“One-lap tyres” appeal to Vergne

2013 F1 season

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Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Jean-Eric Vergne said he liked the challenge of racing with Pirelli’s aggressive 2013 tyre compounds despite his “looking like cauliflowers” during testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Vergne said the tyres suited his “quite aggressive” style. “We had a really busy programme with long runs in sometimes, long runs for these tyres I would say,” he told media in Barcelona.

“If there is one thing I like about these tyres is it’s a one-lap tyre. That’s pretty nice, you have one lap, you just have to go for it and that’s it.”

“It’s really tricky, you have only one lap and then you have a lot of graining,” he added. “It’s difficult.”

“It’s definitely more than last year. Last year it was at least possible to make a test. Now it’s impossible to test – you have the new tyres and then you lose minimum four seconds for the run after. So it’s really, really tricky.”

However he expects the situation to improve before the first race of the year: “Last year we had the same concern and in the end of the year there were some teams that were able to make a one-stop strategy in the race.

“People always start talking a bit too early. But if nobody improves the tyre management we might end up seeing races with many, many pit stops!”

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

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49 comments on ““One-lap tyres” appeal to Vergne”

  1. Well that prospect does certainly not appeal to me.

    Honestly if tyres only have 1 good lap in them in the races & time drop off is too big & we see drivers going around doing nothing but nursing them all race them im not watching!

    1. Even if it were 10 laps, I don’t watch to see pit stops, I watch to see cars and drivers racing.

      1. I agree – the timing battles in F1 are interesting, but not as interesting as seeing cars on the track. Pit stops artificially enhance the excitement of the race by putting fast cars on track in the midst of slow ones but that would be like doubling the size of the goal in Soccer (Futball/Football). Higher scoring, but is the game better? I, for one, don’t think so.

        What I really don’t understand is why Formula 1, if they know that the thing that keeps racing from being “more exciting” (air quotes here, I disagree) is that cars can’t race close together because of aerodynamic dependency. If that’s the case, then the goal of the regulations should be to increase the amount of Mechanical grip available to the cars. The tires of an F1 car should be supremely grippy and durable, and should make up for more of the total grip available to the car.

          1. Agreed.

            I for one would bring back the restriction on tyre changes during the race. One set of tyres to last the entire race/weekend should be the goal for modern, technologically relevant, environmentally conscious Formula 1.

            Someone should do an expose on the environmental waste caused by Pirrelli’s deliberately self-destructive tyres. You are seriously talking thousands and thousands of tyres every year that presumably go to landfill? All for “the show”?

          2. @mhop

            Which leads to very boring racing where no one can pass and no one makes mistakes. That’s exactly what we had with the bridge stone tyres, by the end, the only reasons anyone pitted was because the rules said they had to. F1 is better than it’s ever been, now, I don’t know about this years tyres, none of us do, but lets wait and see how it goes. Every year they have tyre wear problems in testing, but by the end of last year for example, they were doing 1 stoppers again.

            …. On the 2nd bit, you are joking right? If you are half way to being aware of anything around you, it should tell you that those tyres only make a small splash in a big sea.

            I’m honestly not sure if you actually being sarcastic, and my comment will look stupid because of it.

          3. @mhop IIRC, Pirelli recycle the dead tyres.

      2. Most definitely.
        I just did a quick bit of mental sums and in general we see the pitstops for the the top half of the field, but let’s say 12 cars, and we generally see about 15 seconds per car – into the it lane, drawing up, changing wheels and screeching away down the pit lane again. So in a three stop race we are going to spend 12 x 0.25 x 3 minutes *not* looking at cars on the track, and that’s 9 minutes of coverage when stuff could be happening out on the track!
        I remember one of the BBC race highlight edits last year (the ones they put on the news website). Not sure which race it was, but there was obviously scant action in the race itself because at least half of the 12 minute edit was cars having pitstops. Yawn.

        1. @timothykatz – I personally like the spectacle of a modern, non-refuel pit stop. As long as they don’t dominate the races (2 per car is fine) then I think it adds to the fun, provided they don’t prevent on-track overtaking – in which case I completely understand your standpoint. 9 minutes of coverage which would otherwise possibly be simple cruising round is no hard loss on me though! :)

          1. But Max, no-one should be cruising around, they only cruise around because the tyres can’t take 100% laps.

          2. @hohum – you are right in a sense – we don’t watch F1 to see drivers driving to a delta, we watch it for flat-out action – but tyre conservation adds a strategic element that to me is just as intriguing as simple pedal-to-the-metal racing. A balance does need to be struck though, so yes the tyres should definitely be able to take more than one laps’ punishment before giving up.

          3. @vettel1, I surrender, I can’t type fast enough.

      3. I agree that having a pitstop race to define an F1 race doesn’t appeal much to me either @hohum, but I do take some positives from what Vergne says (and Button was saying much the same).

        The tyres seem to react predictably to what a driver does, so its more a case of doing that than about experimental driving where a team can suddenly get things right and win a race, like we saw last year at the start.

    2. One of the best races last year was the USGP, without DRS it would have been perfect because the drivers could actually push on the tyre and the spectacle was fantastic to watch. Drivers on the limit pushing their machines to the limit – isn’t that what F1 should be about… not tending to cauliflowers.

      1. Having said that, perhaps the perfect F1 allows for some to win by tending to their cauliflowers carefully and others by bashing them with hammers and getting them replaced. I think Pirelli probably had this in the middle of last season, but now we are going to have randomF1 again I fear (although Button thinks not which is encouraging). Well, let’s see.

  2. I have aired my views on these ridiculous tyres on many occasions,and now it seems they have cast some spell over the more inexperienced drivers, or is it that as usual French translates into gobbledegook ,not English.

  3. You know, everytime something looks vaguely different, people on here declare they’re going to stop watching the sport. Strange how you’re all still on here every day and after every race having watched it though. Odd that, hmm?

    1. No, not strange at all.
      How many times does an alcoholic swear off the sauce? This is F1 FANATICS after all.

      1. Thats awesome, made me smile

    2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      23rd February 2013, 1:22

      Seems that quite a few people here think its (relatively speaking) the end of the world if something changes, only to realise that’s it’s not actually that bad.

  4. I think that they should use quali tyres; there are 2 different compounds, and whichever compound you qualify on, you have to use for the race.
    Eg: you use a SSoft quali tyre, so you have to start on a SSoft race tyre, which is of a slightly harder compound than the quali tyre.
    And, seeing as everyone seems to hate pit stops, to nurse the tyres in gently, then the drivers should have 2 warm-up laps (that dont count to overall race distance) leading to a standing start, like in karting.

    1. I personally think the system shouldn’t change as pitstops demonstrate F1 is a team sport.

      1. Yeah I like pit stops.

      2. So was F1 not a team sport in the 60s/70s/Early-80s when we didn’t have any pit stops?

        1. Having pit stops helps to highlight that it is a team sport

      3. Like Basketball !

        1. @hohum – but with the crucial difference that in basketball it is for a team talk, and nothing much happens. Whereas during a pit stop, we see a harmonious unit of engineers changing wheels at terrific speeds – it’s quite a spectacle in it’s own right and there is a definite element of tension to see if they come out without any problems!

          1. I didn’t know they had pit stops in basketball, I just see it as a team sport, one where they score a goal every 30 seconds so it should appeal to the people who find F1 boring.

          2. @hohum – ah, I thought you were referring to the team-talks that blight every American sport! My bad.

        2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
          23rd February 2013, 1:29


          I just see it as a team sport, one where they score a goal every 30 seconds so it should appeal to the people who find F1 boring.

          Lol don’t just include basketball, that can be applied to just about every ball sport (minus football). Tennis, AFL, Volleyball.

          You obviously have no clue how difficult and physically fit you need to be to play basketball on an elite level. Don’t belittle it by saying its akin to how artificial you think formula 1 is these days.

          1. @tophercheese21 what I believe @hohum was trying to say was that if the fans who aren’t satisfied unless there is an overtake every 30 seconds (of which I should stress I am not one of) should perhaps try watching another sport, which is designed around the principal of a quick flurry of action.

            I don’t believe either of them are artificial, but F1 is creeping towards it with DRS in particular and, only if Pirelli go overboard, the tyres. I think personally mid-2012 was a good balance with the tyres, so if we could maintain that level of influence then I would be happy!

          2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            23rd February 2013, 11:50


            Ahh okay, my apologies, I must have interpreted his comment wrongly.

          3. @tophercheese21 – so did I, I thought it was to do with team talks being comparable to pit stops!

    2. @xjr15jaaag – I also think pit-stops are a good element in modern F1: to see the crews fluidically changing the wheels is almost poetic! As long as it doesn’t detract from the on-track action (which is obviously more important) I don’t see the problem with pit stops and of course less durable tyres.

      1. Max. SpeedTV had a weekly show with Nascar crews competing for the fastest pit-stop, you can probably find archive episodes to keep you entertained until the AGP.

        1. @hohum – As I’ve said, I think strategic elements in the races are just as important as the on-track action. For example, last year’s Monaco GP may have been even more boring had it not been for the varying strategies in Vettel opting to go long on the first stint using the softs. Absolutely, it shouldn’t dominate the races or anything of the like but it adds a crucial spice.

          As for your proposition, I’d rather watch the very few F1 archives that Sky F1 are showing! NASCAR’s never really interested me, to monotonous in my opinion!

          1. A pit stop is a pit stop is a pit stop to me but for sure F1 has the biggest crew and the fastest stops.

      2. @Vettel1, actually I did find the pit stops in the Indianapolis 500 and LeMans 24hours interesting, back when they were the only times we saw pit-stops, I find they disrupt the flow of a 2 hr. race though.

        1. @hohum – I think we should just agree to disagree really: I like it this way and you like it that, it just boils down to personal preference really!

          1. agreed each to his own, try and find some 60s and 70s archives to see my side.

          2. I shall, I’m actually rather young but I have a great interest in all the archive footage and I try to learn as much as possible about the past, so I’ll see what’s on youtube for now @hohum!

          3. @hohum

            Of course the problem is, in this age of modern technology, you don’t get 60s and 70s, you get the 2000’s. You can’t go back. If you let the tyres last an entire race, we will quickly see passing drop back down. And that’s on track passing.

          4. @mike, I don’t see the logic in what you say, from what I read last years USGP saw many on track passes with very little in the way of tyres “falling of the cliff”, if everybody has the same rubber and no fears of it wearing-out then they can race nose-to-tail and side-by-side all race long, just like they used to.

          5. @hohum

            just like they used to.

            My logic, is that looking at the most recent relevant era, with the bridgestones, tyres lasting the whole race was the problem.

            “race nose-to-tail and side-by-side all race long, just like they used to.” was not possible.

            You don’t see that tyres wearing at different rates is one of the key factors in having cars race for position in the last few years do you?

  5. One of the greatest races of all time was the 1969 Italian grand prix. The race was won by Stewart using tactics ,but the cars were able to run at fantastic speeds a hairs breadth apart ,far to dangerous by todays standards.I understand that close racing of this type is no longer acceptable as it causes drivers to take to many risks .Something had to be done to increase interest in the sport from the video games generation,enter Pirelli.

    1. @jpowell, the cars are so much safer now so I don’t understand why close racing is unacceptable.

      1. The 1969 monza race was a slipstreaming masterpiece.Disaster was courted every lap but by a miracle didn’t happen.I watched live and was enthralled but even the latest cars could not stand the possible multi_impact that was possible at those speeds so close together.We have to accept that those halycon days are gone forever. But I agree with you that drivers must be allowed to drive at their maximum throughout a race.Proper tyres and no Drs.

  6. Couple of tweets from Mercedes F1 from this morning:

    “MERCEDES AMG F1 ‏@MercedesAMGF1
    For those who don’t know, the electric powertrain of the ‘#SLSAMG Electric Drive has lots of F1 knowledge and KERS expertise in it…”

    “MERCEDES AMG F1 ‏@MercedesAMGF1
    Proper tech transfer from F1 to the road – exactly the kind of thing we can expect more of from 2014 #SLSAMG #ElectricDrive”

    Tech transfer back to the road AKA reason for F1 existence in the first place… wonder how the Pirelli tires fit into this, anyone reckons that there are market for artificially quick degrading tires out there?

    Sure the tire manufactures would like just that, but pinnacle it ain’t.

    1. You could keep a pit crew in your garage to put on the super sticky tyres if you were running late to get to work, maybe?

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