Super-softs good for one lap – Sutil

2011 F1 testing

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Adrian Sutil, Force India, Jerez, 2011

Adrian Sutil says the super-soft tyres is only good for one lap – and starts to go off before the end:

“Yeah it was no problem. It’s a good tyre for one lap.

“Sometimes you probably lose a little bit in the last sector, already, so you have a very good first and second sector, the last one drops away, but it’s still a lap time improvement.

“It will be interesting how it lasts during a race distance, they’re going to be really, really critical.”

Sutil also tried the revised medium tyre with surprising results:

“Yeah the medium we have is different. It’s very hard, quite a lot harder, and it doesn’t last longer, for some reason.

“So it’s just very slow in the first few laps and the degradation starts very early, still, even with the hard compound. I was not so confident on that tyre and not so happy. it’s just the difference you have between the tyres. It’s pretty big.”

Despite that he says he’s happy with how the VJM04 is handling on the new rubber and had found some set-up solutions to make them last longer:

“In general I liked it. Our car is handling quite well with the tyres.

“You try always – every circuit has its own characteristics where you can try several things. But at the end of the day the tyre just doesn’t last so long.

“Sometimes, probably, you have some warm-up problem in the front, it takes one or two laps, so this is what you van concentrate on.

“But you’ll never make the tyre last ten or twenty laps’ longer just in changing set-up. We’ve tried already several things and it’s about one or two laps of a difference. But even those two laps can make a difference in the race.”

However he believes the team still have ground to make up on the front-runners in car development:

“The general balance is very good, it’s an evolution from last year so it feels similar but I think just combined with the tyres, the drive-ability’s a bit different, it’s very pointy, very positive, very smooth to drive. And very reliable, first of all, that was our strength from last year.

“I think it’s going to be, again, all about the downforce this year. We have to make up, for sure, to the big teams, but I think the starting point where we are at the moment is very promising. Certainly it’s a good step in the right direction but you always want to be absolutely in the front row and there we have a long way to go.

“There will be a few others teams who have more downforce, we will try to catch up, to improve our car as best as possible, but it will be hard during the season, of course, it’s a big battle.”

He said the drag reduction system will have an effect on how teams set their cars up this year:

“Last year there were circuits where we had to run very low downforce because of the long straights.

“So that’s going to be different this year, we can run higher downforce and just stall the wing on the straight and have much more downforce for braking.”

2011 F1 testing

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    Keith Collantine
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    42 comments on “Super-softs good for one lap – Sutil”

    1. i think their car is a bit high, they will struggle in slower tracks already.

      1. Dude why dont u just design a F1 car rather then giving posting such comments.

        1. all you know i might have…

          1. lol u might have but u dont have funds to do so right? You would have been the next adrain newey right?

      2. anyway i cant see that height you are talking about their problem with tyres maybe just suspension setting despite what their saying sutil is the guy who complaints the most

    2. Looks like Pirelli still have some work to do, this seems very odd. I hope the season isn’t just a pit stop fest because Pirelli couldn’t get the tyres right.

      1. The brief they were given by the FIA was that they were to produce tyres which were far less durable than the bridgestones were. As far as that goes they have met their brief thus far and the fia has declared itself pleased with what they have produced.

        1. Sounds like they have done the job alright. The soft tyres being about a second faster, but drop off almost immediately, we might just see some alternative strategies this year.

          1. … more drivers implementing Kobayashi’s trademark strategy from last year hopefully.

      2. isn’t just a pit stop fest

        That’s what people asked for, that’s what the FIA wanted, That’s what they have done. Considering it’s their first go in modern F1. I am already ready to say they have done a 5 star job.

        Congrats Pirelli!

    3. They should use the super soft tyres only in the qualification like in the past. But the stupid tyre-rules dont allow this, and i’m afraid several times we will see some comedy on the track instead of racing…

      1. I’d be for that.. it would be really good.

    4. I think the tire situation is getting slightly disturbing. I’m all for tires that don’t perform as well over 60 laps as the harder bridgestones did, but it seems after a lap or two the tires are much slower than the fuel difference can make up for.

      It won’t be a case of how much later a chasing driver can go, but how much less slower he can manage to massage his car around.

      The jury’s not out until the first actual race though, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing few races where they bring the super softs if they really degrade over half a second a lap. Is the two tier compound difference still in place?

      1. If it’s the same for everyone, then what’s the problem?

      2. after a lap or two the tires are much slower than the fuel difference can make up for.

        So pit stops will start being out of necessity? YES!!!

    5. I echo VXR’s comment.

      This should make those races with the super-soft very interesting, especially as the medium tyre is so slow. They key will be that a driver may qualify on them but then have to start the race on dead tyres. But for those who can choose their tyres, they might start on them, banzai one lap for position and then pit on Lap 1, then they can do some running in clear air and get the position back when their rivals stop. If the mediums produce a two-stop race then they’ll eventually find themselves winning out, despite the extra stop, because everyone else below the Top 10 will have to nurse the super-softs.

      1. I was just thinking about this as well, but depending on how long those tyres last I now fear we might have everyone doing the same strategy.

        With the big time difference, everyone will be forced to do qualifying on the softest tyres. The top ten then has to race on them, so they will try to get rid of them as fast as possible. The guys behind start on the harder tyres, to be able to pass the top ten cars when these stop.
        Only saviour then might be, that the harder tyres will go off as well, making another stop neccicary. Then there might be some opting for a second stint on the softs to try a move and others going on the harder tyres to be sure to make them last.

        1. This is where it could pay for Button. It would be impossible for him to manage the super-softs for even an extra lap given their massive degradation, but if he qualified on the mediums and made them last, he could do two stints on those and then switch to the super-softs at the very end.

      2. I’m agree as well, some good points. This could actually produce some very exciting racing – the thought of a close championship with cars that get real loose could produce some great racing – all hypothetical at this point. This news makes me happy, and optimistic for the o

    6. I too agree with VXR.

      If your car is a dog, blame the tyres. Sutil & Force India should get their act together. their performance / technical updates has been slowly moving south post losing James Key to Sauber. i expect Team Lotus to embarrass Force India this season.

      1. Doesn’t really sound like Sutil is complaining, just giving his opinion on the tyres.
        He does say, his car needs some downforce to be competative and they are still looking for the best setup to make the most of the tyres.

      2. You are just being too critical about FI, I think we should wait till Bahrain before making any sort of comments about one team embarrassing other. In fact , Lotus still hasnt been blistering so lets hold our horses

        1. i guess i am, but honestly i want the team to do well. but i don’t that car really setting the track on fire. And yes you are right about waiting till Bahrain… i hope they are on track with their development program.

          1. but i’d like to add that they are facing a determined opposition, with some of their staff leaving to Lotus… i’m sure for Mike Gascoyne it’s personal to beat FI on track.

            FI’s progress was mostly under James Key, last year they fell behind in development rate too. and their new car reminds me of Renault R29.

            1. Sutil’s overall opinion was:

              “In general I liked it. Our car is handling quite well with the tyres.

    7. i actually think these high-wear tyres will harm and not help the actual racing.

      i was in jerez over the 1st 2 days of the test and the pirellis throw off a ton of marbles, much more than i ever remember seeing over the last 35+ years ive been following f1. its not just small bits of rubber either there was some huge chunks of junk coming off the tyres.

      If this continues into the season then after about 10-15 laps we could see single file running with nobody wanting to risk going offline because of how much marble build-up is off the racing line. we already saw in the past with less build-up off the racing line how it hurt the racing so with much more its going to hurt it that bit more.

      also im not sure the high-wear tyres are the answer to improving the racing as i still think its going to limit everyone on strategy.

      all they need to drop the current mandatory stop to run the 2 compounds in races, give the teams 4 compounds of which there free to run any during a race. if a driver wishes to run the softs and do 1 or 2 stops then they should be allowed, but also running a no-stop race on the harder compound should also be a possibility.

      thats what we had prior to refueling and the racing was better in every area with more varied and unpredictable tyre strategies been used to the benefit of the actual on track racing.

      1. There were lots of marbles at the Canadian GP….

        IIRC, when we had tyre changes and fuel stops, you could pretty much set your watch by when all the drivers would come into the pits. 60 lap race, lap 20 and lap 40, or thereabouts. Yawn.

        1. And how will that be different now?

          1. Because the tyres are more ‘marginal’ and will degrade and wear at varying rates on different cars.

            Previously, regardless of your driving style or car capabilities, Michelin’s or Bridgestone’s tyre would last and perform pretty much the same on any car you put them on. This became apparent when teams that had previously used the Michelin tyres found that the Bridgestones weren’t that much different. Certainly less different than the Pirelli’s will be.

            Believe me, this season will be all about the tyres, and who uses them the best. Which is what last season should have been all about, but Bridgestone turned up to every race with slightly different compounds of low wear, low degradation tyres.

      2. The thing with marbles is if a lot of cars are going off-line anyway – e.g. to pass using the DRS, or defending position – it becomes much less of a problem.

        I doubt they’ll allow teams to use all four tyres because that will double the amount of dry tyres Pireli have to bring to each race, massively increasing their costs.

        However I’m all in favour of dropping the mandatory pit stop rule.

        1. Agree. On all points. :)

        2. Especially since it will be so unnecessary with the new tyres.

    8. I thought nowaydays the aim was to make F1 more green and friendly to the environment. Using a lot of Pirelli’s during the race is not eco-friendly!=P

      1. Ah! But now they don’t do 100,000kms of pre-season tyre testing, do they. :)

        It used to be that Bridgestone and Michelin would use up vast numbers of tyres during pre-season testing, practice sessions and qualifying in order to come up with a tyre that gripped hardest, and lasted longest on a set amount of fuel.

        Using a few more tyres during the races now, is a tiny drop in the ocean compared to what it used to be like.

    9. Well it seems that supersofts are now really supersofts. Unlike last year, where for example Jenson Button used supersofts for 39/55 laps in Abu Dhabi.

      1. He could have probably done the entire race on them, no problem.

    10. “Last year there were circuits where we had to run very low downforce because of the long straights.

      “So that’s going to be different this year, we can run higher downforce and just stall the wing on the straight and have much more downforce for braking.”

      I don’t understand these comments. For one didn’t F-duct do this anyway last year? And second, during the race he won’t be able to use the ARW except when overtaking, which means that for most of the race he would not be able to use it.

      1. Yes, that’s what I thinking about, they’re talking like if they can use the ARW whenever they want…

        1. Maybe they know something that we don’t?

    11. From

      This change is designed to increase the amount of overtaking. The driver-adjustable front wing of 2010 is gone, replaced by a driver-adjustable – but FIA regulated – rear wing. It has just two settings, ON and OFF effectively, with the ON setting increasing the gap between the main plane and the flap from 10-15mm to 50mm. This will reduce drag significantly and so improve top speed. Drivers can use the system at any time in practice and qualifying, but in the race there are restrictions. It cannot be used in the opening two laps, and then will only be made available to the driver at set points on the circuit if he is less than one second behind the car ahead. A dashboard light will notify him when the system is enabled. The system is deactivated when the driver releases the button or brakes.

      How often was a driver less than 1 second behind last year? It seems like very often.

      1. How often was a driver less than 1 second behind last year? It seems like very often.

        3,511 times, based on the constraints of the 2011 rules.

        See here: Ferrari had most to gain from adjustable rear wing in 2010

        1. Exactly what i wanted thanks!

          Is it possible to add a thumbs up/thumbs down system to the comments? I don’t always have anything to add but would like to recognize good posts. Most are good here.

          Thanks for all your effort Keith!

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