Vettel: “I hope we have enough tyres to survive”

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In the round-up: Sebastian Vettel is worried about tyre wear ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix.


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Red Bulls angered by tyre wear in Sepang (Reuters)

Sebastian Vettel: “I hope we have enough tyres to survive the race and it is not a lot of fun and that is how it is.”

Hamilton: I never wanted a year out (The Telegraph)

Lewis Hamilton claimed on Friday that he had never intended to take a sabbatical from Formula One, despite Bernie Ecclestone’s assertion this week that Mercedes’ ??60 million signing was prepared to leave the sport for a year rather than remain any longer at McLaren.”

Hamilton: Race pace is better (Sky)

“I wasn’t really able to exploit it over a single lap, but nonetheless I’m happy with where we’re standing. I think we’re stronger race-pace wise. If I’m honest when we did the long run it felt pretty strong and we went for quite a few laps.”

The Pursuits Interview: Luca di Montezemolo (FT)

“We are committed to drastically cutting fuel consumption and lowering emissions. But to us it was never something we made a lot of noise about. It is like washing your face, something you quietly get on and do every day.”

Button becomes a GPDA director (Autosport)

“Sebastian Vettel remains in his role as the other director alongside Button, while Pedro de la Rosa keeps the chairman’s seat despite swapping his HRT race drive for a Ferrari development role.”

Life with a limp (ESPN)

“Martin’s stock had been rising throughout that debut season in 1990. Split times during the fateful lap showed that, had he completed it, the Ulsterman would have qualified on the third row; his best grid position that year.”

Australia 2013 – race edit (F1)

Highlights from the last race.


Comment of the day

Traverse on whether IndyCar star Will Power can finally claim the title this year after three near-misses:

If Will Power has the willpower to win, he will win. But if Will isn’t filled with the will to win, there will be no willpower to help Will Power win.
Traverse (@Hellotraverse)

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Cacarella, James Newnham, TommyC and George!

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

Kimi Raikkonen scored his first F1 victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix ten years ago today.

The podium was completed by Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso.

Image © Red Bull/Getty

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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45 comments on “Vettel: “I hope we have enough tyres to survive””

  1. I’m really sorry for Vettel…

    1. Yeah.. I feel for Sebastian.

      I pray he can cope with this incredible struggle. Its easy to lose hope when you have the fastest car on the grid that isnt always kind on its tyres

      1. @todfod It must be as hard as losing a child.

  2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    23rd March 2013, 0:27

    Perhaps Pirelli should just bring the Medium and Hard to every race.
    As a viewer, it’s kind of frustrating to watch, when drivers get into a good battle, and just when something’s about to happen, someone’s tyres go off the cliff.

    I only they could make a tyre slightly less durable than the 2010 Bridgestone, yet still be able to push 100% on them. Perhaps they can, but who am I to say. I guess I’m just getting a bit sick of how dominating an issue these tyres are. It should be about racing, not conserving tyres.

    1. It annoys me when I have to sit back and try watch drivers go as slow as possible and avoiding battles in order to focus on keeping the tyres alive. Whats the point of fast drivers in F1, when they are not allowed to push the car?

      Sure there are counter arguments like “its the same for everyone” and “good drivers can look after their tyres while still going fast”, but you know when most the drivers come out and say “this is not what we signed up for!”, that there is a real problem.

      1. You clearly didn’t see any of Alonso’s race in Melbourne. He was pushing like mad from lap 1 to lap 58.

      2. when most the drivers

        Other than Red bull, who else?

      3. I doubt the notion that only the Pirelli’s tyres limit the pace of the cars. Even the rev limiter has a say in the speed of the car I guess. But, as Pirelli’s motorsports director Paul Hembery says even last year the teams used to say similar things and imaging what happened in the second half of the season?

      4. I agree and can understand your frustration. What annoys me the most are the rules: if they believe that having rubbish tyres that melt and disintegrate after few laps, at least let the drivers use as many tyres they want or need to go fast, and to use whatever compound suits their driving style. As it is now, it is just annoying.

    2. @tophercheese21 the problem is that everyone is trying to get their way, and since they tyres seem not to be the liking of red bull they complain.

  3. Fantastic comment of the day :)

    1. Took me 5 mins to read it, lol

  4. If Red Bull didn’t focus on ensuring they were able to adapt their car set-up to deal with this years tyre characteristics then they have no one else to blame, as other teams obviously have.

    Blaming the tyres themselves is a complete cop-out.

    1. @skipgamer

      +1 The other teams which manage tyres better did not bring their cars out of nowhere. Barring McLaren almost all the teams have evolved their cars from last year. Whether you are able to win or not you should not blame the tyres for that, least because all teams are supplied with the same high degrading tyres.

  5. I find completely annoying that EVERYDAY since last season someone is talking about the tyres… it looks like Formula Pirelli, not Formula One. Tyres seem to be more important than the cars, teams, or drivers, something is wrong.

    1. you didn’t enjoy last season then?

  6. COTD reminded me of that funny press conference with ‘Juan/one’ (The ‘juan’ and only Juan Pablo Montoya).

    1. Yes !! it was ” to the rising number one of formula one, juan , one wonders if one only should win one formula one one year or would juan woud’ve won that one in round one , juan ?

  7. I find it terribly funny how now he complains about the tyres… He´s the first to publicly do so. Interesting! I thought he was great at looking after his tyres…

    1. @catracho504

      He has complained about them before the start of the season…

  8. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    23rd March 2013, 1:49

    I hope the race is not bad for Red Bull… but as well as for any other. I mean, it would hurt the show so much if Alonso, Bianchi or whoever going well starts going back, exactly like it happened to Raikkonen last year in China, just for the tyres issue

  9. awwww peaches, I’m sowwy…..

    (My response to Vettel)

    1. Hahaha.. I just saw the photo next to the article and read your comment. LMAO

  10. I have a theory on why Red Bull degrade the tyres more.
    It all comes from their setup, having found more downforce (than the other teams) they can take the corners faster but the front tyres suffer more degradation, also the shorter gear ratios mean they accelerate faster and get to their top speed earlier but at the expense of the rear tyres because there’s a higher longitudinal force.
    Yes that setup makes the ultimate laptime but it’s too hard on the tyres, I think Red Bull should try a more “conventional” one and trust that their drivers will do the hard work of attacking and defending on track, the way it is know if they’re not at the front they’re sitting ducks.

    1. @mantresx

      Interesting read indeed.

    2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      23rd March 2013, 4:24

      I wonder if they’d consider setting their q 3 time on the hard tyre. They had quite an advantage in qualy last time out, ok they might not get pole but at worst they’d be 5th n 6th. Likely higher and surely on a better strategy than anyone else. Giving webber some kers every now and then might help the general effort as well.

    3. MALLI (@mallikarjuna)
      23rd March 2013, 7:28

      @mantresx spot on.

    4. @mantresx

      More downforce reduces tyre degradation. Understeer/oversteer, wheel locking and wheelspin are the biggest problems.

  11. His country man’s car also disliked the black gold for 3 years. The problem with the tyres is that it’s good for the show, but F1 drivers should be on the limit of the car every lap (atleast they shouldn’t be limited by the tyres from the get go). But sadly we can’t have both history has shown. Just to keep on wining, same with rain. Today it seems like the whole field needs to finish. If it rains and they go off, so be it. If only 6 finish so be it. I miss the times we had epic barcelona 1996 races. Today all drivers would be on their radio ”i’m scared to drive, where is the safety car no red flag even better’

  12. “it is not a lot of fun and that is how it is.”

    Well , he need not be worried at all considering red bull will create magic(some freak update) soon. It’s only a question of when . Till that arrives , he will have to be content with just 3rd place finishes . Well , that’s not so bad is it ? ..but maybe yes, its not fun , not till he wins all the time .

    1. He’s talking about how much fun it is to drive, not how successful he is at the moment. Tyres tyres tyres, unlike some people on here I would like to see drivers wringing out every last tenth of the car underneath them, not being advised by their engineers to drive to a certain lap time…in this case we may as well replace the drivers with robots. This isn’t like tyre conservation in past days where the driver could use his head, now all the emphasis is on the team ‘understanding’ the tyres and then the robot executing the simulated race plan.

      We are human, and F1 should not just about ‘optimsing’data. I want cars on the limit pushing to the edge of the track. I want my F1 back!! End rant.

  13. Ah this (f)ecking Red Bull Guys are doing whatever necessary to bring about a change in the Tyre Compounds.. The fact that there Superior Quali Pace is redundant is making them Mad..

  14. “We have also seen differences in the way that individual teams use the compounds, with the hard compound lasting 15 laps for some teams and 21 laps or more for others,” said Hembery.

    Tht is it Red Bull.. Oh Why Do I feel so happy when finally half the Field can do something better than a Adrian Newey Design??

    1. @sonkky

      Cuz you’re a belittled child who can’t take the fact that your favourite team/driver has been losing the last couple of years??

      1. @f1fann

        My fav driver is Robert Kubica.. So, I am sure I will have to wait for a Long time

  15. Mark is right, it’s too much about tires, tyres, tyres, tyres, tyres!!! As soon as one starts to get into the groove in the race the dreaded tyre issue reares its ugly head! We want to watch good close racing, not a multitude of pits stops just to change tyres and ruin the complection of the race!!! I love F1 but this is rediculous!!

    1. 1 extra pitstop is ridiculous? Ok

  16. Lachie Martin
    23rd March 2013, 4:52

    Do we think the tyre degredation on the RB9 is something to do with the high amount of rake they run? I noticed the Ferrari is running more rake as well…cars driving around with the gearboxes sitting high….Kimi’s Lotus last week in Melbourne I noticed – due to the twilight – was ‘bottoming’ out regularly – with sparks…like the old days…it didn’t seem to be running any rake…..

    The sparks was something I noticed – especially on Kimi’s car – I’m not sure on the affect on the tyres..but my logic says there could be something in it..

  17. I have no sympathy for Red Bull and their tyre wear issues. From the evidence so far this season it looks like some of the other teams have done a better job on managing tyre wear then them, Lotus and Force India in particular. I’m not sure they’d be complaining so publicly if they were the best front running team on the grid for tyre wear, rather than potentially one of the worst. Performance in F1 is limited by a large number of things, engine life and performance, gearbox life, aerodynamics, KERS, the bravery and skill of the driver. Most of them are things the teams themselves are unable to control and develop as much as they like and have to work with, tyres are just something else to add to the list.

  18. I hope we have enough tyres to survive the race and it is not a lot of fun and that is how it is.

    i’m quite sure your team has been issued enough tires to last the race distance. whether or not you manage your allocation successfully is entirely up to you. amazingly, one might even find sport in that! shocking, i know.

    i hope we don’t have a repeat of spa where red bull are crying about how unfair and dangerous the tires are, just for them to choose not to do anything about it. “i was so worried….” but not worried enough to eat the penalty and change tires.

  19. Honestly, I think too much is being made of the tyres. The same thing happened last year, and everyone got on top of them beore long. Sure, they had to battle a little to understand them, but once they did, they were able to get the most out of them. And of all the criticisms of and complaints about the tyres last year, how many times did a driver run out of tyres over the course of a weekend? I can only think of one occasion – Jean-Eric Vergne in Monaco, who was forced onto the intermediates late in the race (and later admitted that they pushed too hard on the slicks because they were anticipating rain).

    So in light of this, I tend to take any criticism of the tyres as “we’re not as fast as we want to be, but if the tyres didn’t have a learning curve, then we’d be a little faster”. Maybe the drivers should spend less time complaining to the media, and more time doing work on their tyres during free practice. I know which one is more likely to get them the results they want sooner …

    1. @prisoner-monkeys

      I agree, I have seen Vettel and Webber get out of their cars during practice on numerous occasions just to go and complain to the media. They just leave the engineers standing there with their ‘tools’ in their hands. Unbelievable.

      I’d rather they be like Alonso, who hasn’t complained once all last year about any deficit to other teams.

  20. MALLI (@mallikarjuna)
    23rd March 2013, 7:19

    cry baby

    1. @mallikarjuna

      It’s funny how you single out Vettel and call him a cry baby when Webber is saying the exact same thing.

  21. Traverse (@)
    23rd March 2013, 8:06

    My first COTD, thanks @keithcollantine :-)

    These tissue paper tyres are awful. They only serve to hinder the fastest drivers on the grid by rewarding a cautionary approach, when what us fans actually want to see is a pedal-to-the-metal, all out naked, metsu hadouken race!

    I also don’t understand why drivers have to use both compounds of tyre. Surely it would be beneficial to both the drivers and the sport as a whole, if the drivers had the freedom to choose whichever tyre compound best suits their driving style. This silly rule cost Sutil a bunch of points last weekend.

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