Extra tyres to boost practice running in Spain

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Max Chilton, Marussia, Shanghai, 2013Teams will get an extra set of tyres for the first practice session at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Pirelli is to bring an extra set of development hard tyres which teams may use during Friday practice only.

“As permitted by the current regulations, we?ll be supplying an extra set of prototype hard compound tyres for free practice, which will hopefully ensure that all the cars run throughout these sessions,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

“It?s something we wanted to do to encourage all the teams to run as much as possible right from the start, especially with the rookie drivers, to give fans the spectacle they deserve to see.”

A plan for the extra tyres to be offered only to those running new drivers failed to gain the support of all the teams.

Pirelli has previously confirmed it will be using a new specification of hard tyre for this weekend’s race which is similar to that used last year.

“This new tyre gives us a wider working temperature window although it delivers a little bit less in terms of pure performance,” Hembery explained, “but it should allow the teams to envisage an even wider variety of race strategies than before in combination with the other compounds, which remain unchanged this year.”

“This is a decision that we?ve come to having looked at the data from the first four races, with the aim of further improving the spectacle of Formula One,” he added.

“In fact this is almost a tradition with us now, as we also introduced a revised version of the hard tyre for the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, which was our first year in the sport.

“We?d expect the medium tyre to still be significantly faster and this is the one that the teams are likely to qualify on, whereas the hard is likely to be the preferred race tyre.”

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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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  • 33 comments on “Extra tyres to boost practice running in Spain”

    1. Motor_mad (@)
      6th May 2013, 11:40

      Good, will give everybody chance to test things.

      1. They always do. Pirelli have never given different tyres to different teams.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys – Is PDVSA sponsoring Marussia???

            1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
              6th May 2013, 22:08

              @noob looks like the size of the letters has a lot to do with how much money they invest right? :P

        2. I think he meant that with the extra set of tyres, everyone will gain from it, as simple as that.

    2. I’m not fan about the tyres, or the lack of them, the Pirelli beeing the only manufacturer in the F1 circle.
      I hope for 2014 that there will be more options for the teams regarding the manufacturer, but this situation, honnestly for me, i’m sick and tired about hearing about the tyres, the pirelli guys coming and having more time in the press that some pilots and teams, i mean c’mon…
      F1 just be concerned about their teams and driver, they just make the diference not the tyres….Giving the monopoly of the tyres to one brand was a huge mistake imo.

      1. @hipn0tic

        F1 just be concerned about their teams and driver, they just make the diference not the tyres

        Tyres have always had a very significant effect on F1 – not always as much as now, but it’s unrealistic to think the four patches of rubber where the car touches the tarmac can be eliminated from the equation completely.

        Giving the monopoly of the tyres to one brand was a huge mistake imo.

        And you think having a tyre war would make that less likely? No chance. At times tyre wars have completely overshadowed the racing. Ferrari had such an advantage on their custom-made Bridgestones in 2004 the rest needn’t have bothered showing up. I’ll take single-spec tyres over that any day of the week.

        Perhaps the tyres are having too great an effect at the moment but let’s not kid ourselves they haven’t been just as important in the past and often in a much more negative way.

        1. I continue to urge people to avoid the arguments that if we didn’t have the tires of today, we’d have the processions of the MS/Ferrari era. There is tons of room in the middle. We seem to mostly agree that the tires of today have too much influence, even when we all know tires always have some influence at a minimum…that tire management has always been part of the game.

          I don’t think a tire war HAS to completely overshadow the racing negatively, just as this current tire situation does in many people’s opinion. But sure…give one team with it’s one contracted number one driver with his designer car, some designer tires…a headquarters right at the team’s private track, in an atomosphere of unlimited testing, on a team with veto power over the rules and an extra 100mill a year just because they’re Ferrari, and of course competing against that is going to be formidable. Combined with all the carbon aero bits they could possible figure out to add, refuelling stops, etc etc. and it was an atmosphere for processions, and F1 seemed fine with that for years while MS compiled numbers, despite what the fans thought. And now, for whatever reasons, F1 seems to be concerned with a lack of passing to the point of gadgety DRS and tires. Too bad they let the MS/Ferrari era run it’s course first rather than reacting to the negativity fans felt at the time.

          But to say the choices are either as I describe above, or today’s degrady, gadgety tires, is to me wrong. They’ve eliminated all the add-on aero bits, they’ve reduced the effect of the rear diffuser, they’ve taken away fuelling stops, and there’s much more they could do to reduce the negative effect of being in a car’s dirty air. There’s no need to assume that if we didn’t have a tire monopoly making gadgety tires we’d be back to 2004.

          Possible? Sure, but right off the bat we are at a time of a huge reduction in testing vs. the recent past, and the money it takes to play in F1 nowadays is under constant scrutiny in a global atmosphere of harder to come by dollars. F1 seems to be in a mode to now want to cater to some fans and provide much more passing, unfortunately for many at any cost, even if it’s phoney, so I doubt they would let a tire war send them back to processions. It’s simply a different atmosphere now, and I think they need to find that middle ground between phoniness and processions such that we get back to drivers passing drivers with seat of the pants moves, rather than tire and DRS advantaged driver passing tire and DRS disadvantaged driver, both of them passengers really, all in an effort to avoid processions.

          1. wow @robbie, for once I agree with (most of) what you say! :-)

        2. @keithcollantine Of course tyres have a great role in racing, but they should not make the diference. What should make the diference should be the car and the pilot, not for beeing consistent but for beeing the fastest. Nowadays we have a race rythm of, for example, 1:40.960 and then the next fastest laps 1:36,000 almost 4 seconds under. It means the car and the driver can be fast but not mantain that rythm.

          I think having only one manufacturer gives them the monopoly and the teams have no choice about almost anything. For me its a bad policy. Takie an example, teams build and reseaarch the car, and only after that they get try out the new tyres. For me that’s not fair…

    3. Perhaps the tyres are having too great an effect at the moment but let’s not kid ourselves they haven’t been just as important in the past and often in a much more negative way.

      I’m just tired of this tyre business. Tyres, tyres, tyres…..that’s all we hear these days. They might have been just as important in the past, but obviously not in the same way. For whatever reason, it has never been this bad.

    4. agree Keith, F1 used to be so boring i normally fell asleep after the first 15-20laps,
      unless someone broke down or crashed you could guarantee the position halfway was how they would finish.
      no one could pass, no one would pit, just totally boring round and round we go.
      but now its like,
      where will they be back in the field after changing tires,
      will they manage to pass those cars ahead in time and make up enough time to pit and not get held up,
      are they likely to pit one more time and still stay ahead,
      are the slower cars going to make it in just two stops and upset the front runners,
      its never been so interesting, in the 50 years i have been watching/listen to F1.
      i personally cant see what all the fuss is about,
      the best drivers still win.

      1. So the great thing about these tyres is that they are entertaining and exciting and unpredictable – and besides, the same drivers still do just as well as they always did? The second part of this at least is true – after the first four races of the 2013 season the usual suspects are taking all the wins/poles/podiums.

        A lot of the “action” we are seeing is simulated. We’re off, and Alonso is leading! Now he pits, and Sutil is leading! And now Sutil pits, and Kimi is leading! But he’s on the soft tyre which has the life-span of a fruit fly, so he’s back into the pits after five laps, and now Alonso is leading again! God, the excitement!

        If I spent 50 years falling asleep 15-25 laps into the typical F1 race, I’d have stopped watching F1.

        1. Doesn’t it go without saying that on average the best teams with the best drivers are going to be able to adapt faster and prevail no matter what you throw at them? Justifying these tires as the way to go just because the usual suspects are still at the top doesn’t make sense to me. Take off their wings and put them on bicycle tires and the traditional top 3 teams and top 6 drivers are still on average going to prevail over the have-not teams.

          1. Robbie you are making so much sense lately!

    5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      6th May 2013, 14:02

      TV commentators here in Latin America were saying how bad is Pirelli image being damaged in terms of marketing. They don’t want to associate “F1 duration” with the urban tyres they make… so when John Q hears Pirelli tyres don’t last in F1 (and this no-fan has no idea of the F1 regulations which impose how long the tyres should last) and is at the shop, he’ll probably choose Japanese or American tyres.

      1. @omarr-pepper Really? I think Pirelli has much more benefits from sponsoring F1 than you think, “bad marketing” from all this controversy is easily offset by the “good marketing” of being F1’s tyre supplier. Also, those people who think F1 tyres are the same as road tyres shouldn’t even have a driver’s license to be honest.

        1. @mantresx
          It’s no different to how Ferrari claims that this and that on their road cars are derived from their F1 team. And most people eat that raw.
          I don’t think that it’s unlikely that a lot of people could easily be lead to believe that Pirelli production tyres don’t last very long because of what they hear about F1.
          Just because it logically doesn’t make sense when you know something about the subject, people who don’t really care will, subconsciously make the connection that Pirelli = low durability. Even if you ask them how long they think Pirelli tyres last they might not answer “not long” but when they are at the shop looking at tyres they might not think about why, but they might have a preference to another brand as a result.

          1. Pirelli seems happy to make mandated degrady tires so I’ll leave it up to them to decide whether or not their reputation is being harmed, but I’ll assume not. As long as their tires have the huge infuence they do, and as the sole maker for F1 we talk about tires even though they’re all on the same tires, then I’m sure Pirelli will be happy to continue this way. There was a time, when the tires were more stable, that a single maker cried for a competitor to come into the sport, so that we would talk about tires again, as in which team is doing well on which tires. But a sole maker making stable tires would mean tires wouldn’t nearly be the story of F1, and therefore a sole maker’s tires would barely get a mention, and they wouldn’t get the advertising impact of having their name in the game.

            @mads I think Ferrari of all teams can claim justifiably their road cars are derived from their F1 team, because they build supercars, not 4-door sedans that Dad uses to commute to and from work and take the kids on day trips. And I’ve always thought of Pirelli as a maker of tires for performance domestic cars (althought I’m sure not exclusively) and I think anyone that buys a Porsche or a Ferrari or a Lamborghini etc, is going to be made aware that they’ll be spending further big bucks to keep themselves in tires (20k to 30k km on them if they’re lucky) for those works of art they want to drive.

        2. @mantresx – agreed. The people who are complaining that they’ll never buy Pirelli tires for their road car because of how the company has “ruined” F1, or b/c their F1 tires aren’t durable so the road tires must suck too are just bitter whiner/complainers who want to make a spectacle. And the notion that the consumer is too stupid to figure out after being exposed massively to the Pirelli brand through their F1 sponsorship that the tires being used on formula one cars aren’t the same as what they might buy for their personal vehicle (so reliability/degradation isn’t a concern) is asinine.

          Do you notice how Paul Hembery doesn’t get upset publicly about the criticisms leveled at his company’s tire by non-performing teams and drivers? He sticks to a simple script, that Pirelli are supplying exactly what the teams, the FIA and the commercial rights holder asked for, and that while they could deliver a tire that lasted for the entire race, their brief has been to facilitate exciting racing with varied strategies.

          Most automotive tire consumers are not spiteful F1 fans who are Pirelli haters! lol

        3. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          6th May 2013, 21:13

          TV commentators here in Latin America were saying…

          @mantresx they were saying it. I report only.

    6. In fact this is almost a tradition with us now, as we also introduced a revised version of the hard tyre for the Spanish Grand Prix in 2011, which was our first year in the sport

      It was also a tradition to bring the soft tyres to Barcelona, why just this year after the Red Bull complaining campaign bring the conservative medium tyres which i suspect will be the strategy for the rest of the year

      1. Well, they made they tyres softer so it makes sense to bring a compound of comparable hardness. On the other hand, if the objective is to bring tyres of comparable hardness to every race, then why introduce softer compounds?

      2. @tifoso1989 I think Pirelli have realised that the soft compound needs work (as was evident from China, where the teams wanted to dispose of it as quickly as possible and some even went to the lengths of not doing a lap in Q3 to avoid starting on it), so they are for now changing the tyre allocations for the good of the fans. Really, did you like seeing drivers not setting a time in Q3 and drivers having to pit after 6 or so laps?

      3. I doubt it was just Red Bull complaining. And presumably if their complaints were heard and reacted to, then there must have been something to them and the other teams would benefit from more durable tires too.

        1. I was told that despite what was said publicly by Pirelli, They were getting criticism from a majority of the teams & drivers.

          I also hear that several teams are getting frustrated that whenever there is criticism of any kind, Pirelli always come back with “Its what we were asked to do” line.
          While its true the actual brief was to come up with tyres to mix up strategy, They were also apparently told specifically not to go too extreme & to ensure there tyres never became the dominating factor.

          In 2011 everyone was happy as the 2011 tyres were exactly what FOTA & the FIA had asked for, Its what Pirelli did in 2012 & 2013 which many teams/drivers are unhappy with.

          BTW, A 5 year contract was supposed to be signed in China, That is now on hold.
          I would not be surprised if recent changes/tweaks (Hard compound changes, Lack of Soft useage, extra Friday tyres) were more down to Pirelli trying to get the teams back on-side ratehr than something they specifically wanted to do.

          Also hearing whispers that the FIA have received at least 1 alternative supply offer.

    7. Just a thought… will be still be talking about tires past canada, once clear contenders have been narrowed down to 3 drivers or if, for example, the infighting at Red Bull Racing has worsened?

      Could it be that being this early in the season tires have played a major role, that can only diminish as the season progresses?

      1. Personally I think that last year tires continued to be a big issue even at the last race, even though the teams had learned a lot about them. I don’t think all the teams if any got to the point of knowing exactly what to expect for every stint since the combination of different tracks and different weather meant that every track brings it’s challenges and treats the tires differently. I expect no less this season. As the season goes along more teams will know more about the tires, but that doesn’t mean that they are going to know exactly what setups to use at each track ahead of time, because it will depend on weather and air and track temps, and I think the tires will continue to surprise/disapppoint teams throughout the year. Or at least put it this way…no matter how well a team learns these tires, they’re not going to make the softs suddenly last like mediums. Some teams perhaps, on some days perhaps, but nothing they’re going to bring into the range of predictable. If they become predictable, then Pirelli has not done what the FIA/F1 has asked. And Merc for example seemed to be particularly hard on rear tires last year, and it seems that is one of their issues this year too. They can get to a point of understanding the tires better, but still seem to go through rears in spite of said understanding.

      2. OmarR-Pepper (@)
        6th May 2013, 22:14

        @faulty to make RBR drivers relationship worse, they first have to be near each other, and that claim Red Bull has made about “no more team orders” looks to me like they will make sure, as much as they can, to keep Vettel and Webber far from each other.

        I don’t think Webber’s tyre problem is inner sabotage, but they the taem can still manage some ways to keep them away, like different tyre strategies.

    8. Yes tyre conservation has all ways been a part of F1 but to try and justify the current nonsense with this argument is plain ridiculous.Tyre suppliers to F1 have tried to produce the most capable racing tyre ,total success has sometimes eluded them,but like all the components in the car it was the best the team could offer. Now we have a component that is designed to be sub-standard,not fit for purpose and in some cases out right dangerous, get real it’s indefensible.

    9. So glad they are getting extra tyres to have more running on Fri as I’m off to Spain to watch!!

    10. The sad state of F1, when teams getting an extra set of tyres has to be a major news item.

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