Why Pirelli deserve credit for F1’s terrific start to the 2011 season


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Pirelli tyres, Red Bull, Shanghai, 2011

The new Formula 1 season began with three very good races – the most recent of which is already being hailed a classic.

F1’s new official tyre supplier Pirelli deserve to be thanked and congratulated for the exciting and unpredictable races we’ve enjoyed in the last month.

Pirelli’s brief on their return to Formula 1 was to make tyre strategy a part of racing again. This was something Bridgestone never came close to getting right in their last four years as F1’s sole tyre supplier.

That much was clear at Monza last year, where the softest tyre they brought was able to complete the entire race distance.

Pirelli could have turned up with conservative, rock-hard tyres, slap their logos on them and watch the cars go around. Instead, they’ve grasped the far trickier task of producing more challenging rubber for the teams.

Other tyre suppliers may not have been happy to do that. Michelin, one of the companies that were in the running to return as a tyre supplier this year, are currently running an advertising campaign touting the benefits of road tyres which they claim last much longer than their rivals’.

That’s not a message that would sit comfortably alongside F1 cars making tyre stops every dozen laps.

Pirelli have also shrugged off criticism from some drivers such as Adrian Sutil, who complained “it’s a big step backwards compared to Bridgestone”.

But by complaining about the decrease in tyre performance Sutil, Jarno Trulli and the rest have missed the point.

Tyre performance ceased to be a factor when the tyre war ended five years ago. Now tyres can be used to make life more challenging for the drivers, and as a result produce better races.

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

By that measure the Pirellis have been an enormous success. Teams now pursue different, conflicting strategies that produce great racing.

They no longer have the luxury of being able to time a pit stop to bring their drivers out away from other cars – solving one of the major obstacles to better racing of recent years.

Inevitably the controversial Drag Reduction System has attracted a lot of attention. But Sepang and Shanghai showed us that while DRS helps drivers make straightforward passes on straights, it’s the tyres that allow them to get close enough to race each other in the corners. All the best passes so far this year happened outside the DRS zone.

With the season just three races old a significant part of the reason why we have seen such unpredictability and excitement is that the teams are still getting used to the new tyres. They had an accumulated 14 years’ experience on Bridgestones but just a few months on Pirellis.

It remains to be seen whether, a few months down the line, Pirelli will still be able to keep the teams guessing and the races will remain as exciting.

Next year, when the teams are allowed a great degree of freedom in weight distribution on their cars, the picture could alter drastically.

There are also some significant challenges on the calendar still to come. Istanbul’s punishing, high-speed turn eight – which comes next – is one of them. And their wet weather tyre performance is still relatively unknown.

But in the words of Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery: “we want to give racing back to the racers”. That’s exactly what they’ve done so far, and they should be congratulated.


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Images © Red Bull/Getty images, McLaren

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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141 comments on “Why Pirelli deserve credit for F1’s terrific start to the 2011 season”

  1. Too early to be thanking them it seems like strategy is more important still. As for Bridgestone they should be applauded for making a consistent tire compound, I dunno like Michelin does in GT1, GT2, GT Championship 24 hour Le man and ALMS etc etc why does no one complain about tires in those categories? and there is plenty of overtaking… Oh that’s right no massive front wings which makes it hard to overtake.

    Like I’ve said many times before no other sports car category really suffers from this problem with tires other then F1.

    Instead of implementing re-fueling, allowing driver who qualify in the top ten to choose their tire compound, and the FIA not revealing fuel weights going back to 2008 level of downforce would of made the sport amazing. Given the opportunity they come up with bizzare ideas such as DRS, Kers that’s limited were as other categories unlimited useage…

    Turkey will show us if this will continue or not the first two races of the year were poor imho it’s only china that was great.

    1. soundscape (@)
      20th April 2011, 10:38

      The reason racing has improved is because of the strategy, not the tyres?

      The tyres are the sole reason there are strategies at all.

      1. Last Pope Eye (@)
        20th April 2011, 13:32

        Agree 100%

      2. Exactly!

        1. The Sri Lankan
          21st April 2011, 13:26

          hey look…in my opinion Toyota also deserves credit for making this possible

      3. Actually the only “strategy” that’s really available is how many fresh sets of tyres you can keep for the race.

      4. I agree. It does sound a bit like fuel strategy though.

    2. I think it is good that the top 10 have to start on the tyres they used. It means the ower down teams that dont make it into Q3 can make different plans for each stint and it gives them a chance to maybe mix with the front runners.
      I think there will be other races as good as China. Turkey and Canada should be interesting with the tyres and then all we need is a wet race that doesn’t get stopped like Korea last year.

      1. I don’t like the Q3 tyres rule.

        In a typical race, your top finishers are going to come from the top 10 qualifiers. There is also a significant difference between the one lap pace of these tyres, which means Q3 times will come with the fast tyre only. So this rule effectively forces all the drivers who can win the race to start on the same tyres. This limits the strategies that can be used – and in the end the teams just cancel each other out. All of the top 10 qualifiers on the weekend did their last stint on the hard tyres.

        It took a top driver in a quick car qualifying so far outside the top 10 last weekend to prove this.

        1. I agree. It no longer seems necessary since both tires last equally as long. It would only make for more diverse strategies and better racing!

    3. Jeffrey Powell
      20th April 2011, 11:09

      I presume that as the season goes on teams and drivers may get more of a handel on how to perfect strategy,in that case the status quo may be resumed, allthough tyres that only allow real racing for just a few laps and then ‘fall of a cliff’ still seem ridiculous to me. I think DRS is a good solution to the stalemate in F1 something had to be done to give us real racing by encouraging the drivers to catch and pass rivals.In the China GP. DRS seemed unnecessary to make a move, but this was because the driver being overtaken , in the most part, had tyres that wouldn’t pass an MOT. Maybe next year the FIA should intoduce weight penalties for the Previous GP pointscorers on a sliding scale(E.G.French Ice Racing)
      Schumis comeback would be as nothing to the return of Alain Prost the tactical supremo.

      1. Pirelli has definitely to be praised, even considering they have received a fair amount of early criticism from many drivers, due to degradation and marbles, which is possibly the worst outcome they might expect in terms of marketing.
        Nevertheless the tyre strategy of Hamilton (saving a set of fresh tyre for the race and giving up probably a spot in the front row) and Webber (not planned, but having lots of fresh tyres at his disposal) let me a bit puzzled.
        I wouldn’t like that deliberately saving tyres in qually for the race would be so much rewarding that some top drivers just found more convenient giving up fighting for the pole position properly. Have to say I love the current three stage qually format, with no fuel and just flat out performance, pure speed, 6-8 second per lap quicker than the race pace.
        In respect of 2010 rule in general, I am relieved that the DRS doesn’t manipulate racing and overtaking too much as I was afraid of. We have seen a few straight line overtakes, not the most spectacular indeed, but apparently the device just leaves the driver in front much less confortable in defending the position, and the following driver is given more option including forcing the front driver to take different trajectories as we have seen many times in the exit of turn 14 and all the way to the exit of turn 16 in China.

      2. @ Jeffrey Powell

        The way the tyres’ performance does “fall off a cliff” is the only issue I have with them. I’m sure with some more tweaking Pirelli can get the performance drop off to spread over a few more laps. Do that and I’m happy with it.

        Weight penalities? I’m sure Keith has done an article on the whacky ideas other series like V8 Supercars have tried, that is one of them, along with reverse grids. I’d hate to see F1 do the same, DRS is far enough

    4. The ban on refuelling improved racing last year with more overtaking actions than in the 20 years before.

      1. The Refuelling ban is not such a great idea. With refuelling, Q3 had cars qualify on race fuel which allowed say a slower car to mix it up at the vanguard of the field if they were thrift with fuel Or a Ferrari this year could take a pole but only gambling with less fuel. We saw this in 2009 Alonso in china and Barcelona for Renault.

        Consider last year Vettel in the Very fast Redbull took 10 poles out of 19. So the fastest Car is always going to be on pole. Vettel has taken 3 of 3 this year with our only hope being a either a poor start from Vettel or a great start from 2nd placed driver.

        1. Qualifying is better done on low fuel, not with race fuel. I prefer seeing pole taken by the person who has eeked every last bit of performance out of their car, rather than the person who has less fuel in their car. Going back to the old rules would make qualifying less meaningful. Qualifying is better this way.

          You say Vettel took 10 poles. He may have done so, but he only got 5 race wins last year. Similarly, the last year when we had low fuel qualifying before 2010, which was 2002, Montoya got 7 poles but no race wins. So, looking at previous years there’s no evidence that the pole sitter will always romp away to victory.

          Anyway, removing the refueling ban would be bad overall. You’d have the extra cost of lugging the big refueling rigs around the world, at a time when F1 wants to cut costs. You’d see drivers races ruined by faulty rigs. There’d be a increased chance of fires due to refueling. And seeing a light fueled car going past a heavier fueled is not interesting because he has to pit and will probably lose position.

          Refueling ban should not be removed. F1 is better this way.

        2. I don’t think this is very true. A car can be setup to be blasting fast in low fuel conditions but this same car will suffer on high fuel. So they have to compromise. A car that is good on low fuel only to get pole or a car that is good on heavy fuel to be competitive at the start but will suffer in qualification pace. As pointed out Vettel took 10 poles last year and by going what you say he should then won 10 races which he did not. There are other years to look at this very same as well.

          Refueling came in shortly during the turbo era in the 80’s but was banned for 1984. About 10 years later refueling was added to spice up the show (copied from popular American racing categories). Consider Formula 1 been recognized as series since 1950 (61 years old now) refueling has been part of F1 for just short of 20 years.

          I’m glad refueling is gone, it didn’t add anything at all to the racing. It added to strategic calls yes and we saw boring races where for example driver didn’t start from pole and ended up winning because the team brought him in for new shoes and fuel at the right time and leapfrogged the other team/driver. That’s not really racing. This and last year the drivers where forced to overtake.

          As for DRS I’m sure glad it haven’t made overtaking to easy, as pointed out some of the best overtakes where done elsewhere on track. Lewis jumped Vettel in china far from DRS zone.

          I think only racing series where refueling belongs is endurance racing (think LeMans, ALMS or similar be it 12hours or 24 hours of racing) they still often run close to 2 hour stints before refueling.

          1. I kind of liked the refuelling for the spectacle. One of my best memorable moments in F1 was Kimi the Iceman, getting fried by the fuelvapor from Massa’s fuelhose, as Masse had pulled it apart. I hoped Kimi would just continue – being the Iceman, he should have kept his cool and just have driven through the ball of fire as if nothing happened – the air pressure and speed would extinguish the fire, but Kimi wavered and slowed down until he had seen in his mirrors that his car wasn’t on fire. But I don’t think the issue of refuelling or not is decisive for the action on the racetrack and the cost and risk considered its probably ok to ban the refuelling.

      2. Actually the new teams were responsible for all those extra overtakes. Completely uninteresting overtakes, but they do count in the statistics.

  2. Surely the teams will get more of a feeling where to go with strategy. But as Horner stated after the GP, that 2 stopper might have been the best strategy Seb could get.
    And Webber showed, that maybe it might make sense now to try a hard tyre run in Q3, something that just did not work on the bridgestones last year. Or just go on hard at the start for anyone behind P10.

    So it might well be, that for different qualifying results and cars strategies will vary during the season. Next year that might change, but still some teams will go for a bit more durability and some for getting heat into the tyres quick.

    Anyway, thank you Pirelli, job done well.

    By the way I bought a set of your tyres for my road car as well (good compromise of durability and safety/speed)!

  3. I’m torn but it does worry me how everyone thinks having bad equipment makes the racing “better” Would marathons be better with icey sections?

    The sport is what it is, with qualifying having Parc Ferme the fastest end up on the front and the same car is going to drive away. Remove Parc Ferme and we go racing again with or without 10 lap tyres, because the car on pole may NOT be the fastest “Race Car”

    But the willingness of some drivers to try and overtake EVERYWHERE (yes i’m looking at you lewis & Mark) is making this season more exiting indeed coupled with the sterling development work McLaren are doing. Who would have thought they’d catch Red Bull this quickly?

    And F1 only has to look at cricket to see how well that partnership worked out – C4 free to air – the whole country is engaged – on SKY no one really gives a damn. Lets not kid ourselves F1 is closer to Cricket than Football in this comparison.

    1. … it does worry me how everyone thinks having bad equipment makes the racing “better” Would marathons be better with icey sections?

      I absolutely agree. Pirelli tyres are “improving the show” by crippling the cars. Maybe the next rule will be blinding the drivers or tying their hands to their backs. F1 has totally lost it.

      1. crippling the cars

        That’s a ridiculous exaggeration. It’s not as if they’re about to get beaten by Indycars or something else, are they?

        The cars are a bit slower than they were before, but F1 has been restricting speeds for years for safety reasons anyway.

        1. That’s a ridiculous exaggeration.

          No it’s not. The tyres make the cars about 8 to 9 seconds. Just to make sure the tyres last the race distance.

          The drivers need to drive like they are on eggshells all the time. Just to conserve the tyres rather than to actually go even remotely as fast as they can.

      2. But F1 is almost universally taken to be better with rainy sections! Outside of the drivers and teams anyhow. My theory is that the idea has been to introduce rain-like factors as much as possible, more pit-stops, tyre-wear and potential loss of traction, even marbling (creation of less stable track off the racing line). I’m sure many drivers will complain – including the likes of Alonso and Sutil who are currently losing to their team mates, coincidentally – but Ecclestone and co. will only be bothered about the viewing figures.

        I was against the DRS, KERS and fast-degrading tyres as a gimmick that would level out the talent in the field too much. Maybe I am biased but I think China went some way to proving that the best (most competitive) drivers will still rise to the top. Pity Kubica isn’t around to add more proof to that theory…

    2. “But the willingness of some drivers to try and overtake EVERYWHERE (yes i’m looking at you lewis & Mark) is making this season more exiting.”

      They’ve always tried to do it. The rule changes mean they can succeed more often.

    3. The tyres are not bad equipment. They are just not the “best” you can get. Just like the cars. If the cars were made to perform as well as the engineers could make them do the drivers would pass out after 10 laps. Just like any other regulation it is there to improve the experience for the spectators. The tyres don’t last very long, but they are quick. The F1 cars are quicker then they were last year.

      1. It depends on what your definition of ‘best’ tire is.

        The ‘Best’ tire doesn’t necessarily need to be the one that lasts the longest but produces the least variables in the race.

    4. The best thing Pirelli’s got to the track was the difference in performance between two sets of tyres.

      The Soft is over a second faster than hard and this gives teams options. It is kind of like have two different racing lines through a corner, helps overtaking.

      Another brilliant thing they did was decide on the life of a tyre. And by doing this they can keep the teams guessing from race to race as to what is going to be the life this time! Now teams and drivers have to react on race day to figure out when is the ideal time to pit.

  4. No matter what tires you put on, the best drivers will always come out on top and as long as that is the case F1 can have as many gimmicks as they want for all I care. You could even argue that the best coming out on top is even more true in ’11 than it was last year, as a better driver in a faster car could still get stuck behind someone of a lower calibre (Petrov v Alonso anyone?) The tires have without doubt greatly contributed to the excitement of the first 3 GPs. It was a bold move by Pirelli to make rapidly degrading tires the key talking point in their F1 involvement, seeing how their commercial tires rely on a reputation of being rock solid. Big props for having the stones to take on this challenge.

  5. So far I have nothing but praise for what Pirelli have done. They’ve listened to what the fans, the drivers and the teams wanted and duly got on with it.

    It’s brave for a major tyre manufacturer to produce tyres which could give the impression to some (I don’t know who, but there must be people out there) that believe all Pirelli tyres wear out quickly. It’s also quite clever though, because everyone’s talking about the Pirelli tyres and how much of a factor they are – it’s increasing brand awareness because commentators, journalists and the like are mentioning them.

    I honestly can’t see a downside to what Pirelli have achieved so far. They – not the DRS, not KERS – have proved the major game changer this year. It’s all the positives of a tyre war with, as far as I can tell, none of the drawbacks. Good on ’em!

    1. I think Pirelli have done a fantastic job, as you’ve said, but I suspect their “listening to the fans” to make a good racing tyre are sightly wide of the mark.

      The reason any company gets involved in something like this is exposure and marketing. Bridgestone made a huge mistake in trying to put perception ahead of exposure. They had tyres that lasted forever, no doubt to try an instil an idea that Bridgestone tyres “last forever”. But as a result, no-one bothered about them.

      Pirelli seem to have realised that exposure is much better. By creating a “marginal” tyre, they are a major taking point at every race. Everyone is talking about them, and better yet for them, everyone is saying how they “saved the sport!”. It’s constant exposure that is being noticed by people who aren’t even that into F1.

      As the saying goes that the only bad publicity is no publicity at all.

  6. Here, here Keith. Absolutely awesome job from Pirelli.

  7. There are also some significant challenges on the calendar still to come. Istanbul’s punishing, high-speed turn eight, which comes next on the calendar

    This is going to be interesting, we saw the first time they raced here, that the tyres were almost exploding from the insane g-forces that the tyres had to put up with round turn eight. Lets hope nothing dangerous happens here.

    But yes, what a great job Pirelli have done, fantastic stuff!

    1. I also had Turn 8 in the back of my mind. The lateral force on the tyres is going to be huge.

  8. All of this debate about Pirelli and their tyre compound brief from FIA/FOM is sending out very confused signals about where F1 is headed. For years now, because of the bad reputation the sport has attracted by sheer ‘money no object’ profigacy, the FIA has marched everybody connected with the sport towards a greener, less costly image. Smaller engines, less chassis material, less testing….less virtually everything.

    And then they introduce a tyre variability which flies in the face of all economy and durability trends. Don’t get me wrong, I think what Pirelli has done is terrific for the spectacle of F1. But what does it say about the declared aims of making F1 more relevant to what is loosly termed ‘relevance to the everyday experiences of the driving public’ ?

    And when, Keith, you make that telling comparison with the ( very relevant ) long term programme of Michelin to give us very long life tyres and so reduce our escalating driving costs…well then this very high wear-rate Pirelli strategy for F1 starts to look like extreme profligacy, doesn’t it ?

    I think the last race in China was one of the most stunning races we have ever had. And without major shunts ! But this tyre game does seem to clash with FIA’s greener message does it not ?

    1. Perhaps but remember to balance perception and reality. The race tyre allocation is the same this year as it was last year.

      1. I thought that last years allocation for quali and the race was 7 sets, 4 prime and 3 option.

    2. Jeffrey Powell
      20th April 2011, 11:41

      Yes the green message certainly is relevant.
      My solution would be for one compound of tyre for dry racing that would last the whole race with minimum degrading ,this to be used for qualifying as well.Teams would probably only need one test session per day before the race. Fuel tanks big enough to do a 60% race distance with only one stop for fuel allowed when tyres can be changed. The cars would be far more stable and much faster at the start of the race they would also use less fuel for the entire race if driven at comparative rate. If the current aero cars are still allowed DRS to be available as soon as the following car gets within .8 of a second but only after the first 4 laps are completed the overtaken car not to use DRS untill one full lap has been completed. Costs for tyres would be reduced the fastest drivers in the best cars would have the best chance ,and drivers making a supreme effort to catch and pass would be rewarded.Surely it is better to see drivers making a long hard attacking fight with a car they can push to its limits.

      1. Surely it is better to see drivers making a long hard attacking fight with a car they can push to its limits.

        That’s what they were doing on Sunday. The changes you’ve suggested would only complicate matters and probably do more harm than good for the quality of racing.

        1. Only Webber was doing that and perhaps Hamilton for one stint.

          The rest were just conserving tyres all through the race. And fail at that even.

          1. You didn’t see any other drivers pushing hard then?

            Bad reception?

          2. Nothing wrong with my reception.

            I don;t think ‘converving the tyres’ counts as ‘pushing hard’

  9. The tyres are so good this year (in terms of allowing racing) that they have vastly overshadowed the DRS and KERS systems. In fact they go so far as to render these systems unnecessary.

    My only criticism of the tyres is the fact that the hard tyre lasts less long than the soft tyre (or at least, the teams are using it less than the soft). This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it makes little sense to the viewer

    1. wow – less long? Why didn’t my mind scream ‘shorter’. Language fail. Apologies F1fanatics. WTB edit button

  10. I agree Keith. It was what we were all calling out for, and Pirelli delivered. Good for them.

    Now all we need to do is get rid of the mandatory use two compounds rule, and the racing will be purer as well as exciting.

    1. BRAVO!!! I soo soo agree with that!

  11. I think with the Pirelli tyres, we don’t need DRS or KERS. I don’t mind DRS or KERS, but we have seen some very good racing outside the DRS zone.

    1. I don’t mind either of those things either, but neither should be limited. If the teams could use any and all KERS power they collect any way they choose, then there might be some actual development of KERS that would in time be useful for the rest of us.

      Fully adjustable wings would also be great. If we still limit it to being controlled by the driver, then missing a DRS activation would be like missing a gear change used to be – an opportunity for the driver behind to overtake. If on the other hand it is fully automatic, controlled with sensors, then wings could adapt to allow drivers to get closer in dirty air. This would be an area where aerodynamicists could really show us what they are made of!

  12. We really have Canada to thank for the present tyre situation.But Pirelli are brave to embrace the policy.
    But doesn’t this also throw a spanner in the notion, that F1 is relevant to road technology. The concept of a tyre that goes into vapour after just a few minutes of use, runs contrary to the belief that road cars and tyres should be reiable, predictable and safe.

    1. F1 tyres are reliable, predictable and safe – till all the rubber has disintegrated, of course :)

  13. A-Safieldin (@)
    20th April 2011, 11:37

    Now that we have found the correct formula for exciting formula 1 racing will we ever be able to go back to the good looking super fast cars of 04 and 05?

  14. Do you really think these tyres (and DRS) are producing good races. I dont think so. Pirelli was asked by FIA to make fragile tyres and that indeed in increasing overtaking but the fundamental problem is still not solved. Do u expect Pirelli to continue develop such tyres in future ? I dont.

    And whats with that DRS ? Its the worst invention I have seen in F1 where the driver in front is made handicapped to improve the show.

    1. Do u expect Pirelli to continue develop such tyres in future ? I dont.

      Why would they do it to begin with if they weren’t going to continue to?

      1. Coz, its not good for their image and reputation. Regardless of whether the F1 technology is useful in the road cars or not, all the technical companies (Ferrari, Mclaren, Mercedes, Petronas, Renault, INfiniti, Lotus, Shell, Mobil 1, Total and many others) are in F1 because this gives them unmatched coverage and when certain team wins, all the technical contributers get applauded. But Pirelli is 1 common factor with all the teams (with the car on P1 and with 1 on P24) and they would not want to showcase their fragile tyres which are that costly and do not last 40 KMs

        1. But that is the case right now and they’re happy with it, so I don’t see how that’s going to change.

        2. I doubt anyone at all would make a 1-to-1 comparison between the tyres used in F1 and road-going tyres. For most people, I think it will just be a name that sticks in the mind and when shopping for a new set, it might be one of the first to come up.

          Still, perhaps casual viewers are more likely to make a 1-to-1 jump from F1 racing tyres to “real-world”. People who are kind of “made to” watch with partners/friends/in a bar with no control over what’s showing on the tv, whatever.

          But to me, the fact that Pirelli in their first season back in F1, have been able to calculate successfully how to construct their tyre to last a very specific number of laps, only instils confidence in their manufacturing capabilities.

          Assuming between these two scenarios that one would potentially lead to a loss of sales and the other to a win, it all comes down to balances. How many people who are casual car-racing viewers actually care about which brand of tyre gets mounted on their road-car to the point where they will object to the opinion of an “authoritative” figure (ie. someone in a garage)? And on the other side, how many people who are into watching races make a conscious decision about this?

          I would argue that someone “into” cars and car races, would be more likely to give this more thought and that therefore people who care about F1 enough to watch the races at least semi-regularly, are the people Pirelli are targeting. And these people will know that the tyre degradation is by design and on request and it will not have a negative impact on their purchasing decisions, if indeed it has any impact at all.

          1. My road tyres last 3 seconds and stick like glue so it’s perfectly suited to road tyres!

            Anyway as others have said it’s all about the name being everywhere – they are getting that – the press is positive, nobody is going to say – oh but they don’t last long do they! Just as they won’t say – ooh that Renault lost it’s hydraulics – mine might too!

            And as with the DRS – there is a good idea in there – it’s supposed to be compensation for the lack of grip in the dirty air, there is going to be a better way of doing it but the thought is in the right place give it time.

      2. Keith’s got a valid point there.

        1. Had to happen sooner or later :-)

    2. Just how the driver behind is handicapped by dirty air?

      It levels the playing field.

  15. The unpredictable tire rewards good strategists. Equal cars reward good drivers. Tires may have made F1 better as a show but if you want a better racing sport which determines the best racing driver (not best strategist), spec racing is the way to go. People argue they want to engineer factor in racing, but look at GP2, F3, karting or other spec racing series, good engineers/mechanics’ setups can still make a hell of a difference.

    1. Driver w/ fresher tires passing another w/ worn tires is not so exciting since once fresh tire driver goes past, the action is over. Imagine the best 2 drivers w/ the same equipment dueling it out laps after laps and re-passing each other, and the top 10 drivers finish w/i 10 seconds.

      1. Feel free to stop watching F1 and focus solely on GP2.
        The cars should even all run with the same paint scheme since we’re not sure if red is heavier that yellow.

      2. Yeah. But best drivers with the same equipment just can’t pass each other. They just follow each other for 60 laps. To have overtakings, there have to be a slower car in front, and a faster car, at least with 1 second, following it. And this situation just won’t happen with the best drivers with the same perfect and reliable equipment. And this is what some people just don’t understand. It’s not 125 ccm MotoGP, where the first 10 drivers are in 5 second, and they changing position on every straight.

  16. Jelle van der Meer (@)
    20th April 2011, 11:56

    The question is whether the new rubber or type or rubber drives the good races. I think it is a combination of both and that China’s exciting race would not have been as exciting if teams already known the tires for a year.

    That said it was a brilliant race because more pitstops were made and there was a greater difference in performance and durability between the tires compared to Bridgestone.

    China race rating currently stands at 9.25 which easily blowes away the 2008 Brazilian rating of 8.756 although that number is probably lower scored based on who won rather than actual quality of the race – lots of disappointing Ferrari fans same as China race result is boosted by someone else winning then Red Bull

  17. Pirelli has definitely done a brilliant job. And what should also be appreciated is that Pirelli is sticking to what fans want and not succumbing to drivers’ whines of tyres being slow and less durable. Over the testing period, every driver (even Hamilton) criticized the Pirellis for being too slow, less durable and producing too many marbles but credit to Pirelli for not going the Bridgestone-way.

    But lets not forget DRS. I, for one, think DRS is a good innovation. So far the FIA has done a good job in selecting the distances for the DRS activation on the main straights of the circuits. All the DRS doing right now is offsetting the dirty air effect on the straights. You aren’t handicapping the driver in the front, you are only removing the handicap (dirty air) of the guy in behind.
    The battle between Alonso and Michael showed that DRS hasn’t made life too easy for drivers. Alonso was able to draw alongside Michael multiple times but only alongside, not in front. DRS deserves credit too. Lets just hope the DRS activation distances chosen for the next race are also perfect.

    1. And what should also be appreciated is that Pirelli is sticking to what fans want

      Depends on what fan you talk to. As a Formula 1 fan for over 30 years, I saw a lot of show and a little real racing.

      I rather have real fights between drivers who can overtake on their own merit, in stead of overtaking actions because of new vs worn tyres or DRS, which makes it all too easy. There are no real fights anymore.

      Last year already had more overtaking actions than in the 20 years before, which were more attractive to me than most of the overtaking actions of this year.

      1. overtaking actions because of new vs worn tyres

        This has always been possible in F1 (and other forms of motor racing) regardless of the rules. That’s why races like Jerez ’86 and Silverstone ’87 are remembered as classics. It’s not something that’s only just been invented this year.

        1. When the cars and drivers are so evenly matched there has to be a difference somewhere to allow the overtake. With the Bridgestones it relied on a (big) mistake or car problem which happened in very few occasions, hence less overtaking.

        2. Well said Keith.

          Man…there’s no pleasing some people.

          First no overtaking, now ‘too easy’.

          I think it’s brilliant, I think tyres should last 5 laps(ok a bit extreme). Gone are the days when by lap 2 the race was set. Gone are the days when one driver (Vetel( was able to go the whole race in one set of tyres and change in the last lap just to comply with the rules.

          Now we get the best drivers and the best strategists earning their keep, and we should be grateful that it is all for our enjoyment.

          If you like dull races were same people win and race is set from first corner then you are not a race fan…

          1. First no overtaking, now ‘too easy’.

            Actually that’s from different sets of people. I’m on the “stop whining about lack of overtakes” and “there is too much ‘show’ posing as overtaking” side of the fence.

        3. There is a huge difference between “possible” and “happening for most of the race”.

          Webber had 15 overtakes. Practically None of those was interesting. At best a few of them at the start of the race.

  18. Thank Heavens for Pirelli!

    With regards to the ‘green’ thing. Last season Bridgestone carted around the world a whole load of tyres that never got used. How green is that?

    I suppose F1 could go the other way and have just one set of tyres lasting for four or five races (just like the engine and gearboxes and all perfectly technically possible). Woe betide anyone whose tyres start going off after just one or two races!

    Road car tyre manufacturers have long been able to fit tyres to road cars that grip just as well and last much longer than they currently do.

    Why does anyone think that they don’t sell these tyres to the general public?

    Why do you think that tyre manufacturers are loath to bang on about how long their tyres can last on a road car?

    Michelin currently have an ad which states that its new ‘Energy Saver’ tyre lasts 6000 miles more than any comaparable tyre. But it’s biggest selling point is that it saves you fuel. hmmmm…..

    1. Have you recently looked at tyre comparisons? When choosing what tyres to go for for the summer i had a look.

      Actually those Michelins do have the best durability, but they have worse braking and wet handling characteristics. Continental is pretty durable as well, but has a big performance advantage, making them 1st in most tests and Michelin somewhere in 5th. Pirelli is currently somewhere between that.

  19. At the end of the day i’d by bridgestone for my car, they provided more performance ( faster lap times) and were more durable, if perelli were interseted in selling tyres they would develop a tyre that is provides more performance (faster lap times) and degraded faster. i.e. prove that they can make good tyres, while still spicing up the racing.

    but then agian the average joe who buys a tyre wont consider this

    1. By that logic a can of Red Bull is quicker then a Ferrari.

      1. Well it is, you put a can of Red Bull at the top of a hill, its small profile and the fact it exists means (because there is no can of Ferrari) it will reach the bottom of the hill much quicker.

        1. Ha, nice one! Well, not really.

  20. But in the words of Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery: “we want to give racing back to the racers”. That’s exactly what they’ve done so far, and they should be congratulated.

    Nope. Racing has been given back to the strategists, not the racers. It spices up the show, I agree, but it isn’t real racing.

    Last year was given back to the racers thanks to the ban on refuelling with more overtaking actions than in the 20 years before. This year it is back in the hands of the strategists.

    Thanks to the different tyre strategies we will probably see more overtaking than in the entire formula 1 history, but I wouldn’t call it racing. This way it becomes more a show than a real sport. Overtaking a car who is on worn tyres when you are on new tyres is not difficult. Even a Force India could overtake a Red Bull that way, or a Super Aguri overtaking a McLaren in 2007.

    IMHO I think that the real problem that overtaking is difficult in the past 20 years is that aerodynamics are too important. If cars could slipstream through corners we would see more overtaking, even if drivers are racing with the same tyres. No need of the unfair DRS either.

    So bring back ground-effect and bigger tyres. This will make a car less dependent on aerodynamics, which will improve slipstreaming and thus overtaking. We probably would see a lot more action than in the past years, going back to the number of overtaking actions we had before 1994, when the number of actions dropped dramatically (because of refuelling). Last year brought the number of overtaking actions back to these levels.

    1. Completely agree. It’s a “show” allright.

      Still, on the ‘racing’ front not much has changed. If it hadn’t been for Hamilton we wouldn’t have seen any ‘real racing’ in China.

      1. Oh dear! Is Hamilton not part of the ‘show’ ?

        And he wouldn’t have been part of that had it not been for a late change from a two stop to a three stop strategy. He couldn’t have done that last season.

  21. This is back to the good old days, late 80’s/ early 90’s it was similar, you always had drivers on newer tyres carving through the field. This is what has been missing for a long time, forget DRS, it isn’t needed as long as the tyres continue to be like this. Is it manufactured racing? no, tactics should always play a part in F1, the skill of the pitwall is as important as the skill of the driver.

  22. I for one am very excited about the Turkish GP for it is renowned at being extremely harsh on the tyres a good example of this was in 2008 when Hamilton had to take an extra stop in order to avoid running into the degradation problems that haunted him the previous year! it will be interesting to see whether the new smoother and more composed hamilton will suffer from the same problem or whether he has now learnt to drive around that problem! am expecting turkey to be another 3 stop race at least and hopefully lots of last lap drama in the last 3 corners!

  23. you give a driver more grip and you ask him what he wants next and he’ll answer, even more grip. They are hardly a bellweather on whats good and whats not.

    What produces good races is differential in performance and quickies behind slowies. the tyres Pirelli make are almost 100% responsible for this and i for 1 am going to buy Pirellis for my roadcar next time.

    Anyone whingeing about F1 at the moment is either just a bloody whinger or they’ve not watched F1 long enough to know how stullifyingly dull it can and has been.

    And the reason Bridgestone left was because no one was talking about the tyres anymore. They are now and Pirelli will get huge value from their involvement. No on is surely stupoid enough to think an F1 tyre reflects what they are doing with their road tyres. are they? surely not??

  24. Pirelli do deserve a massive pat on the back for their work so far.

    It was foolish for Bridgestone to be intimidated by the consumer market wanting durable tyres, feeling they had to convey that message via F1. Any person, motorsport fan or not would surely realise that F1 and road car tyres are nowhere near comparable, F1 dry tyres are slick for a start!

    But back to Pirelli, yes they have helped produce brilliant races so far and long may it continue.

  25. they should have dumped the boring-ass bridgestones for super fun time pirellis years ago. we’re getting the benefit of a tire war without the drawbacks.

  26. I`m just loving it so far! I love strategic headaches mixed with good racing on the track as Mclaren and Lewis Hamilton provided us with in the last race. Credits to Red Bull and Mark Webber as well ! :) Pirelli is making the teams and drivers work harder during the race, it`s no longer just about having a good result in quali ( e.g Vettel ) and a good racing start ( e.g Buton ).

  27. exactly Keith. Mansell catching Senna at Monaco at 2 seconds a lap plus was because hed piutted for new tyres. its a classic even though no overtaking happened ( hey it was monaco).

    Trouble is we forget and we also had barely any information back then. Murray was trying to put his trousers out and Hunt was probably trying to light them.

  28. Thank you Pirelli, they’ve indeed done what they promised.

    Still, at lest one rainy race would be nice.

  29. Although some praise must go to Pirelli, it’s probable that some of the action seen in these few races is because the drivers and their teams don’t yet know how to use them to full advantage.

    Lewis’s win was probably due more to what was learnt in the previous race. And what have the teams learnt from Mark’s race performance this time.

    Forget q3 I want to start race with at least 4 sets of new tyres.

  30. One of the things I object to with this topic is the implication that Pirelli are some sort of heroes for doing what the FIA asked of them…the article starts out by implying it was totally Pirelli’s decision to go this route, with tires that wear out much moreso than previous tires, because they ‘want to give racing back to the racers’…but this is all FIA directed…I doubt racers would ask first and foremost for tires that are only good for a few laps and then fall off a cliff…I think they would want much more consistancy than that…

    I am under no illusion that had Bridgestone or Michelin been asked to make softer tires that wear out much more quickly, they could easily have done the same thing as Pirelli…

    The tire situation has ended up where it is due to F1’s inability to provide an exciting show by other means…at times they have wanted only one manufacturer so that tires are ‘the same for everyone’…tire manufacturers themselves tend to want a competitor in F1 so that we talk about tires much more…this year I suppose we are talking about tires a lot because even though there is only one manufacturer the tires are a big factor to the races…ie. a gadget…

    Anyway, while I agree with some points on either side, and it is hard to argue that last race wasn’t exciting, I think for me the jury is still out, and I would much prefer less gadgets, of which I consider the current tires one of them…they are half way to the equivalent of BE’s sprinklers around the track…

    Big fat slicks like they had in the 70’s equals much more mechanical grip and much more drag down straightaways, equals teams forced to run less wing for any kind of respectable speeds, equals more mechanical grip with less aero dependancy, equals passes due to the skill of the driver whose behind, not due to the guy in front handcuffed to do anything about it on tires not likely in their optimum performance window…

  31. whats wrong with gadgets? i want to see racing, i dont care how they get there.

    1. Fair enough…I want to see a driver pass on his own merit, not because his rival in front had a malfuntioning gadget…a pass due to one’s gadget being more effective than another’s at a certain small window of opportunity is less about racing than it could/should be imho…

  32. Michelin, one of the companies that were in the running to return as a tyre supplier this year, are currently running an advertising campaign touting the benefits of road tyres which they claim last much longer than their rivals’.

    It is a good thing for road cars to have tyres that wear out slowly, because they don’t have to make pit stops and they aren’t racing and they are not there for the spectators’ enjoyment.
    But in Formula 1 tyre wear is important as it means people outside the car can, together with the driver, make fundamental decisions and this may bring people to risk more to get an advantage and people to risk less to keep their advantage, and this will assure different strategies every race and provide us with better racing.
    Congratulations Pirelli!

    1. What Pirelli should be able to promote (next to making itself the talking point at every race) is that they are able to get exactly the mix they targetted.

      Just as in road cars its a fine balance between durability and performance. Great work.

      1. Sure, I would love it if the tires of people ahead of me dropped off so badly that I could just drive by them on the way to work, instead of sitting behind them while they applied eye-liner or updated the facebook profiles or whatver is causing them to drive a snails pace and weave between the lines. Much like how Webber mowed down the Ferraris in China.

        1. Off course that is not what anyone wants.

          What I said was, that Pirelli have reacted very well to the demands by the FOTA, FIA and FOM for tyres that give multiple options and more stops. They got it very nearly perfectly right.

          For road cars they use different criteria to fit customer wishes (balancing durability, fuel economy and performance), but in F1 they show how good they are able to produce exactly what they wanted to do.

  33. While I will not dispute that the previous GP was terribly exciting, I find it hard to understand the “green” benefits of fast-degrading tyres. While the absence of refueling may lead to some kind of comforting, warm thoughts of earth-friendly racing, tires require a massive amount of oil to produce. I understand they are limited in quantity for each race, but tyres that fall apart before your eyes (even on the cheapest television set) cannot produce a positive reaction from the same crowd that believes the lack of refueling any more beneficial than when fuel was a part of the pit stop.

    For a sport so concerned about its image it just seems a little counterproductive. Yes, I want more exciting races like China but for the world’s highest level of auto racing, why put the cars on tires made of cheese?

    1. As someone above mentioned, Pirelli bring the same amount of tyres as Bridgestone did, and now they are all being used rather then many sitting around not being used for a whole race weekend.

    2. How about scooping up all those marbles and making some sets of recycled tyres out of them? I’m sure you’ll get enough rubber from 3-4 races to supply each driver with 1-2 sets of recycled tyres at the 4th/5th race.

  34. did the previous 10 yrs not happen or something? did we see hundreds of races ruined by faster drivers not being able to get past because of dirty air. now weve got tyres that make a difference weve got people saying it isnt a pure overtake

    UNBELIEVEABLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    you know in the early days a slower car would move out of the way ( thats in the “pure” 1950’s and 60’s) and we ve had turbo boosts that jetted you past in the 1980’s.

    If you think there ever was an era where overtaking was pure and there was lots of it you are sadly mistaken.

    1. I for one don’t want to see ‘lots’ of overtaking…I would prefer overtaking to be rare and special, which to me does not come from one guy on tires that happen to be in a small window of high performance while the other is a sitting duck on tires that have fallen off dramatically…I’d rather they have consistant tires and them not be subject to dirty air holding them back, such that a pass meant the driver in behind did a better job under an apples to apples comparison, not a situation of timing and circumstance, which is also racing, just to me not the pinnacle of racing…

      1. Nobody these days has the patience to follow an F1 race containing a total of 2 overtakes, even though they were special.

  35. Not really. The racing is exciting not because of the tires per se, but because the teams don’t yet understand the tires, or their performance remains primarily a lottery. With additional data, strategies will converge, just as they did with refueling. In any event, as far as passing caused by tires being the best thing ever, or rather more of the same thing that always happened like is some races in the 80s, not quite. A car suddently going 5 seconds slower on a lap and getting passed like he is chained to a post is racing, but its a thin gruel by current or historical standards, even compared to a pass-less battle between competitive cars for 25 laps. The best pass in China that mattered remains Hamilton’s pass on Button in stint 3 into turn one. No DRS, not tire-crippled quarry, just old fashioned late-braking.

    This obsession with seeing passing as the ultimate evidence of “racing” reminds me of how my 2 year old flips straight to the back of her Thomas the Tank Engine book to where the trains crash so she can scream “OH NOOO!” and avoid all the less immediately satisfying story-line development.

    1. OK, what people are missing with a lot of these ‘passes out of the DRS zone’ is that this is showing the DRS zone was judged to perfection.

      That move on Button was available, in part, and possibly a large part, due to DRS. Lewis was losing a lot of pace out of the corner before the long straight (13/14?) this was partially due to lack of traction and partially because it was hard to follow closely due to lack of aero grip.

      Last year what this would mean is that he would drop back down the straight, no chance into the slow right hander because he’s too far back no chance into the last corner because the concertina effect means that button would have been driving away from him easily – Because he is now so far back not enough slipstream to get up the inside into 1. He has to wait another lap of chinking back under buttons wing until he has the same problem on the next lap until Button makes a big mistake, which may never happen.

      This year – Lewis loses some ground through 13/14 due to aero and traction half way along the straight manages to use DRS to get back under the wing – back to the position he was in JUST BEFORE turn 13/14 where he lost ground due to aero, manages to keep up through the slow right hander and the left hander onto the pit straight, he is now in a position that he can slipstream Button and take a stab up the inside into 1.

      DRS allowed that overtake and several others – it was still down to driver skill but DRS removed the ridiculous lap after lap zero hope chasing due to aero loss and handed the opportunity (NOT CERTAINTY) back to the chasing driver.

      You may also see a reduction in the amount of people getting T-boned due to ridiculous lunges up the inside as people now don’t have to try absolutely desperate moves when nothing is on that is only going to put 2 closely matched competitors out of the race and ruin the rest of the race for us!

      1. OK. Well made and well taken. But if DRS does not produce the pass on the straight in which it is deployed, why exactly have did we choose this particular contraption to improve the Show? Your point tends to prove that if this is a proper effect, it’s an obtuse approach and extremely second-best. Why not just go with what we have already, and let a pusuer improve the Show by getting an extra heaping of KERS discharge in the appropriate zone? Or something?

  36. Racing in the past was decided in the pit stop windows alone, apart from maybe somebody struggling on tyres for whatever reason or a faster car fighng through the field.

    Now, cars slice and dice on literally any corner of the track, whilst fighting the tyre degradation and the added unknown of how much traction there is.

    DRS has made the racing better too. Some say it’s “fake”, but that isn’t possible. Racing is racing, no matter what produces that racing, it’s still racing.

    It’s not as if every time the DRS is opened, the driver sails past. Hamilton passed Vettel for the lead, and the win, through sheer ballsyness alone.

    1. Well that pass was mainly intellect. He saved his KERS for the correct place – again it’s racing though – He thought the pass through, saved his KERS (where most people would just be punching it in the same place lap after lap) and executed it perfectly.

    2. DRS is not fake. I grant you. Just as a McDonalds apple pie is a real pie, it’s just made out of apple-flavored potato bits, corn syrup, and food coloring. Outwardly engaging, but ultimtely unsatisfying.

  37. Great article. What’s amazed me more about the current setup is that, even though we’re only 3 races in, instead of converging towards a solution we see the teams really having to analyze and even come up with solutions mid race. The tyres are so borderline that the track/weather has made it so that from one race to the next it has made sense to go from an endurance/save your tyres approach to an all out 4 sprint mini races. I agree, the question is whether the teams will be able to have it all figured out come abu dahbi

  38. I cannot believe, a sub standard product is being hailed as great racing. If Pirelli was trying to sell me tires for my racing leauge,I’d say thanks but not thanks. The tires are terrible.

  39. For me racing is when two people compete on equal term and the best wins.

    In the old days, drivers did not all drive to the limit of the machinery they had, and a lot of that is because they did not have the data to tell them where gains could be made. Today we have oodles of data and drivers are able to identify where they can improve and close the gap. Not to mention that the reliance or aero now means the car behind is actually disadvantaged even if it is equally fast.

    So why did we get an interesting race last weekend? It’s simply because the teams have not gathered enough data on the tyres. If the current tyre compounds continue to be used, soon the teams will get data and run simulations and we’ll see all the teams running the same “optimum” strategy and we’ll be back where we started.

    I’m not in favour of “unfair” practices like the DRS and reversing the grid. I think that in order to keep the racing exciting, we need to keep up the uncertainty so that teams do not get the data they need to all come to the same conclusion and strategy. Pirelli provide that uncertainty now and if they want to continue to do so, they should keep changing their compounds.

  40. Which bit of them is terrible rich?

    Also which race series are you running? Sounds terribly exciting??

    1. The tires do not last as compared to other tyre suppliers in the past. Namely last years bridgestones. Pirelli in my opinion need to improve upon the degradation a bit.

  41. Now the pit crews have a bigger role in the race. Their strategy and performance will effect the race greatly. This change is a great idea and Pirelli has pulled it off for the benefit of the sport.

    1. Let me also give thanks to Pirelli for making the tires degrade at equal amounts. That is huge and really makes for a lot of possibilities that will make getting the strategy right will always take a certain amount of luck.

  42. Rich. Doh! They were asked to produce a quick deg tyre! Its not paris dakar, its about mixing the field when a qualifying format does its best not to.

    Doh doh doh. Read the blog, it explains all

    1. Well, antonyb, I am man enough to admit a mistake. heheh. I appreciate the correction.

      I still don’t like what’s going on in formula 1 right now. They need to go back to the drawing board in my opinion. If you are going to make things equal then make it all equal.

  43. Funny how Pirelli’s is getting the praise now that people seem to enjoy the “show”. Instead when there were complaints it was big bad FIA who had put a knife on their throats demanding poorly constructed tyres.

    I hope that people will at least finally grasp the truth that it was Pirelli who came up with this idea of fast deteriorating tyres. As opposed to Michelin’s suggestion of longer lasting tyres.

    I posted quotes of their respective CEO’s fighting it out in the media about who’s idea was better, but I was oveblown by the massive media campaign of FOTA and FIA trying to save Pirelli’s face. A lie is always easier to swallow for the masses when a dozen people chant it at the same time.

  44. Tyres good. DRS bad.

    I was going to leave it at that but wanted to point out that we are particularly lucky with how things have turned out because the cars are not well-matched this year. Mercedes and Ferrari are miles off the pace but the uncertainty surrounding optimum strategy allowed them into the mix in China. If the teams can get as close as last season we will be seeing some amazing racing. DRS is really, really wrong though!

    1. Wrong. Tyres bad. DRS good.

  45. Guilherme (@the_philosopher)
    20th April 2011, 21:54

    Istanbul’s punishing, high-speed turn eight

    What a dramatic corner. Pity it has such a rubbish, boring name!

    Surely someone could come up with actual names for the corners at Istanbul Park?

  46. We Want Turbos
    20th April 2011, 23:27

    Could name them after famous Turkish F1 drivers!!…

  47. Looking at the past few races, I bet Bridgestone regret not making similar tyres.

    Pirelli have probably been mentioned more times in the past three races than Bridgestone have in the past 4 years! If Pirelli had gone down the same route as Bridgestone, we probably wouldn’t even notice there are new tyres.

    Receiving universal praise for doing good for the sport has definitely raised brand awareness, which after all is the reason why they are in F1.

    1. I dont think Bridgestone regret anything, thb. They made a consistent, durable tire – which is the image you want to portray to the world. Does ferrari wants its engines blowing up unpredictably? it’d sure make the races more interesting and stir up a lot of talk, but I highly doubt Ferrari want that.

      1. Actually Bridgestone produced pretty much exactly the same race in Australia 2009. The supersofts were degrading like crazy.

        The drivers were fuming about the poor performance of the tyres and the constant pummeling by marbles.

        Luckily for Pirelli the drivers have now been muzzled. They are not allowed to speak bad of the tyres. problem solved.

  48. Yeah, its a been a great opening to the season if you find rubber degredation to be fascinating.

    1. The track looks like a nice black pebble beach after a bit of racing though.

  49. Frankly the massive amount of overtaking were very PREDICTABLE.

    I was only excited as I supported Mark Webber, it gave me a high watching him ‘bulldozing’ his way up from 18th to a podium finish. But looking back after the race, are we not overreacting to this situation as we’ve experienced too much processions.

    The only part I enjoyed was when Alonso couldn’t pass Schumi and finally did it with some wobbling, brought back memories of true racing.

    Vettel’s fight with Lewis was so brief – it was “after you Lewis” my tyres are shot.

    Passing shouldn’t be that easy as it DEVALUES the meaning of racing.

    Webber’s strategy now becomes the benchmark. We don’t really need qualifying anymore. 1 set of prime(used) and 3 sets option(brand new) will be ringing for every team now.

    2010 was a very good year and realistic IMHO. Is FIA screwing up the rules?, YES they are. Is FIA goal turning F1 green?, NO they’re not. They could at least keep the rules for a minimum of 2 years. Honestly I don’t want F1 to be green at all.

  50. All credit to Pirelli and thank you Bridgestone for making F1 boring for the past 4 years. Don’t come back, BS. You are not wellcome. Hope they will withdraw from MotoGP as well.

  51. “we want to give racing back to the racers”.

    Thanks Perelli. They deserve the wishes, I just momentum continues.

    1. Ask the real “racers” (Hamilton, kobayashi, Alonso) and they will say that “racing” was taken away from them.

  52. This article and the arguments made in favour of it are quite silly. Pirelli showed up with a poor quality tire, and it’s being lauded because of the fortunate circumstance of it making the racing a little more unpredictable? If you want exciting, unpredictable racing, watch something else – F1 should always represent the pinnacle of technology, within a given formula. Lauding Pirelli for bringing and inferior tire is like those who suggested spraying the terack with water to make the racing more exciting. It’s artificial and goes against the spirit of F1.

  53. Bottom line-People want to see exciting racing, Pirelli has given us this, thanks Pirelli.

  54. The Pirelli tyres are good for racing. But had the coupled with Refueling we would have even better races. Right now, it makes sense to pit in earlier and be faster than the car in front. But had we had refuelling, even if you had new tyres you would have the penalty of extra fuel on you. It would have levelled the field in some respects. Right now, racing has become more about who pits first and who gets rid of the hard tyre faster.

    1. But if you pit first all the time, or only do ten laps on the hard tyre, you have to do a longer last stint. Just ask Nico Rosberg.

  55. It’s a bit harsh on Bridgestone to say they didn’t get it right – they were never asked to, and there was no incentive for them to do so.

  56. Spot on Keith
    This tyre change has enabled a dry races on featureless tracks to become an overtaking bonanza.

    And that’s a good thing!

    All credit to Pirelli for giving us the benefit of being intelligent enough to distinguish between the quality of their road tyres and their racing tyres

  57. The emphasis on mechanical grip rather than aerodynamic downforce is what has improved the racing. If we continue to reduce the effects of downforce we can improve the mechanical grip and allow the tyres to last longer and make the racing even better.

  58. colin grayson
    3rd August 2011, 20:54

    DRS is supposed to improve the racing by helping overtking DURING THE RACE
    so why is it’s use allowed during qually ??

    makes no sense

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