Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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Ferrari have added their voice to the criticism of the forthcoming change in tyre compounds at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Pirelli are making alterations to this year’s tyres following the high number of pit stops seen during last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Ferrari used its anonymous “Horse Whisperer” column on its official website to put forward its objections to the planned change:

“These are difficult times for people with poor memories. Maybe it’s because of the huge amount of information available today that people are too quick to talk, forgetting things that happened pretty much in the recent past. Or maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners.

“A classic example of this is the current saga regarding the number of pit stops. Voices have been raised to underline the fact that various teams, some of whom got to the podium and others who were quite a way off, made four pit stops in the recent Spanish Grand Prix, making the race hard to follow.

“It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.

“In fact, there’s nothing new about winning a race making so many pit stops, even discounting those where it was down to changeable weather. One only has to look back to 2004, when Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix thanks to what was a three stop strategy, later changed to a four stopper. That was the key which allowed the multiple champion’s F2004 to get ahead of the then Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, who made three stops. And on that day and we remember it well, our strategy and the tyre supplier were showered with praise for allowing us to get the most out of the car.

“Today however, it seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available. On top of that, if this choice emerges right from the Friday, because all the simulations are unanimous in selecting it, then why on earth should one feel embarrassed when compared to those who have gone for a different choice, only to regret it during the race itself.”

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier also criticised the tyre compounds change yesterday.

2013 Spanish Grand Prix

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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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181 comments on “Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions”

  1. This is the only ti me I’ll probably ever say this: the Horse Whisperer is AWESOME.

    1. Looking at the response on Twitter, everyone suddenly seems to like him :D

      1. @wallbreaker who said it was a “him”? ;)

    2. I’m not a big Ferrari fan, but I do love the way they address the press and public. Its refreshing to hear honest opinions about things rather than PR.

    3. Red Bull criticized 2013 Pirellis even when Vettel won… I think that’s consistency unlike what Ferrari is trying to say.

    4. @bendana yes, I do very much like the way “it” bascially called F1 fans stupid, despite having a complete lack of foresight itself. Very awesome.

  2. I’m agreeing with the Horse Whisperer. The world is coming to an end.

    1. Maybe the brain cells that control the horse whisperer’s memory also forget that unlike 2011, this years race was run on the two hardest tyre compounds available to the supplier… hence the need to remake the tyres.

      1. Maybe the brain cells that control the horse whisperer’s memory also forget that unlike 2011, this years race was run on the two hardest tyre compounds available to the supplier… hence the need to remake the tyres.

        Agreed that the choices for Barcelona 2013 were the two hardest available for the season. But they were much softer than those two corresponding sets of 2011. Hard tyres of 2013 are comparable to Mediums of 2012 and Medium tyres of 2013 are comparable to Softs of 2012. I guess the Horse Whisperer isn’t the one whose memory is failing..

        1. Hard tyres of 2013 are comparable to Mediums of 2012

          I know all that my brain cells are perfectly fine thank you. My point is that in 2013 there are no harder tyres to turn to. In 2012, if the medium tyre was too soft for a particular race then the hard could be allocated instead.

          As there is no ‘super-hard’ tyre this year comparable to the 2012 ‘hard’, the tyres need to be remade. Understood?

          1. @john-h +1 again – my reasoning exactly which I think some are failing to grasp.

          2. Also, two years ago tires were not at risk of delaminating and actually delaminating. Ferrari is being disingenuine because the tires are different from two years ago…obviously so. To try to bring it down to it being about a silly argument about number of pit stops and people not liking to see 4 is, as I say, disingenuine. It’s about the affect these tires are having on the racing in general, and if Ferrari weren’t one of the few teams that seem to have no problem with these tires, they’d be just as vocal about wanting change.

          3. Let’s be honest here, supposing we’ll put ourselves in the shoes of Lotus or Ferrari, how would you feel?
            You made a car that’s gentle on its tyres and because of that you currently have the upper hand. Now you’ve been informed that Pirelli will change the tyres because majority of the teams are complaining. Will you just accept it wholeheartedly?

            The thing is, the other teams just can’t accept the fact that Ferrari or Lotus made a better job than them. Instead of complaining, they should focus their energy in improving their car.

          4. I just think that is easier said than done. Obviously if the tires were relatively ‘normal’ and weren’t delaminating and causing most teams this much grief, then they would likely agree with you that it is just up to them to improve the car. We don’t normally see this much conversation on this topic in a season, especially this early. Normally the tires aren’t so different or peculiar in their behaviour and the teams accept that they have to improve how their car/tire relationship works. Normally a tire maker doesn’t announce mid-season that they have to change the tires. And FA admitted he was driving at 90% for Spain. If he had had to drive 100% in order to defend to win, perhaps his tires would have failed him, he wouldn’t have had the win, and Ferrari would be with RBR in their complaints.

            Also, I don’t think Ferrari and Lotus are ‘gentle’ on the tires. Maybe just slightly moreso than the other teams, but I would bet that they too would like to be on better tires…it’s just that while they seem to have a bit of an advantage, why would they want that changed, even if they’d much prefer that they themselves wouldn’t have to put so much effort into the tire issue.

            I think teams are always ready to accept when other teams have done a better job. It seems that already this year some teams feel handcuffed by the tires this time, to do a better job.

            Bottom line for me…I understand Ferrari and Lotus not wanting to accept quietly that the Pirellis will be changed, but there seems to be overwhelming evidence that they need to be. And I don’t believe for a second that if it was Ferrari that was suffering they’d just be quiet and put their noses to the grindstone and improve the car. They too would be shouting from the highest mountain, especially since they have enjoyed veto power over the rule changes in the past, so they know full well how to be the squeaky wheel and get things moulded to favour themselves.

          5. Misteryoso, lets think of it this way though: put yourselves in the shoes of a fan of any team and can you honestly say the race in Barcelona was exciting and that these tyres are completely safe? I can’t.

          6. @vettel1, think of it this way though: can you honestly say that the race in Barcelona would have been more exciting had RBR righted on the strategy given the conditions? can you say that the “drastic changes” comment Ross Brawn made after the race were not directed at Hamilton for his utter negative to follow team instructions even under the light that the car has been tailored to his liking, specially in the sensitive area of rear brakes? Because I can. On both accounts.

          7. @faulty I can understand that obviously the complaints from Red Bull and Mercedes were obviously louder because they were unduly affected, however I don’t think they are wrong. If I put my F1 fan hat on, I didn’t enjoy that race and I now think these tyres are dangerous, so the change is an absolute must from my F1 fan’s perspective and only more so from my RBR fan’s perspective!

      2. @Misteryoso : I remember Ferrari complaining about the 2003 Michelin tires after race 13, which where than changed in favor of Ferrari, which gave Schumi his title. You don’t see the horse whisperer telling that.

        1. am i wrong or FIA declared the Michelin tires illegal that year ?

          1. @nomore

            Diffirent story then, as firstly then not everyone had the same tyre unlike here, and there the Michelin groves flattened to near them as sleeks.

  3. Good points made by our anonymous Horse Whisperer. Surprising, though, that it didn’t mention the obvious political intent of the rule change, which is to help Red Bull. Normally our anonymous correspondent isn’t too reticent about drawing those conclusions.

    1. It reads almost like a comment from a completely sane person now, is this the same person?

      Sure enough Niki Lauda has joined in the voices being happy about the change (surprise, surprise?).

    2. Who wants to help Red Bull? FIA?

  4. The situation is ridiculous – it is a jump into the unknown, spoiling the current status, mocking at the efforts made by large number of people, potentially changing the future champion, and last but not least, the cost put into those cars.

    Ferrari and Lotus may go well with the ‘new’ tires, but they have all the rights in the world to be unhappy.
    I once again read Tech regulations Article 12.6.3:

    Tyre specifications will be determined by the FIA no later than 1 September of the previous season. Once determined in this way, the specification of the tyres will not be changed during the Championship season without the agreement of all competing teams.

    1. The situation is ridiculous

      That sums it up very well. I do agree with Ferrari’s anonymous voice on some points, but on the other hand: Ferrari must have agreed with the compound changes – same goes for Lotus by the way – else the regulations wouldn’t have allowed the compounds to be changed. If they truly disagree with the compound changes they should have vetoed the decision, not criticize it afterwards.

      1. @andae23 May be there was no need for all teams to agree for such change, perhaps as noted by @keithcollantine below. So that vindicates both Ferrari and Lotus then.

      2. I’m confused, but let’s put it like this: if Ferrari and Lotus have had the opportunity to veto the decision, then my point still stands. If not, then ignore my comment :P

        1. It was not decided by Vote.
          The decision was made after Dietrich Mateschitz discussed with Bernie Ecclestone for 40 mins after the Spanish Gp.
          Ferrari and Lotus had no voice, will it be realistic that they have agreed and then make such comments….
          and again Ferrari and Lotus have not agreed in any change.

    2. @kiril-varbanov This is not the first time the tyres have been altered mid-season without that rule being an issue. If you read the entire article 12.6 (here’s the PDF) you’ll see the regulations refers to the physical dimensions of the tyres which are not being changed.

      1. @keithcollantine I’m not sure that’s true: 12.6.1 and 12.6.2 refer to wet weather tyres only, not to dry compounds. In that respect, it’s a bit weird that 12.6.3 is a part of 12.6, because the two points seem unrelated.

        It also depends on what you define as ‘tyre specification’: dimension (static/dynamic) or compound? In 12.5.2 they also mention tyre specifactions, which (as I read it) refer to both dimension and compound.

        So it’s all I bit confusing… which is probably on purpose.

        1. @andae23 maybe FIA decided to bring ‘safety’ into the issue, and forced all the teams to bow.

      2. @keithcollantine – Thanks for the link, the articles talk about wet tires alone.
        Again, we hit the problem of how to read the rules – as the Devil would read the Bible or straightforward. If it’s the latter, then I would assume that 12.6.3 “Tyre specifications…” talks about all types of tires. If, however, this addendum refers to the parent chapter, judging by the numbering convention, the phrase would apply for wet tires only, which would explain why Lotus and Ferrari haven’t had the chance to veto the decision.

        The biggest problem is that the championship is likely to be decided by a single move from the tire manufacturer. Is that fair? I don’t think so, and I’m not saying this because I’m a Lotus or Ferrari supporter – I love all teams (OK, almost) on the grid.

      3. we know that. In the 2003 season michelin made wider tyres, and ferrari when they felt the threat at the end of the season, used their might to make the ilegal. Now it’s red bull the ones using their influence. I hated it then, and i don’t like it now. same old same old. All the team really want is total world domination, no matter what.

      4. Was the rule tirggered in 2002 when Ferrari got Williams’s front tires outlawed, because of their supposed dimensional variance from the rules?

        1. but they only talked about the tyres when they felt the championship was at stake at the end of the season, while the michelin tyres were used since the begining. vey smilar to red bull now. They saw ferrari walk the spanish gp, and now they consider 4 stops a sin for the sport, while last year they didn’t when they took the top step of the rostrum. A clear example of f1 double standars. same old same old

    3. This one is the interesting one for me:

      12.5.2 If, in the opinion of the appointed tyre supplier and FIA technical delegate, the nominated tyre specification proves to be technically unsuitable, the stewards may authorise the use of additional tyres to a different specification.

      That would seem to conflict with article 12.6.3 thought stating that all the teams have to agree to the changes (if we assume specification includes compounds which I’m sure it does), unless Pirelli have more veto power as the supplier than the teams if the technical delegate consents to the changes?

  5. Standing ovation to the Horse Whisperer. Chris Horner (Red Bull Racing) and Paul Hembery (Pirelli) should be ashamed of themselves!!!!

    1. A bunch of hypocrites they are, RBR. Nothing else. Horner, Marko, Vettel just to name a few.
      They fight on the track (which is expected), but also off the track.
      Just hope they lose swiftly and badly off track…

      1. Hypocrites? You mean like Ferrari who have enjoyed designer tires in the past, along with unlimited testing of said tires, along with veto power over rule changes. It’s a bit rich for you to call out RBR solely, like they are the only ones who have ever fought off the track to try to improve themselves. Ferrari have won Championships this way, only with far more weight thrown at F1 than RBR has.

      2. @commendatore
        And the others doesn’t fight off track?
        This is just Ferrari and Lotus defending their strengths. Where was Lotus and Ferrari when FIA banned the EBD a few years ago in the middle of the season? I don’t remember them shouting about how unfair it was. Now they do because it will supposedly take away one of their main advantages over Red Bull.

  6. Ferrari are right even if it’s not hard to see the reasons for their ‘good memory’ – they have won two of the last three races and probably wouldn’t be as competitive with more durable tyres.

    I personally don’t think it’s a problem if drivers have to make four stops per race and I also don’t mind if they change their less sensitive tyres only twice. But I believe that the permanent changes to the tyre compounds and allocations are hurting F1. It makes me feel that the rules of the game get manipulated to maintain ‘the perfect show’ for fans all the time and to make sure that Pirelli get as much PR value as possible, namely, that they get a lot of publicity but not too much negative publicity.

    I believe that the compounds and the allocations for all 19 races should be set before the start of the season and changed only if there are safety reasons to do that. The current system just cannot be fair, even if Pirelli don’t intend to favour or hurt any particular team.

  7. What tyre rule change? Isn’t the only rule about their dimensions?

  8. Results Barcelona 2011 when RedBull with Vettel just had a walk through the seasson to win with over 120 points to 2nd:

    1. Vettel – 4 pit stops
    2. Ham – 4
    3. Button – 3
    4. Webber – 4
    5. Alo – 4

    2011 – Total pit stops: 77 with 21 cars finishing
    2013 – Total pit stops: 81 with 19 cars finishing

    1. You are right @chemakal but the problem is :

      These are difficult times for people with poor memories. Maybe it’s because of the huge amount of information available today that people are too quick to talk, forgetting things that happened pretty much in the recent past. Or maybe the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results achieved on track by their owners

      The problem is for certain people “the brain cells that control memory only operate selectively, depending on the results”
      These people really don’t care about Pits & Tires but just if their favorite driver(or team) wins or lose…these people (in a small number thanks to god…) now they like changing the tires with the hope that their favorite driver(or team) Wins

      The races are equal, the Humans brain NOT…this is the problem

      1. I think objectivey as an F1 fan though in situations like these and I honestly can’t see how the race in 2011 and this year are comparable. They could’ve used the medium in 2011 whereas in 2013 they were already using the hardest tyre available. The racing was also still present in 2011 as Hamilton proved but that can’t be said of 2013.

        Most of all though, the tyres do need to be changed on grounds of safety which is the main reason for the change here – the compounds are just a secondary aspect and have been changed in previous seasons: it’s not unique to now.

        1. @vettel1
          I think that you are in the group of “certain fans”…so there is no need to discuss between us.

          1. @nomore how very presumptuous of you. I haven’t changed my tone I will have you find: if a trawl through the pre-race comments of Bahrain I’ll happily find you some of my tyre criticisms from then: they aren’t as vocal because the situation wasn’t as bad (after all, Perez and Button was a good battle and there were plenty more, which I can’t say of Spain).

            I’m supporting Pirelli’s decision because I think the racing is suffering because of it (something they themselves agree with). I can’t say, from any perspective, that I liked the racing in the Spanish GP. Also, another point to raise is that why the assumption it will benefit Red Bull? We simply won’t know until they run the new tyres. Even at that, Red Bull can’t change the tyres by themselves: only Ferrari have that amount of political power…

          2. @vettel1
            So basically for you Bahrain was good racing but Barcelona not….understood.
            I guess Malaysia too was good racing ?…China ? no, no, that was a boring race..
            Australia ? so, so i guess quali was good, race not.
            I get the hole picture Now..:)

            If Ferrari had that political power do you seriously think that the tires would have changed ?

          3. @nomore, Max’s pen-name @vettel1 does suggest a bias but nomore so than @commendatore, so let’s try to have a sensible balanced conversation; no-one is keener than me to see someone other than SV win this years championship but I hate what these tyres have done to F1, I would prefer NO pitstops, but I concede that changing tyres mid-season is problematic and I find the introduction in Canada where the softest tyres have been selected really wierd as the option to go “harder” without a change to tyre spec would seem to be the logical solution. Hopefully next year we can have the new powertrains as our main talking point and getting the best out of the tyres will mean setting the shortest time around the track and not the longest time between pit-stops.

          4. @nomore Again with the presumptuousness. I thought the race in China was good apart from the lack of a battle out front (same criticism as Bahrain) and the fact the soft tyres self-destructed in about 6 laps. Malaysia was a bit excessive but nowhere near as bad as Spain for as we saw they were still able to push (Mark and Seb). Australia I thought was a rather damp squib and turned into too much of a strategy battle but my judgement was skewed from getting up at around 5 in the morning (D:).

            Australia qualifying was pretty poor also for the fact it was delayed endlessly.

            If Ferrari had that political power do you seriously think that the tires would have changed ?

            That’s not what I’m saying at all: what I’m saying is Ferrari have more political power than Red Bull so therefore as you have said if Ferrari couldn’t prevent the changes then Red Bull definitely couldn’t force the changes.

        2. Horner after Vettel’s 2011 BCN win with 4 stops: “It was an incredible race, a great show for the fans and we did an incredible work as a team and we deserved to win. I think the fans enjoyed that very much”

          Horner after Alonso’s win in Spain 2013 with 4 stops: “4 pit stop are too much. The tyres are destroying the race. Ask everyone. We are not going to the speed of the car but to the speed of the tires We have the best car”

        3. I have to agree after watching the last couple of races.

          These tyres are dangerous. I don’t what Pirelli might say, a delamination at high speed is plain dangerous. It doesn’t matter if the tyre deflates or not, the loss of grip is dangerous enough in itself in any given situation.

          Furthermore the tyres are too marginal. The difference between getting it 99% right and spot on is too big. We have seen that in China, Bahrain and now Spain. The winners have been totally dominant and have had a lot more speed in reserve. In addition to this we have seen very little racing. We have seen a lot of overtaking, but sadly most of them remind me of passing other cars on the highway.

          I could live with the ultra sensitive tyres. But the safety issue is too much.

      2. @nomore How rich… Don’t make ill advised judgements about people you have never seen or talked to. I could twist what you said and state that people who are supporting Ferrari so vehemently in this issue are just fans who want to keep the status quo as it is so that they favourite team/driver could keep winning.

        Do I support Vettel? Yes, I do. But I also support Raikkonen to the same measure, and I want these tyres to be changed, not because Vettel isn’t winning (because he is), but because the races have been boring to me, particularly Barcelona, which I didn’t watch beyond lap 22.

        1. @guilherme
          The hole race was interesting for me, but 2011 was boring

          1. @nomore then who is in the “certain people” category then? Here is the rate the race thread for the 2011 race and here it is for the 2013 race: note how almost everyone disagrees with you there.

      3. So Ferrari likes the tyre because they won? So, in this regard, Reb Bull deserves more respect because they criticized the tyres when they won….

          1. -1. Clearly a RB fan post.

          2. @r3mxd me saying “clearly the opinion of a Ferrari fan” holds as much validity. Can we please stop with the petty feuds and actually discuss what we think is best for F1, without having to bring fandom into it?

  9. FlyingLobster27
    17th May 2013, 10:27

    There’s a difference between doing 4 stops because the tyres won’t physically allow you to do less, and doing 4 stops to show off just how ridiculously dominant your car is. (although given how plain bored I was in that era, I’m probably so cynical I miss how genial it actually was)
    While I understand the criticism of the envisaged compound change, there is still an issue that Pirelli have to address, and that’s the fragility of their tyres. After Bahrain and Spain, two races in which the Reds had punctures under perfectly normal racing conditions, one would have thought that they would be calling for some change.

  10. Didn’t get the fuss about too much pit stops. RB got in 3 times, Fer 4. It’s never been said that 3 stops is the absolute max for normal racing, like the horse whisperer says; there are lots of examples.

    I think what makes most people uneasy is the fact that it is hard for drivers out there to get everything out of their cars. But, of course we must consider the fact that there has always been such problems inherent with the formula’s concept. For example in the past Ferrari took a lot of years to adapt to the thought that Aero package is just as important as engine weight/power and endurance. Protesting such matters is almost like protesting someone else had a better car. These matters can get really messy discussions with whims of nostalgia and romanticizing instead of acknowledging the true facts of F1; Like sir Williams has said: It’s always a package of driver, engine, aerodynamics and tires. If you eat up your tires like sand cakes, and someone else is driving faster on them letting them live, you’re simply doing something wrong. If they all decide to change the tire specs for next season to make it easier on them another element of the Williams 4 will pop up and give rise to discussion. In former years it was RB that solely seemed able to deliver a really competitive aero package. Let’s hope the rules change of next year changes the character of the sport again to engines and reliability. Not because there’s some sort of ideal F1 character, but because it’s the fluidity and changeability of the sport that is most interesting, the thought that only on track we can see what has proven right or wrong.

    1. @killertofu said:

      I think what makes most people uneasy is the fact that it is hard for drivers out there to get everything out of their cars.

      This sums it up for me…

      1. its been like that in the past. The turbos were fuel sensitive and they may well be again.

        If they cruise on both fuel and tyres in 2014 they will be going so slow we will need a egg timer get them round.

      2. Absolutely agree with this point. It’s not about doing 4 stops because you decided to push hard, but doing 4 stops because even with coasting and tiptoing around corners, it’s as long as you can make a tyre last for. They may aswell be driving GP2 cars because they can’t fully use the cars that they’re driving.

        I watched the race with a friend that isn’t into F1 and had to hide my shame when LH said, in what is supposed to be the world’s pemier racing series, “I can’t drive any slower”.

  11. What I didn’t like last week was seeing even the drivers on 4 stops not being able to push 100%. But I don’t actually see any issue with there being 4 stops- clearly that’s happened before without so much complaining, so I don’t understand why people are taking issue and saying ‘it’s too much’ now.

    1. At least for ferrari they are able to push their car more than those with 3 stop

      1. And yet even the winner FA said he was driving at 90%. Had he really had to push, the result might have been dead tires that would have seen him lose places and the race.

        1. he actually DID push. I’m glad he didn’t push 100% else Vettel might have been lapped and RB would of cried Tyres and possible car regs.

    2. Ferraris reference to MS winning was disingenuous as 4 stops were used to keep MS lightly fuelled and running qualifying times to win, somebody please post the fastest lap times for that race and the difference will be clear.

  12. Today however, it seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available

    THIS ! Horse Whisperer is right ths time, as difficult that is to believe.

    1. I would suggest that what The Horse Whisperer doesn’t get into is WHY this seems to be todays’s reality as they suggest. What has changed then THW? Answer that. All they do is compare to two years ago when the tires were different. That’s not good enough. There is obviously a storm brewing this year that wouldn’t exist if they were on 2011 tires.

      Also, I would suggest to Ferrari/THW that most teams did not CHOOSE a strategy that seems ‘shameful’ (their wording). THEY HAD NO CHOICE, such are today’s tires.

  13. It needed saying. Bravo to the Horse Whisperer, Ferrari and Lotus. Its farcical that they are being punished because Bernie’s golden boys are struggling to win at a canter despite leading the WDC & WCC.

  14. Well I’m tired of all this tyre talk, it seems to be the only subject in F1 these past couple of years and from a personal point of view the way I see it is the faster degrading the tyre the less “Hamilton magic” we get, and that’s what I watch F1 for.

    Gone are the days when drivers in F1 used to race each other, this is now an expensive game of tyre management chess where strategy takes centre stage and speed is just something that’s needed for a minute or two on Saturday’s, but I’ll still watch it all the same I have ever done, they would have to change it to a series with no cars to make me think twice about tuning in.

    1. @rob-wilson

      Gone are the days when drivers in F1 used to race each other

      Tell me one era where we saw drivers racing flat-out for the whole Grand Prix distance.

      1. 1950-2010

        1. incorrect.

          Do you really think they were flat out the whole race?

          1. It is not about going flat out for the whole race even though only those with a substantial lead had the luxury of backing off, what it is about is being able to RACE the car ahead or behind for the whole race.

        2. I think that you are mistaken if you think that every driver drove to the limit in every race for much more than a decade at most.

          For a start, you neglect the fact that, in the 1980’s, the restrictions on fuel consumption meant that the drivers could not drive flat out for an entire race distance because they would run out of fuel. Brundle himself refers to that era as “the economy run” era because they had to drive to a target fuel consumption level during the race.
          Going too fast too early on ran the risk of running out of fuel early, at worst, and, at best, having to turn the engine boost level to its lowest setting much earlier on in a race and being very vulnerable to those who had saved enough fuel.

          Before that, there are other instances of drivers not driving flat out – Andretti stated that he never drove the Lotus 79 flat out because it was far too fragile to do that, whilst Scheckter admitted that, at some street tracks, he would intentionally take a slower line that avoided the worst bumps on the track because the shock loading on the transmission of the 312T4 left it vulnerable to failures. Senna said that one of the most important skills of a racing driver was to be able to balance the desire to push and the need to conserve the car, and Prost was famed for his mechanical sympathy and ability to conserve the car – for example, during the 1989 Brazilian GP, he had to rely on being able to conserve the car and its tyres because of clutch problems in order to finish on the podium in that race. Even before that, back in the 1960’s it was not uncommon for drivers to have to ease off on engine revs or on their brakes, given the relatively high failure rates of those components at the time.

          It is only really in the last decade, roughly, that pushing to the absolute limit became possible because of the introduction of long lifespan components, improved quality control monitoring and the introduction of mid race refuelling stops, which were designed to push drivers towards pushing harder for longer.

          1. No-one ever became a Champion by settling for mid-pack finishes all season, only those fast enough to get well ahead could afford to conserve the car, the rest had to drive flat out to avoid falling down the order, which is why so many engines , geaboxes and brakes failed.

        3. Err nope drivers has always had to go slower and look after their cars, as they used to break down a lot and it was sometimes a matter of life and death. Drivers also used to go slower so that they could safe fuel. Even in the refueling era drivers would try to safe fuel during a stint, and only do one or two fast laps at the end of the stint so that they could leapfrog others in the pits. Also engines and gearboxes have to last much longer, so drivers are often taking it slow after their last pitstop in a race. Give people 2 stop races and you will soon see teams pushing trying to conserve tyres to do one stop races. There is always reasons to conserve something on the car, the key is to push as much as possible with the limitations that you have.

          How where cars racing each other before? Even a car had a 2 sec. advantage per lap then the car in front of him, he could not get pass. Follow the leader isn’t exactly racing. And there really isn’t much middle ground, we have been seeing lots of variations in strategies this season. That is exactly what you need otherwise we go back to processional racing. As soon as everyone are just doing one or two stops, there will not be enough variables, and we will be back to following the leader in circles.

          1. What would they gain if there were no stops ? that is why no stops is my favourite era.

        4. @rob-wilson
          I hope for your sake, that from now on, you start following Formula One the sport, rather than Formula One: Lewis Hamilton’s occupation.

          1. @wsrgo Don’t be condescending, I’m a Hamilton fan, always will be, not about to change on your terms.

          2. @rob-wilson I’m saying: if Hamilton decided to move away from F1 and start a career in rap music, would you turn away from F1 too?

      2. agreed.

        A driver is never at 100% (except on qualifying) with the car on races. Why? every F1, you have to manage your engine, gearbox, tyres, brakes, etc. There is always something to manage hence throwing your “100%” out the window.

        1. @r3mxd never this much. On the flipside, have we ever before had drivers simply giving up positions because they have been told not to push? Sure there has always been something to conserve, but not this much and that’s what’s ruining the racing.

    2. the less “Hamilton magic” we get, and that’s what I watch F1 for.

      Soooooooooo basically you don’t like the current rules because Hamilton isn’t winning.

      Gone are the days when drivers in F1 used to race each other

      Because Schumacher running away with every race while everyone else was queuing behind one another and waiting to jump each other during the put stops was definitely pure racing.

      1. Alright fair enough, 1950-2011

        1. Again, I repeat what I mentioned earlier – there are numerous examples of drivers who openly stated that they did not drive to the limit throughout the races because the cars could not take the strain put on them. Why do you think that many drivers in the past adopted the mantra of “win at the slowest possible speed” (a policy that Stewart was a strong advocate of, and it certainly didn’t hinder his success rate at all)?
          If you really want to go back to the early days of the sport, back in the 1950’s, orders to tell drivers to slow down were accepted as normal in an era when reliability was so variable (there are examples of Neubauer, the head of Mercedes-Benz’s racing team, holding up the board instructing his drivers to slow down and hold position in multiple races).

          That is not to say that the drivers were necessarily slacking off, more that they accepted that there were practical limitations to how fast they could push in order to avoid pit stops for tyres (such as Moss in the 1959 Italian GP, where his strategy relied on him driving carefully in order to preserve his tyres and avoid a pit stop), minimise the need to refuel and generally ensure that the car got to the end of the races in one piece. It is only really in the “sprint” era with high speed refuelling stops that the mentality of going flat out came about, so it is a much more modern concept than you seem willing to accept.

          1. Well said Anon. It’s very rare case that drivers could drive flat out over a season, never mind a decade. You just knocked out the 80s with Senna and Prost,70s with Andretti, 50s with your examples of Moss.

            If the top teams couldn’t drive flatout in their respective decades, chances are the rest of the grid couldn’t either. I’m of the opinion, it would be hard to make a case for flatout driving for more than 5-6 years in succession in any decade or even any combination of decades chronologically. Meaning you can’t take years and just clump them together.

  15. It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix.

    That was on the soft and the hard, not the medium and the suppsodely hardened hard.

    “In fact, there’s nothing new about winning a race making so many pit stops, even discounting those where it was down to changeable weather. One only has to look back to 2004, when Michael Schumacher won the French Grand Prix thanks to what was a three stop strategy, later changed to a four stopper. That was the key which allowed the multiple champion’s F2004 to get ahead of the then Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, who made three stops.

    That strategy was through choice – it wasn’t forced upon them by tyres which couldn’t last much longer.

    1. The blockquote should be on the third paragraph, not the 4th!

    2. Ferrari’s strategy in Barcelona to stop four time was choice, it wasn’t forced upon them as shown by other teams stopping only three times. In both 2004 and 2013 Ferrari made their strategy work to win the race fair and square. All of the teams have the same tyres; Ferrari should be congratulated on working out how to get the best out of them.

    3. The Soft tyre from previous years is supposedly broadly the same spec as this years Medium, all the tyres have been made softer, not harder. The case is completely comparable.

      1. Sorry, should be @vettel1

    4. That was on the soft and the hard, not the medium and the suppsodely hardened hard.

      The excuse from the energy drink company is that the fans are confused by the number of pit stops which is the same in 2011 & 2012 , they didn’t talk about tyre allocation so that’s why this example is relevant for those who has short or maybe selective memory

      1. It’s not just the ‘fans being confused’. Red Bull’s main gripe is that they are driving at 80% (or whatever) of the car (by that I mean engine, gearbox, brakes, you know all that stuff that isn’t the tyres, not just aero).

        I can’t believe I’m defending Red Bull for speaking their mind about the tyres against an apparent wave of Ferrari and Lotus love. Blame Bernie and the FIA, not Red Bull for trying to persuade them.

        The irony of all these Ferrari fans up in arms about the RBR playing F1 politics and getting their way is ridiculous.

        1. @john-h +1!

          @jerseyf1 they aren’t the same at all: in 2004 Schumacher I do believe was doing qualifying laps essentailly for the whole race, not nursing the tyres. Also, it was entirely possible for Schumacher to do a one stop if the tanks allowed – if Alonso did the same his tyres would’ve delaminated!

          @tifoso1989 It’s not though: soft and hard is entirely different from medium and hard: I don’t agree with RBR’s reasoning but I think that is a more valid point. The hardest tyres should be lasting longer than this!

          1. @vettel1 I generally agree with what you say, Max, because our views are similar on most counts. But here I must differ from you. Red Bull say “fans can’t understand anything..”, who gives them the right to talk about fans? They aren’t fans. Not all fans are having problems. Not all pundits(Coulthard, Buxton, Scarbs) are having problems. That was, I believe just an excuse they had to give so that it didn’t appear they were trying to lobby Pirelli to take away the disadvantage they were facing.

          2. @wsrgo I can’t find the bleeping comment annoyingly, but that’s one thing I don’t agree with that Red Bull have said: I don’t like commentators or anybody telling us we can’t understand what’s happening as I can fully understand thank you very much! I do however agree that four stops is too much, which is the respect in which I agree with RBR (and Pirelli) on the hardest tyres in the range.

          3. @wsrgo ah it’s right above here, in reply to tifoso’s comment!

            “The excuse from the energy drink company is that the fans are confused by the number of pit stops”

            “I don’t agree with RBR’s reasoning

      2. Fans are confused is the weakest excuse ever. Fair enough if you were watching your first ever GP but if Sundays race was really that confusing I suggest you try watching something else that’s a little easier on your mind.

        I’d recommend high school sports like cross country or rounders and try and work your way up from there…

        1. @davef1 if in reply to me, I’ve now highlighted that was something I didn’t agree with.

        2. +1.

          F1 is not for the fans. fans think F1 is for them just like the very narrow minded people of my country still thinks NASA is for the people and science.

    5. It’s very sad that it has come to this and now everyone has to live with it whether they like it or not… the point and fact is Lotus is losing the advantage that they’ve had for doing their homework well or adapting well which ever you prefer. All the teams had and have the same amount of time to develop their cars to suit the tires and things have always been this way I just don’t understand why there is all of a sudden a need to change mid way in the season.

      By the way have specs for anything ever been changed mid season before or the rules. I ask because I cannot think of a time and I’m not at all suggesting that it has never happened it would be interesting i think to know whether this has been done before because if it has then the teams should know that there is a possibility of change of specs or rules mid season so should really not be disappointed when it does happen.

      1. If at first you don’t succeed, moan about the tyres and get them changed. A sad day for the sport.

  16. I don’t have problem with the number of pit stops. What i dislike about the current situation is drivers with fresh tyres driving gently sparing them. It’s not cool, it’s boring. We saw great races last year with only one stop and full throttle all the way, we saw 4 stops breath taking race in Canada 2011 (6 stops for the winer counting penalties). The quality of the race is decided by the driving, not by the pits. And there wasn’t much driving so far besides aiming target times. Right now there is no car able to go full throttle in few consecutive laps and this is the problem.

    1. +1. Exactly this. Finally somebody makes me believe I’m not taking crazy pills.

      1. Exactly…which is why Ferrari’s comments on THW are disingenuine. Anybody actually believe that Ferrari would not be just as vocal as RBR or any other team if the shoe were on the other foot? They’d have brought the hammer down by now in a far stronger way than RBR has.

  17. I’m not going to weigh in on the tyre issues. I just want to say that the French GP in 04 was one of MSC’s great drives.

    1. True. Like the three-stopper which won him the Hungarian GP of 1998, the pit strategy was only part of the story. It was the incredible pace he kept up, lap after lap, that handed him both of those victories.

      1. Right. The fact that he could go flat out, between stops, exerting his superior skill and concentration, is what made the race great. Today, Schumacher, on the same four-stop schedule, would still be pussy-footing around the track, several seconds off his maxium pace. So this Magny Cours example is rather a very good argument AGAINST Ferrari’s current comments.

  18. The Horse Whisperer is talking about ’04 French GP but the biggest difference is that in that 4 stopper race, MSC was able to go flat out all through the race whereas in the ’13 Spanish GP, drivers on 4 stops were also forced to back off occasionally.

    This is the primary issue that we are having with Pirelli.

    As far as RBR is concerned, we know who they are!

    1. @neelv27
      Alonso was able to flat out throught the race, and never back off…can you fact or prove that Alonso was told to back off ?

      1. After the race Alonso himself said he was driving 90% @nomore

        1. @john-h
          And so what ? what is wrong with that ? The “flat out” can be archived also with 90%…
          do you really think that this is the only year that drivers push with regardless to the tires , engine, fuel, strategy, or whatever ??

          Since 1950-2013 A driver never pushed the hole year 100%. Never

          In Alonso’s case it wasn’t even no need to push 100% since he and Ferrari were too strong…if Raikkonen was close then he probably was going to push 100%.

        2. Sorry, I was under the misconception that “flat-out” meant 100%, seen as you also said he “never backed off”. The 2004 French Schumacher drive was close to 100%.

          Having watched F1 pretty much religiously since 1991, I know they are never driving at 100% but this year the tyres have crossed the line IMHO, and my opinion has nothing to do with it favouring one team over another.

          1. @john-h

            The 2004 French Schumacher drive was close to 100%.

            Can you prove it ?

            if yes i will be more than happy to read the facts.
            if not it is and it will remain an opinion.

          2. Anyone with half a brain would know that laptimes are drastically lower in the race compared to the past due to tires and drivers not pushing as hard. If you knew anything about driving, watching the onboards would give u a great idea how much the current drivers are NOT pushing. Early on the decelerator, late on the throttle. Early upshifts, late downshifts. Feel free to browse youtube for prove. lol

          3. @nomore sadly F1fanatic’s lap charts weren’t available then so I can’t give you every lap time but his fastest lap was a 1:15.377, compared to a 1:13.698 for pole position. In Spain this year the fastest lap was 5.5s slower and Alonso’s fastest lap was a 1:26.681 with a qualifying time of 1:21.218 – 5.463 seconds slower.

            It’s self evident: Alonso wasn’t pushing due to these tyres, Schumacher definitely was. I don’t actually know why you’d try and argue that.

          4. I thought it was well known that Schumacher did 70 quali laps to make that 4-stop work? Do you want the lap times for each lap or something, because you’re obviously not going to take my word for it. I can try and dig them out I guess…

  19. I still think that 4 stops is not the biggest issue, the problem is that the drivers were managing their tyres for most of the time, even with 4 stops and with the harder compounds. I had the impression that if the drivers had pushed as much as Spain 2011, they would’ve ended up doing 6 stops (which they didn’t, because they didn’t have enough tyres).

    Four stops in Span 2011 were too much, but at least there were interesting battles on track. Last sunday we saw 4 stops and driver saving their tyres for most of the time.

    So, no, I don’t agree with the Horse Whisperer, I don’t think it’s a good point, because Spain 2011 and Spain 2013 were quite different. Besides, Red Bull was complaining about the tyres even when they were doing three stops, I think it’s quite stupid to attack them based on the fact that they won Spain 2011 on 4 stops, because that’s not their biggest complain.

    I agree with Boullier, though. Changing such an important factor mid season is not good.

  20. May I ask the Horse Whisperer whether there are any battles on track in 2013 just like they had in 2011??
    There lies the Answer for it. We can see a 4 stop even a 5 stop if Drivers are battling for positions and Fighting for wins not for Free passes and asking teams whether they need to fight or not. The Change was done to minimize the Number Pit stops and to stop the Surprise Delaminations by making them Durable.
    Also from a Team point of View No team concern about Racing each other unless it was really needed. But from a Fan point of View every one wanted to see a battle between big teams and big drivers.

  21. Whatever Pirelli tried to accomplish with this years tyres have not gone their way.
    And change has been in the air for some time, why they choose to involve RBR into is unclear to me. Hembery doesn’t strike me as “admitting own failure type”, (Hamilton, di Resta and Massa have tire filures during one weekend and all of them are caused by debris?) might be why he’s been advertising RBR involvement just before announcing news about tire changes at the Canadian gp. No one is wondering why such change or why would Lotus and Ferrari agree to those changes instead everyone is focusing on how this is favoring RBR (which we do not know will.)
    There was too many tyre failures lately, and next one could be fatal and I think that is the reason why we are facing changes now, despite Pirelli not wiling to acknowledge that probably as it would be recognized as failure and they do have market to worry about. This has been going on while you were asleep ;-)
    They change compound just after two races:

    Even though they said they wouldn’t.

    They consider changing tyres yet again

    And bring extra tyres for practice? Why!?

  22. Sooner or later, directly or indirectly, Ferrari was going to say something about the issue. And I love the fact it wasn´t Luca directly. Maybe this will teach the drink company a thing or two.

    It’s a shame that these worthy souls kept quiet two years ago when, at the very same Catalunya Circuit and on the Istanbul track, five of the six drivers who got to those two podiums made exactly the same number of pit stops as did Alonso and Massa last Sunday in the Spanish Grand Prix

    It makes no difference if it was on soft/hard, medium/hard , supersoft/hard; the truth of the matter is that

    Today however, it seems one must almost feel ashamed for choosing a strategy that, as always for that matter, is aimed at getting the most out of the package one has available

    MAN UP!!! Quit the B***ing and work with what you´ve got!

    1. As has been pointed out though, the tires are different than two years ago. It’s not about the number of pit stops. It’s about not having a choice but to do 4 stops and still not to have been able to push the car.

      If Ferrari wants to use the word ‘ashamed’ thats on them. I don’t see them volunteering answers as to what makes this year different from two years ago. They want to make it sound like everything is perfectly fine and it’s only about choosing number of pits stops as being the only issue, when they themselves know it must be about more than that or there wouldn’t be this ‘shame’ as they choose to word it.

    2. MAN UP and nurse your hard compound to the end of the race?

      I have sympathy for Ferrari and Lotus, but the examples the HW gives don’t add to their argument at all. And what’s all this being ashamed about strategy? I don’t understand the last paragraph at all in relation to the changes being made. Can anyone enlighten me?

  23. As I said in the Lotus article yesterday, The problem wasn’t so much the fact we saw 4-stop’s, It was the fact we saw 4-stops on the 2 hardest compounds & were still having to drive to conserve them as much as they were.

    The difference between 4-stops in 2013 & the 4-stop’s we saw in 2011/2012 is that in 2011/2012 there was nowhere near the same level of tyre management & you still saw drivers able to push hard & race the cars around them.

    I’ve been following F1 long enough to know that there’s always been some element for drivers to manage, However its never been this bad, its never been this obvious & its never hindered the racing like it has so far in 2013.

  24. kimiforwc2013 (@)
    17th May 2013, 12:46

    Or check Gary Anderssons opinion .

    1. Gary makes some interesting points, but I don’t agree with

      But if you look at the data, things are not so different this year than they have been at any time since Pirelli became the sport’s sole supplier in 2011, or even in the last year of Bridgestone tyres in 2010.

      I think things were quite different in the Bridgestone era (does that point really need to be argued at all?), and singling out one characteristic of the data – the difference between qualifying time and fastest race lap time of the winner – is not a sound way to support that proposition.

      First of all, the 2010 race was a one-stopper, so the tyres on which the fastest race lap was set had been bolted on around lap 10-15, probably, and second, if you would really “look at the data” (which I haven’t, I admit), I am sure you would see that the lap times are much more consistent.

      Finally, what is not easily seen from the data, and which only the drivers and the engineers can accurately judge, is how hard a driver is pushing for all of the other 65 laps. A major gripe these is that drivers are having to drive very, very carefully even on a four-stopper.

      As for Pirelli, I think we should give them some credit. Any claims they are making these changes in order to make Red Bull champions reek too much of a conspiracy to me. Instead, I would say they are making these changes for the best of their brand, and for the best of Formula 1.

      Lotus and Ferrari have reason to feel aggrieved, but it would have been nice if they could have conceded that a slightly more robust tyre is better for the sport, instead of pushing their personal agenda.

  25. “It makes no difference if it was on soft/hard, medium/hard , supersoft/hard; the truth of the matter is that”

    Of course it matters, because if they used anything other than the 2 hardest compounds (which they had to STILL manage by driving way off their potential pace) – they would have had to have made more than 5 stops, which they physically cant anyway because there isnt enough tyres supplied to do so. and from a spectato point of view, its far too confusing to see more than 4 stops. Did the Horse Manure Whisper mention that their own driver Alonso mentioned that for fans 4 stops is too confusing??

    Its really not right when, with the 2 hard compounds available, you STILL have to drive around way off the pace to manage the deg. Its ridiculous and its not what most people tube in to watch. The only people who are aguring to keep the tyres the same are Raikkonen/Alonso fans, no-one else could possibly ENJOY watching what we saw in Barca because from a racing perspective, it was an embarassement. Seeing drivers wave their competitors past is a shambles.

    This nonsense about Alonso going flat out all race on a 4 stopper is a load of ****, Alonso was being told to manage his front left tyre most of the race and there was points Massa was seconds faster than him when he was told to push.

    1. I agree. Barcelona was incomprehensible to the general public and demeaning to the sport.
      I also have to say that I would have a lot more respect for the Horse Whisperer if he or she used a real name and took responsibility for the sometimes silly utterances.

      1. It speaks in the name of FERRARI…who cares that the one who update the site is he or she.

    2. And Barcelona has the most abrasive surface of the year, so one could also a call this a knee jerk reaction. This is Barcelona we are talking about I would love to hear about these great racing battles at Barcelona that everyone keeps on mentioning. In one of the recent Bridgestone years I think it was in 2007, there wasn’t even one pass at Barcelona during the whole race.

      People keep on mentioning these great racing battles that has never occurred, so Pirelli are being held accountable for not supplying tyres to a golden era that was never there to begin with.

      1. In one of the recent Bridgestone years I think it was in 2007, there wasn’t even one pass at Barcelona during the whole race.

        Not true, There has never been any race where no passing has occurred.

        Looking back over recent stats, The lowest number of overtakes at Barcelona was 2 in 2008/2009. In 2010 there was 11.
        2011 was 90, 2012 was 51 & 2013 was 71.

        The issue however is that the 11 overtakes in 2010 & the 2 in 2008/2009 were actually exciting, hard fought overtakes which were great to watch. However the Pirell/DRS passes in 2011-2013 were all totally boring to watch & there was a lot this year where drivers simply allowed the car behind to drive by without even trying to defend which made them even more boring!

        I’d rather see those 2 exciting overtakes in 2009 than the 71 totally boring & easy passes of 2013!

        the racing is so much less exciting now, just a series of easy, unexciting & totally uninteresting highway passes. no proper, exciting racing or overtaking anymore :(

        its why i don’t watch all the races now, no actual racing. it has become like nascar, quantity over quality!

  26. “Ferrari join Lotus in criticising tyre revisions”

    I’d like to have a brilliant comment on that one, but all I can think of really is : “Duh”.
    Power struggle in F1, as usual.

  27. I fully accept that tyre management has always been an important part of the sport – and rightly so. And yes, I’m glad the past few years haven’t been a procession. But like most things, it has to be balanced.

    Currently it feels like tyre management is the overriding skill used during a race. Previously a driver that couldn’t look after his tyres well could make up for it in other area, whether outright pace or well times stops or whatever. It made the overall package of the driver the key thing, not a single skill.

    Right now, it seems that the only skill that really matters is looking after tyres. Required skills are so skewed in the direction of tyre management that little else gets a look in.

    It just makes the drivers frustrated, and the same for some fans.

    I certainly don’t want tyres that are indestructible. They need to be soft enough to encourage a range of strategies. But from what I can see, it’s the not the degredadtion that’s the main issue, but the narrow operating windows, and the consequences for going outside those windows.

    I just want a bit of balance.

  28. A few points:
    * I cant see how “The Horse Whisperers” comments are refreshing and while Horner having his opinion is having a whinge- just like Lotus its the big boys pushing their point to help the team.

    *Lotus and Ferrari seem to suit the tyres more, Red Bull not so much and the Mercs pretty bad- the McLarens….well we dont know!!. I agree that if RBR have the car with the best downforce and the fragile tyres hurt that, then that is an bone of contention for sure BUT I can also see where the former can argue a mid season change, if one has done the correct design with 2013 tyre specs in mind, they can well be unhappy. HOWEVER

    * Please lets not prentend for one minute the RBR owner can talk to Bernie and things change BUT The Prancing Horse sits quiet in the background!! Ferrari are still certainly the most influential team on how F1 is run, they are just more professional in how their PR is run. Of course they dont rock the boat when the situation suits but are very fast to respond when things dont (Or may not with the change).

    * Bottom line is the tyres need to change so they can race each ALOT harder than they are now. This will change the pecking order slightly but it needs to be done. We dont want to see 2011 again but if the teams can RACE and have a 2 or maybe 3 stop (a late 3rd stop for rubber can be exciting) I dont think it will.

  29. Spain 2011 – Spain 2012 – Spain 2013
    Every race, was completed in 1 hour,39 minutes and 3 to 16 seconds. Why is everyone saying that the drivers were not pushing as much as they were preserving their tyres?
    Also,on the subject that the drivers were instructed not to defend and let other pass, only RBR drivers were told to. I’m sure there is a reason for that.

    1. only RBR drivers were told to.

      not the case, raikkonen said post race that he was told not to bother trying to defend the lead against alonso because he had to watch his tyres.

      Spain 2011 – Spain 2012 – Spain 2013
      Every race, was completed in 1 hour,39 minutes and 3 to 16 seconds.

      so you think that the 2013 cars have gained zero performance over 2011/2012 cars?

      the fact the race distance hasn’t changed much shows just how far off the pace there having to lap as both the teams & pirelli say the 2013 cars are 2-3 seconds a lap faster than the 2012 cars were at this point last season. in fact pirelli say the extra car performance over 2012 is part of the problem.

      if drivers were able to push hard & not run about to a lap time looking after the tyres, the race distance would be faster than 2011/2012.
      in fact you see that 2010 was a lot faster because the bridgestones did not need to be managed.

      you only have to watch the onboard shots during a race & compare to past years to see just how far off the pace drivers are having to run & this is why the drivers are speaking out now & were not in the past.

      also just look at the times compared to gp2/gp3, f1 lap times should not be slower than gp2 for most the race & should be more than 5 seconds faster than gp3.

      all the data shows is what a pathetic state f1 is in this year!

    2. Because the 2013 cars are much faster than last year and slightly faster than 2011. Pole time in 2011 was 1.20.981, this year it was 1.20.718. Also, we should take into account that drivers were able to use DRS whenever they liked in quali, so I think it’s resonable to say that this year’s cars are 4 or 5 tenths faster than two years ago.
      Still, it took 13 seconds more than 2011 to complete the race with the same strategy.

  30. lot of people saying that lotus/ferrari were not looking after there tyres & were able to push harder than the rest. however looking at the lap analysis that isn’t correct.

    alonso’s fastest lap was a 1:26.681 on lap 53, however that was 1 of only 2 laps in the 1:26’s, for most of the race he was lapping in the 1:28/1:29 range.
    kimi’s fastest lap was 1:26.757 on lap 47, his only lap in the 1:26’s, for much of the race he was lapping in the 1:29’s/1:30’s.

    what you see from that is that everybody is running well below the pace & as has been pointed out by button there below gp2 times (GP2 Pole = 1:28.706) for most of the race only pulling out 1-2 hot laps.

  31. I sympathise with Ferrari and Lotus. I don’t remember Mateschitz complaining in 2011 when almost every race ended with Sebastien Vettel winning about a minute ahead of everyone else, scooping up enough points to tie up the championship by Japan. That wasn’t racing.

    1. in 2011 when almost every race ended with Sebastien Vettel winning about a minute ahead of everyone else

      Except that never happened. SebastiAn Vettel biggest winning marging that year was, if I’m not mistaken, 12 seconds in the Korean GP, after he had already won the championship.

      1. @guilherme you are slightly mistaken: it was 22.297 seconds at the Australian Grand Prix. After that, he failed to win by a margin of more than 15 seconds throughout the rest of the season, so that claim is a gross exaggeration @jacklenox.

  32. Everyone seems to be ignoring the issue of delaminations. They are downright dangerous and clearly happening far too much. It’s quite possible that Pirelli intend to strengthen the bond between the tread and carcass, having little or no effect on the degradation and perormance. I think they’re just reluctant to come out and say that their tires are dangerous. Look at the shots of the Pirelli engineer covering up the tire on the Torro Rosso as it’s being rolled into the pits, they’re obviously quite sensitive about the issue.

    1. Don’t forget that this dramatic delamination also broke a driveline and gearbox on the Mercedes. Pirelli tried to buffalo people about that at the time saying it was just due to debris or whatever, and thow they are trying to say that this is really an advantage because instead you would have an immediate deflation…because somehow long shreds of tire matrial spinning on a wheel while the car rides on the steel belt is better? They are generally not being honest about the delamination issue. They made a basic, eggregious design error here. The whole compounds controvesy ironically is obscuring this more serious issue.

  33. I don’t have a problem with the tyres as it makes it more interesting. Those stupid Red Bulls what they want they get. Come on Paul Hembrey switch it back to 2013 tyres not 2012 tyres. I just hate it when drivers don’t go out on track immediately. Why don’t the broadcasters have a commercial break, if they keep doing this?

  34. As I said before, the comparison to Magny Cours is irrelevant, immaterial and pointless for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is refueling. The Horse Whisperer, as usual, is talking nonsense in the interest of stirring the pot.

    Everyone claiming that Lotus and Ferrari will lose their relative form because the tires become more durable is jumping to conclusions. It’s not the total tire life that affects relative competitiveness of the cars, it is the rate of degradation and the change in the rate of degradation—the shape of the curve, not how far it goes. It’s not clear that the change in compound will affect the degradation curve. After all, the ostensible brief for Pirelli is not to reduce stops. That does not mean that the tires will degrade more gradually, just that they will last longer. Nonetheless, a longer-lasting tire, given the limitation on available tires, should tend to let the drivers drive more an drive harder on Saturday and Sunday.

    However, the more important issue is shape and construction of the tire–which implicates suspension design, set up, even aero. No one knows how the move to the new shape and the change back to kevlar bands will affect any car and somehow no one is focused on this at all.

    1. @dmw

      The Horse Whisperer, as usual, is talking nonsense in the interest of stirring the pot

      Or maybe are you ?

      Everyone claiming that Lotus and Ferrari will lose their relative form because the tires become more durable is jumping to conclusions

      They know their cars more than you know (or everyone of us)…if they contest this change, they have a reason…don’t they ?

      However, the more important issue is shape and construction of the tire–which implicates suspension design, set up, even aero.

      Yes and Ferrari and Lotus have designed their cars based on this tires, which were given in Brazil 2012.

      how the move to the new shape and the change back to kevlar bands will affect any car and somehow no one is focused on this at all.

      If RB pushed for this change, logic says that they will benefit, it was no need to change the construction of a tyre. The delaminations problem could be achieved without changing the construction nor the degradation.

      1. The only clear point of substance here to respond to, i.e, the one that goes beyond school-yard bluster, is incorrect: the delamination problem cannot be solved without changing the construction. The reason for the delaminations is the change of the belt design. Your possibly substantive addtional point that the teams designed their current cars based on data for tires that would not be used this year is just inexplicable.

        1. @dmw

          The reason for the delaminations is the change of the belt design

          Can i have the link from pirelli expert where this is mentioned that : “to correct the delaminations we shall change the construction” ? … I will be waiting for that

          Your possibly substantive addtional point that the teams designed their current cars based on data for tires that would not be used this year is just inexplicable


          As normally when no argument is in play, people ends with : “is just inexplicable.”

          It si explicable and it doesn’t need too much too understand why changing the tires now will affect the outcome of the championship. i.e the championship will be manipulated.
          It si wrong to change the tires (now, at the end of the season i agree…), and basically it wrong to change the rules of a game once the game has started.
          But as ferrari said today different brain operate in different mode.

          Here is a good article why Pirelli is going to change tires :

  35. Michael Brown (@)
    17th May 2013, 15:44

    Since the tires have been moved 1 step softer each season, compared to 2011 the current tires are:
    2013 – 2011
    Hard – Soft
    Medium – Super Soft
    Soft – Super Super Soft
    Super Soft – Super Super Super Soft

    That’s just rediculous

    1. That is exactly the same for every one and those were the tyres from the begining, but RDB did not prepare the cars properly so…. we change the rules (that is rediculous).

      1. Danilo Schoeneberg
        17th May 2013, 17:51

        It’s not the same for everyone. All teams were given the data about the Pirelli tires for 2013 in late 2012. Pirelli’s test car is a 2010 Renault, so only Lotus have the data to cross-match the Pirelli tire data with the data of the car they were developed with. So as the only team Lotus had a cross-matched base from which to extrapolate the design parameters for their 2013 cars. That’s why Lotus could run 2 stops at Melbourne when everyone else needed 3 and they could run a 3 stopper at Barcelona when the opponents needed four. And that’s why Lotus is crying the loudest now. They’ll lose their unfair advantage.

    2. That’s actually an interesting way to think of it: effectively then we just did a race on the soft and super soft at one of the most punishing tracks on tyres! That’s why they need changed IMO.

  36. There’s a beautiful technical article on Pitpass about tire-car interaction. I hope Keith doesn’t mind me posting a link here, because it can help people appreciate the challenge 2013 tires have bring, instead of just seeing the “not pushing 100% all the time” or “too many pitstops” side of the debate.
    I certainly hope this change Pirelli brings will be minimal and won’t remove this exciting challenge that teams were faced with in the first 5 races.

    1. Yeah I’m sure that “Matt Sommerfield” has a much better grip on tires than 4 former f1 champions who has actually tried these tires and think they are crap…

      Why not artificially degrading Gearboxes, Suspension, Engines, Fuel if I may ask?

      These Pirelli tires are useless, the signs are everywhere for only the ignorant to ignore.

      If people could just admit that they want pro wrestling F1 it would be so much easier to understand.

      1. 4 former champs who want to be champs again will complain when they are not getting their way – they should work harder.

      2. Your reply is a perfect illustration of how the side you are defending behaved during this few months of intense lobbying and slanting. Just be loud and try to undermine opposition’s arguments by insulting them.

        Did you even read the text? It’s interesting and informative, no matter what your view is.

  37. They are completely right, RDB is having problems, SO PIRELLI CHANGE THE RULES!
    Vettel should drive as Alonso did and stop moaning. But obviously if RDB does not have adventage they could not win a fly driving a bike.

  38. they’re only complaining because they stand to loose out from it. yet they dont mention that at all…

  39. Danilo Schoeneberg
    17th May 2013, 17:33

    Whoever does the Iraqi Information Minister routine for Ferrari there must be thinking, F1 viewers are window-licking idiots. Who do they think they can fool with that ‘others have won on four stoppers, too’ shtick? When Vettel won two years ago and Schumacher in 2004, the CHOSE to make 4 stops. It was a tactical option and in between stops they pushed the raw stuffing out of their cars.
    At barcelona teams were FORCED to adopt a four stopper as the tires could be run more than 15 laps without dropping 5 seconds a lap. And even with four stops drivers were endlessly told on team radio to go slow and preserve tires.
    The tire change doesn’t come because of RB’s or Mercedes’ complaint. It comes because Pirelli was shown in a devastating fashion, that its tires are simply not fit for use an a race car.

  40. I think a lot of those complaining about the change & blaming it on Red Bull are ignoring the facts.

    Yes Red Bull was critical of the 2013 tyres, However they were not alone & as I’ve detailed before this year 90% of the grid (Teams & Drivers) had voiced complaints about the tyres.
    Red Bull were more vocal in public but in private practically the entire grid had voices issues to Pirelli.

    People say that Red Bull had no concerns when they won in Sepang & Bahrain, However they were just as vocal even while they were winning:

    Also look at the bigger picture, People in the media who have been supportive of Pirelli over 2011/2012 have begun to criticize the 2013 tyres. Martin Brundle has been one of the biggest supporters of both Pirelli & DRS yet he has been quite critical of both a few times through 2013.
    David Coulthard is similar, He was quite vocal in his dislike of the tyres post Spanish Gp on the BBC Forum.

    You also see the fan response, In 2011/2012 Pirelli seemed to have a big majority of the fans support, So far in 2013 there has been a lot more criticism from the fans, You see it on this website but you also see it via twitter, facebook & other things as was documented on sky when they spoke to some media people who monitor fan reaction on social media.

    The people who seem to think changes were made just because of Red Bull are just flat out wrong on this, Its perhaps true the changes MAY benefit Red Bull (And Mercedes lets not forget), However its clear that the majority of people both inside & outside of F1 disliked the way the tyres were & also don’t ignore that Pirelli themselfs have said there data shows they went too far & its because of this that changes have been made & not because of 1 team.

    Also speaking to someone on Wednesday, There are a lot of people within F1 unhappy about the way Pirelli have played the situation to the media. There are several top people in FOTA uncomfortable with Paul Hembrey’s comments indicating Pirelli have the power to decide who’s competitive & who isn’t. There’s no suggestion that Pirelli have, will or have thought about manipulating the tyres to hinder or benefit any team, There just nervous about the impression it gives out & would rather he stop singling out any team when making those sort of comments.

    1. @GT_Racer

      This is EXACTLY what i have been saying all along. Hembery thinks he is media savvy, but all he is doing is making his company look like a fool. Hemebry is the one who brought up the Red Bull favouritsm issue and the one who is making Red Bull the scape goat of the debacle – despite virtually every team and driver voicing concerns over the tyres. They have made this issue far worse than it could have been – If only they had quietly gone about rectifyng a mess that is of their own making.

      As i said, it seems Hembery relishes the fact that Pirelli is essentially a “kingmaker” and just cannot help but gloat about it. It is about making the teams sit up and take notice that Pirelli have the power to influenence the outcome of the championship – even though that is not their aim.
      Bad move IMO

  41. What i find strange about this whole Pirella changing the tyres thing, is how it is now about the “FIA helping Redbull” whereas for the last 15 years it always seemed the FIA wanted Ferrari to win. is that because Redbull are briging in more money to the sport??? a few years ago, this situation would have been absurd – where ferrari is working well with the tyres, and the tyre company changes tyres which will seemingly drop the performance of the ferrari in relation to the other cars.

  42. First,THE struggling team is Red Bull…does anyone care if Caterham’s cars can’t cope with the tires?
    Second,what makes the F1 world go ’round?MONEY,MONEY,MONEY.Red Bull supports TWO teams in F1;you can be quite sure THAT fact has been pointed out to Bernie by the RED Bull hierarchy.Fair or not,it is the MONEY that is changing the tire compounds.
    On a side note,how can Pirelli state that Barcelona was an exciting and enjoyable race,then, in the next sentence say that a four stop strategy isn’t in the best interests of F1?

  43. If only Ferrari had the power to veto a change made to f1 or something like that. Oh wait….

  44. Horse Whisperer said it all, I mean, honestly – I don’t even know who to side with on the tyre debate, perhaps I don’t want to take sides at all.

    When thinking about the tyres and the effect they have on the racing, there’s just too much to discuss about and so many sides as well but thinking it about now, I’m watching the pinnacle of Motorsport and it’s feeders and I want to see the best 22 drivers in the world racing hard with their peers and with passion and heart via trying to extract the most of their machinery and utilise their race craft to the best of their abilities, irrespective of how the tyres are constructed, excitement will certainly stem from that. Generally-speaking, as long as the racing is quality , lengthy and keeps me on the edge of my seat and not seemingly artificial, I don’t care how the tyres are constructed.

    Then again I’m sympathetic towards Pirelli because they’ve done what they were asked of and they get the majority of the blame, If us fans are looking at someone that’s culpable then don’t look beyond the FIA or to some extent, us. We asked for higher-degradation tyres dissimilar to the durable Bridgestones of 2010 and we got what we wanted, notably last season. Aren’t we partly responsible for Pirelli going too far and constructing tyres that are now unpredictable in regards to safety rather than tyre wear and behaviour. We need to acknowledge that we are having an influence on a sport, not a show.

  45. BTW world-wide the TV figures were down big time for Barcelona & that includes in country’s where the TV broadcasting has remained unchanged.

    I gather that internal fan survey’s done by RTL in Germany suggest’s that DRS & the Pirelli tyres are the reason.

    1. I gather that internal fan survey’s done by RTL in Germany suggest’s that DRS & the Pirelli tyres are the reason.

      there were 2 poll’s on the speed channel website last year asking about tyres & drs. final vote on both was overwhelmingly negative.

      speed’s viewing figures were also in decline & there were many complaints about both drs & pirelli from fans on there old message boards.

      the current formula is going to kill f1 if tv figures continue to decline, although it might be good as getting rid of all the casual fans who think drs & pirelli are the best things ever & getting back to the core audience may see f1 finally drop there artificial gimmicks! :)

  46. Pirelli are to blame for this sorry mess. No one asked them to make the 2103 tyres so marginal, nor to be on the limits of what is safe – the FIA and Bernie have confirmed this. Their remit was simply to spice up the show by indroducing tyres that degrade a bit more. This they did in 2011 & 2102, however, they took it upon themselves to change the compounds in 2013 after the teams understood the tyres better by the end of 2012. Why, i will never know.

    Regarding the comments made by the Horse Whisperer, whoever it is must have a very faint memory as Montezemulo and Alonso have both criticised these tyres before.
    Also, whilst 4 pit-stops were also common last year, they were harder compounds, and importantly enough, the drivers were able to push on them. This is the main difference between 2012 and 2013. Making 4 stops whilst being unable to push is useless, and people have a right to gripe about it.
    The Horse Whisperer should also remember that Red Bull still criticised the tyre after their 1-2 in Bahrain. Remember, in Barcelona, the Soft compound was changed for the Medium, and the Hard has already been made harder – Yet, there was extreme degradation. Pirelli, it seems are simply shooting from the hip when it comes to these tyres. They are as much confused by them as the teams are; and that is their fault for going radical when they didnt have to, no were required to.

    Pirelli have no one to blame for this debacle. They should have kept quiet and simply got on with rectifying the issue. Instead, Hembery keeps talking, making excuses, apportioning blame, incessantly flipping, and stoking embers of favouritism. This should be a lesson of how not to do PR
    He made excuses for extreme degardation in Barcelona during testing, he made a different excuse after the race. He made excuses for the constant delaminations. He made excuses for the amount of pit-stops. He made excuses about having no testing. He defends the tyres one moment, then changes them te next. He talks about the change favouring Red Bull and disadvantaging Lotus and Ferrari.

    Methinks Pirelli are drunk on their own power. They realise how much influence they weild over the championship and cannot resist savouring their moment in the limelight. This issue could have been far more sensitively handled without all the furore now.

  47. Let me try to explain why new the pirelli rubber is good…

    Everyone would like to know which are the best drivers in the world, right?
    well, with this tyre, we can see, more or less, who they are. Any idiot knows how to push the throtle to the limit, unabeling us to know who has the best car and who has the best skill. I find it rather interesting that amid all this confusion the ones that emerged as the best are Rai, Vet and Alo.

    one could say it’s all down to the car, but i’d like to believe that NOW more than ever we can see the ability of a driver.

    I prefer the game as it is know, but God knows that I loved it always. A person that loves Formula 1 will love it always. Those who don’t, well go watch rugby.

    Also, the best thing about the F1, for me, is the perfection that one has to have to win. Million pieces have to aline perfectly to win. I prefer the intelectual part of F1.

    Of course, i will have tons of people commenting that i’m an idiot……

    1. Of course, i will have tons of people commenting that i’m an idiot……

      Your not an idiot, Your just wrong :P

      The current tyres could be less marginal, More like the 2011 tyres for example & we would still see driver skill come to the front.

      Also if the current tyres & general way F1 is promote skill more then why do we hear comments from drivers about how the cars are actually much easier & far less physical to drive now because of how far off the limit there been forced to drive them?

      The sad part of all this is that as far as im concerned the current F1 isn’t even that fun to watch because there isn’t actually any racing going on, Its now a tyre management formula & not a racing series.

  48. My problem with all of this, is that it’s a change based off one track where RB struggled, it wasn’t decided on a selection. Barcelona is known to eat tyres.

    1. yup always has been.

      Have they ever changed the tyres when Mikas and Lewis left front went off on T3 in the past?


      this is RB crying.

  49. As a Lotus fan. i have to admit i hate these changes. Raikkonen did his race on used tires. Shows teams should get used to tires. RBR won spain 2011 and vettel went to the pits 4 times. there were no complaint then

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