Jenson Button, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2012

New tyres ‘less fundamental to performance’ – Button

2013 F1 season

Posted on

| Written by

Jenson Button, McLaren, Buddh International Circuit, 2012Jenson Button says he is less concerned about the challenges presented by Pirelli’s tyres in 2013.

Button won three races in 2012 but suffered a dip in form early in the season which was related to his understanding of the 2012 compounds.

“I think all the teams will go into this season feeling more assured about the Pirelli tyres,” Button told McLaren’s website.

“As you know, last year was a bit of an unknown as we all got to grips with the new rubber, but that?s less likely to happen this time around, so there?s more stability there.

“There are differences to the tyres ?ǣ the shape and the compounds, but I don?t think they?ll be as fundamental to the overall car performance as they were last year.”

Pirelli have indicated their 2013 tyres will be more aggressive than those used last year, particularly at the end of the season.

Button added his new team mate Sergio Perez is settling in at McLaren after an “inevitable getting-to-know-you period”.

“The most important thing is that you have a good working relationship, that you can share ideas and information freely and that you?re working together with the engineers for the good of the team,” he said.

“That?s never been an issue at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and I think we?re going to work well together ?ǣ Checo may only be 22, but he?s very sensible and he knows what?s needed to get the most from the car, so I predict it?ll be a very strong partnership.”

2013 F1 season

Browse all 2013 F1 season articles

Image ?? Pirelli/LAT

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.

31 comments on “New tyres ‘less fundamental to performance’ – Button”

  1. “The most important thing is that you have a good working relationship, that you can share ideas and information freely and that you’re working together with the engineers for the good of the team,” he said.

    PR-wise, It seemed for a long time that Button and Hamilton had a friendly approach to each other and that they trully shared some information. Then, by the end of last year, we had some tantrums by Hamilton (the “Button doesn’t follow my Twitter” and the confidential info Tweets) and some comments made by Button about Hamilton leaving which didn’t sound so friendly after all. Well, let’s see how long this new partnership can enjoy a “honeymoon” and when the dishes start to be thrown

  2. Reminds me of what Webber was saying 12 months ago – and things didn’t quite turn out that way:

    Webber: Tyres are “old news” in 2012

    1. Agreed. It seems naive to think that they won’t be a factor. It’s the one metric they can’t control, and no amount of virtual testing can account for them.

    2. Indeed!

      I think Pirelli will have changed the tyres again a lot this year. The first half of 2013 should be again about cars playing catchup to the tyres.

      I like this game of moving goalposts between Pirelli and the teams. Every time the teams have figured out the tyres, Pirelli make changes to move the goalposts. I think it will help F1’s popularity and we get to see true driver’s potentials (like Alonso in first half of 2012).

    3. Indeed, its a remarkably alike comment! Lets hope it turns out as true then, because the tyres being difficult did a lot to have drivers show their best at different times and bring variety to the season.

      1. Hmm…I’m sure not convinced that lottery tires that produce all kinds of variable effects on the cars’ behaviour from one day and one track to the next while the teams try to figure them out are a reflection of true driver’s potentials or to show their best. I think they are just that…a lottery. One day making a driver look good, the next day making him look ordinary. A temp change in the air or on the track that totally changed the cars characteristics and handcuffed the driver does not mean the driver one day is a good driver and the next day is bad. It just means the tires have too much say in the thing.

        I prefer stable tires so that we see an apples to apples comparison amongst the drivers, not a show of who can do what against whoever’s tires are falling off a cliff, on tires that haven’t fallen off the cliff yet.

  3. Well, Pirelli have surprised us before so who knows what will happen! I expect headaches but nothing too drastic. I do wonder if the new slightly wider shaape at the back will cause issues though?

  4. Uhhuuhh…
    ‘Massive frontlocking’

    1. jimscreechy (@)
      17th January 2013, 10:00

      Don’t forget Massive amounts of understeer/oversteer

      1. No Grip…

        1. Undrivable.

  5. Nick Jarvis (@)
    16th January 2013, 23:02

    is it possible to make tyres that degrade at a very similar level whether you’re pushing or holding back a bit? would shake the races us a little. i don’t mean driving at quali pace, but to a small degree

    1. Pirelli have said that they can make any tyre under the sun, from ones that fall apart after five racing laps to Bridgestone-esque marathon runners. They’re just doing what’s asked of them by the FIA.

    2. @nickj95gb, If they are not driving at qualifying pace it is unlikely that they will be able to make a pass or win a race, but I agree with your sentiment.

  6. I really hope the tyres have less of an impact this year compared to what they did early in 2012.

    I know a lot were jumping up & down about how great all the degradation & unpredictability was, However I much preferred the latter half of 2012 as the racing felt more genuine & was way more enjoyable for those of us who actually enjoy racing rather than just constant & continuous passing & tyre created craziness.

    I kind feel that 2012 was split in 2 with the 1st half catering towards the casual fans & those who do want constant action while the 2nd half was catered towards the more die-hard, long term fans who want to see more pure racing.
    If they had banned DRS/KERS for the final half of last year it would have been perfect for me.

    In all honesty, If 2013 starts out as 2012 did I’ll just stop watching F1 this time & go focus on Indycar or something, Racing was way better over there last year without the need for artificial aids or gimmicks.

    1. Well, if races like Hungary, Korea and India were the definition of pure racing I’d much rather have “constant action” back.

      1. What was wrong with those races?

        Good close racing through the field, Good battles for position & a fair amount of overtaking.

        I personally found those races far more enjoyable as a fan of racing than any of the races seen earlier in the year.

        Close racing, good fights over position & a decent level of proper overtaking (none of this artificial, gimmickey or stupidly easy drs BS) is what got me hooked on motor sports & whats kept me hooked for nearly 40yrs. Its the current style of F1 with Pirelli, KERS & the abomination known as DRS thats doing its very best to turn me off racing.

        1. Just wanted to come back & elaborate on why I dislike things like DRS, KERS & Pirelli.

          Something I have hated watching with these things the past 2 years is the situations where because of how effective the DRS is or because of the different state of tyres or compounds where you know full well that the car behind is going to zip straght past the one ahead super easily.

          As an example, Watching the latter stages of Montreal with Lewis catching Alonso, Knowing several laps beforehand that as soon as Lewis catches him he’s going to be straght past as soon as they get to the DRS zone with Fernando able to do nothing to even attempt to hold him off, That to me isn’t exciting to watch as there’s no tension to it, No excitement in the passing move & that takes the fun out the race to me.

          Something I have always loved about racing is when you have 2 cars fighting over a position & you have no idea who will come out on top or if/when an overtake will happen & what sort of overtake it will be. That to me is edge of your seat excitement & the tension of that fight going on makes things extra exciting.

          Been able to see the outcome laps before it happens because you know the lead car’s tyres are older or slower or because you know how effective DRS has been is to me simply zero fun & I don’t even consider it proper racing.

          It reminds me of oval racing when cart had the hanford wing, with the way it worked you knew that as soon as someone got in the draft of the car ahead he was going to fly straght past uncontested & because of that you always knew that if there was a few cars together towards the end of a race, whoever was leading at the start of the last lap wouldn’t be leading at the end of it & the races came down to who was lucky enough to get the best draft at the right time & pull out with nobody behind him by the time they got to the line.
          That was why I stopped watching cart oval racing & why i also stopped watching nascar plate racing, that isn’t the sort of racing i enjoy or want to see.

          1. Here, here @dizzy, I note that like myself you have watched all the different variations that have been added to the rules to jazz-up F1, while the majority of fans have only seen F1 with the pitstops being the main factor for success or failure amongst the leading teams, they have never enjoyed an uninterrupted 2 hour fight to pass and re-pass for the win as we have, hence they want to see on-track passing and think it’s necessary to have these gimmicks to achieve it.

          2. with you too @dizzy

  7. Yeah well we will see. Button isn’t a very adaptable driver; give him a machine which is attuned to him and he performs well, but if the balance is off then it doesn’t matter how good the machine is, he will perform sub-par. Jenson really should have done better than he did in 2012. McLaren delivered a good car (perhaps the best) and Button didn’t have to deal with half the amount of mechanical failures or team mistakes that Hamilton had to cope with. And yet he still only managed to come 6th. Why? Because the car somehow didn’t suit Button – regardless of whether its other qualities. And it is clear that tires had a lot to do with this, at least in the first half in 2012.

    So unless Button wins the F1 lottery and McLaren deliver a car that can deal with the tires better than other teams from the go, then tires are probably going to be an issue with Button in 2013, just as they were in 2012. And he won’t be quiet about it either, not if last years post-race interviews were anything to go by…

    1. jimscreechy (@)
      17th January 2013, 10:09

      Got to agree with you there. His performances last year when he came to grips with the tyres were pretty good, but his poor qualifying abilities along side his more plentiful mediocre weekends doesn’t bode well for a championship. He’s going to have to get his finger out this year because I reckon Perez will give him a run for his money.

    2. His problem this year was that he could not get the right temperature at the same time in all four corners. I think Hambrey said that the tyres had different heating process on the front and on the rear. Button had a huge and unacceptable slump, but I think it was not because he is unable to adapt his style, but because he and his team was trying set up his car so the tyres would work with the (then unpredictable) tyres. After 5-6 races and a major upgrade he started to regain pace, and I think that was the moment he started trying to change his driving.

      But I think even if the tyres will be more challenging, he wont have this kind of slump, because he and his team had tried everything in 2012 to make him competitive, and gained mutch experience. So if they get disastrous tyres, they will know what to try, and how to solve.

  8. im still very much split on the impact tires have nowadays if im honest.

    there are times when they allow for more varied strategies & that can be intresting, however when you start seeing some of what we had last season with race results been determined by who had tires figured out & who had there car in the ‘sweet spot’ that weekend & who didnt then it does start feeling wrong somehow.

    also didn’t enjoy seeing the situations where a driver on old tires was totally defenseless to defend against a driver on fresher tires, i felt that was hurting the races somewhat by simply eliminating those great, intense fights over position which i have always enjoyed to see.
    certainly wasnt helped in places like canada where drs on-top of tire differences ended fights over position before they had even begun as was the case in the closing stages when hamilton & others passed alonso.

    be nice if they could figure out how to make tires that allowed for varied strategies but still allowed cars on different strategies to be able to fight one another without the driver on the softer compound or on fresher tires simply having such a big advantage that he’s straght past with little fuss.

  9. ‘There is no balance’

    1. Is this related to your bank account?

      1. good one :P…maybe his mobile phone

  10. Button is just playing with media. Of-course the new tires will have an impact to the cars balance as they are 2 kg heavier than “12 specs. I mean everyone who drives a regular car knows how much of an influence has the tire pressure on cars behavior. And about his new team mate, as long as Button is faster than him they will have a good relationship. I expect that Sergio will show some good pace as he has a point to make, even if I liked to see Hulk in the car instead. And another thing, there is no one better than Massa in terms of a good team mate and team player. I mean no one takes so many punches as him. I hope that he could keep his momentum and beat Alonso this season.

    1. … not to mention the compound of the tires. :)

    2. well said . Let us see what button does this year if he really wants to beat Sergio . Sure, the tyres will be a factor ….. maybe not as bad as last year , but still a factor

      1. thanks mate. I can see some of the drivers who absolved ’12 tires wondering what happened on the first couple of tests :). The cards are mixed again and I can assume that Pirelli don’t what to be responsible for that. That’s way they are quiet about impact and just waiting for the first test and comments.

Comments are closed.