Barrichello credits Pirelli for increased overtaking


Posted on

| Written by

Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 2011

Rubens Barrichello says F1 is “better than it has ever been” and praised Pirelli’s tyres for increasing overtaking.

Speaking to F1 Fanatic at an event organised by Williams sponsor Randstad, Barrichello said the new tyres had done more than the Drag Reduction System to increase passing.

Barrichello said: “All the overtaking taking place this year is more to do with the tyres than the actual DRS.

“I think the tyres having some issues on longevity it will end up with teams wearing the tyres more than some others. And that’s the overtaking opportunity. The DRS only comes into play because of the tyres.

“Having said that I still think it’s good for the show.”

Referring to his pass on Michael Schumacher at Monaco he said: “That pass was because he was having problems with his tyres and I was a little bit better.”

Barrichello believes that, on balance, the changes were good for F1: “I think we’re never going to be happy with all the stuff. I think Formula 1 is better than it has ever been.

“Of course there are going to be people who say ‘there’s too much overtaking now, it seems false’. But it’s the same guy who six months ago was saying “Formula 1 is no good any more because there’s no overtaking.

“There are too many gimmicks on there and too many buttons to press but I think it has made the racing better. It has made it more of a show.”

2011 F1 season

Browse all 2011 F1 season articles

Image © F1 Fanatic. If you wish to use this image please contact F1 Fanatic to request permission

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.

28 comments on “Barrichello credits Pirelli for increased overtaking”

  1. Pirelli makes good overtaking then why do we need the drs

    1. We don’t need it it’s the FIA who wants them to ‘increase the show’

    2. To address the aero issue.

  2. …and I absolutely agree Rubens…

    I think the races would be equally exciting without DRS – if not more so as we wouldn’t have those claiming that the racing is artificial. If you look at this years passes (I don’t have actual stats) I think many more have been completed in areas other than the DRS Zone(s). Of course this could be because DRS kept them in such a position to make the move later on in the lap… but I think it’s down to the varying tyre wear and strategies.

    1. I think the races would be equally exciting without DRS

      The DRS makes overtaking happen more often – we’ve seen it in Turkey for example – but the excitement would be the same with or without it., because a DRS pass is predictable and too easy.

      1. yes, with the tyres those passes would probably happen anyway, just at a different part of the track, or a bit later.

        1. Or we might have drivers stuck behind…

          Like every other year.

  3. I fully agree with Rubens, that the tyres helped to really liven up the way races pan out this year.

    Funny to see how he has to then allow for the DRS as being good, only to critisize it in the end. Although that sentence also turns into being a positive about all systems, as he knows to watch his mouth!

  4. I’m definitely with Rubens on this one. Pirelli have done a stirling job and I was worried they would come off looking quite bad making tyres that degrade, purely from an outside PR perspective. It seems to have gone really well for them both on and off the track and this is great to see that Pirelli are doing something that the sport benefits from. Pirelli have got balls and I applaud them!

    1. Yeah I think I agree that they have balls, but to me they are not doing a stirling job, just doing what they were told to do by the FIA. I think any tire manufacturer capable of making F1 tires could make high degrading ones as well as less degrading ones. I also think the only way the FIA can get away with this mandating is that there is only one tire maker in F1 right now…if there were two, then the competition between them would see the tires getting more and more durable and the fight would be for who can make their tire the grippiest for the longest window of laps, not just for two or three by mandate…and that to me would be more realistic.

      If it has come to the point where we have artificially soft tires, and artificial movable rear wings, to promote passing, I say it is time to get back to basics and consistant tires (or two manufacturers) and much less aero dependancy and then we’d be back to apples to apples racing between driver vs. driver…not passes from optimum brief tire window vs. usually degraded tires for the bulk of a stint, or open wing vs. closed wing and passes made before the braking even begins.

      Just another thought on this season and Pirelli…no matter where anyone’s opinion lies as to how good or bad a job Pirelli has done, it’s looking like the history books will show the year of Pirelli’s participation in F1 as sole tire manufacturer to be the year the WDC was decided with several races to go. ie. not the optimum scenario. Not blaming that entirely on Pirelli…just stating what is looking like will be a fact.

      1. Amen from the choir.

  5. there are going to be people who say ‘there’s too much overtaking now, it seems false’. But it’s the same guy who six months ago was saying “Formula 1 is no good any more because there’s no overtaking.”

    I feel like quoting this 5 or 6 times, for truth. Whinge whinge whinge go the DRS doubters, without a single answer to any contrary evidence.

    1. He’s stating an opinion – that’s not evidence of anything.

    2. He’s only stating HIS opinion, there are other drivers who, without the PR spin, could do without DRS this year. But saying that, noone could tell how the Pirelli tyres were going to act this year,and they’ve proven to create great racing. And with hindsight I guess we could’ve done without DRS since we have newer, more unpredictable tyres aswell as the reinstatement of KERS. I’d say it’s a fairly even split between those who want DRS and those who don’t.

      1. nackavich…you are opining that it is great racing while some are agreeing with JV and calling it a borefest. Some think that one guy running away with the WDC is not great.

        I think at the start of the season most people disagreed with more gadgets in racing, so I’m not so sure it’s an even split as you suggest.

        For me, I fully understand that F1 wants to strike a balance…F1’s philosophy has always been that passes should not be so frequent that they are dime-a-dozen…passes should be rare and special and therefore memorable for years to come. And there are definitely some passes from the past that we remember and cite You Tube clips of, for sure.

        To me DRS does not provide that…it allows for passes all right, but those passes are due to a gadget being involved which convolutes the drivers contribution to the pass.

        So for sure the Pirelli’s might be good enough on their own in providing the show, but it is not lost on me that they were mandated by the FIA to make them degrade quickly and therefore mix up the show…that to me is also artificial as we all know Pirelli could make a better tire. But I guess we are all debating the definition of better.

        I think that ultimately F1 needs to get away from so much aero dependancy…ie. no DRS, less downforce through wing size restrictions or what have you, and big fat slicks to provide mechanical grip, not artificially soft ones that make passes sometimes come down to who was in a better brief tire window than the other guy ie. an apples to oranges pass.

        1. Some think that one guy running away with the WDC is not great.

          The DRS hasn’t had any effect on that. Vettel is miles ahead.

          But I guess we are all debating the definition of better.

          We haven’t had the best companies can make since the tyre wars, even the Bridgestone were controlled, in that case, to make themselves look good.

          no DRS, less downforce through wing size restrictions or what have you, and big fat slicks to provide mechanical grip,

          I think you are vastly under thinking this, on one side you criticize F1 being artificial, then on the other you demand more restrictions to improve the racing.

          The recipe you describe isn’t perfect by any means either, safety is a key area I’d be concerned about.

          1. Hey Mike…wasn’t really claiming DRS has been the reason one guy is running away with it…just making a general comment about what some might consider great racing, and that some don’t like to see a runaway for the WDC in spite of how good or bad individual passes are in individual circumstances or how they were achieved.

            As to criticizing F1 for being artificial…let’s face it, they need a set of rules and regulations and specs for the teams to go by, so in that sense it is all ‘artificial’ or created by design if you will. So in fact I am not demanding more restrictions, just more back to basics regulations and specs…restrict their downforce, simplify by using more consistant tires, simplify by getting rid of moveable wings, and let the drivers not the technology go racing damn it…

            You want more safety than is already provided by what many fans and drivers consider to be dumbed down new venues with generic corners and huge runoffs? That’s fine, I have no problem with safety, and calling for cars with consistant mechanical grip, less disturbed in dirty air, and less gadgets to go wrong is unsafe how?

            Cars this year have shown they can be on the track with vastly different speeds relative to each other due to the great degree tires can fall off their performance window, or from the DRS effect. That’s safer how?

            Also, I never stated I had the perfect solution, it’s just an opinion that I hope is worthy of discussion and debate…at least, I thought that was what this site was about. Why don’t you expand on how you think I have ignored safety, rather than accusing me of under thinking this?

        2. With you Robbie.

  6. Frankly, I think Mr Villeneuve was spot on with his comments yesterday. Got me feeling nostalgic about the 1996 and 1997 seasons…

    1. Agreed, Josh…JV is a purebred racer and has always been about back to basics racing of the seat of the pants kind…he hated the grooved tires for example, and got his wrist slapped by the FIA for calling them a joke.

      Tying that in with the topic of tires, JV at the time said rather than grooved tires, give us back the big fat slicks of the 70’s that created so much drag you had no choice but to run less wing if you wanted any kind of respectable straightaway speed ie. you kill two birds with one stone with big fat slicks…more mechanical grip, and less aero dependancy…so I say forget about short life tires and DRS…simply make big fat slicks that are consistant in wear, the teams will need to run less wing and therefore be less aero dependant, and you have apples to apples racing and no gadgets required…just driver bravery and passes that are special and real and usually about who dare outbrake who.

      1. There was an interesting post on James Allen’s blog around a year ago from the ex Toyota aero head in which he claimed aero was not at fault for modern F1’s passing issues.

        Interestingly he blamed the mechanical grip offered by today’s tyres as being too great, allowing in large part the high cornering speeds and short braking zones. He went on to say that this puts drives off overtaking, especially since the dirty line into a corner requires a much longer braking area. Thus as the marbles build up throughout a race the problem worsens.

        He argued that the cars should have rock solid tyres that offer little grip to increase braking zones and limit the ‘dirty line’ effect. He also mentioned that overtaking in the memorable eras resulted largely from mistakes and so suggested they should go back to manually changed gearboxes.

        Certainly got me thinking about our current artificial racing F1.

        1. I like it, but the work rate for the drivers, would it be too much?

        2. Gee and that’s from a year ago before they had this year’s Pirelli’s with even more mechanical grip, albeit only for brief windows of time.

          I sure get that harder tires would increase the braking zones and limit the dirty line effect.

          At the same time, doesn’t gobs of downforce also allow one to brake deep into a corner? And to get around the corner more quickly?

          I’m not the expert but to me I can’t get past the fact that once a car so dependant on downforce is in dirty air the driver no longer has confidence to pull out and pass…his grip is gone, the car is unsettled, and he’s just trying to hang on and be a passenger until he gets some downforce/grip back.

          I think tire vs. downforce has to be a marriage of compromise…drivers in F1 should have confidence to attempt passes which means to me a degree of consistant tire performance that is predictable for them, as well as not so much downforce that all confidence is gone once in dirty air.

        3. Quite a sensible point of view I think. Think about it, in the rain we have have the same wings, same aero disturbance yet we see a lot more overtaking. The only difference is that we have less frictional force between tyre and the tarmac.

        4. No-one changed tyres before re-fuelling came in. I am surmising but it was about this time that wings became bigger and engines got more powerful as they did not have to carry all the fuel they needed. Maybe the new fuel-restricted formula will swing the pendulum back to less aero.

  7. Few days ago I said here that I still consider Rubens a top driver, but expressed my doubts about his enthusiasm at the end of this season.
    But Rubens still sounds like a teenager eager to drive a F1 for the first time. To me, that’s awesome. Go, Rubens!


    “There are too many gimmicks on there and too many buttons to press but I think it has made the racing better. It has made it more of a show.”

    To me, or this is racing, or this is a show. And TO ME this season we have more show than racing.

    1. I’m with you and…Rubens of course! We love you Rubinho!

  8. Totally agree with his comment when people complain regardless of the overtaking situation…however, they’re still tuning in!

Comments are closed.