Rosberg: Tyres “couldn’t be better for F1”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Nico Rosberg says F1 races have not become too much of a lottery in 2012 due to the tyres.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Rosberg: Tyre challenge great for F1 (Autosport)

“It couldn’t be better for Formula 1. Also within the races, with the tyre degradation and with lots of overtaking, we’ve had lots of exciting races.”

Rich List 2012 (The Times, subscription required)

Bernie Ecclestone remains 23rd, values at 2.5bn.

F1 Heroes by Piotr Buczkowski (Design You Trust)

Some great illustrations.

Joyride: Fernando Alonso vs an ordinary bloke (Recombu)

“Obviously Fernando wasn’t there to hand me my backside in person – the man has bigger fish to fry – but seeing as we’ve both completed flying laps of the legendary track and recorded our laps, we can utilise the magic of technology to see just how quick a two-time world champion F1 driver is compared to myself – just an ordinary bloke who learned how to drive with a computer game.”

Comment of the day

Bag0 has doubts about the future of the Hungarian Grand Prix:

I really cant see the Hungaroring getting more money from the government, and their new projects wont be enough to pay off Bernie.

In 2008 they renewed the contract, with the condition, that the payment will raise 10% a year. In 2008 that was 18.200.000 dollar, so in 2017 they would have to pay about 43.000.000 bucks.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Ccolanto, Mike Weilding and Oliver!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

McLaren tested an unusual new aerodynamic device on their car for the first time today in 2007: a ‘bridge’ front wing.

A long element connected the two endplates, passing over the top of the car’s nose.

Since the aerodynamic rules change in 2009, such elements are no longer allowed.

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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...

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118 comments on “Rosberg: Tyres “couldn’t be better for F1””

  1. I like how it features a picture of him locking up…

    I’m in two minds over the tyres. I understand Schumacher completely, yet it does make for a tense season… this year at least.

    1. you would also have a tense season if they were driving fiat pandas.

      I am on Schumi’s side on this one. I dont like when drivers have to drive below their ability and consciously hold themselves back. Drivers like Hamilton and Kimi who are used to driving flat out the whole race. i prefer Suzuka 2005 to China 2012.

      1. 2005 they had to do a whole race one set. which gave similar results and required similar skills.

        Tho i agree 2005 was better. as the tyres would wear out the last 10laps, making a slow build up to some great end of race action.

        imola, suzuka, europe spring to mind that all went down to last lap.

      2. Hmm, I think Nicos right, I’d rather see the drivers having having to cope with more horsepower than available grip.

        1. While I do understand MS’s frustration, his standpoint being you can’t push the car to it’s limits without killing the tires, I also think that phenomenon might be short-lived. NR points out the concept that there is a race right now to see which team first gets a handle on optimum setups for optimum tire performance in a predictable manner that can be tweeked to the track and weather conditions on a given weekend. So far it has been a bit of a crapshoot as air and track temps have varied throughout some weekends.

          Last year it took them half a season to figure out the totally-brand-new-to-everyone tires to the point that there were no surprises, so I think it is a little premature to write this year’s tires off, and I think the teams just need some more races to get a better handle on them given they aren’t that much different from last year’s.

          Some drivers, NR as a perfect example, have shown that on a given Sunday a driver CAN push the car and not kill the tires. And I also think it is a falsity to try to portray a picture that in other years the drivers could drive to the absolute maximum, lap after lap for the whole race, without having a consequence on the tires. Or if the tires were not the issue then fuel economy was a negative consequence of going all out lap after lap. And they didn’t have to worry as much about conserving their gearboxes and engines due to restrictions as to how many they can use without penalty. Let’s not forget that some of the times when the tires were that durable, it also meant that there was virtually no on-track passing and the passing was done primarily through pit strategy and using the undercut to pass.

          So while I don’t entirely disagree that these degrady Pirellis feel a bit ‘gadgety’ in how they have influenced the racing so far, I also think F1 needs to stick with sticky tires for mechanical grip and lessen the aero dependancy. And I reiterate what I think most people realize…Pirelli is just doing what they have been asked to do by the FIA. Of course Pirelli could make more durable tires. I’m sure they are no different than any other tire maker in that they can tweek the formulae for the compounds in umpteen different ways for umpteen different tire characteristics, but this is what they’ve been asked to do, and as I say in general I agree with more mechanical grip.

          What I do find very compelling is that NR has come out basically saying the opposite of MS regarding tires, so it tells me there is a nice healthy rivalry going on at Merc.

    1. WOW! That is really bad!

      1. Yes, it’s bad – but not in the way you think. It’s by Pitpass, and there’s a reason why they’re also known as “Spitpass” and a few other names that won’t get past the swear filter.

        1. Now, they’re not lying about eveything…
          But when writing about Bernie, Petpass would be the most appropriate nickname…

          1. I’m not saying that they’re lying. I’m saying that they usually have no idea what they’re talking about, since their stories are usually about as far removed from reality as possible.

      2. @nick-uk – I don’t know why you think this is some kind of disaster. It’s a standalone GP2 race at a circuit that never attracted big crowds to begin with. They were never going to get many spectators.

    2. Interesting. Pitpass is not always the most independent source (they write what Bernie wants), it’s often interesting to read and think about what point BE is making or what info he wants to show.

  2. Hmm, lets see, 4 different winners, 3 world champions and me, yes I think the tyres are just right.

    1. We’ll have to wait and see on that point. Three out of the four races have been won by the person who has exited turn one in first place. The only race where there was a sustained battle for the lead was Malaysia where the conditions rather than the tyres were the limiting factor. The tyres are so marginal that being in the vicinity of another car for a long while is gravely detrimental.

      Keith, one question I forgot to ask you is how do these fast wearing tyres fit in with Formula One’s efforts to go green? I am aware of that they still only use 11 sets over the three days but for the race – where it counts most – they are using twice as many P-Zeros compared to the old Bridgestones. Is it good for F1 to be championing mediocrity tyre-wise?

      1. I’m guessing that any increase in numbers of sets of tires used on Sundays is countered by the lack of tires needed now that testing has been so curtailed.

  3. dysthanasiac (@)
    30th April 2012, 2:09

    Of course, Rosberg thinks these tires couldn’t be better; they played a role in his maiden F1 victory after 5+ years of relative futility.

    Personally, I think these silly-putty Pirellis and DRS are just about the worst things to happen to F1 in a good, long time. The band-aids are now the stars of the show, and short attention spans…huh?

  4. “Happy birthday to Ccolanto, Mike Weilding and Oliver!
    No F1 Fanatic birthdays today.”

    I don’t think thats possible!

    1. LOL, Happy Birthday to all of you guys!

  5. I would like to emphasise that whilst I think the tyres have gone too far in their inability to survive a good fight for position I do not in any way blame Pirelli nor do I think them incapable of producing a good tyre for F1, I believe they are brilliant and have produced exactly what Bernie “more gimmicks” Ecclestone has asked for, so please don’t blame Pirelli or Paul Embrey, Bernie is the man we need to convince, both on tyre longevity and changes to the rules.
    Please don’t respond that it is the FIA or the teams that have to do it, that is so naive, what Bernie wants is what we get.

    1. I think Pirelli will adjust, Paul Hembrey is trying to say otherwise but Schumi’s criticism will make they thing twice.

      1. I think this is what both the FIA and BE want…4 winners in 4 races coming off a season of utter dominance by SV that saw the WDC decided way too early for most peoples’ (other than SV’s and his team’s and fan’s) liking.

        I think what BE and Paul Hembrey and the FIA would say at this point in the season is, a) we don’t have one driver running away with the series so that’s good, and b) give the teams a little more time and they will get a better handle on the tire situation, so no need for Pirelli to ‘adjust’…it is up to the teams to adjust to them, which is what is going on as we speak.

        Last year Pirelli was unfamiliar to everyone and by mid-season there were no surprises from the tires. Let’s give the teams so more time this year and I’m sure we’ll hear less and less about unpredictability and cliff falling, and more about what the teams are doing to adapt. Once they have a few similar races in the books and start to see patterns they will all have a closer idea of what setup to use given what temps they are handed at a certain venue. But if they don’t? Then we might have 5 winners in 5 races, 6 in 6, but I don’t think many more than that before there is a repeat winner, and BE et al will be applauding the lack of a runaway cakewalker.

        1. In other words, what the americans call a crapshoot.

          1. And what we all hope for which is to have the WDC come down to it being between 2 or 3 drivers with one race to go.

  6. People really need to start think on their own instead accepting what ever they being fed.

    I like F1 2012 Season. I love the fact that cars can actually follow each other very close without suffering major aerodynamic penalties, unlike the Bridgestone times. Pit stop overtaking..yawn.

    It is also very obvious now, that some current top drivers actually lack intelligence in setting up the overtakes and instead bullying(cutting corner, cutting exits – things that will destroy your tyres) car in front at every opportunity and destroying their tyres corner after corner.

    What I dont like about this year tyres is amount of marbles they generate (China), making overtaking harder and most important thing is “the cliff”. If they make the drop off time more obvious so teams can react that wont cost them so much. We always had 2-3 pit stop races, tyre degradation is as it always been.

    If Pirelli get rid of their from Hero to Zero effect, their tyres will be amazing!

    People talking about 70-80 and pushing the limits need to get a clue, tyres were one of the major factors back then with nr.1 driver having priority to test out all sets and choose the best ones.

    1. If they make the drop off time more obvious

      Well it’s pretty obvious now :) I meant so teams can see that tyres are about to die, while still providing more or less competitive times.

      1. @Kimi4WC(must be all that vodka) I think we are disagreeing about agreeing here, you want drivers to be skilled at tyre management, I and some others want tyres that skilled drivers can manage while still being able to scrap for position, as they were able to last year. It is obvious that there have been changes too the tyre wear equation since last season, either the tyres are less durable by design or the reduced downforce of the current rule is too hard on the tyres, either way I think selecting harder tyre options will be a first step to achieving what you and I both want.

        1. PS. Has anyone got a clue about the characteristics of the “Hard” option ? I can’t recall ever seeing them being used.

          1. As far as I know, they haven’t been used yet. I seem to recall reading somewhere that of all the 2011 compounds, the hardest compound was changed the least for 2012.

          2. In Malaysia, they used white and silver ones.

            And for some reasons, certain cars(Saubers) were quicker on silver than on white, while other cars were quicker on whites :)

          3. And for some reasons, certain cars (Saubers) were quicker on silver than on white, while other cars were quicker on whites

            That has to do with the design of the car, and the way it handles its tyres. And also in the way the driver manages his tyres.

            The idea behind changing the tyres for 2012 was to give teams and drivers a wider range of strategies to play with and still be competitive. Last year, it was a case of everyone racing for as long as possible on the softer tyres, and then switching to the harder compound only when you absolutely had to. This year, the idea is to encourage the drivers to use the harder tyres sooner, so that they can stay in touch with the leaders and stay out on the circuit longer – that way, they can save up the softer, faster compounds for the end of the race and still be in with a chance.

            Personally, I still think the difficulties experienced in Bahrain can be explained by the characteristics of the circuit and the local atmospheric conditions.

        2. I think a harder tyres will only do harm. As it will reduce mechanical grip and will allow downforce to take over a bigger role.

          Tyres are actually extremely good, car can follow each other very close that shows that mechanical grip is very good but they dont last and pushing hard/following close behind put even more stress on them.

          If you have harder tyres you will have to fall back to get more clean air to allow for more downforce to keep you on track.

          Pirelli that dont leave as many marbles behind and that have softer transition from grip to zero grip so teams can plan their strategy around it rather than guessing would be nice!!!

  7. I coudn’t hate the current tyres more, I think Pirelli are the worst thing to happen to F1 since refueling was introduced in 1994.

    Tyres should be a part of the story of a race, They should not be THE main story of the race. All we ever hear now is tyres, tyres, tyres, Tyres in the sweet spot, tyres going off, tyres hitting the edge of the cliff, x easily passing y because y’s tyres are a few laps older, z struggling because his tyres are not in the operating window.

    I’ve been watching F1 since the late 60s & have never seen a period in F1 where tyres are as important as they are now. Tyre preservation was at times a part of the race, However now tyre preservation IS the race.

    Take things back to how they were Pre-94, Give everyone all 4 compounds & let teams/drivers run whatever they want, whenever they want. Ditch the silly rule forcing them to run both compounds, Make the hardest tyres able to last a full race & make the soft’s wear at a sensible rate. Then we will get some real racing again!

    Its also ironic how tyres in endurance racing are now able to be pushed hard through several stints while tyres in F1 have to be nursed. You see tyres in sportscar racing last longer than tyres in F1 now & that isn’t how it should be.

    1. Why not? I don’t think tyres in other sports have to deal with same amount of forces they have in F1.

      1. We know that it’s possible to create very durable tyres, but the general consensus in FIA dictates that tyres should degrade quickly to improve “the show”. Many people, myself included, disagree with this approach. In fact I think that current tyre regulations are bad for the sport.

        Right now different compounds are just like power-ups from arcade racing. You can choose a slight speed boost or a slight boost of durability. You will either have slightly better lap times, or you can stay out a little bit longer. On top of that there’s another artificial rule that forces you to use both power-ups in a race.

        Then we have a silly regulation saying that the top ten drivers must start the race with the same power-up they used in qualifying. Personally I see no reasonable justification for that and there are some obvious flaws of this solution, like giving the 11th driver an advantage over 10th.

        People say that these rules introduce strategy and drama. That’s true, however in every race there is one strategy that is superior to others. All the drama comes from the question: who will get it right? It has nothing to do with how good is the driver or the car. If they choose wrong tyre strategy, they will lose the race.

        Next is the matter of tiny operating window of the tyres and their short longevity. That’s a problem if you like diversity in F1. Current technical regulations are extremely tight, but what further reduces engineering freedom is the fact, that cars have to be designed to treat those fragile tyres well. Undoubtedly many daring and innovative solutions were scrapped because of that.

        Finally there is the matter of driving style. It’s obvious that current tyres are better for gentle and smooth driving style. Daring moves and overtaking attempts can easily damage the tyres, so true racers are at disadvantage, because the necessity of tyre management discourages dauntlessness. No one is pushing the limits, and those who try are immediately punished.

        As a result we have three basic kinds of position changes in modern F1:
        1. Pit stop battles. Stay one lap longer or pit one lap earlier and try to jump the other guy.
        2. DRS. Sometimes, if the DRS zone is short this can produce an interesting battles, but in most cases it’s just push to pass.
        3. Fresh tyres overtake old tyres. Sometimes this looks really nice and we have some action outside of the DRS zones, but these manoeuvres are just as artificial.

        In my opinion we need a tyre that could last the race distance and then some. A tyre that could take some punishment. Of course we’d need something else that would introduce drama. In my opinion unlocking engine restrictions could help a lot in that regard. I’m not talking about completely lifting them, but giving more freedom to engineers and certainly unlocking rev limiters. The aim is to make it difficult to drive at it’s limit. I’d prefer to see the drivers attempting to tame the excess power of their cars, instead of struggling with the tyres.

        1. @maroonjack, Hallelujah brother and amen to that.

    2. I couldn’t agree more, doubt we will get it though.

      1. I couldn’t agree more with the 1st 3 paragraphs by Dizzy.

        1. In fact, Keith please make Dizzys’ paragraph three COTD.

    3. You see tyres in sportscar racing last longer than tyres in F1

      You also see races in sportscar racing lasting longer than races in Formula 1. A Grand Prix is run over 305km (with the exception of Monaco). Compare that to the Audi that won last year’s Le Mans, which did 4838km in the race. So it’s little wonder that tyres last longer in sportscar racing, since the races can be fifteen times longer than a Grand Prix.

      The bottom line is that you really can’t compare Formula 1 with sportscar racing. By their very nature, they are fundamentally different from one another.

      1. No indeed lets not go chasing red herrings, lets stick to comparing F1 with F1 as dizzy does in his first 3 paragraphs and forget the fourth.

        1. But this isn’t about the first three paragraphs. I’m simply pointing out that Dizzy has drawn a comparison between Formula 1 and sportscar racing in his final paragraph – a comparsion is will, by the very nature of the two categories, be inherently flawed.

          1. I know what you are doing PM (and you are correct) but let’s Focus on the main point of the post and not get sidetracked by the postscript.

    4. I think Anthony Davidson mentioned it on Sky in Australia. They only true development for tyre companies happening in some Japanese GT series, where tyres are developed and pushed to the limits. Everything else is just a compromise of what governing bodies want tyres to be.

      1. He said there were SEVEN tyre manufactures in that series.

      2. Ideally the cars would all be identical, great research tool for the tyre companies but I doubt the fans are all waving tyre flags and wearing tyre company colours.

        1. why?

          why not give the teams control over their tyre development? let them chose their tyre supplier and let them tailor their tyres to their specific car. (as was done in the past) this is obviously utopia given how costly that would be, and the econimoc environment we are in. But it should be something to strive for given ideal circumstances. The situation we have now is the complete opposite of that.

          I know we have to cut costs to sustain F1 in the long run. But i think we the sport went a little bit too far. I hope that at least the revamp of the rules in 2014 will return to a more pure form of racing and get rid of some of the tyre rules which we dont need anymore (use both compounds, top ten must start on same tyres, etc) I also hope that once we have the new engines, they dont freeze them for 10 years, but let the teams develop them going forward.

    5. I’ve been watching F1 since the late 60s & have never seen a period in F1 where tyres are as important as they are now. Tyre preservation was at times a part of the race, However now tyre preservation IS the race.

      If you have been watching since the 1960s, then surely you have noticed that the development of cars has focused on increasing levels of downforce. This has made it harder and harder for cars to follow one another. If you cast your mind back to 2010, which was arguably one of the best seasons in the sport because of the constant changes in the championship lead, you will no doubt remember that as exciting as the title fight was, the actual racing wasn’t to the same standard.

      For all the gripes about tyre management, two things stand out in my mind:

      1) The tyres are (ideally) the only part of the car in contact with the ground at all times. Therefore, tyre management is an important skill for a driver to have. Not just in Formula 1, but in each and every form of motorsport.

      2) After four races, we’ve had four different winners. Clearly someone, somewhere is doing the right thing.

      1. dysthanasiac (@)
        30th April 2012, 4:42


        Tire management has always been important. The 2012 Pirellis, however, are simply unmanageable within the ethos of F1 racing; without a consistent and appreciable difference amongst teams and drivers, these tires last for no one and neuter most attempts at aggression.

        Clearly, someone, somewhere thinks an F1 sprint should be managed with an endurance mentality. One would think that’s a contradiction in terms.

        The rapid tire degradation also turns the racing line into a tightrope upon which even small mistakes in the marbles can be fatal for a driver’s chances of success. These factors have largely transformed F1 races into battles of attrition, where drivers don’t necessarily win, they benefit from others’ losses.

        That there have been four winners in four races strongly suggests that the cars are now virtually indistinguishable with regard to their inherent performance characteristics. The ever-tightening noose of the regulations and other restrictions have assured this fate. So, what used to be determined by engineering prowess and creativity and a driver’s race craft is now left to a roll of the tire and DRS dice.

        People aren’t excited by F1; they’re excited by its most artificially manipulated elements.

        1. See, I don’t think they’re unmanageable. The tyre degradation experienced in Bahrain can be a result of a) a lack of data on the circuit from Pirelli, b) the sandy surface of the circuit from a lack of use, c) the consisently high temperatures and low humidity experienced all weekend, and possibly d) Pirelli bringing the wrong compounds for the race (they could have gone one compound harder). Outside Bahrain, the only really notable incident of tyres going off prematurely was Raikkonen in the last few laps of the Chinese Grand Prix, and that was probably because he was pushing too hard.

          1. @prisoner_monkeys, you think the tyres are great, we just need to use the harder compounds, I think the tyres are awful and we need to use the harder compounds, hope someone is listening out there.

          2. you think the tyres are great, we just need to use the harder compounds

            I didn’t say that. I said that the tyres were designed to encourage a wider ranger of strategies.

          3. “d) Pirelli bringing the wrong compounds for the race (they could have gone 1 compound harder).”

            Sure sounds to me like you said we needed to use a harder compound, and by inference we should choose harder compounds in similiar circumstances in the future.

          4. @prisoner_monkeys, when I went back to your post to look for the comment about a wider range of strategies ( couldn’t find it) I came across this.
            “Outside Bahrain the only really noticeable incident of tyres going off prematurely was Raikkonen in the last few laps of the chinese GP, and that was probably because he was PUSHING TOO HARD”. ( my emphasis)
            Here we have the crux of the matter, some of us like to see a driver pushing hard, we call it racing, however in this case I will accept that it was a strategic error not to make another pit stop, but I wont accept that Kimi should have been in cruise mode and neither will Michael Schumacher.

          5. Actually Pirelli tested quite a bit in Bahrain, so you can’t really say they have a lack of data.

        2. People aren’t excited by F1; they’re excited by its most artificially manipulated elements.

          It’s always good to have someone who knows what we feel. And then you use word “creativity”. I’d say zero credibility for you mister.

          People feel cheated by manipulations is just EPIC, when racing is always about gaining competitive advantage over your opponent, if it’s illegal and you can get away with it, USE IT.

          It’s same for everyone and teams will adapt, look at Ferrari, they though they got a good car, come testing, someone definitely was focusing on wrong things.

          2012 is a good shake up, teams were taking one of the main aspects of racing for granted while developing the car.

          What about “aerodynamic cliff”? As soon as your mechanical grip drops below certain point your downforce can not carry you through corners anymore.

          Are we focusing too much on aerodynamics then?

          1. dysthanasiac (@)
            30th April 2012, 6:35


            If you didn’t like that, you’re going to hate this: the aero in F1 has very little to do with overtaking. This is borne out by the fact that wet races were consistently the most popular races in the years that led up to Pirelli’s entrance into F1. That anomaly was largely due to the relative abundance of action seen in wet races, where mechanical grip is compromised far more than aerodynamic grip. Also, the 2009 aero rules that were supposed to usher in a new era of overtaking were a colossal failure. Overtaking didn’t escalate until Pirelli compromised the mechanical grip of the cars with their silly-putty tires.

            (And by the way, there’s absolutely nothing at all wrong with Ferrari’s front wing. The F2012 suffers from pitch sensitivity and poor low-speed traction, which are both caused by the failure of their original exhaust solution to produced the downforce it was intended to produce. The rake of the car had to be virtually eliminated for the diffuser to work, and the lowered rear ride height required a stiffening of the suspension to keep the car from bottoming out. That stiff suspension setting is then responsible for the car’s twitchiness and poor traction, because the car wasn’t designed for such a setting.)


            Raikkonen wasn’t pushing too hard at all in China; his tires simply vanished from underneath him. It was only because other cars couldn’t risk straying into the marbles to pass him that the Trulli Train formed behind him and subsequently rushed by once his tires failed.

            For every race this year, bar the wet race in Malaysia, the leader at the first corner has gone on to win the race. The order behind him has been the result of tire-related attrition. This trend will continue.

          2. @dysthanasiac

            Raikkonen wasn’t pushing too hard at all in China; his tires simply vanished from underneath him.

            Yes, because he was pushing too hard. He was attempting to get to the end of the race on a pair of soft tyres, and fell seven laps short. If he had backed off a little bit, he would have made it. The tyres don’t just wear out after a certain number of laps regardless of how hard a driver is pushing. The harder he drives, the more of the tyres he uses up. If he backs off, he saves the tyres. All it takes is a little less aggression in cornering to keep some life in the tyres.

          3. dysthanasiac (@)
            30th April 2012, 8:35


            Ok, you’re right. Raikkonen did push too hard. But, only too hard with regard to the tires, not at all too hard for the situation. He had 12 cars stacked up behind him, yanno?

            I don’t think that situation is…fair’s not the right word…it’s just not F1-like to me. Maybe that’s just me, though.

        3. Sorry but your first sentence doesnt make any sense to me. Saying aero got nothing to do with overtaking is like telling Adrian Newey aero wont make you car go faster.

          I wrote it in other comments, because you could drive Bridgestones on the limit every single lap, importance of aero was escalated meaning that if you dont get enough air flow you will hit the cliff with regards to mechanical grip, which resulted in cars were not been able to push each other as close through corners as they do now.

          Lack of aero in dry means guys in front can push as he can and guy behind must watch his distance not to loose the grip.
          Wet is totally different scenario where both cars experience same lack of grip.

          I don’t see how you example should stick. (Or I’m just missreading)

          1. dysthanasiac (@)
            30th April 2012, 8:27


            I didn’t say aero grip has nothing to do with overtaking; I said it has little to do with overtaking, especially when measured against the impact of mechanical grip on overtaking.

            Cars lose comparatively little aero grip in wet conditions. That particular loss of grip is directly correlated only to the car’s reduced speed, i.e., reduced air flow, which itself is directly correlated to the significantly adverse impact water has on traction. Put another way, the loss of aero grip in wet conditions is only proportional to the reduction of mechanical grip; it’s not equal to that reduction.

            And why have we always praised wet races? Because of the action and overtaking produced by the corresponding differences in performance between drivers who can drive in the rain and those who cannot – and that says nothing of the not-exactly-insignificant differences in the cars’ natural mechanical grip. It is that performance differential, and that alone, which creates overtaking. Nothing else does.

            DRS and silly-putty tires artificially induce that performance differential. It does not matter how close a car can follow behind another; if the performance of the two cars are relatively equal, the trailing car cannot ever overtake the leading car, because two cars obviously cannot occupy the same place on a track. It’s just physics, yanno?

            The silly-putty tires actually make this worse because of the increased slip caused by the natural loss of aerodynamic efficiency that’s inherent to one F1 car following another. The induced understeer kills the tires, and then the marbles thrown off from those dying tires adds even more complication by all but ensuring that the track off-line is as slick as ice. What’s left then is for a driver to use DRS to overtake – and I think we can agree that fan opinion of DRS is mostly a philosophical question – or he can wait for a mistake. But, no level of pushing the car or the tires will help.

            A durable tire, on the other hand, one that does not degrade instantly and throw off marbles, combined with strong aero grip not only negates an artificial introduction of a performance differential – uneven degradation – it also significantly dampens the amount of rubber left off-line, which then gives a driver more track to use when overtaking. Moreover, aero grip doesn’t give a sh** about a racing line. As far as aero is concerned, there’s no such thing as a racing line. (That’s not to say the proper line isn’t optimal, though.)

            The rules are just too tight to allow for the performance differential required for overtaking. Teams can’t add horsepower; they can’t add much downforce; they can subtract much drag; they can’t even alter weight distribution or run on different fuel loads. For all intents and purposes, the cars are now identical. And that’s why the Pirelli’s and DRS are required. They’re the band-aids for F1’s poor forward thinking.

            (Sorry this turned out to be a novella of a post.)

          2. If you think aero has nothing to do with overtaking, you obviously haven’t payed any attention to the Mclaren this year, it couldn’t follow a train down a track, it hates dirty air…
            On the tyre issue, wear and tear is part of rubbers dynamics it wears out! What annoys me is the marbles! There simply should not be the chunks of rubber sitting outside the racing line that we are seeing in the current races, it limits the drivers options for overtaking and therefore provides a one line track.

          3. dysthanasiac (@)
            30th April 2012, 11:19


            If you think I think aero has nothing to do with overtaking, you obviously haven’t read my thoughts on the subject. What’s more, all cars hate dirty air. It’s the nature of the beast. You can either have cars that corner like F1 cars, or you can have cars that can follow nose-to-tail with ease; you can’t, however, have both. (That is, without a move to full-on ground effects, which has been rejected by the teams at every turn. Pun unintended.)

            Frankly, the same goes for the tires. I don’t understand being cavalier about the tire wear and tear of tires on one hand and then being critical of all the marbles on the other. Where do you think those marbles come from?

          4. dysthanasiac said, “A durable tire, on the other hand, one that does not degrade instantly and throw off marbles, combined with strong aero grip not only negates an artificial introduction of a performance differential – uneven degradation – it also significantly dampens the amount of rubber left off-line, which then gives a driver more track to use when overtaking. Moreover, aero grip doesn’t give a sh** about a racing line. As far as aero is concerned, there’s no such thing as a racing line. (That’s not to say the proper line isn’t optimal, though.)”

            Sounds to me like you are advocating a return to passing through pitting strategies, and a parade on the track due to too much aero dependancy and a lack of mechanical grip. I too am no fan of DRS, and I strongly question whether they need it now that they have mechanical grip. But get rid of both, and I think we’re right back to parades of non-passing. I think mechanical grip from the tires, no DRS, and continued curtailing of aero eg. far less effective EBD as they have done, is the way to go.

          5. @dysthanasiac
            I read your comments but disregarded them as I don’t agree. My comment regarding tyre’s however was echoing you thoughts as you seemed to understand, but then fell off the wagon and decided to get your thesaurus out. Maybe it was my fault for not being clear enough. Tires should wear out, not disinegrate.

          6. dysthanasiac (@)
            2nd May 2012, 1:30


            Could be me as well. I still only barely know how to follow linear conversations around here; they seem to require a decoder ring and a map.

            However, I would humbly advise against disregarding the thoughts of others. I, too, used to think that aerodynamics are Enemy #1 to overtaking in F1, but someone took the time to correct me a couple of years ago, and everything that’s happened in F1 since then has done nothing but reinforce that lesson.

            It’s just too easy to blame aero and tires, because they are, without a doubt, the least understood aspects to motor racing. Even participants at the highest levels have a very hard time getting them right.

            That said, I doubt even the inventor of pneumatic tires could consistently figure out these Pirellis.

    6. What’s ironic is that by not changing the much this year the top teams right down to the last three seem to have got there cars much closer in performance. The performance in qualy is very close but come the race the Pirelli putty takes over and ruins what could have been some close genuine racing.

      1. Can’t say I agree that come the race the tires have ruined what could have been some close genuine racing…I think the racing has been close, with 4 winners in 4 races, I think there have been some good passes that didn’t involve DRS in all 4 races, and taking races like China for example, even though NR ran away with it, that race has been touted as one of the best in the last 5 years, obviously due to the action behind the leader since otherwise NR made it look easy that day.

        But I take your point in that if for example one was a KR fan and is now bemoaning the fact that his tires fell off a cliff near the end of the race, then we didn’t see a battle that might have been great, but to me, name a year or a race when a driver didn’t have to debate staying out on old tires vs. the benefit of getting new tires. Even when tires were more durable and predictable a driver was still faster on new rubber than on used, no?

      2. dysthanasiac (@)
        30th April 2012, 18:23


        Yes and no. The stability in the regulations has played a role in teams narrowing the performance gap; they’ve practically forced it by being ridiculously tight. There’s just not all that much room for the best car to be that different from the worst.


        I’m advocating a return to passing through genuine means. Ideally, that would mean regulations that have room within the lines, so to speak, for teams to engineer better ideas than their rivals. Like I said, overtaking is only possible through performance differentiation. Aero and mechanical grip are only aspects of that reality.

        1. @dysthanasiac…fair comment…I do think that there is always room for the engineers to do better than their rivals, no matter the parameters, but in the past having too much room has meant formidable costs to run a competitive F1 team and it has been a team-with-the-most-resources-wins result. And now we’re in a global economic downturn. And yet the engineers have come up with things like F-ducts, and Newey continues to try to harness EBD as best he can, being unable to unlearn what helped them be so successful last year.

          To me, ‘passing through genuine means’ means mechanical grip, much less aero dependancy, and no gadgets such as DRS or EBD or KERS so that we end up with seat of the pants racing by the driver. Of course other aspects involving performance differentiation are always going to be there, eg. the quality of the driver, pit strategies, etc. And now the engineers are having to adapt to these tires. ie. the parameters may be different (or I suppose you would say more restrictive) but that doesn’t mean an engineer’s life has been made any easier…perhaps it has been made harder, which can’t hurt, can it?

          1. dysthanasiac (@)
            30th April 2012, 19:29


            I’ve posted several responses on the notion that increased mechanical grip and decreased aero grip provides for better overtaking. That’s simply not true. (I have a tendency to be long-winded, so I can understand someone missing those points due to their eyes glazing over amidst my seas of words.)

            And yes, the engineers lives have been made more difficult because of the current incarnation of the rules. EBDs were banned despite their nature as performance differentiators. KERS is so restricted that it will never be a performance differentiator in its current guise. Teams can’t add horsepower or significant downforce, nor can they shed drag or weight. The major areas for advancement were closed long ago ago. The smaller ones seem be to closed every year after the engineers find them.

            The rules have made the cars virtually identical in scope. Tires and DRS are all that’s left to be exploited. I think that’s awful as far as tires go, because there’s no such thing as an optimal tire setup; it just doesn’t exist. It’s a moving target.

            F1 has a choice to make, and it’s one that the powers-that-be have put off making for a long time now. F1 can either be F1, with all of the performance that it implies, in which case it will be expensive and aerodynamics will continue to play a major role in performance, or F1 can continue to inch toward becoming a spec-series in the name of cost-cutting and parity for which gimmicks become the star of the show, i.e., DRS, paper tires, etc. (I bet the next gimmick will be artificial wet races. I’m serious.)

          2. @dysthanasiac…great discussion…I think I am grasping what you are saying particularly regarding the sorry need these days for gimmicks to create performance differential amongst the cars whereas less limiting rules and regulations in the past allowed engineers to create the performance differential. I get that and I agree it is something to bemoan, but there’s still some things I can’t wrap my head around.

            I hear what you are saying regarding wet weather conditions, but I still thought that in the dry, and with cars very aero dependant, and on durable tires, we get into the parade effect in which we see faster cars held up by slower cars. ie. the performance differential that the engineers worked so hard to achieve is negated, no? As you say cars will always be affected in dirty air, but isn’t this accented even moreso when the greater proportion of grip is being created by aero downforce and with less emphasis on mechanical grip the dirty air really really handcuffs the drivers? ie. wouldn’t a move away from so much aero dependancy and more toward mechanical grip make for more passing (not that I believe the goal is umpteen passes per race…I too want to see a small number of memorable seat of the pants passes vs. it being a lottery)?

            Also I have to wonder if in fact the teams, as a few more races unfold, will get a handle on some optimal tire setups, whereas you say that doesn’t exist. It seemed to exist for NR in China as one example.

          3. dysthanasiac (@)
            1st May 2012, 1:45


            I’m usually much better at explaining myself. I’m going to try to bring it home this time.

            Any lack of overtaking on a road course is caused by cars that feature relatively equal performance characteristics. This fact is immutable.

            Even if downforce in F1 was completely eliminated, overtaking opportunities would not increase, because 24 cars that are all equipped with 2.4L V8s that rev to a maximum of 18,000 RPM and feature equal vee angles, uniform CoG, equal bore and stroke measurements, standard electronics, identical metallurgy and attached to identically-capable gearboxes, supplemented by identical KERS and then affixed to chassis with standard weight, weight distribution… (I trust you see the point)…will all have a relatively equal level of overall performance. Because mechanical grip relies on a proper racing line for optimal performance, these aero-less, but equal, cars will never be able to to overtake one another because they all have a tendency to belong on the same spot of the track. Such is the nature of equality. It makes for processional races whose outcomes are largely decided in qualifying.

            Everything I just said about mechanical grip would also be applicable in a hypothetical scenario whereby aerodynamic grip is the sole force at play; that is, save for two things. The importance of the racing line would be diminished, because aero never knows where it is on track, only how fast it’s going. The trade-off is that the cars would be sensitive to those around them because of turbulence. However, I think this problem is often overstated.

   What you see in that video would not be possible if “dirty air” is as harmful as people like to think. The whole field, minus Vettel, made it through the Becketts complex at Silverstone despite being packed together like sardines. I think aero is a scapegoat for those who refuse to address real issues, and DRS and whacky tires are the result of that obstinate refusal to acknowledge reality.

            DRS supplies the needed performance differential by handicapping the car in front. Silly-putty tires supply the performance differential because of the slim chances that two cars can get equal performance out of insanely tricky tires. The latter is made even trickier by the fact that there is no universal solution for tire use. Settings that work on one car may not work for another; settings that work in the morning may not work in the afternoon; settings that work with one aero package may not work with others, even on if it’s the same car. That’s just the nature of tires.

            Is this making sense now?

          4. dysthanasiac (@)
            1st May 2012, 1:58

            (I forgot the whole “bringing it home” part.)

            F1 needs to decide what it wants to be. The regulations are razor thin, because it’s said that curbs costs. Fine. But, it also relies on gimmicks to replace ingenuity. I think if F1 wants to be a veritable spec-series, they should just go all-out and make it a spec-series; that would save even more money.

            On the other hand, if F1 wants to be F1, it needs to accept the reality that F1 performance is not only costly, but also reliant on aerodynamics, especially when engines, KERS, chassis design, etc are all severely restricted.

            F1 is not easy.

            I just hope F1 makes a choice one way or the other. But, I fear the that the popularity of the band-aid solutions implemented in recent years will prevent that, because there’s little reason to change if most people are smiling. Even so, this inaction is short-sighted, and frankly, it’s dishonest, too.

  8. tyres are horrible, it’s not the kind of racing we want to see… so is DRS. the sensible degradation was expected not sudden death performance… had tyres been any better we would have seen tense battle with kimi & vettel for the win…

    what we expected was something like 2011 canada gp… where button attacked each lap to gain victory from all disadvantages he had during the race. i doubt he could do the same on the current tyres…. he will be able to push on these tyres for three laps then tyres are junk.

    1. Vettel would have been miles away by the time Kimi got through the field. Unless Vettel had someone equally fast along side him, that would have been usual boring win.

      1. You must have missed Bahrain, Kimi did indeed catch up to Seb.

        1. My reply was with regards to if we have all mighty Bridgestones and Vettel was starting 1st and Kimi 11th.

          1. But we are talking about the Pirellis.

    2. Good example and as Kodongo pointed out earlier the driver in the lead exiting the 1st.corner has won 3 out of 4 times, this in different teams, different cars, seems to favour the driver in clear air far to much. Last year we were bored with Vettel always out in front always winning despite being slow in the DRS zone, this year it’s going to be the same except it wont be the superior car/driver that RBR/Vettel was last year it will be the driver 1st. out of the 1st. corner, might even be Massa.

  9. I find it interesting that Schumacher sparked the tyre debate by complaining about the fact that you can’t really push them, while much of the debate is also about their operating window, and whether or not this makes racing a lottery, and whether or not that would be a good thing.

    Personally, I like the shake-up resulting from the narrow operating windows of the tyres (except when it catches out my favourite teams and drivers – aarrgh McLaren, what were you doing in Bahrain?), but I don’t like tyres that can’t be pushed, and should be changed before the race is 10 laps old. I also agree with Dizzy, in that I would like to see four compounds of tyres from which the teams could choose (just like in F1GP ;-) ).

    I do wonder what the Pirelli proponents will say when Sebastian Vettel wins the next four races from pole; there will be no more “4 different winners from 4 races” argument then.

    1. Kimi Raikkonen, not Sebastian Vettel ^_~;;

    2. I do wonder what the Pirelli proponents will say when Sebastian Vettel wins the next four races from pole

      How do you know that? Are you from the future?

      1. Gees PM an english teacher should recognise a rhetorical question when he sees it.

        1. But it’s not a rhetorical question at all – @adrianmorse is quite clearly expecting an answer to it. It’s a hypothetical scenario designed to discredit an opposing argument. The problem is that AdrianMorse makes this out to be a realistic scenario when there is no evidence to support the idea that it can actually take place. He is asking the people arguing in favour of Pirelli to come up with an argument against Pirelli, no doubt in the hopes that if they do come up with that argument, then he can use that argument from his hypothetical situation against the present reality.

          1. my brain just turned to Jello.

          2. It’s not that difficult a concept to grasp. Adrian is simply asking the Pirelli supporters to refute their own argument so that he has something that he can always bring up in the future every time someone says the Pirellis are not a problem.

    3. I hope you are wrong in your prediction about SV, but think what if Massa gets one of his blinding starts from p11 and leads after 1st. cnr. no way anybody on the softs is going to get around him without having to pit immediately for new tyres. Is that a better scenario than a series dominated by the fastest car/driver combination, will F1 be the place where being a great starter guarantees you the championship?

      1. I question separating the concepts of ‘pushing tires’ from ‘operating windows.’ I think the two go hand in hand. Get the tires into the right operating window for optimum performance under the conditions, and you can then push the tires.

        Some people may be proponents of Pirelli due to the concept of 4 winners in 4 races, but some simply like the concept of grippy tires providing mechanical grip as opposed to tires that last and last and make the game all about aero. I think 4 different winners in 4 different races is just how the season has started, with variable weather conditions being quite a factor, and I expect that as things average out there will be a reduction in the number of various winners, and teams will start to get a handle on the tires.

        If one driver goes on now to pole and win the next 4 races that will mean they got a handle on the tire window concept, or found some other ‘magic’ not related to tires, to start dominating. Those who like what Pirelli’s mandate is doing to F1 will say “see, there was no reason to panic about a ‘lottery’ or not being able to push the cars on these tires, and in fact Pirelli didn’t go far enough”, and those who dislike Pirellis due to the falling-off-the-cliff effect will have seen a team tackle that phenomenon and will have less to complain about and will urge their fave team to find the same answers.

  10. There is suddenly.a lot of Pirelli bashing around these parts right now! I don’t get it.

    A few drivers have a whinge because the tyres didn’t do them any favours in the race but you can bet your bottom dollar the same drivers will heap praise on Pirelli once their tyres help them bag a victory. It’s just circumstantial.

    Still, it wouldn’t be Formula 1 if people were happy!

    1. The voice of reason, however I think I have made it clear that I am not bashing Pirelli anymore than I would have bashed Bridgestone or whoever over the grooved tyre issue.

    2. @andrewtanner

      There is suddenly.a lot of Pirelli bashing around these parts right now! I don’t get it.

      Neither do I, though the cynic in me notes that tyres only became a problem for everyone once Vettel won a race …

      1. No the tyre problem only got widespread publicity after 7time world champion Michael Schumacher voiced his opinion, but it has been commented on all season.

        1. Yeah I agree that SV winning has reminded people of the relative cakewalk he had last year that many don’t want to see a repeat of, so some may be worried, within F1 or without, that SV is now about to start dominating and they (or their fave team/driver) may not be able to push their cars to compete due to the tires handcuffing them. I also agree that MS speaking out about this is going to draw attention too.

          But really though, and again thanks to Merc, haven’t we been talking about tires from the getgo as we saw Merc fly on the first Friday and Saturday thanks to their F-duct, only to then fall back on Sunday due to tire issues? That and us realizing that the F-duct is really only a big help on Friday and Saturday, and much less so on Sunday. In other words I don’t think we can just ‘blame’ an SV win, or MS speaking out, on the most recent tire talks. I think optimum operating windows has been the talk from the getgo but now we have 4 races worth of ‘data’ or ‘anicdote’ to go by.

  11. Slightly oof topic, but seriously PM, chill out man, I think most people here are discussing their opinions, and I agree with points on both sides of each debate. I rarely post on here because I like reading others opinions, and making a balanced view of how f1 fans world wide see their sport. All you seem to do is bash everyone who doesnt agree with you, or tries to counter each and every one of your multitude of posts you make on every article.

    Please, go outside, smoke a cigarette, make a coffee, whatever you need, because this site is becoming less “f1fanatic” and more “prisonermonkeyranting”

    thats just my 2 cents. Undoubtedly there will be a PM post that bashes me because of my opinion on this matter.

    P.S. this post is an opinion, not a stated fact.

    1. Concentrate less on what I’m doing and more on what you’re doing. I’m perfectly capable of getting into trouble all by myself. I don’t need your help doing it.

    2. @graigchq…thank goodness we are all entitled to our own opinion…you yours, PM his, me mine. PM does not need me to defend him, and in fact has already responded to you in kind, and all I wanted to point out is I don’t see where PM deserves the “ALL you seem to do is bash everyone who doesnt agree with you” comment. That’s a blanket statement that is very inaccurate. I find many of PM’s comments educational and thought provoking even when I don’t agree with him. I sure know that I don’t know it all, so I welcome points of view that I hadn’t thought of that can add to the conversation. That’s the beauty of a forum.

      If you strive for a balanced view…a taking of points from several sides of the debate to formulate an opinion on how the world sees F1, then you are missing out on some heady stuff from PM to throw into the mix, and I think it is unbalanced of you to make a blanket statement to the point where I think it might be you that needs to step out for a smoke or a coffee or whatever does it for you.

      1. fair point, duly taken

        1. @graigchq, don’t feel to bad, we all know what you meant and why.

  12. Bernie would approve that you have to pay to see the Rich List…

  13. Thanks for the Birthday wishes, – had to cange my user name sometime this year as it seems some one got to register it.

  14. What a huge SHUT AND AND GET ON WITH THE JOB to Michael Schumacher – by his own teammate, who has got on with the job and got the results.
    Shumacher needed the help of tyre change rules to win the championship in 2003 from Montoya, he is trying his luck wiht f1 poletics again to suit his own ego, but its not going to happen, he needs to be able to drive in any condition with any tyre, as 21 other drivers on the grid face the same dilemma, if his teammate can do it, then so should he.

    1. Yeah I did make a comment in the last two lines of my diatribe at the top of this page to the effect that there seems to be a nice rivalry at Merc as accented with NR’s comments vs. MS’s regarding tires. I don’t think there is actually much beyond it than each having given their opinions. ie. I don’t think NR is ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ to MS, because I think we have seen that in spite of what NR did in China, it doesn’t mean he can easily repeat that, as shown at Bahrain, and at the same time we could easily see MS dominate a weekend too, such is the unpredictability right now. But it is fascinating to hear two differing opinions from the same team and should make for a healthy rivalry. It would be interesting to hear MS’s comments about tires if he were in fact to dominate the next race like NR did in China.

  15. You know what the problem with current F1 is? The fact that people only look at overtaking as a number & that people want this number to be as big as possible.

    In the past we had less overtaking, However the overtaking we did see was truly exciting to watch & the lead up to it often had you on the edge of your seat.
    Now we have tons of passing (Its not overtaking) & very little of it is actually exciting to watch, I actually find DRS passes to be extremely dull & unintresting, Passes caused by tyres is just as bad.

    Its fine to say “we had 73 passes” however if 95% of those passes were boring to watch then its just as bad as having watched none.
    Last time we were in Bahrain there may only have been 15, However at least those 15 were real overtakes that were exciting to watch!

    Simply having 73 passes doesn’t make a race exciting as its the quality of an overtake that makes it exciting!

  16. I think that for the On This Day in F1 section the death of Roland Ratzenberger is more important than Lewis Hamilton’s front wing….I bet you Senna will be there 2moro. I know there’s no intent but he always gets forgotten

  17. Those who say Schumacher only spoke out because he’s getting beat by his team mate need to actually look at the 1st 4 races in more than just end results.

    Schumacher outqualified Rosberg in the 1st 2 races & was running ahead of him when a gearbox failure took him out of 3rd in Melbourne & Grosjean spun him out of 4th or 5th in Malaysia. In those races he was not getting beat by his team mate.
    In china he was evenly matched with Rosberg’s pace & got a dnf due to the wheel not been fitted right in the pit stops.
    in bahrain he had a drs failure in qualifying which saw him start well down the field, throughout the race his pace was actually quicker than rosberg’s.

    when you look at comparitive race pace, Michael has actually been quicker than nico in every race apart from china & even in china he was only 2-3 tenths off nico which is hardly terrible.

    also consider that Martin Brundle noted that 2 other top F1 drivers had identical critisism’s to Schumacher regarding tyres & the guys I know at FOM have told me several times since the start of last year that well over half the drivers have made similar complaints.

    The other point is that drivers will always want to push hard & race, thats what they love doing. I did some racing in the 80s & there were times when I had to drive slow to conserve tyres & I always hated it, Its no fun having to drive easy, especially if your pushing at less than about 85-90%.
    It was always more satisfying when I was able to push hard & race, Thats what I loved doing & it was more challenging as your always closer to the limit of yourself & the car.

    I get why a lot of the fans love what the current tyres produce in terms of racing, However putting my drivers hat on I get why the drivers woudn’t like it & thats the same reason I don’t like what the Pirelli’s have brought into F1.

    1. Adding to this, Paul Hembrey of Pirelli has responded to the critisism by making some incorrect statements.

      But maybe people have short memories, the sport was in huge decline no-one was watching it.

      Thats actually not true, Both TV & attendance were just as strong before Pirelli came in as they have been after.
      F1 was not in decline & more people than ever were watching in 2010.

      There was no overtaking. We know that the majority of fans like to see overtaking.

      There was overtaking, statistically 2010 featured more on-track overtaking than any season since 1989.

      As a fan, Yes I do like to see overtaking, However I like to see real overtaking, real hard fought for overtaking & not easy passing due to DRS or because one drivers tyres are a few seconds slower than the others.

      Its true that since 2011 we have seen a massive increase in the number of passes, However very little of it has been that exciting as most of it has looked way too easy due to DRS & tyres.

      I would rather see 1 real overtake than 10-20 easy passes caused by DRS, KERS or silly tyres!

      1. Pretty much agree with what you are saying here re MS…I’m no MS fan but I didn’t think he was speaking out just because he was being bested by NR. I think I can understand his frustration at not being able to push the car to it’s limit, especially when for quite a while he had designer tires, so he of all people knows what it’s like to be unlimited in terms of the tires. I also appreciate that if the tires were such that he could push the car more, so could everyone else and therefore anyone thinking he is just motivated to not be bested by NR would have to appreciate that NR and all the other drivers could push harder too with a change by Pirelli, and the competition might look similar as a result.

        MS has had some bad luck and is no doubt frustrated, and no doubt is hell bent on not being bested by NR a third year in a row, but in no way do I think beating NR is the only thing on his mind. He wants to be able to fight everyone.

        If I were to debate you at all regarding MS vs. NR in the first four races it would be to say that even though MS outqualified NR in the first two races, and he ‘was running ahead of him'(NR), you didn’t point out that NR was keeping pace with MS, even if they were both losing ground to the leader. And you say in China he(MS) was evenly matched with NR. I thought MS was actually not able to keep the same pace NR was throughout the race including right from the start by not getting as good a start as NR off the line and losing ground to him in the immediate laps. And in Bahrain, if MS’s actual race pace was quicker than NR’s that could perhaps be put down to the fact that MS didn’t get past Q1 on Saturday, so he had more new tire options to work with than NR come Sunday.

        As to Paul Hembrey’s comment about viewership being down and now it being up…any chance he was referring to SV sealing up the WDC so early last year that viewership fell off at that point? As opposed of course to this years 4 winners in 4 races as being a polar opposite to how it was last year?

        1. As to Paul Hembrey’s comment about viewership being down and now it being up…any chance he was referring to SV sealing up the WDC so early last year that viewership fell off at that point? As opposed of course to this years 4 winners in 4 races as being a polar opposite to how it was last year?

          TV figures remained high even after SV clinched the WDC.

          F1’s TV figures globally have been going up since about 2000 & have been at an all time high over the past 3-4 years. In the UK figures have been high since 2007 & have jumped further since 2009.

          especially when for quite a while he had designer tires

          Point I’d like to make regarding that since its been brought up a lot since he made the comments.

          The Bridgestone tyres were built/designed around the Ferrari & Schumacher’s feedback from 2002 onwards primarily because Ferrari were the only top team that were running Bridgestone tyres.
          The other teams on Brisgestone’s coudn’t afford to test as much as Ferrari could & that was the primary reason 90%+ of the tyre test’s were done by Ferrari.

          When Bridgsetone was the sole supplier (99-00) Ferrari recieved no special treatment from Bridgestone & in 2001 where Mclaren also ran Bridestone’s both recieved equal treatment in terms of testing & both teams recieved compounds built around there cars/drivers.

          The smaller teams running Bridgestone’s did complain about Ferrari doing the testing & the tyres been designed around Ferrari, However with Ferrari the only Bridgestone team able to test every week & Ferrari the only Bridgestone team fighting for the championship what else where Bridgestone supposed to do?

          When in a tyre war, Cost’s go up & the development rate also goes up. Bridgestone would often develop a new compound at the test the week before & run it at the next race & only have a few sets avaliable & with Ferrari the only top team running them & often in championship fights it was only natural that they got the new compounds before the smaller teams who were not in the title hunt.

          1. @GT_Racer Completely agree with you

          2. @GT_Racer…I’ll take your word for it about TV ratings as I have no info of my own to refute it, but obviously Hembrey would refute it, so I wonder what he is basing his comment about ratings on, or why he would have to deceive people given that he need not be defensive about the tires, as all he is doing is exactly what F1 has asked of him. Is this a situation where the stats can be moulded to suit one’s argument?

            As to your info about Ferrari and Bridgestone I think some of it might be slightly debatable, or at least I think you are shading a little the advantage MS had given that he had a designer car at Ferrari whereas Mac weren’t creating designer cars for one specific driver with the other on contract to not compete. ie the door was far wider open for Ferrari to have MS in a designer car and on designer tires by having a subservient teammate to MS from race one of each season. Therefore I think MS’s advantage was night and day different to either Mac driver even if in fact they were being treated equally to Ferrari by Bridgestone.

            The bottom line for me though regarding MS’s recent comments about today’s tires remains the same. The fact is he had it much much better in the past, no matter the facts surrounding the circumstances that led him to having designer tires. So no wonder he is frustrated now.

          3. @Robbie Not all Michaels’ careers down to “designer car” or “designer tires”. In the 90’s-00’s he managed to show his skill as well. I still agree with @GT_Racer

          4. @ Edge…if you’ve read some of my posts in the past you will know that I could go on and on about my feelings on the MS/Ferrari, and it’s not pretty, but I will resist this time around.

            Suffice it to say for this discussion, which is about today’s tires, I think it is safe to say, and all would agree, what MS is dealing with, as borne by his comments in recent days about tires, is night and day different to how he has had it in the past…and my point…that has to make it very tough now for him. He of all people knows how nice it can be to have no tire worries, and now it seems to be his and other drivers’ main worry. So I don’t think GT_Racer and you and I are really in much disagreement. We all agree MS had it way better in the past when it comes to tires.

            Now let’s see where it goes from here. He has a chance to use his skills and experience to get on top of his tire woes and help the team do as NR has suggested… be the first team to get a handle on these tires on a regular and predictable basis. And I don’t mean by complaining and trying to get Pirelli to change them, which of course could happen but I highly doubt anybody should be counting on that. And I also think the complaint needs to go to BE, not PH at Pirelli, and I’m sure it has been…

          5. “Edge…if you’ve read some of my posts in the past you will know that I could go on and on about my feelings on the MS/Ferrari, and it’s not pretty, but I will resist this time around.”

            It’s your opinions but sorry i think it didn’t mean you are right and not all believe on that including me.

        2. Agree and disagree here
          “I thought MS was actually not able to keep the same pace NR was throughout the race including right from the start by not getting as good a start as NR off the line and losing ground to him in the immediate laps.”
          Maybe MS just trying to save/manage the tires so he could push more later on(Button seem to close to MS at some point but in couple of laps MS manage to pull up) just like his races last years where mostly he had better race pace than NR. I think we would never know the truth(Chinese GP)

          1. Possibly but I find it hard to believe MS would have started that race happily watching NR’s car get smaller and smaller up ahead, assuming that his tires would be there for him later on to catch up. I think if he could have he would have been right up there fighting NR and trying for the lead, given that they were one-two on the grid…as opposed to last year when MS often started much further back (as did NR just not as much so) and on several occasions with a tire advantage due to his low quali spots that saw him have better race pace than NR at times.

            Also, it wasn’t after China that MS was saying ‘damn tires’ it was after Bahrain that saw him unable to capitalize like he did last year by starting so far back. Last year he was playing amongst lesser cars with a bigger performance difference so he was barely penalized for his low quali spots. Merc was a distant 4th in the WCC which meant that on average NR couldn’t do much with his much better quali spots, but everyone else behind Merc was a distant 5th or worse, so averaging things out MS could relatively easily work his way up the grid on Sunday. This year the cars are much closer in performance so it is not nearly so easy to push and work one’s way up without a lot of hard work along the way, and of course the chance to push the tires too hard is there.

          2. All is possibility, that’s why i said “I think we would never know the truth(Chinese GP)”

          3. Is this a situation where the stats can be moulded to suit one’s argument?

            Not really as looking at TV ratings shows a clear sign one way or the other.

            Paul Hembrey was talking about F1 before Pirelli came in, By saying that TV figures & track attendance was low & “Nobody was watching” he is clearly been disingenuous.

  18. I think there is other big factor why we never going to get racing of 60-80s, people just need to get over it and move on.

    Margin for error and inconsistency in all departments of the car that gave other drivers greater opportunities to exploit such inconsistencies.

    -Tyres were not as predictible (well alright maybe 2012 is a challanger:) )
    -Brakes are not as reliable and precise
    -Acceleration combined with other things not as perfect as it is now
    -Drivers fit as hell

    Everything is so sophisticated now, it leaves very little room for drivers to exploit any advantages and when they actually see an advantage it usually very small and not enough to overtake. It doesn’t help that most drivers are pretty skilled now and expected to be driving on the limit, which leaves very little space for opportunity, unless you have a much faster car.

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