Four-stop strategies likely in Istanbul – Pirelli

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2011

Pirelli expect teams will have to make up to four pit stops during the Turkish Grand Prix.

Motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “You would say, based on wear levels, four.

“But we did see that, in Melbourne and Sepang, the evolution of the circuit was such that the pre-race predictions were reduced because the rubber was going down on the circuit which reduces the wear of the tyres.

“We have GP2 and GP3 running as well which means we have a lot of support races which we didn’t see in Shanghai.

“So I’m saying four to start with but it wouldn’t surprise me if we get that down to three.”

Hembery also refuted claims the tyres have created ‘artificial’ racing:

“The number of people who’ve called to say ‘what a great race, that was fantastic’ has far outweighed a few people who’ve said ‘maybe this is slightly false and contrived’.

“All motor sport is contrived in one way or form and I think most people want to see exciting action, they want to see overtaking manoeuvres.

“They want to see Mark Webber going from the back of the grid and getting on the podium, that makes a great story and it makes you want to watch the race.

“And, of course, you can’t sleep any more on a Sunday. It used to be you could watch the start, if there wasn’t any incidents there you could fall asleep, wake up in two hours and they’d still be in the same order.

“That’s not the case any more. We’re one element, of course, of the package, between KERS and the rear wing [DRS], that are assisting the overtaking and making things a little bit more lively.

“But the tyre strategy is proving to be, at least at the start of the season, a major element in creating some open racing.”

See more from Hembery in this video: Pirelli plan to introduce ‘super-hard’ tyre in Spain

2011 Turkish Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Turkish Grand Prix articles

    Image © Pirelli

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    55 comments on “Four-stop strategies likely in Istanbul – Pirelli”

    1. Hembery also refuted claims the tyres have created ‘artificial’ racing

      Tyres can’t produce artificial racing: they’re an important part of the car, not something that advantages some and others not, not something extra added to add overtaking.

      1. Maybe not as artificial as DRS, but the high tyre wear means overtaking becomes a lot easier (too easy imho) for a car on fresh tyres, which overtakes a car on worn tyres.

        That’s not my kind of racing. I rather have cars fighting with each other than one car passing another without any difficulty.

        With these tyres strategy has become the major factor whereas last year real racing was the major factor, which was already an improvement over the years before, thanks to the ban on refuelling.

        1. Pit stop strategy under the old regs was boring because a three stop necessitates a pass on track.

          The old strategy was to do a 2 stop and block those on the 3 stop.

          Now because it is far easier to overtake, the 3 stop makes much more sense and therefore we are seeing more overtaking as a result.

        2. Maybe not as artificial as DRS, but the high tyre wear means overtaking becomes a lot easier (too easy imho) for a car on fresh tyres, which overtakes a car on worn tyres.

          but it’s even for everyone. they all have the same tyres which will be good and bad at different times during the race.

      2. unnnococooc
        5th May 2011, 14:21

        Agree. Tyres are tyres, everyone gets the same and an en equal chance and it is the same as any previous GP weekend. Fangio drove according to his tyres in the same way.

        The DRS is artificial as one driver gets it and the other doesn’t so it is an advantage not normally found duringa race. Slipstreaming is an advantage usually found during a race so it is fine.

        KERS should be developed like everything else in F1 but as far as racing goes it isn’t artificial. If in the 60’s they could put batteries in cars that would recharge on braking I’m pretty sure we would have seen that. All drivers can use it to do what they want so it not artificial and hence fine

        1. maybe it should be called management racing on the new tyres rather than flatout pedal to the metal racing?

          Definitely not artificial though.

        2. Dont get me wrong i love the new softer tyres, but surley by limmiting the number of tyres per weekend you penilise the slower cars, as they will use more tyres in qualifying to get further up the grid and then be compromised for the race.

          1. @DMC – actually, I think the slower cars have an advantage as they use fewer tyres in qualifying – as per Webber, for example. You even have Horner saying that it may not be worth contesting qualifying. Cars that take qualifying seriously will use more tyres, leaving less for the race. One mistake – say a lock up in Q3 which ruins a set of tyres – could mean losing half a dozen places or more at the end of the race when a driver is subsequently out of fresh tyres. It seems too harsh a penalty to me.
            I think the concept of tyres that “go off” is good, but I think it needs to be toned down a bit. The performance difference is just a bit too dramatic.

            1. Or get rid of the limit.

            2. I agree Joe… if they could spread out the “falling off a cliff” from 2 laps to say 4 laps, I’d say they’ve hit the bullseye.

      3. I think anuything you can engineer to perform a particular way could be deemed artificial. I don’t agree with the word ‘artificial’ though.

    2. Here’s an interesting scenario:

      No re-fuelling, no tyre changes, no KERS, DRS, etc., tyres that lost the whole race no matter how fast you go (unless you flat-spot them or something) – would purists trade that all for reverse grids?

      1. Lost the whole race?

        1. Typo I suspect. I think he meant to type “last”.

          And of course, the answer that for me at least, is: I dunno.

          In anything that depends on mechanical grip, yes, possibly. In F1 as it currently stands, no way. There would be no overtaking at all, save for at the start.

          1. Yes the mech/aero balance would have to be addressed in that scenario.

      2. Dangerous, arrtificial and cant really be policed. Drivers wouldnt be going all out in qualifying, some may go deliberately slower to improve the race position. Perhaps not by a lot to the average joe, about maybe by 0.3-0.5.

        No thanks.

        1. unnnococooc
          5th May 2011, 14:30

          I wouldn’t want that.

          People seen to think that the to you either go fast or look after tyres.

          FACT: You can go slowly and ruin your tyres
          FACT: You can drive quickly and look after your tyres
          FACT: Just because Hamilton can’t drive as he likes to drive because of the tyres doesn’t mean no one else can drive quickly either.

          FACT: If the tyres last the whole race no matter how you drive you are cutting out a key part of driving and that is being able to drive the race accordingly.

          Prost, a 4 times world champion saved his brakes and tyres and used them when he needed to. That is a skill that makes him a better drive, why shouldn’t that have some key part in F1 racing.

          F1 is the pinnical of motorsport and the drivers should have skills to do everything. The winner should be able to utilise the best form their car, adapt it, develop it, overtake , drive blistering laps and never burn out his tyres or blow his brakes.

          I would argue that a driver who can only drive flat out if he destroys tyres is just as bad as a driver who can’t overtake.

          Racing is a craft not just a banzai drive to the maximum spin the tyres to turn faster, rip tyres, lock brakes occasionally for pushing so hard, it takes skill and craft and that is what F1 has been missing with the long life tyres.

          I’d prefer to see a driver win who scores a 9/10 on all of these skills rather than 10/10 on one, a 5/10 for one and 9/10 on the rest.

          1. See, this is my point. People complain things are artificial but it turns out, we need them to have something more than a procession, which they also hate.

          2. I dissagree, these cars are designed on the limit.
            They should be driven on the limit. Prost may have been great at systems managenent but all the drivers who are great to watch drive on the limit aryton,mika,michael,lewis etc.

            1. I agree with DMC. The race should be more about fast cars and gutsy driving than guessing how long a set of tyres will last. Tyre management should be part of it, of course. But right now I think it’s a bit too much, at the expense of ultimate speed. There’s a reason why Prost was thought thought to be a boring driver. Doesn’t he hold the record for winning a WDC with the fewest number of race wins?

            2. @JoeBloggs: No, that would be Keke Rosberg. Only one win in 1982.

              It’s funny you should use Senna and Schumacher to stress your point. Both of them nursed ill-handling, damaged cars to points or podium positions many times in their careers(Brazil ’91, Spain ’95 and many more). That’s what makes a good driver great. It’s relatively easy to keep a fast car in front. Much more difficult to stay in front when things are going wrong.

        2. Ah see, I leave just one bit of artificiality in the equation and it’s still too artificial. Not sure what exactly needs “policing” though.

          I really should have said that in this case there would be an incentive to qualify as high as you can, or it is in reverse championship order.

      3. Why reversed grids?

        1. Because it’s a hypothetical case trading all artificiality for just one, the biggest one of all. I’m not saying I think it should be like this, just interested in the thought process of those screaming it’s all artificial.

      4. If you add two things to that formula…

        1. ‘proper’ qualifying – i.e. as little fuel as you like, simply “who is fastest”
        2. a rolling start

        …then what you have is a grid of cars that simply spread out further and further – because the fastest cars are already at the front. No overtaking ever!

        1. What if, from the order of qualifying, all those on the even side of the grid go round the track clockwise and the odd side counter clockwise.

          Just a thought

      5. I’m not sure why no one has noticed, but the whole concept of the sport is a artificial.

        I start the ‘Strongest Human in the world’ championship opening up entries to anyone who pays a set price. Only 10 contestants emerge and only 2 of those who enter are actual body building athletes while the other 8 are people who had the money to spend and were looking for fame.
        Every year the championship is decided between the two athletes while the other 8 never stand a chance. So in an effort to make the competition more exciting, I hack off the legs of the two athletes. Now the competition is closer but the ‘Strongest person in the world’ is often not actually the strongest.

        Every rule in the book that is said to help reduced costs to try and keep the sport alive is in-fact making the sport and the racing artificial.

      6. Reverse grids are a no-no. Random grids could be a possibility, though.

        For no refuelling, no tyre changes, no DRS, no KERS: we already have MotoGP (where overtaking is a lot easier btw). Sounds a lot fairer to me than so much pit strategies and gimmicky Mario-kart overtaking, but the procession that would result would prove too boring for most spectators. It could only work if the aero wouldn’t make it so hard to overtake.

        I can accept KERS but the current rules for DRS are far too gimmicky for me. I would accept DRS if the pilots were allowed to use it whenever they saw it fit, be it in attack or defense. OK, so DRS can be dangerous in curves, but that’s the pilot’s job: to do it right.

    3. WHat a load of PR $%^&

      1. EH? The title of the article’s a little misleading as the Pirelli guy says he expects it to come down to three but China went to three and China doesn’t have Turn 8.

        1. The title of the article’s a little misleading

          Hembery said it could be four but may be fewer. The article says four is “likely”. That is not misleading.

          1. Ah fair enough but it’s in his interest to up the number of stops, if he gets it right or there’s less he looks good from either angle. Brigestone were doing that constantly at the begining and after Canada. It does feel like he’s just covering himself

            I felt it was misleading because of this line: “So I’m saying four to start with but it wouldn’t surprise me if we get that down to three.”

            Essentially I read his quote as original wear levels four, track after friday and saturday programme plus support races three, so three the more likley. On the other hand Turn 8.

            Still any team that makes four stops could be awfully compromised, Hamilton in Sepang sort of thing.

    4. Great job so far. Maybe we will see the wet tyres in action this weekend, that would be a novelty for Turkey.

      Also like how they added a thick band of colour between the logos now for better visibility of the compound.

    5. I, for one, do not want to see Webber making his way from the back all the way to the front, in one stint.

      DRS, I can live with.

      Fast-degrading tyres, I can live with.

      What I can’t live with, is someone qualifying at the very back, and in one stint, making their way through the entire field.

      That is contrived.

      1. He didn’t make in one stint. He made it over three stints.

        1. unnnococooc
          5th May 2011, 14:36

          Webber’s drive showed his racecraft. It meant that he knew hwen the drive hard and when to back off.

          He didn’t fight hard when overtake at the start on hards and made the most of his clear air. That is what he showed.

          Being able to banzai in laps like in Hungary last year IS artifical pretty much. Being able to just kill in the laps again and again and after and after because his tyres never died.

          If I see drivers win with skill of how to race a race and not jsut banzai out laps then we are watching racing, but if you watch last year again now you’ll think many a time.. *** How is he still going, oh wait magic tyres that don’t ever slow down or die off….

          1. Webber’s drive had nothing to do with race craft, in someways it was a very articficial storm through the feild.

            It had everything to do with strategy and the fastest car, he was on brand new soft tyres when they lastest the longest (rubbered in track, low fuel) he had this advantage twice, it was completley extreme at the end when everyone else had the hards on.

            Anyone can drive through the feild when their car is 2.5 seconds faster than everyone elses on their slow laps.

    6. To quote uncle Albert: This sounds ‘orrible… I think ten pit stops is even more exciting or 20 who knows…

      1. Post CHina everyone was raving, now they’ve read the papers 3/4 stops is outrageous (it’ll be three) 3 was normal during the refueling era it’s nothing new.

    7. i don’t think DRS is artificial, neither is the tire wear is artificial. they provide advantage to guy behind which is lost due to the air turbulence of the car ahead. drivers have to get their tire choices right & if the car & the driver have pace they can overtake the car which overtook it in the next lap itself.

    8. What’s his phone number?

      It is artificial. In the last race, Lewis Hamilton, the master of overtaking and all things F1, only overtook those cars at the end because his tyres were in better shape. In 07 and 08 etc his overtakes were more meaningful as he didn’t have any Mario Kart power-ups. No massive tyre difference. No KERS. No DRS and for overtaking only. Just pure ability. Hamilton has overtaken his team-mate many times, often a WDC. Hamilton has overtaken faster cars, whether they’re Ferraris (07, 08, 09, 10) or RBRs (esp. ’10) without any silly gimics.

      1. I don’t agree. DRS is the only ‘Mario Kart’ gimmick here – the others are just variations of things we’ve seen in F1 before.

        Were Jerez ’86 or Silverstone ’87 ‘fake’ because of the role tyres played? No.

        Were turbo boost buttons in the eighties – similar to today’s KERS – artificial and wrong? No.

        But DRS (as it is used in races) is different because drivers who are trying to defend their position aren’t allowed use it.

        I’m very uneasy about the precedent it sets. It’s detracting from my enjoyment of this year’s races because, as far as I’m concerned, it’s making them artificial.

        1. I agree with you on every point there Keith other than on KERS. I find KERS to be artificial and I disagree it is the same as the turbo boost of the 1980’s mainly due to reliability. In the 1980’s the races were more ‘to the limit of car and driver’ in many peoples opinion and the turbo boost was a risk on the engine which is not same with KERS imo.

          However, on the rest I completely agree and enjoyed the article. I think that there will be 3 stops in Istanbul.

          1. Dave Blanc
            6th May 2011, 5:43

            I actually really like KERS – i think there is a real skill in the way drivers can use it and more importantly it is available to all drivers. Listen to the interview with Hamilton after the Chinese race – he was very canny in the way he stalked and overtook both Button and Vettel by applying KERS at certain points.

            DRS on the other hand is only available to the pursuer which ultimately in my opinion makes it unfair and detracts from the skill of the overtake.

            1. Well said, although talking about Hamilton in China, he also said he DIDN’T try overtaking in the DRS zone, but rather where Vettel wouldn’t be clearly expecting it. In that sense, he used it to overtake, but not directly, and only to enhance his changes by tricking Vettel. Since they had a pretty good fight even though Vettel was on way older tyres, I thought the whole sequence really good.

              I too do still not feel very happy about DRS in general though.

      2. When we had tyre wars there were some seasons where there was a ‘massive tyre difference’ but nobody called the racing artifical then?

        Everyone has the same tyres, its how you use them thats important. Its all part of the strategy that is racing, not a silly gimic

    9. By my reckoning, the majority of the field stop for tyres the same number of times the Pirelli chiefs predict the field to stop. Sauber and Lotus stop one times less on average, while Webber and the Ferrari’s one time more. Let’s see if there’s any credence to this theory here at Istanbul…

    10. I think this entire thing is hysterically funny.

      Last year I lost track of how many complained about the tires BECAUSE they lasted the entire race. This year some of the same people complain that the tire fall off causing artificial racing. Alright maybe it was not all the same people that complained last year and the year before but still. It will never matter what is done with tires and regulations, KERS, DRS, refueling, Turbo boost, ground effects, aero, mechnical grip or what ever there will ALWAYS be people that are complaining and bitching that things are not fair, it’s artificial.

      Every racing series (except short tracks, drag racing or sprint racing) there is tire management. You want refueling then you can watch LeMans, ALMS, Indycar, Nascar just to mention a few.
      Artificial, well look in any series where different manufacturers are allowed GT1, ALMS, LeMans, MotoGP, AMA Superbikes, Nascar they have one form or another to level the playing field, be it restrictor plates, or additional weight payload.
      You think it’s fair when a GT1 team and car mfg is successfully gets an additional 50kg weight put on their car to slow it down?

      What about safety items? How about restrictor plates that are holding cars back to prevent them from going to fast and to level the playing ground? So if a team builds a better, faster engine to go faster the restrictor plate gets a even smaller hole. Same here with ECU’s used in F1 for that matter, standardized to prevent anyone from doing to much trickery with launch control et al so everyone gets on a more equal footing.

      Blame Aero development in F1.. Sure but why has aero gotten so important, because so many things been banned and restricted over the years, engine development freezes, tires narrowed, cars narrowed, launch control, turbos, electronic suspension, traction control and the list goes on of things that are NOT aero, so teams been pushed more and more into aero design to find the speed, aero IS the reason overtaking been reduced each year and fans want to see more overtaking, now the fans bitch and moan that races are artificial because they get what they want (overtaking).

      You don’t like it them go watch BTCC, V8 Supercars, ALMS, GT1 or any other series that is NOT openwheel to see overtaking and where you have fuel stops, tires that last longer (but don’t kid yourself there is no tire management strategies, only if the tire could manage a race distance 2-3x as long as the race is probably the only time you would possibly not see tire management play into account).

      You can never satisfy all fans. This be the truth.

      1. I agree with what you say about aero but I disagree that fans can never be happy. I think that formula one goes between extremes when the regulations are changed and that if the DRS was removed then it would not be missed. Apart from that the tyres have been a great success story of this season imo.

        1. I can’t remember the exact quote but there’s a quote floating around somewhere with James Hunt saying the racing has become too processional, boring, etc. This is in the so-called good days.

          So far I think this year’s rules are pleasing more people than any rules we’ve had in a long while, if you count out the DRS roundabout of arguments.

    11. The way things are going this year the world champion will be….. PIRELLI, by far the ones that are doing the best job.
      As far as DRS system i don´t like the way it´s been used during the race but if the drivers could use it when ever they wish during the race, then i´m ok with that.
      I´m almost sure some drivers would start taking chances using DRS system in some places where it´s not suitable but at least they try and we could see some wild stuff.

    12. I haven’t watched F1 for that long my self, only really started to follow it enthusiastically in late 08 start of 09 but i am just surprised that people think that strategy is artificial. It was only in 09 that strategy was basically removed. Now it is just the tyres, before it was the fuel. There are differences, but both give strategic possibilities and both result in cars with different speeds though the race.
      F1 is a team sport, not a contest of who is the best driver to overtake. There is three basic element in racing – driver – strategy – car, all these have to work to win races, sometimes one of the things dominate the other, so a good driver makes up for a bad car or vice versa, but i think it is fun to see races decided on a strategic call. It makes the entertainment of the race last a lot longer then to just after the mandatory pit stop like we saw a lot of in 09.

    13. Intrestingly, Her eis what Mark Webber said on the BBC post race Forum after Shanghai:

      “Im not a huge fan of how it is because sometimes the overtaking moves aren’t that genuine because really the guys have nothing to fight back with, Its more tactical now & less racing.”

    14. The limitation on the number of sets or the fact that you are forced to use both compounds is definitely artificial.
      But tires are the primary reason for all the overtaking that we are seeing this season – so I am OK with that.

      If indeed teams feel that 4 stops are possible then it will be interesting to see how they approach the qualifying(especially after watching Webber’s race in China).

    15. 4 stop will be interesting.I think on this race everyone to be flat-out have to make the maximum amount of stop due to the tyre load through that awesome turn 8.One other thing to look out is that who have what amount of soft tyre going into the race.

    Comments are closed.