged wheels.

More importantly, does it not take all/a majority of the teams to agree to changes in the tyres and why would Ferrari and Lotus do so?


There's no Concord agreement in place, so no teams need to agree.


Hembery has said continually, no change unless the teams want it.


I may be wrong, but I believe that wouldn't be required, only on their own accord.


great point about the agreement for change... would like to know how that flies? i suppose if it comes down it, it will pass unilaterally on grounds of "safety?"


Well me says, better for the F1 teams to have headaches as they try to correlate these new tyres than for the fans to have headaches brought on as a result of unsatisfactory racing.

Yes thankfully, this issue has been resolved before the teams begin to focus on their 2014 models, this means they have some time to get it right.

So, it appears Lotus, Ferrari and Force India are the only 3 teams that will be affected by these new changes, it would have been unfair to leave things as they they were just so these 3 teams can do well.

No doubt, it would have been good for those teams if it had remained status- quo but in this scenario, safety and the show come first before the needs of 3 teams.

Also if these 3 teams really felt they would have been disadvantaged that much, they would complained and appealed the decision by Pirelli, which they haven't done.

Overall, it's a known fact that it's impossible to please everybody all the time so in situations like this, it's better to please the majority >>> democracy!


No, the rest of the teams should do the same thing that these 3 teams did. This is fair.


Well they'll all be affected of course. It could be more complex than saying the struggling teams will be 'cured' by the new rubber.

E.g. of course the likes of Mercedes should cope much better in a thermal sense, but the tyres could upset their aero profile, causing other unforeseen issues. You never know.

Daniel Marshall

I don't believe that Lotus, Ferrari and Force India are the only 3 teams that will be effected by these new changes - if the tyres affect aero as the article states, then EVERY team will be effected. Those who had designed cars that dealt better with the current tyres will be effected more. Also, those with smaller budgets will be effected more.

Double whammy for Lotus then...


All teams will be effected.

RBR will get a tire that is moved back into an operating window that is better for their car. If not they can always spend more money to redevelop it.

Ferrari will spend more money to change the 2013 car to work with the new tires while they keep working on the 2014 car.

Lotus can't afford to both redevelop the 2013 car and build a 2014 car at the same time but the car is easy on tires so maybe they can do less stops and keep scoring points.

Mercedes can't change the car enough to matter.

All the other teams are out of money for the 2013 car and will have to hope to win the "lottery" while they start work on 2014.


The Lotus will have no grip; it won't matter how many times they have to stop


goforet, there are times when your reasoning is beyond the greatest minds in the world, never mine!

I don't disagree about your point on safety but,

"So, it appears Lotus, Ferrari and Force India are the only 3 teams that will be affected by these new changes, it would have been unfair to leave things as they they were just so these 3 teams can do well."

They are doing well because they have designed cars that can look after these tyres better than the others. It would actually have been fair for Pirelli, Todt and every other major player to turn round and tell Red Bull, in fact, you made the mistake in your design, get on with it!

For Christs sake, we are over a quarter of the way through the season, and Red Bull lead both championships.

This has all the disgraceful antics of Schumacher and Ferrari when they decided that Michelin tyres were not being measured properly in 2003. Even though they had run them since testing in 2000.

Or the mass damper that Renault had used for 18 months but once again rules were changed.

With no wish to malign a nation, but is there any possibility that Bernie helps Germans and Austrians because this may assist his probable court appearance on bribery charges?

I was sickened by the Todt regime 10 years ago and am now incensed by all the bull that is going on now.

This may be of interest,

"Button had used a three-stop strategy instead of a four-stop strategy, like most other drivers, to get ahead of Webber and Alonso."


"The race was notable for Ferrari's lack of pace on the prime tyre with Alonso slipping from first to fifth in the pit stops alone."

These are reporting on the 2011 Spanish GP, won by Vettel using a 4 stop strategy.

Ferrari suffered with tyres, but not once have they complained, they just acknowledged they had to work harder.

If there's any justice in the world, this will benefit Ferrari and Lotus more than Red Bull.


Couldn't have put it better myself.

At least we know what the future of f1 holds.....if a team isn't doing too well all they need to do is shout long and loud and things will be altered mid season to suit them. All teams had the same opportunity to get to grips with these tyres and as for safety, alonso had a puncture on Sunday, presumably it was the new construction that allowed him to continue and not suffer a sudden deflation.

Urgh disgusted with this decision, there is something about f1that is slowly showing that all is not right and there is something rotten at its core.

And for the people moaning about 4 stops, does anyone really want to go back to the days when we could be 90% certain of the race result on a Saturday afternoon, those processional races were worse than dull.


1. Very well stated.


Thank you for this comment HWS, i can't bring myself to it, feel sick to my stomache.


First line should have read, "never mind mine!"


unfair?? the tyre spec details were given in 2012 for teams to prepare their car.

Fyi, only merc and rbr constantly whines about it. Not all team.


When have Merc ever complained? Even when the hard tyre was changed which benefited everybody OTHER than Merc I don't recall them complaining.


Absolutely, it's the team's job to overcome and evolve - fans should not be expected to sit through mindless driving miss Daisy interspersed with 80+ pit stops IN A DRY RACE WITH NO SAFETY CAR. Fans should also not be expected to pay massive amounts of cash for Qualy tickets, when qualy is a pointless (literally and figuratively) exercise.



If we have best Monaco ever, and then tires are gone forever - I will be holding you personally responsible. 😉


"So, it appears Lotus, Ferrari and Force India are the only 3 teams that will be affected by these new changes, it would have been unfair to leave things as they they were just so these 3 teams can do well."

It's unfair that those who have done best job are not rewarded for it? Unbelievable. I agree that tyres needed to change but to do it midseason because Red Bull was loosing is ridiculous.


Yet again someone assuming that its only because of RBR, completely forgetting that Merc complained more about the tires than RBR and probably have more political power as well. Just because other teams don't complain so publicly does not mean they like them. You see if I was in PR at another team I would know that RBR are more focused on by the media and fans, and would shut my mouth in front of cameras and push from behind the scenes for a change. That way any negative backlash for the mid-season change would fall on RBR while i still get what I want.


+1 spot on

158, in other words, it took considerable effort from Lotus, Ferrari and Co. to achieve reduced tyre wear, but now it will go to waste.

I know 'The Circus' is an old F1 nickname, but I didn't think it had that meaning. Jean-Marie Balestre would have been proud.


While some teams are enjoying the fruits of their hard work, the SPORT as a whole is in serious danger of loosing credibility - the sport is a laughing stock in the media right now and Pirelli's reputation is on the line. Think big!


They are not doing it for Red Bull? So this is what Hembery himself said:

"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.


Which only goes to prove that up until now they've been *deliberately* trying to rig the championship *against* Red Bull. Now Red Bull are pretty far down on my Christmas card list, but nobody deserves that kind of treatment.


Things even bigger....manipulation for favor Red Bull is good for the sport?


They are not doing this for RBR for goodness sake, they are doing it for the fans in general. Come on!


I hope the teams made sure the new Concorde agreement states that if any aspect of racing is changed over the season, the teams are compensated by Ecclestone for lost development costs. I bet that would stop these ridiculous mid-season spec changes.


I cannot change anything except for turning my back away....I do not want to be part of politics and manipulation. Money buy everything.....I will never buy a can of this Red Bull poison again in my life.


For years everyone was complaining how aerodynamics played too big of a role in F1, killing racing. Now that we have tires that forces the teams to rely less on aerodynamics (too much downforce leading to tires degrading too much), what happens? Change the tires so that the teams that designed the cars just for aerodynamic efficiency get an edge. I really don't understand the reasoning.


I wonder if the above comment by me just fell through a moderation crack, or if there was something wrong with it? All my other comments appear to go through just fine.


No idea, we have been deluged today!


Congrats to Vettel on his 4th world championship I guess *sigh*

Tornillo Amarillo

True is that they are not changing in benefit of Red Bull or Mercedes or whatever, they are changing for SAFETY reasons.

Therefore, no team can complain for this tire change in the middle of 2013 season. It's a good decision since everybody wants a safe racing, fans included.

Change supplier for next season would be a good decision too, or allow 2 suppliers.


I wish we could get rid of DRS for "safety" reasons.


If they were only changing the construction from steel to kevlar belts, it would be true that they are only making changes on safety grounds.

But they are not. They are also changing the compounds to decrease degradation and reduce pit stops.

Tornillo Amarillo

IMO they change because of the "delamination", 2013 spec is the delamination tire, that's just scary, therefore a safety reason.

Sure there were PR, pressure from Red Bull and others, but I don't know what could have happened with that, because due to the safety concern.

James, do you think the safety concern was enough to call for the 2012 tires or it is just the perfect excuse?


They have not said that


Just as glennb said:

If Paul Hembery says that 4 stop races are undesirable how will Pirelli avoid that without changing compounds? Especially given the two hardest compounds just produced a 4 stop race.

Or are Pirelli making some very carefully crafted statements to appear that they are changing the compounds, when, in fact, they do nothing other than gamble that the remaining circuits on the calendar are lower wearing than Sepang and Barcelona?

Maybe that's one for the next podcast?


I think it's implied though James.


PR is a strong tool 😉


Except Pirelli never mentioned safety... 😉

They said four stops are too many "maybe"


As someone above points out, sacrificing safety for the good of 3 teams or to harm one team is not acceptable.

Thanks for clearing up the tire shape question I had.

As far as changing mid year, hasn't F1 changed rules many times mid year to real in an advantage another team has had?


This is kinda sickening. Now we have a change made that will surely affect the current championship. If this ends up bringing Red Bull into dominance again I'll seriously lose interest in this years title. We've had crap years before, like when Brawn won the title, but they didn't change things halfway. Here we go with a knee jerk reaction. I wonder who is truly behind this, because I doubt viewership numbers fell drastically at all, so people were not tuning out. Who is this really appeasing??


I wouldn't mind 3-4 stops a race as long as we don't have a "cliff" and as long the tyres degrade in a normal way.


But if I understood James' race report. Ferrari did that, they were on top of the degradation of their tires.


Fix the tires and next year with the new engine specifications go for slicks with no or limited degradation. Have two mandatory stops necessitating a change of drivers the reserve driver must do 15 laps and then can change back to the primary driver for the balance of the race. It will not happen do to seat configuration differences but this will provide food for thought


I dont understand all the 'hate' against Red Bull.

They already complained about the tires at the start of testing long before the first race, and even Vettel finished no lower then 4th in all the races untill now and is leading the championship.

So its not like the sore losers trying to have the rules changed to their liking. They just feel that F1 should not drive with the tires they have now.


It's exactly what it is mate. Wake up and smell the coffee.


I agree, I think a large proportion of commenters on here are Alonso/Raikkonen fans. Vettel is notoriously unpopular in these parts. I think if the shoe was on the other foot (Red Bull were benefiting from sub-standard tyres) a lot of people here woud be singing a different tune.


I think I'd hear it from here if that was the case.


Hembery clearly stated that people push him to the wall to make red bull win.


And this has what to do with my comment?

Pirelli should not even make these comments, it's not their choice to make tires to suit one team more then the others.

Him stating that means that they now make tires not to suit Red Bull. That's not right either.

PS. Red Bull is already winning ;| P1 in WDC and WCC

And they already complained after their 1-2 finish so not only after last sunday.


What's the chance that red bull won't walk away with the championship after this change? The tyres haven't bothered me much but a mid season change preferencing the team that has won for the past three years will for sure.


Seb already has two wins, both totally convincing. RB and Seb are leading, so why the whinning?

Because he failed to finish ahead of Massa who started six places behind on the same strategy ! Quick. Let's panic.

And the orchestrated way they made their rehearsed sound bites to the media: first Seb with the wonderful line about "driving to the speed of the tyre, not the car". Then Horner, then the big boss.


Well oiled PR machine I'll give them that. Pirelli should've had the balls to stick with their current tyres, just get on top of the delam issues. Teams know they use a 2010 Renault to test the tyres, so know what kind of downforce levels the tyres are made for.


With this change in tyre to a more 2012 shape/construction and assumed 2012-like aero pattern, I wonder if McLaren really should have / with had brought back their 2012 car, seeing as though it was pretty much the top one them. Now they, like everyone else of course, will have to remodel their dog of a car yet further!

Well, of course in their situation they should just give up by then and focus on next year. Hard to see the benefit for them to put resource into developing a "B" car for these new tyres when there's little to fight for, for them.


Lets hope they change the tyres for Monaco to hard/medium as well.


That would be horrific, they would go even slower!

Supersoft and soft will fine there; little degradation and both are fast tyres. Expect 1 or 2 stops.


I understand why they are doing it but changing rules of the game during the game is just not right.

Stephen Taylor

Expect rain I say.

Alberto Martínez

James / Mark,

I think that many people are with sereval doubts that we don´t have answers yet.

1) If the aerodynamics are going to be affected by the change of the shape (because of the new construction of the tyre) will teams have to go back to design phylosophies of their 2012 cars and get rid of their new floors, wings, diffusers, etc?

2) What about the ones of Williams, McLaren and Sauber? They seem to have been affected by the 2013 tyres and the aerodynamics around them.

Thanks a lot

Tornillo Amarillo

Yeah, I have questions also:

- have they change their cars?

- has Paddy Lowe return to McLaren?

- has Alonso change his girlfriend?

Bring Back Murray

The whole thing is simply a royal screw up


Great, another RBR year...


So in other words RBR rule Formula 1 and not FIA or Bernie anymore!

I think Ferrari should wake up now and retire completely from F1. I bet anyone, including you James, that in 3-4 years' time (without Ferrari) F1 will go bust and cease to exist!


So, in other words, Pirelli created a situation which didnt need creating.

Question is will they revert fully to a 2012 tyre or a hybrid 2012/13 tyre and furthermore will they change it again for 2014?

If I didnt know better and I tuned in to the tyre preservation fiasco that is modern F1 and happened to need some new tyres for my car, would I buy Pirelli's, Nah, I don't think so.


Lets see how many fans will stop watching if the change will affect Ferrai and Lotus.


I will watch until Monza despite a possible RB dictatorship. I did that in 2011


pirelli gives you wings


Red Bull gives you whinges


I'm preparing for a "return to form" in F1:

Vettel on pole, jackrabbit start, goes off into the distance and "manages the lead," finishes first, radio message: "YES! YES! YES, BOYS! THAT IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! YES!," followed by jumping out of the car and flashing "the finger."






LOL! MichaelG, whether this actually happens or not in 2013, this is the most succinct description I have ever read as to why so many of us love to 'hate' SV (and I use 'hate' in the 'I hate Elmer Fudd' kind of way...). Every good piece of entertainment needs a villain, no?


You think he'd at least vary the routine. On second thought, we should count our blessings - he could go back to the Crazy Frog thing...


As opposed to Ferarri winnign with 20 seconds lead every race because an Italian tyre manufacturer is manipulating the competiton to get exactly that result?

May the fastest car/driver combo win. Not the car that is easiest on these tyres.


Limiting factor now is the tyres, then what? Bigger engines..? There will always be something slowing cars down.


if he has the faster car then why shouldn't this happen? Why do we need Pirelli to handicap Red Bull or Mercedes or whoever in the name of "the show" and making Ferrari competitive?


Who said Pirelli decided the 2013 tires specs to handicap RBR or Merc? The point here is the inconsistency of the FIA and the insistency of some teams to twist the initial parameters that where decided to run this season. If you change it because some teams complains about the tires, then obviously the FIA is biased in favor of those teams and careless about those who might get handicap by the decision. This is completely idiotic and against the spirit of sports, period


Alex the problem was there was no real difference between various compounds even supposedly two grades apart. In other words, it didn't matter what tyre you used, so Pirelli opened up the gaps to make the difference more noticable, which was per of their original design brief. Nothing to do with Ferrari otherwise Alonso would be quadruple champ by now.


Actually Hembrey has said it, repeatedly. In Malaysia he informed us that if it wasn't for Pirelli Red Bull would lap the whole field, in Spain he told us that if tyres were durable Red Bull would be 1 second/lap faster than everybody. The parameters Pirelli decided to run this season should have been made available to ALL the teams last June. So that they know what they design to. Not in December when the cars are finished.
In 2011 Ferrari had tyre problems, they couldn't heat the tyres up at all, they couldn't even race on the hards. So Pirelli has spent 2012 and 2013 making softer less durable compounds, ie moving the tyre towards what Ferrari want. Softer less durable compounds smack dab in the center of their car's performance envelop. I am NOT interested in Pirelli manipulating the championship to make Ferrari competitive. If Newey can build a car that is 3 seconds a lap faster than everybody else, that car should lap the whole field, period. Not have some third party tell me that in the interest of the show tyres have to be made less durable, so performance is more equalized and stand out cars don't get to stand out.


By the same token, why do we need Pirelli to handicap Ferrari or Lotus or whoever in the name of "the show" and making Red Bull competitive (again)?


As a Ferrari fan I am extremely disappointed with this development. Everyone designed their cars based on these tires and once Red Bulls found out they were eating up tires they lobby hard and change the rules midway through the season. I may not follow F1 next year if Vettel wins again. I hope Alonso or Kimi wins this year.


No one designed the cars for these tyres specifically because the tyres were first tested in 2013 testing when the cars were finished months before. They even changed the compund/structure at the last moment so nobody knew what the tyres exactly would be.

Rather, Pirelli designed the tyre to suit Ferarri and they got caught redhanded in their competition manipulation.


2013 spec Tyres were made available in Brazil 2012 for rookie tests, and the teams know full well what car is used to develop the tyres (2010 Renault), a "genius" like Newey should be able to extrapolate the level of grip to expect based on a targetted life of 20-30 laps...


I respectfully disagree with you. Whats the proof they were designed for Ferrari ? Didn't pirelli supply these tires in Brazil and everyone were happy with it? I know the cars were designed way before that. But to suggest they were designed with Ferrari in mind does not make any logical sense as Lotus is the team benefiting most.


Anyway I think the F138 is a good car and lets see how the competitive order is from Canada. If anything, I believe Mercedes will make huge gains if the tires are changed and I will be happy to see them winning many races.


No one finds it odd that every team has a Pirelli engineer present in their garage with access to all data and that way knows what kind of tyre the car needs to be faster....or slower? 😉

The Italian tyre manufacturer seem to have dialed it in perfectly in 2013 to reach their goal: make the Italian Ferrari go faster and stop their only real competitors, RBR.

They went too far and now it became too obvious. But I am sure the little changes they do now will still reach their aformentioned goal. They have been tryiong this for years so they won;t let this slip and Pirewlli will help Alonso win his hollow title assisted by Pirelli com petition manipulation.


The Pirelli favours Ferrari conspiracy was laid to reat about four years ago. get with the times buddy.


@ hero_was_senna

Schumacher and Ferrari when they decided that Michelin tyres were not being measured properly in 2003.


From what I recall, Ferrari didn't know why they were losing to the Michelin teams till a Japanese photographer took before and after pictures of the Michelins and noticed they didn't look the same after the race.

I believe this happened just before the Monza Grand Prix.


Total cop-out in my opinion. We know for a fact that every team has had the same amount of track testing time and the same number of tyres to test with, and yet some have clearly understood the tyres better than others. This is how Formula 1 has always been and is how it will always be. I dread to think how much squealing will be done if one powertrain is significantly better than the others next year, and now emboldened by this indication of weak leadership, they will feel that if they shout loud enough, those who have done a less good job will feel that they can get the rules changed to suit themselves. If changes need to be made, let them be made at the end of the season. Whilst there is a precedent for this, Michelin's tyres were deemed illegal in '06 and so a construction change was justified. 'Boo hoo! this isn't proper racing!' isn't a good enough reason to my mind; especially coming as it does after the first truly absorbing race I have ever seen at Catalunya, and I've seen all of them...


you must be forgeting of 91 and 96...

at those 2 were better races...

yes, its usually a bit of a snooze fest; this year it was a "go slow, mind the tires before you run them to the ground" fest


The lap times were pretty much the same as last year. 2010 Vettel did four stops too, but as Webber won, I guess that was OK


Ferrari should just say thank you, and go testing 24/7 at their own track. If Red Bullshit can bend rules to their own liking, I don't see why Ferrari should stand beside and let others screw them over.

There's no Concord at the moment anyway. What are FIA going to do? Kick Ferrari out of F1?


Reading around on internet, the only people against these changes are Ferrari and Lotus fans. And they are very vocal but still a minority. They do multiple postings too, more than the majority that welcome the changes (because frankyl everyone is bored talking about tyres and it dominating F1).

And considering RBR is one of the least popular teams, it means it is a good decision for F1 racing in general supported by the vast majority of the F1 community.

And, it's the same for everybody right, Ferrari fans? The same argument you have been using for days now? Everyone gets the same tyres, so what's the big deal?


Maybe because they've been changed to suit the RB when it becomes obvious they won't have it all their own way this year..


Very very sad and stupid situation. Now it's totally unfair to lotus as they also don't have extra money to spend to get their car modified. And it's unfair anyway.

I agree tires are extreme and should be changed but NOT mid season!

Why won't Pirelli bring simply twice as much tires and go bit more conservative with choices?


So we are going to have a tires that are fundamentally different in their shape and therefor aerodynamic traits. How in the world is this allowed to happen midseason!?! It's time for Todt to step in and stop the nonsense.


James, Pirelli seem to be admitting to a design failure, can they be sued by Lotus and Ferrari? Where is Todt and FIA on this one?


Perhaps if the teams were allowed to do in season testing we wouldn't be in this mess.

I'd love it of RedBull have issues in Canada... What do they do next? ask all teams to race their 2012 cars.


I think 2013's tires are terrible, but I also believe that unless it is for safety reasons they should not be changed. The 2013 cars have been developed for these tires in mind, I think it unfair to change things this late in the season. To me this is something akin to deciding to change the exhaust specs, or something like that. It should not be done unless it is for safety reasons or all teams agree with the change. It looks like 2013 is shaping up to be a season to forget... what a shame.

As for saying that different tires will benefit this team or that team? How can anyone know? Only time will tell.


James, I know that you will not openly say it, but I think I sense from your articles and random comments that you do not like the situation and you believe that all teams were given the same fair opportunity to build their car around these tyres. Some teams did a better job and now this change is mostly forced by Red Bull...just shows how strong they are to put pressure on people and get what they want.

There is one hope that I still have is that Pirelli will change the tyres indeed but they will do it in a way that people will see less degradation but Red Bull will struggle even more. It is obvious what Hembery thinks about all of this:

"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.


I doubt it's going to hinder Ferrari in any way. If so, they would be moaning and lobbying FIA already. They aren't, so it's because:

1)They are happy with the change of the tyres because they were holding back a lot and know they would be even faster with real racing tyres;

2) They know Pirelli's new tyres are going to be tailor-made for them anyway.

Otherwise, LDM would pull his favourite "Ferrari IS F1" card and threaten to walk away. He isn't doing that, so clearly there's something going on behind the scenes we don't know about. I bet they are smirking right now.

Lotus are another matter, though. They will likely lose their advantage. But then, I don't really care about any team's advantage. I want to see some great racing.

As someone on Autosport forum pointed out,

"Can you imagine the frustration of team principals, knowing that they have made an inherently fast car, dedicated tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars, tens of thousand of man hours to find out that all their hard work is actually dictated by Paul "It's the show" Hembrey, who hides behind the FIA as an excuse? It's ok for fans or drivers to say "get on and deal with it", but that only happens when they're winning. You won't hear such backing when the team is losing.

There are four fast teams on the grid and realistically there's only a couple or maybe three tenths between them in ultimate pace. Would you not rather see eight drivers having a go for the victory (or a podium), unafraid to push, or an artificial racing environment where drivers are instructed not to overtake, defend or alternatively, drive to a delta because it might pay dividends for a few short laps and perhaps afford an overtaking opportunity?"

I know what MY choice would be.


Were the teams award of what the tires youlw be like this year when they designed their cars? If so then it is completely unfair to change the tires halfway through the season if you have optimized your car for a particular kind of tire. I think that Formula 1 needs to set a clear set of rules and then stick with them for the whole season. We can't have this flip-flopping halfway through.


I think the ideal situation for everyone is to have tyres that last long enough to do 3 stops at the most. But yet don't upset the current competitive order. Surely Impossible?

James how about having a poll on this tyre issue, to see what us fans think of these proposed changes?

Tornillo Amarillo

Good idea, I have some choices -What sport do yo prefer?

A. F1 racing (classic)

B. Tire management championship

C. Yo-Yo racing competition

D. Choreographed Wrestling


Some of you are so gullible/too biased believing that Pirelli's hands were forced.

It's much simpler than that. No tyre manufacturer would continue with tyres delaminating several times a weekend so spectacularly in front of an audience of millions. That's the worst advertising for your product EVER. So they had to change that. And to repair this, they had to change the construction of the tyres because they know the 2013 tyre construction lacked integrity but they wouldn't just admit it. Pirelli are in F1 for money, for promoting their product, and when said product is criticized by pretty much everyone but two winning teams and their supporters and they are accused of ruining sport, they HAD to do something or lose money. It's business, simple as that.

Tornillo Amarillo

Maybe we are just in the point to prevent a kill now.

What Lotus, fans or any person could say if we watch a devastating 300 km/h-accident and the cause could be a delaminated tire?


Bravo! Well said, someone actually talking some neutral well thought out sense.


I am loving these comments...i love when people say the fastest car/driver combination should win the title?? do u even watch f1???? let me explain:

in 2005 mclaren and kimi were faster than renault/alonso

in 2006 schumacher/alonso were faster than alonso/renault..yet we know alonso won both championshipss. so, how is the current situation any different? let's ASSUME redbull is the faster car than ferrari and lotus..does that mean they have the right to win this championship?? NO. if they dont have the full package which,the tires are included, then they won't win. i dont understand people saying winning is done by being fastest...who said that????? its a race..who gets there first wins..i dont care how the tires are behaving !!

what i want is for pirelli to fix the puncture issues and thats it ! but nooooooooo...redbull is not happy..they wanna dominate again..ive been watching f1 since 1998 and this is the most stupid thing ive ever seen in all these years. in 2009, brawn was allowd to continue with the double diffuser that year, they didnt change anything. so how come this year, change is needed?? i hate politics in f1 and i hate the fact that some people think its totally fair for pirelli to change the tires just because " this is not racing" . buddy, u don't know what racing is.


The right decision in my opinion. We should now see some real racing, hopefully with Lewis at the front.

Stephen Taylor

and hopefully Kimi won't be swapping roles with Lewis! As a Kimi fan I fear that this change will affect Lotus the most as I feel they've probably been the most reliant on its tyres + they don't have the resources of RBR , Ferrari Merc or even Mclaren . In general in terms of inter team battles I think this may swing things in favour of the driver who's style is aggressive . Say like the battle at merc could now swing permanntly in favour Lewis over Nico or Sergio turning the tables on Jenson. Sutil could also start beating Diresta.


With all the tire failures, at what point will the Pirelli's be considered too dangerous? Hopefully not after someone gets hurt. All this talk of Pirelli designing this tire, the last two years, that way to be competitive has me worried that they really are not capable of making safe F1 tyres. Bridgestone & Michelin never had these much failures entering into F1.


Let's hope that Red Bull's lap times still drop faster then that of Ferrari or Lotus. If not then the wining ( not the winning) team, Red Bull, has won the fight and has made the way clear for the lesser people among us. ie Helmut Marko, not loving the sport only complaining when they do not win. Don't get me wrong Red Bull has done a outstanding job. But now they are that boy you hated in class because he was treated wrong while everybody knows that hè got the same treatment as the rest. Ergo it has nothing to do with the tires it's all about being a bigget winer then the other. And if nobody corrects them, they will win. F1 is a man's sport and I would like to keep it that way. 😉

Ps I am a "old" Verstappen fan. Inferor cars and then let the world see that driving is done by the drivers and not the people on the sidewalk.


Fun fact: The 2011 Spanish Grand Prix saw Vettel make four stops on the way to victory. Did Red Bull complain then? Christian Horner: "It was an incredible race, a great show for the fans and we did an incredible work."


....a way to keep the tyre in its ideal operating window by a combination of a stable aero map, a mechanical package which is in "sympathy" with the tyre and a good set-up.

Did you mean symphony?


I wouldn't have thought so


'@ScarbsF1: Read this in the Tech regs Article 12.6.3 : Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams." via @Dom_Harlow'

Thoughts, James? Interesting that Ferrari and Lotus haven't said anything yet...


I think you are not taking into consideration that Alonso won two races this season (and not all of them because of errors from him or his team). In one race win he even said: "I'm not pushing".

How many seconds he was in front in this last race? Take a look at the chart James put on this blog covering Alonso and Kimi lap times. No matter what, you will have one team that is better than others. Period.

The utopic vision that we will have a year where all teams will have the "same" performance is the problem for me, and that is what makes FIA do create these artificial "things" (e.g. extreme tyre wear), and kill the racing. You do not create another winner for golf championships, matching the hole to a soccer's ball's diameters. That's not entertaining at all (and even is not golf). Or you beat Tiger, or go find another sport. Ask for golf's fans if they get boring watching Tiger win every tournament. And if they want a soccer ball's sized hole to have random winners...

Another important point in my view, is that F1 "racing" is not just about the WDC. Obviously the drivers and teams championship are importants, and we want to see our prefered driver winning it, but to watch the races, I understand for us it's good to watch all the drivers racing. And if we pick the years where RBR was seconds ahead, we had racing between the other drivers. Not fake, but true racing.

Now, we have Alonso seconds ahead, and others racing against deltas. Again, LH starting in second place and finishing 12 is the crucial point in the last race. Imagine that Vettel was pole and won the race... LH would still be fighting and the same for the others (Alonso, Kimi, Rosberg, and etc). So, the change to have "random" racing, just changed the dominant team (RBR by Ferrari), but capped all others to even race against each other. We have big names in the recent seasons of F1 (Alonso, Vettel, Kimi and Hamilton), if these guys are not able to race, that will kill F1 and its pursuit of popularization. Because what maintain a sport is the fans. True fans. i'm not talking about World cup fans, but the ones that go to the match every time his/her team is playing. Why Grosjean was pusnished last year? Because in SPA, a historical circuit, he crashed Alonso and Hamilton. He killed the race for at least half of the F1' fans. As a Hamilton fan, I do not want to hear him saying: "I cannot go any slower".

And one last point: As James said, the tyres were tested just on Brazil. I will not try to take out the merit from Ferrari and Lotus, but the fact is that is a lot of lucky too. I cannot see how they developed the car for 8 months, and after to have the tyres for just 2 months, have a car that can be soft at the tyres (the tests were in feb). One proof of this is sauber, that had a good car on tyres last year, and now it's lost too. And many others (like Willians and McLaren). Even Pirelli said that they did such a huge mistake because they could not test on the cars. If they make the rubber and do no know how it will behave, how the teams can be so "efficient"?

Bring back pure racing!


True that about the Sauber 2013 vs the 2012 model. 2012 was way kinder on its tires. Something you wouldn't expect them to engineer out of the car on purpose.


I don't care who wins the championship this year, but this change is just plainly unfair. I personally was quite happy with the current F1 forumla (perhaps I just hate processions), but this change just makes a mockery of this sport. May I suggest classifying F1 as a soap opera rather than a sport? The twists and turns to offer a 'gripping spectacle' certainly support this suggestion..


And to clarify, the championship outcome WILL be undermined by this change and I won't say the winning team/driver was worthy of it.

David (Sydney)

Shock! Horror!

Grand Prix racing managing tyres, fuel loads strategy and team tactics instead of sprinting and passing each other at speed like, dare I say it, NASCAR.

Regardless of how flakey the tyres are, some teams seem to design good cars around the tyres and manage race strategy according. And some don't.

The Spanish Grand Prix was a fine Grand Prix race.

It's a shame that our sport is being managed to create a 'show' in two hours on a Sunday.

I'm stating to like Sports Cars more and more every day.

Danny Almonte

Pirelli failed to do their job. They claimed they were only doing what they were asked to do but I never believed it. Who are they to claim that 4 stops is too much. What ever happened to the one stop strategy? They are messing with F1. This is probably more about F1 going pay per view and trying to spice up the action.


It can't be that F1 cars are racing just a few seconds faster than GP2 and GP3 all because of tire management. Ironically Red Bull and Vettel are still leading the pack, so a change is not helping an underperforming team, but simply puts back F1 where it should be - the pinnacle of Motorsport and not a time delta tyre nursing exercise.


OK, how about this, hard yres that last a race, don't degrade but have singificantly less lateral grip. Make them rear limited as well to avoid understeer.


there's no such thing as a 'good' set of free tyres. 'nuff said.


Means like an awefully lot of spending for adjusting to the new tyres...


I know its unrealistic to expect drivers to drive flat out for the entire race, but as a fan and a spectator I would like to see a reasonable percentage of the race where the drivers are driving to the limits. As opposed to having a very significant percentage of the race filled with conservative driving.



I've been watching F1 since 1993, and only in 5 seasons the guy I cheered for had the best or equal-best car. And I don't remember it ever even crossing my mind that the the rules should be changed in all those other seasons just because my fav driver was in a less competitive car. This complaining is the product of the new "fans" that F1 is so desperate to attract and Red Bull's ethos which are the worst I have ever witnessed from a top running team. Jean Todt's Ferrari was highly political and unfair at times, but it was never like this.

This whole season is starting to look like a farce. There's no Concord. There's no consistency. There seem to be too many people in the media who are giving opinions instead of information and trying to serve an attitude instead of giving you information to make up your own.

The amount of people who are using "real racing" and "driving to delta" and similar stuff as some make-believe argument has reached the point of no return.

When they banned refueling again in 2010, there was outcry to change the rules immediately back to what they were after just one race. I don't care the rules whatever they are, as long as there's a new challenge for the teams as often as possible and there's the least possible amount of interference with the competition during the season.

I just hope Alonso finally wins the title again this year so that I can finally stop watching F1. I'm honestly fed up with what this has become. And I can't identify myself with the growing amount of people who seem to be the new target audience for F1. They are loud and without a hint of appreciation for behind the scenes work that goes with F1 racing. If they don't see clashing wheels all the time, they don't seem to think it's racing.

Heinzman (Fan of: ALO)

James, get Paul Hembery back on the podcast. He is as refreshingly curt as Mark Webber in his dialogue; he will tell us the real story.


He was on last month...


James, I think the commercial aspect is over looked here. TV companies pay millions to broadcast racing. Sponsor pay millions to see there logos raced. Has this has an effect?


I think that last year Pirelli saw that the teams adapted to its tyres by the end of the year. So it decided to expect this adaptation from the teams. And logically Pirelli should expect a double adaptation or so (teams would adapt to the new tyre over the winter and then again they would adapt over the course of the season like last year). Only 3 teams adapted over the winter. And I do not understand why the rest of the teams did not and I am sure Pirelli does not understand it either. Had all teams adapted like Lotus as it made sense, everyone would be congratulating Pirelli at the moment. Then at the end of the year, after the teams would have adapted further, races would be boring again and the media would be contemplating whether Pirelli is doing a good enough job or not. Most teams acted with stupidity by not spending time and money to adapt to the tyres and now they try to make it look like Pirelli was stupid and not them.

The whole concept might not be the easiest thing to explain to the public and what makes it more difficult is the tyre failures that many drivers had. But Pirelli should accept their fault about the failures and defend itself properly about the degradation. At the moment, it looks like Pirelli did everything wrong.


F-duct, against regulation spirit, 1year valid

Double diffusers, against regulation spirit, 1year valid

Blown diffusers, against regulation spirit, 1year valid

Pirelli wheels changes on 2012 on start (1) and middle (2nd) of season!!!!

This year 2013, changes after 5 races!!!! AND 2013 car designers EFFOR????

Absolutely like Political or Mafia issues.

Mattestich: "this is not races"

And blow diffusers is races? Or aerodinamicals influence is F1? And simulations vs. real test are trully F1?

boooooohhhh. Dont cry and RACE!!!!


The picture of Horner, Wolff, Hembrey and Ecclestone says it all; Red Bull and Mercedes cannot win the championship this year with their designs and they know it. The only way for them to compete is to get Ecclestone to have the tires changed to their liking.

This isn't a case where teams are complaining about others designs; this is a conspiracy by major players to have an impartial supplier alter, midseason, a product used by all, to the advantage of a few.

So now, if they alter the tires and the Red Bull and Mercedes teams gain advantage to the determent of Lotus and Ferrari; how is that not stacking the deck. Sounds like grounds for a competition lawsuit.

All revved-up

I get the sense Pirelli are at the point of no return, or just past it.

Their image from F1 fans is so negative, unless they stem the public relations disaster soon, it seems like the return on their investment is negative.

Yes, they did what they were briefed, to avoid a procession and bring back racing with overtaking.

Yes, they have delivered on "no procession" but they have stumbled on "racing". To be fair, testing using the 2010 car probably gave them inaccurate feedback. But as any child born in an underdeveloped country knows, life is not always fair.


Twitter Manuel Muñoz. Pirelli Spanish engineer working on Lotus

"Maybe in winter, when some teams proved exhausts, maps and systems of heights, others focused on optimizing the use of the tires"

Quizas en invierno, cuando algunos probaban escapes, mapas y sistemas de alturas, otros se centraron en optimizar el uso de los neumaticos.


I wonder whether Pirelli had to change the tyre due to safety reasons. They cannot develop the structure of the tyre quick enough so they go back to 2012 while keeping 2013 rubber, more or less, the same. This will obviously help some of the teams and disadvantage others, as the tyre deforms in different way. However, I would expect all the teams to agree to the new tyres, regardless of what the rules say. Pirelli hasn't mentioned safety as the reasons behind the tyre change, but I wonder whether it is so because they don't like the idea that they have created an unsafe tyre.



Comparison for the last three years of the Spanish GP (not my work..stolen form a forum I frequent).

The difference in total race time between 2011 and 2013 is pretty much insignificant. So where is the tyre issue?

2011 Spanish GP:


#1 Mark Webber - 1:20.981

#2 Sebastian Vettel - 1:21.181

#3 Lewis Hamilton - 1:21.961


Lewis Hamilton - 1:26.727

Winner Race Time

Sebastian Vettel - 1:39:03.301

2012 Spanish GP:


#1 Lewis Hamilton - 1:21.707

#2 Pastor Maldonado - 1:22.285

#3 Fernando Alonso - 1:22.302


Romain Grosjean - 1:26.250

Winner Race Time

Pastor Maldonado: 1:39:09.145

2013 Spanish GP:


#1 Nico Rosberg - 1:20.718

#2 Lewis Hamilton - 1:20.972

#3 Sebastian Vettel - 1:21.054


Esteban Gutierrez - 1:26.217

Winner Race Time:

Fernando Alonso - 1:39:16.596


Lotus are probably going to miss James Allison quicker than they thought...



Is there any chance that you could let us mere mortals have the details of the new tyre construction? On a few occasions, Bridgestone did release their full data package to the outside world. I rather liked the idea of the steel belt, and it's purpose was well proven when the punctures happened. Wouldn't changing from steel to Kevlar, but retaining the same compound, change the thermal window of the tyre?


Ok Tyres have been reset to 2012 settings... can we super glue close the DRS flaps now??? 😀


Oh more thing.... bring back Goodyear who served faithfully in F1 for 30 years.... tyre problems only become an issue since they left way back in 1997. SInce then every tyre company looking to make a quick buck out of F1 seems to be jumping into the ring for a go at making F1 tyres... remember Indianapolis in 2005 - the whole Michelin fiasco... now another low point with Pirelli making unsafe / short-life tyres all becuase Bernie asked for a new 'wildcard' tyre compound to make racing more interesting... as I said bring back Goodyear - the longest running tyre manufacturer in F1!


Well what ever the dicision is going to be in Ferraris favour


To me this is just as ridiculous as the one off exhaust over-run ban of 2 years ago. And i thought the fact that it only lasted one race meant that we had moved on from mid season Formula changes, but apparently we have just moved from Formula changes supported and primarily lobbied for by Ferrari to those supported and primarily lobbied for by Red Bull. Money speaks the loudest and RB sponsor the most teams drivers and events at all levels of motorsport these days.

You can't change the Formula in the middle of the season just because some teams haven't paid attention and designed their cars properly. They all had the same rules and opportunities with the tires. They all had the same time to make a car.

How is the double diffuser not banned mid season because 3 teams came up with it and the other 7 didn't, but the tires have to change spec mid season because 3 teams made their cars correctly and the other 8 didn't?

This is a ridiculous and terrible decision.


+ the teams who did well designing for this year's tires now have their development work trashed, while Red Bull can just revert to last year's aero that was the winning design for the construction they're reverting to? Talk about ruining the sport, this is totally unsporting. What they really need to do is get rid of wings, then we won't need gimmicks like DRS and degrading tires or push-to-pass to have overtaking.


Forgot to include Merc in the first paragraph, they;ve definitely been lobbying just as hard as RB and want some return for their massive investments.


Set vague tire parameters in the formula and let each team make their own tire arrangements just like they can select any supplier for springs or make their own if they want to. Then there will be no more "Pirelli is ruining the racing" or "are the Bridgestone or Michelin teams disadvantaged this week".

Lachlan Mackinnon

What a disappointing outcome. Pirelli are in for a world of hurt. This will no doubt play into the hands of RB and certainly work against the likes of Lotus. Lotus have done tremendously well to engineer a car to the fragility of the tyres in question. Let's now change those rule for those who haven't done so well. With less budget they will redirect effort into maximizing the performance of this next lot of tyres instead of the 2014 car. Well funded teams will have less issue with this but those with smaller budgets......

I just can't get away from seeing RB number 1 at the end of the season with SV holding up an index finger.

I'm not for one second saying that the situation at present is ideal (let's not forget this is probably one of the worst track for tyres this year) but changing the rules a quarter of the way through the season is going to unfairly change the state of play.


James, I am hoping that the media (yourself included) also highlight that some fans aren't up for this tire change. I feel it is completely unfair to the teams that have worked hard and who by luck or fate have handled the tires better. I think its rubbish, and I can't stand the fact that Red Bull continue to whine, when 2 years ago they won the Spanish GP on 4 pit stops. I view them as spoiled brats. It would be refreshing if the media would cast a spotlight on them and their lack of complaint in 2011 and their new complaints now. What a tiresome double standard. I hope you do voice for those of us that disagree with this. Gary Anderson's take on this on the BBC website was excellent, and I'm glad to see someone calling it out like it is. The Horse Whisperer's recent release is actually more factually explicit than some of the things I've read on some media outlets. Just my thoughts, but valid also I hope.


It is an emotive subject and it's easy for the teams to blame a third party, like Pirelli.

Whatever they do, they are caught in the crossfire. The skill will be in making the tyres safe from delamination when they get cut and making them a little more durable, while maintaining the shape and profile of the tyre and its broad performance, thus not disadvantaging the teams who have found a good engineering solution on the tyres for races.


The Horse Whisperer just threw a spanner in the works: Vettel won Barcelona in 2011 with four stops! Funny how Mr. Mateschitz didn't mind then...

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