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Pirelli to persist with old specification F1 tyres as teams fail to agree
Posted By: James Allen  |  13 Jun 2013   |  7:27 pm GMT  |  221 comments

A frustrated Pirelli has today issued a statement with the tyre specifications for the next three Grands Prix, noting that it has not be able to introduce its revised 2013 tyres, due to a lack of testing and a failure of the F1 teams to agree to the change.

The revised tyres, aimed at solving the delamination issue, which some teams suffered in Bahrain and Spain, were brought to Canada last weekend, but only received scant testing due to adverse weather conditions. Pirelli was keen to substitute them for the old construction, claiming that the old ones were not unsafe, but calling for the change because the images of delamination were negative for the company’s image.

Some teams were briefing last weekend that the tyres must be replaced as safety cannot be compromised on high loading circuits like Silverstone, where corners like Copse and Becketts will put huge loads into the tyres.

However there is an atmosphere of suspicion between teams with the other camp – of those who have an edge from managing the tyres well – not wanting to give an advantage away to Red Bull and Mercedes in particular. With Red Bull on dominant form in both championships, despite higher tyre wear than rivals Ferrari and Lotus, the situation is fairly toxic.

Once again, Pirelli is caught in the middle. It is partly its own fault, as it deliberately went for ‘aggressive’ tyre compounds this year, which proved a bit too delicate in early races. After initial uproar, driven by Red Bull and Mercedes as well as many fans, it proposed to address the high degradation with a change mid-season, then the delimitation issue kicked in and complicated matters and since then the situation has unravelled.

In its statement today, Pirelli noted,

“The tyre construction will remain unchanged, contrary to Pirelli’s initial plans.

“This decision is due to the fact that the new tyres, which were brought to the Friday free practice sessions in Canada, could not be tested sufficiently due to rain – and that the teams failed to agree unanimously about introducing the changes.

“Instead a change in the tyre production process should now ensure that the delamination issue has been addressed.”

Pirelli is under pressure on several fronts at the moment; it is also a respondent along with Mercedes in the FIA International Tribunal taking place on June 20th, over the controversial Mercedes test session last month.

At the same time the company has not yet resolved a tyre contract for supply in 2014 with all teams. The the subject appears to have become even more of a political football than it was at the start of the season with high-degradation splitting the teams between those who could managed them and those who could not.

Media colleagues in Italy have begun to speculate on whether the company may reconsider its involvement in F1 in the light of the ongoing chaos and its doubts over why it has been roped into the FIA Tribunal as well as the potential damage to its brand.

However there has been some progress on Pirelli’s main gripe – lack of testing – as teams agreed in Montreal to do four two day tests following European Grands Prix next season. Motorsport boss Paul Hembery described this as “more than adequate” to develop racing tyres.

Hembery withdrew from an official FIA press conference in Montreal, instead hosting his own event in the Pirelli hospitality area, where he said that the company will be demanding some solutions from the sport to the problems it has faced this year, once the Tribunal is over.

For the record, the tyre choices for the next three races are:

Silverstone: Medium & Hard
Germany: Soft & Medium
Hungary: Medium & Hard

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Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and

now each time a comment is added I get three

e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

Many thanks!

Look at my blog post … fantastic abdominal, Larae,


Yes! Finally something about all in one kitchen.


FIA thought a rapid degrading tire are the way to go so there is an added element of risks. Pirelli complied without questioning. Teams have many opinions of it based on how suitable the tires were at that moment in time. Pirelli simply took in all these BS and hoped that it will die down eventually.

Now it is escalating to a whole new level. Understandably, Pirelli feels they are getting a bad rep out of it.

In the end, I think they should take leadership on what tires to be used in F1 and stop fiddling with the compound. Pirelli is in this awkward situation mainly because they simply did what others wished. They should dictate what tires should be used. After all, they are the only supplier.


paul hembery,[quote], ‘what do they want? for us to bring back last years tyres and let red bull run away with the championship again?’ or words to that effect. says it all really.


I understand that there is a lot of people who have an irrational dislike for RBR and Vettel, and what ever they do is wrong. These people have no objectivity, RBR complain about the tyres …… There trying to change with Pirelli have decided – RBR bad, Pirelli say they are brining hard/med ……… RBR say nothing and accept the decision RBR bad. What do people want?????


So it was redbulls fault for complaining about Pirellis decisions and now it’s their fault for not complaining decisions. What exactly should they do?


You dont understand do you ?


I understand that there is a lot of people who have an irrational dislike for RBR and Vettel, and what ever they do is wrong. These people have no objectivity, RBR complain about the tyres …… There trying to change with Pirelli have decided – RBR bad, Pirelli say they are brining hard/med ……… RBR say nothing and accept the decision RBR bad. What do people want?????


Well then explain, offer something.


He doesn’t understand


Whether it be tires, KERS, DRS, or the myriad other rediculus rules, the resultant political storm is what happens when the rules makers try to create “interesting” racing by artificial means. The outcome of this incessant rules twiddling is confused and angry fans. We might as well switch over to the totally contrived “show” that is NASCAR where the only interest is in making more money instead of true sporting competition.


Why can’t Pirelli build a tire that you can really push to the limit, but that’s done in a quarter of a race, if you do, while saving tires would save one or two stops, but end up slightly slower in the end, so the risk going flat out would still be the faster strategy?

You see, I was re-watching the 93 season a while ago, and GoodYear seemed to have a tire like that. People were driving very hard, putting in two cool laps once in a while to bring the tires back and then switch back to attack mode. Eventually in the last stint some people were running out of juice, either because their tires were used too long or because they were used too hard but the point is: Drivers had the option to go very hard. With nowadays Pirellis going hard is no option anymore and that’s what makes it a bit boring. You don’t see heart stopping moments anymore, cars wiggling on the corner exit, only seldomly you see people outbraking each other with smoking tires, back in the days it was normal.

And I seriously dislike DRS, it is a cure for a disease caused by fragile aerodynamics created with complicated wings. If downforce was rather created by the floor of the car and the wings would be hugely less important, dirty air would be less of a problem. When the FIA made the teams use a stepped, flat floor, it was one of the worst technical decisions ever made.


Stop whinging force India / Ferrari / lotus about the compound choices, everyone has the same tyres so just go and race, some people designed there cars better to run med/hard at Hungary, so stop trying to change Pirelli to your advantage. You are all whinging please stop trying to cheat ………. The shoe is firmly on the other foot now lads


Red bull and Merc whining in the first place has made them take medium and hard to Hungary. Pretty sure they have succeeded in changing Pirelli to their advantage.


RBR wanted the tyres to be changed and that didnt happen so they didnt get their way. I dont see why Lotus should be allowed to pick and choose the tyre compounds for each GP, that is always something Pirelli have done and to let Lotus change the decision of Pirelli is crazy. Lotus recieved the Hard/Med tyre during development so they had the same chance to design a car as RBR or even Marussia, they also knew compound selection was at the descretion of Pirelli.


So it was redbulls fault when they complain about Pirelli and now it’s their fault that they don’t complain.? Humm what do you digest they do


They are not complaining because they have got their way. Everyone tested these tyres before they made 2013 cars. What I suggest they should have done is use the information from this test to develop their 2013 car, maybe then they wouldn’t have a car that destroys it’s tyres and then have to complain to get harder tyres.


The only way to fix this is a tyre war – plain and simple, 2 tyre companies keeping each other on their toes all in the name of sport using only 2 compounds soft or hard no mediums or supersofts . this should keep down costs too! its the only way to make this sad situation where its all about the tyres go away. I want to hear more about the drivers, cars and tracks etc more far too much f1 airtime being devoted to round rubber!!


i fail to understand why having multiple pit stops for tyre changes floats anyones boat? sixteen ‘space invaders’ change wheels in under three seconds? so what?


I honestly don’t think anybody really gets off on multiple pit stops per race. Fans of certain teams/drivers have pinned their hopes for success this year on the tyres remaining rubbish, which compels them to pretend that four pit stops per race and cars running to a delta time radioed from the pits is a gripping and exciting spectacle.


yes, you are right there steve, as the sport now becomes even more farcical due the fact that races can be won or lost whilst the car is stationary!! how many times have we see a driver do his very best on track only to come undone in a botched wheel nut exchange? the more stops the greater the possibility of something like this happening.

all rather pathetic, IMO.


It was less of a problem without a speed limit in the pit lane, but that won’t ever return.


Good stuff, means we actually have a championship this year.


Bring back refuelling during the race. I bet we will see more of the sprint type stints again. None of these extreme tyre conservation tactics.


Please don’t bring back refuelling! Have you forgotten about all the “overtaking in the pit lane” tactics, when you could switch off the telly after the last stop, because that was the point when usually all was said and done? When even the pit stops were boring, because the time of the stop was dominated by the amount of fuel and no one ever knew if that was a very good stop or just an average one?

And how would you think it stopped tire conservation? We’ve had drivers complaining in Qualifying that they had used too much of the tire on the start of the lap, so in the last corner the tires went away. If these Pirellis effectively don’t stand a whole qualifying lap without degrading, what would it change to refuel the cars?


The true problem is that the cars are now too fast for the circuits. Aero efficiency and power mean there is generally only one fast way around a circuit and in order to overtake the driver has to deviate from the fastest course.

In the sixties and seventies, the cars had little Aero and nowhere near today’s power. It was possible for drivers to take different lines and enough time between multiple corners for a driver o pull off a well crafted pass.

Now – the speeds are such that even with a 20 or so k advantage passing is not possible on most straights.

It,s Aero that is killing racing and not just in F1!

Congrats Pirelli for finding a way to make races interesting again.


I feel pirelli have been the kicking post in all this, if you cant test the tyres in current conditions / climates with current cars, how are you supposed to get the balance right evry time (and i dont support what merc have done either). If they manage to make a tyre that lasts 60 laps, fans will moan about 1 stop. Tyres that fall away quickly, loads of pit stops, fans will moan again. I would like to see a tyre that you can go flat out on for a limited number of laps, say 20, then with the massive drop off in performance, like a couple of years ago.


the truth of the matter is that delamination didn’t happen in the past because the tyres punctured and deflated when the tread was cut

now , because the tyres are much more puncture resistant , when the tread is cut the tyre doesn’t deflate , the car continues so that the tread overheats and delaminates

surely it is much safer to have less sudden deflations…not one of the cars that has suffered a delamination has crashed


That doesn’t make sense. Why should a tire overheat if it’s punctured? What exactly does a little stitch in the rubber change in the thermal capacity of the rubber? Nothing.

Pirelli have changes the construction from last year to this year, they have replaced the Kevlar belt on the inner shoulder with a steel belt (this is why this year, as opposed to last year, the tires have a preferred direction, some teams have discovered tat running the tires the other way round is beneficial, curiously the delaminated tires have been run in their preferred direction).

Mark in Australia

Will we ever see two tyre manufacturers in F1 again?


That would encourage manufacturers to make tyres that are both grippy *and* long lasting. Obviously not possible so they’d have to make a reasonable compromise between the two and get the best compound that their level of technology involves.

It would involve manufacturers pushing each other to develop *better* tyres, as opposed to one manufacturer trying to design the *worst* tyres they can.

Don’t you see that your plan makes FAR TOO MUCH sense to be implemented in modern day F1?


Some time ago (but after his retirement/replacement), Max Mosley said in an interview that he felt that a dictatorial (for lack of a better word) approach was necessary in his day, i.e. that man-handling F1 teams and team bosses was needed, because otherwise their squabbling wouldn’t allow anything to get done…

I didn’t like the man when he was in charge, but I miss him now.


Ecclestone is to blame. Based on a wet race in Montreal, in which the wrong tires were provided, they decided to make the tires more aggressive in hopes of recreating a chance occurrence in Canada. One year later, Pirelli screws up and brings the correct tires to Montreal and Vettel gets an easy win.

I’ll be watching for Lotus to have a huge breakthrough since they’ve been adamantly against changes to the tires. I expect I’ll be watching in vain. Lotus look like an average team.


Ecclestone has ZERO power over the regulations of F1. Still odd to see that people claiming they are F1 fans make this huge mistake.

He just says his opinion like you and me and that’s it. He has no power to implement it, because he is the boss over the commercial side of F1 and making money deals with the parties involved and promoting the sport.

FIA is the one having power over the regulations. Ecclestone is not FIA, in fact they oppose each other.

So the tyres, looks of the car, safety car rules, parc ferme, new engines, etc… all FIA.


what a lot of people tend to forget is that when we had sensible tyres that lasted longer the so called processions were not the fault of the tyres but the aerodynamics.

to overcome the lack of possible passing the ‘movable’ front wing elements were introduced, then abandoned, then KERS was introduced, then DRS was introduced all of which have improved the ‘passing’. why then introduce ‘trash’ tyres?

the real reason, IMO, is that redbull have won the last three WDC/WDC and that was an impediment to the ‘show’. they were going to be easy meat as they were the team with the most prodigious downforce. trash tyres under those massive downforce loads would suffer more than most. hence the red bull outcry.

i have absolutely no reason to support red bull on the track owing to the fact that as a team i despise their MO. all that aside, the fact remains that pirelli have,IMO, in concert with others messed in their own nest by trying to be too clever. i have absolutely no sympathy for them. they could have always refused to provide trash tyres. i doubt if that characteristic was included in their contract.


james isnt this giving the championship to ferrari?


James, do you know if Pirelli still plans to award this year’s GP2 champion with a F1 test? And if so with what car (team)?

They announched that when they unveiled this year’s tyre range in January.


James why cant Pirelli buy/lease a f1 car from the backend teams like Marusia or Caterham and then run its own test team as much as it wants?


In my opinion Pirelli have done an excellent job. The problem lies with the aerodynamic rules and regulations. A couple of years ago we had the exhaust driven diffusers so the rules were changed to insist exhaust pipes came out higher and pointing slightly upward. So what did the teams do? They made these coanda exhaust ports and use this air to seal around the rear wheels. Brilliant yes, but visually a waste of money as spectators – you and me – can’t see this.

It all means the aerodynamics work the types so hard.

Next year we will have the new engine with single exhaust exitting directly on the rear wing – supposedly. Teams will find some clever way of using this to their advantage. Lets hope mechanical grip is more important than aero.

What is currently the problem is the massive front wing and aerodynamic regulations that allow exhaust driven effects. FIA should have changed rules several years ago when this first started to appear.

Well done Pirelli for what you have done to make the racing as good as it has been. I don’t want to return to the tyres that last all race with no problem.


Tires that deflate and delaminate are _not_ “an excellent job”. Tires that don’t ever come back, once they’ve been overheated are not a great job.

Tires that must be treated like babies and still have to be changed after a couple of laps are not a great job – tires that can take a serious punishment for 15-20 laps before giving up, that would be too slow to compensate a stop, when tampered, would be. Pirelli is NOT making a good job.

And Pirellis whining about tests sickens me: Pirelli has 11 teams, each running more than 1000km per car per weekend on a series of strategies and tracks, if Pirelli claim they need a “current car” to get data, they say they can’t properly extrapolate changes of construction with such an amount of data behind, now what does that tell us about the state of their research- and simulation capabilities?

I’m pretty sure Michelin, GoodYear or Bridgestone would do a way better Job than Pirelli does.


I’m with COlin,

Pirelli have already designed and built the tyres before the teams get to try them out in races. It’s a bit late to make changes if they’re rubbish.


and I’m pretty sure you have never been involved in manufacturing tyres

you cannot design tyres by extrapolation….even for a basic road car the manufacturer will test the tyre on the actual vehicle before deciding to fit it ….

unfortunately the information that pirelli gets from the seasons races doesn’t help , as they are not permitted to change the tyre …as recent events demonstrate

and if you look at the statistics you will see that the current tyres are not puncturing as much as in the past , which is why they are delaminating …in my view a big safety improvement , how many cars have crashed this season after a puncture ?

and tyres that don’t come back ? who told you that ? how many people realise that the rear tyres are actually spinning on accelerating throughout the race [ except for kimi it seems ]as we no longer have traction control ; whether or not the teams decide to go through the bad patch is up to them …have a look at di resta’s lap times on one set for nearly 60 laps in the last race …that shows you if the tyres come back


You must be pretty new to Formula 1, or else you would know better. Think about it: No one has a 2014 car, yet Tires need to be designed for it. 2012 no one had a 2013 car, still tires need to be built.

It’s the same story since day one of formula 1: No tire manufacturer ever knew the cars for next year, because they were not built yet (apart for those team that chose to run their car for more than a season). Each tire manufacturer saw the new cars for the first time, when they first rolled out, so they had to build tires for those cars from their experience. They’ve had pre season tests to perfect them and they tested between the races (that’s not possible anymore) and of course they all got data with every pit stop made.

Pirelli may of course change the tire during the season for safety reasons, but that would include they had a safety problem, which I’m sure they wouldn’t like to admit.

Yes, these tires don’t come back, it’s been in the news. Wheelspin is of course part of the factors that put heat into tires, just like brakes that are heating the rims and deformations while cornering and braking. As long as these forces keep the tire’s heat in it’s working range, everything is okay. But we’ve seen numerous times that drivers overheated their tires and despite going slower they never came back. Mercedes being a prime example. It’s not just degradation.

“The symptom of the Mercedes problem is that, left to the car’s own devices, the rear tyres will run about 20-deg C too hot. There are things the team and the drivers can do to keep tyre temperatures down, but at these tracks even they were not enough to prevent a temperature threshold being crossed, beyond which there is no bringing them back.”

ps: DiResta has nursed his tires, never overheated them, that’s why there was still life in them.


The “racing” has been dreadful. Some GP”s have been nothing more than simultaneous timed trials with everyone circulating to times radioed in from the pits as they try to keep the tyres in one piece. I’ve never seen such a sorry excuse for racing in nearly two decades of watching F1.


No difference to teams pacing a short-fuelled car when an expected safety car period doesn’t materialise, or to look after an engine and gearbox that you have to use for another five races. F1 has moved on, better or worse, and whatever the tyres, some speed management is inevitable in modern F1.

Multi 21



When was the last time we had hard and medium in hungary? Very conservative in my view.


They have to take hard tyres at the expense of Lotus and Ferrari because if they took soft Red Bull and Merc would whinge beyond belief


I guess the choice of compounds is compromised indeed. They are afraid to make more headlines, so they chose the safe way.


Exactly, I fear this will be a pattern for the rest of the season


And Lotus agree with you. Now they are complaning that the tyres for Hungary are too conservative


Last year the selection was soft/medium. If you consider that this year’s tyres are a step softer than last year’s (S/M from 2012 is M/H for 2013) it is as close to the same as 2012 as you can get.

When you look at the track temperatures that can be experienced in Hungary in August, you can understand why they are playing safe with compound selection.


Conservative, yes. But also very understandable from Pirelli’s point of view. They were not allowed to change the tyres, so all they have left it to choose slightly harder tyres at each event.

Having said that, last year the medium and soft were used in Hungary. But it has been said that this year’s tyre are all one degree softer compared to last year. So in a way all they have done is gone back to last year’s choice after having been too aggressive at some of the early races this season.


Yes, but all teams have a lot more experience with these tyres now and already last year Hungary was conservative.


When you consider that :

Hard(2013) is equivalent to Medium(2012)

Medium(2013) is equivalent to Soft(2012)

Last year they raced Hard/Soft, so that would mean in 2012 ‘names’ they are racing Medium/Soft.

So they went from Hard/Soft to Medium/Soft.

Not so conservative as it looks.




This should help Merc right?

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