Tyres, Caterham, 2013

Ferrari, Lotus and Force India to back down over tyres

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Tyres, Caterham, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari, Lotus and Force India, who previously blocked Pirelli’s efforts to introduce Kevlar-belted tyres following the delaminations seen earlier in the season, are prepared to drop their objections.


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F1 teams open to tyre fix U-turn (Autosport)

Eric Boullier: “We need to work with Pirelli and find solutions. Maybe Pirelli need to change the belt from metallic to Kevlar, and we would support this. Safety is the primary concern.”

Ecclestone: Pirelli can conduct tests (Sporting Life)

“I spoke to [FIA president] Jean Todt over the weekend and he has said ‘Let them test’. So he has allowed them to run two three-day tests between now and… well, when they want, to try and do something for next year, as well as this year, so that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”

Tyre problem has existed all year – Gary Anderson (BBC)

“The best thing Whitmarsh can do is go and hide. Silverstone was another terrible race for McLaren and it’s in their interests to get the rest of the season cancelled so they stop embarrassing themselves.”

UBS in drive for $100m New York Grand Prix (The Telegraph)

“Swiss investment bank UBS has been appointed by the organisers of the planned New York Grand Prix in a bid to secure $100m (??65.7m) of funding to enable the race to go ahead in 2014.”

Force India hope to keep McLaren behind them (Reuters)

Vijay Mallya: “If we keep scoring points and they don’t come up with something dramatic like a race win, we should be able to keep our nose ahead of them.”

Italy prosecutor asks two years jail for Pirelli’s Tronchetti Provera (Reuters)

“An Italian prosecutor has asked for two years imprisonment for businessman Marco Tronchetti Provera in a case involving the alleged use of Telecom Italia data to snoop on Italy’s elite.”


Comment of the day

If F1 is becoming too artificial, it may be because fans are demanding it, argues @Dragoll:

I?m getting concerned in the direction F1 is taking. It is clearly going for “entertainment value”, however, when does the sport turn from a serious sport into something akin to WWE, where everything is staged for entertainment value?

Take the tyre delaminations aside for a moment, and I know I?m asking a lot, because in their own right they deserve a full investigation. However, the more I read on these forums, the more I?m starting to see that people want all races to come down to last ten laps, and for twp or more drivers to have a chance at the victory.

My concern is, that I believe that sport is designed to show who is the best in their field, in F1, that has traditionally been the one with the best driver, engine, tyre, personnel, and development package, the fact that Schumacher, Ferrari, Bridgestone and Brawn were so dominant in the early 2000???s, well isn?t that deserved, through their sheer determination, whether you like them or not? Or the fact that Vettel, Newey, Red Bull are now so successful, isn?t that worthy of praise?

Instead I read multiple posts about how ‘finger boy’ has done this, or done that… Then Rate the Race we saw yesterday as a nine or ten because after a safety car period in the last ten laps we had two guys going at it at the end, and why can?t there be more of this?

Think about the core of what sport is about, it is sometime unpredictable, but it cannot always be unpredictable or that would in itself become predictable. There is nothing more boring in my eyes than watching NASCAR at Talledega, where they basically try and stay in the top ten so that at the end, they have a chance of winning from five deep… It just doesn?t sit right with me.

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  • 66 comments on “Ferrari, Lotus and Force India to back down over tyres”

    1. All I can say is “I told you so”.

      1. Bought new meaning to “my tyres are going off” didn’t it.

        1. “My tyre went off?”

      2. You are joking, I hope?

        The structure failures have no relation to the compound delaminations we were discussing earlier. It was very specifically laid out by Paul Hembery that the delaminations, which some teams (and a lot of Vettel fans in here) tried to elevate to safety issu,e was indeed not a safety issue because the structure remained complete.

        What we saw at Silverstone was entirely different and please don’t try to argue that a harder compound will prevent the tire structure from deteriorating when it is really rather the opposite.

        So the fact remains; that just because Pirelli didn’t design their tire structure properly it doesn’t mean they have to change the compound in favor of certain teams. But oh boy – do they have all the “right” excuses now.

        What bothers me more than the now inevitable change of compound instead of structure is the very obviously immense gains Mercedes have achieved from the test. What an incredible injustice to the other teams.

        1. @poul no, Lotus prevented Pirelli from changing the structure of the tyres – along with SFI & SF – when the change to a stiffer sidewall as we had in 2012 almost certainly would’ve prevented these failures from occurring. So absolutely I lay at least partial blame on those teams from vetoing the changes, along with Pirelli for not playing the safety card immediately.

          The delaminations were absolutely still a safety issue as you still had pieces of flying rubber and the issue of a possible delaminations during a high speed corner (where the consequences could potentially be catastrophic). They weren’t a fatal safety risk as of course the tyre stayed inflated but they were a safety risk nonetheless. Even irrespective of that, is it correct to have random failures during Grand Prix hence ruining a driver’s race prospects? Absolutely not.

          I’m not at all trying to argue that they change the compound and frankly I have no idea where that rant came from as the original proposition was to have a 2012 structure with 2013 compounds.

          1. The structure of the tire? Really? So what happened to “four stop are too much”?

            As I have quoted Paul Hembery countless times: “Safety is not the concern”. A stiffer side wall does not prevent the surface from delaminating which was the only issue known at that point in time so to claim it is related, that it was previously on safety grounds or even that you saw it coming is just incorrect.

            Pirelli’s investigation still blames improper pressure and swapping of the two rears in combination with sharp kerbs for this previously unseen issue.

            Lotus and others rightfully vetoed a change in compounds to be introduced in order to reduce the number of pit stops. Whether or not you can design a situation in which the past delaminations could compromise safety is irrelevant because it was never the cause for the attempt to make the change.

    2. My concern is, that I believe that sport is designed to show who is the best in their field, in F1, that has traditionally been the one with the best driver, engine, tyre, personnel, and development package, the fact that Schumacher, Ferrari, Bridgestone and Brawn were so dominant in the early 2000′s, well isn’t that deserved, through their sheer determination, whether you like them or not?

      I see your point but in most of those cases it really is money that buys dominance. If all teams spent the same we’d have a far closer grid. Red Bull are breaking the mould in that respect, and credit to them for doing so.

      Then Rate the Race we saw yesterday as a nine or ten because after a safety car period in the last ten laps we had two guys going at it at the end, and why can’t there be more of this?

      I feel it’s only natural to want to enjoy a last few laps fight-for-the-lead. What’s really spoiling F1 is gimmicks like DRS and inconsistent stewarding. In my opinion, this is the greater threat to ‘artificial entertainment’ then a random safety car or retirement near the end of a race.

      1. it really is money that buys dominance

        You need money to win, but money alone isn’t enough. There are, and there have always been, big spenders getting nowhere in F1. Take McLaren today, for example. Ferrari has had its droughts, too. And several once-top teams that went the way of the dodo.

      2. I see your point but in most of those cases it really is money that buys dominance. If all teams spent the same we’d have a far closer grid. Red Bull are breaking the mould in that respect, and credit to them for doing so.

        huh? red bull racing spending is comparable to the others that one might expect to win a grand prix, with probably “lotus” spending the least of the contenders. red bull spends literally billions (dollars? pounds? first 1, then the other) in advertising every year. considering they field not 1 but 2 f1 teams, their spend must be at least 1 1/2 times that of ferrari/mclaren/merc.

        2 other points:
        money enables success in motorsport, but cannot guarantee it. for example, bmw, honda, toyota f1 teams, or ferrari and mclaren in their hopeless years.

        in terms of technical specs and lap time, f1 has never been closer than it is now (pre-DRS).

      3. I see your point but in most of those cases it really is money that buys dominance. If all teams spent the same we’d have a far closer grid. Red Bull are breaking the mould in that respect, and credit to them for doing so.

        Check out this – http://www.f1blackbook.com/teams/. It shows the level of investment in teams from their sponsors. Click on Red Bull Racing and look at the figures.

        If you think this still isn’t about simply spending more money than your competitors, then you’re deluded.

        1. My deluded brain thinks that Toyota really didn’t win the world championship several times over. I must get my brain fixed some day.

        2. some people are just gonna hate redbull. but like John H said, look at Toyota, look at Mercedes. Also Ferraris success in 2000s was much more money orientated then redbulls is, as testing is limited now, back then Ferrari spent what they want and did testing every week on their own track, and had the tyre manufacturer in f1 building tyres specifically for them…. redbull has none of that advantage, yes they have money, but it is more of an even playing field now.

      4. I think it’s actually pretty widely believed that Red Bull spend more than any other team. They just hide it by routing their R & D through another company called Red Bull Technology. Sure enough, the Red Bull Racing Balance sheet is very respectable but the Red Bull Technolgy one is off the charts.

      5. F1 needs to adjust the use of some gimmicks like DRS and change the tyres. I like the idea of booster like KERS and I would defend something similar to DRS but under different rules.

        I don’t like the ‘DRS zone’ thing, part of it is related with safety I guess but it would be much more interesting if we had a “pass button” that drivers for a restricted number of times like in other categories (Brazil’s Stock Car comes to my mind).

    3. What a great quote from Gary Anderson! Haha!

      1. @calum and Gary is saying exactly the same thing I said yesterday, the fault was always there it only changed it’s appearance after they a better bonding agent.

        1. Still what happened in silverstone was highlighting the fact these tyres can’t seem to hold up to standard FIA kerbing.

      2. Just like to remind Gary of jordan 1998. No points up until silverstone. Then they finished 4th in the championship.

        He should know all about that one.

        1. Largely because they scored a 1-2 in Spa that year when most of the other teams did badly (Both Mercs and Schumacher failing to finish. Can’t remember Irvine off the top of my head). I’m still struggling to grasp your point though

          1. The point is things can be turned around when a car is unlocked and its a bit rich for him to be so abusive about it. When he suffered exactly the same things.

            As for jordan your not correct. Hill qualified 3rd that weekend in the dry and was leading the race for while. only michael got past him. Mclaren and Eddie Irvine were never anywhere near him.

            They also had top four performances and Germany, italy and Japan on merit. Their performance improved massively. Which is my point and at the time people were saying his team were an embaressment also.

    4. Nice COTD.

      There is nothing undeserved in F1. It is all achieved via sheer determination and hard work. In my opinion, the driver is actually the person that drives the team from good to great. If you look at the best, the likes of Senna, Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel, they are/were workaholics. Ive read time and again how they work the engineers late into the night to find the extra tenth. This is F1 racing, in order to be a success, you need to be relentless in your pursuit of victory, always has been and always will be.

      F1 may be a pathetic soap opera off track…but to be honest, whatever happens, I still watch it. I need to get a dose of watching F1 cars going round a track every other Sunday!!

      1. if only it were every other sunday….these long breaks sap even my interest, and must destroy it for casual fans.

      2. F1 may be a pathetic soap opera off track…but to be honest, whatever happens, I still watch it. I need to get a dose of watching F1 cars going round a track every other Sunday!!


        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          2nd July 2013, 10:11

          +1 x 1,000,000

          1. @thebladerunner so +1,000,000 then? ;)

    5. Safety issue aside, am i the only one who’s expecting to wake up from this bad dream of tyres, tyre-gates, delaminations and tests that Formula 1 has become?
      I cannot enjoy this season at all, no matter who wins on sunday it just leaves a ‘meh’ sour and indifferent feeling inside because you know that come monday the talk will again center on tyres and cars designed for tyres and so on.

      I know the cream rises to the top and the best drivers out there turn out to finish in the highest positions, its not really a lottery, but i can’t help but feel that the driver’s role is somehow diminished, playing merely a supporting role in the background to all these other things going on.

      Sorry for the off-topic rant.

      1. Don’t apologise, because I feel the same way. This season just hasn’t had the same spark that previous seasons have had. I’ve often defended Pirelli, DRS, Kers, but I don’t know, something isn’t right at the moment, and although I will continue to watch it, as it’s my passion, something needs to change, because this isn’t what Formula 1 is about. They have taken it too far.

    6. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
      2nd July 2013, 1:22

      Fans in F1, I guess, have the same passions showed in other sports… and the fans sometimes h a t e the rival team, I mean, really h8 them from the deep in their guts. An “anti-Vettel” will behave so childish and blinded against his achievements in the same way an “Anti-Alonso” will do it against Fer, and we can read maaaaaany “one-sided” comments here and at any spors blog as well. So even if this sport is the more serious or the most WWE-ed in the world, fans will be fans and sometimes will see only what they want to see and they will have their eyes shut to the truth some weekends

      1. @omarr-pepper

        Couldn’t put it better. Those bothered by “anti-Vettel movement” should go back a few years and compare it to “anti-devil-Schumi movement”.

        Vettel has haters, Hamilton has haters, LeBron James has haters, Messi has haters, Cristiano Ronaldo has haters, Neymar has haters, Tiger Woods has haters, Stone Cold Steve Austin has haters…

    7. “Silverstone was another terrible race for McLaren and it’s in their interests to get the rest of the season cancelled so they stop embarrassing themselves.”
      I feel slightly bad for laughing at that, but he has a point. Two races with no points is pretty abysmal for a team like McLaren.

    8. i have found pirelli’s problem:


      1. @f1yankee In 1999 some nutter actually wrote to Eddie Irvine and offered to do exactly that to Mika Hakkinen – use a rifle to shoot one of his tyres out – in the season finale at Japan. Insane…

      2. This is amazing!

      3. Dance, Vettel, dance! HAhahaha!

    9. FIA: “NO TESTING”

      FIA Again: “NO TESTING”

      FIA to Merc: “NO TESTING”

      (Tyres explode)

      FIA: “…Ok you can test…”

      1. Ironic to say the least, it was bound to happen, the cars are demanding much more than the tires deliver, creating a mediocre tire has proven harder than coming up with an acceptable tire, which I think should be the bar,
        a. Just an acceptable performance, reliable and capable of 1 third of the race´s length on a back marker car, that will give the back markers the opportunity to run fewer stops and maybe everybody the opportunity to develop racers and drivers that can go faster than the back markers,
        b. What is acceptable performance? for example a tire that can go at 90% of a track speed record (the fastest? the tougher?) for 80% of the tire life cycle (which I still propose is 1/3 the race distance on dry sunny conditions, at x height above sea level, etc. etc.)
        c. Of course the peak of the performance, its location and the curve shape will vary from car to car.
        d. So a spec car has to be developed, “resuscitated” or recycled to produce and validate the performance required, keeping in mind that you are shooting for the lap time, over distance.
        e. Pretty much any car that can qualify with in the 107% of the lap record qualifies for the test
        f. if current cars can not rely on this car configuration, engine plant, car weight, etc. or any of the other variables, too bad, the tire is there, and it can go the distance, is reliable, safe and is the same for everybody, it is their job to extract more speed from the tire.
        g. No particular team or driver needs to be involved, just a consistent driver that can do the laps, hit every mark, follow the same line, etc. and that works for Pirelli, or may be FIA.
        h. Everybody is welcome to observe the trials, including the press, hard core fans, and so on.
        i. Afterwards everybody is welcome to the processed results, same for every team, no special interviews with the driver or Pirelli members.
        j. In season testing may still be required, at the discretion of the tire manufacturer, but no veto power provided it is in prevention of safety concerns only, here Pirelli must find the way to address safety concerns with out feeling attacked or diminished.
        And public should also try to stop trying to find the solution to their grievance on the first name they can relate to the problem, since that is not likely, scratch it.
        I must say this proposal is totally from the tire developer stand point, because if we take it from the other side, there is only one solution: “fit for size”, meaning every team has to develop the tire that their car needs to their own spec.
        In this train of thought I must side with Pirelli; Creating a “marginal performance” tire out of thin air and then try to please everybody with it, is darn near impossible from where I stand.
        Next year is a clean slate for everybody, its the perfect chance to apply an approach that can be validated before the season starts, it can even help for the remainder of this season.
        Such an approach may be the way to eliminate unpleasant surprises, like last week´s race.
        How ever… if these were the tires tested by Mercedes,…what went wrong?

        1. I suggest a much simpler solution, a bulletproof tyre and no compulsory pit-stops, yes we liked the 7 lap sprint but I want a 60 lap sprint and the only way to get it is with durable tyres and no pit stops, impossible you say, ** I say because that is exactly the way F1 was for decades and I want it back.

          1. Hear hear!
            Make m hard, more power than grip!

        2. I agree, for Pirelli to produce a tyre exactly to the specifications and desire of the sport with limited testing and development is exceptionally demanding and I’ve think they’ve done a decent job.

          They were asked to produce a product which diminishes quickly in efficiency and integrity, so what did the FIA think would happen??
          The tyres have been on a knives edge the entire season, this was just the tipping point.

    10. I hope this will not change the direction of the way tires are going e.g. 2011 supersoft = 2013 hard. I was looking forward to 2016 tires being made out of rice paper.

      1. Alternatively , tyres by Durex.

        1. The Blade Runner (@)
          2nd July 2013, 10:13

          Ribbed when the going is “wet”?

      2. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1)
        2nd July 2013, 11:34

        I’m looking forward to the point where the engine sizes get smaller and smaller until they end up with no engines at all and the drivers have to push their cars. But they’ll have to do it slowly otherwise the incredible speeds of 1 mph will destroy the tyres.

    11. Gary Anderson was in fine form in his column, and I agree with his frustration over the indecision in Formula 1. Anything that requires unanimous agreement never gets agreed upon, invariably by teams putting their own interest ahead of the interests of the sport. They should never have let Indy 2005 unfold the way it did, and they had better make sure no-one makes any silly objections to this weekend’s German Grand Prix going ahead.

      1. Fikri Harish (@)
        2nd July 2013, 8:27

        This is what irks me the most.
        How can they be so stupid? The argument that F1 need the teams (and yes, including Ferrari) more than the teams need F1 is rubbish.
        They need to stop acting like prima donnas and get their act together. I just wish that FIA have the guts to tell them this.

    12. Couldn’t agree more with the COTD. I think I’m one of a few who doesn’t cry about a boring race. That’s life – I’d rather that than it feel forced.

    13. Merc said they got permission from Charlie Whiting and the FIA legal department and they still got punished, what’s going to happen when some team says “Bernie said it was OK”

    14. Completely agree with the COTD – it’s like football, if every game ends 4-3 you would’t appreciate such games anymore than a 1-0.

      1. F1 has 19 races over a 9 month season.

        Premier League has 380 matches, 38 per team over a 10 month season.

        If F1 had 10 more races per season casual viewers might not have a problem with half of them being lights to flag with the winner known(barring mechanical failures or oblivious backmarkers) before the halfway point.

        While I preferred the 2010 season over 2011-2013, F1 will not grow into other markets with that type of racing, so will chase the casual viewers and cater to them.

    15. Guys, Formula One wants to expand into emerging markets like India and China. In these countries you need an entertainment value. Europe is running outta money. Go and ask “potential” fans in India and China what they want. I am sure they would want a more entertaining race as opposed to a conservative one. Because the truth is that if a sport must succeed, it needs money, which is present only in emerging markets now!

    16. Completely agree with the COTD from @Dragoll Exactly my thoughts since the first days of following F1. This is a racing sport, the random factor doesn’t appeal to me, unless it is natural of course. If the best combo driver+team keeps winning it is not boring, it is what the sport is all about.
      But, as I have said previously, we fans have asked and now we are served, ;).

    17. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      2nd July 2013, 10:53

      Gary Anderson’s article is spot on!

      Is a terrible situation Formula 1 is in at the moment.

      I kind of want Bernie, or someone important from the FIA to lead with dictatorship sometimes by enforcing the right descision upon the teams regardless of their stance on the tyres (The same way the Chinese govt. banned driving and shut down all the factories around the Olympic area for a long time before the games).

      Because no matter what Pirelli do, there’s always going to be people that hate their decision.

      At the moment, the FIA and the teams just need to do something. Because as Gary says in his article, there’s a whole lot of hot steam coming from them, yet nothing is actually being done.

      1. Its journalist/analysts like Gary that have caused this was he not one of those who said its because Redbull have not developed a car suitable for the tyres thats why they are complaining earlier in the season?
        Insisting ferrari and lotus got it right that redbull should just go and work on their cars .

    18. COTD rules. Gary’s article rules. F1Fanatic rules

    19. Fair dinkum, everyone on this site is a tyre expert, not saying that what happened on the weekend was right but who’s to blame? It’s rubbish like this that has put F1 in the position it is. Yes the FIA may seem to have lost a some direction with a case of too many chiefs not enough Indians, but that’s what happens in business. F1 is no longer a sport. Stop over analyzing, being experts and start enjoying the sport. If you all keep complaining from your wind tunnels sooner or later F1 will be like Mario Kart.

    20. Epic COTD..

    21. I hope they won’t revert back to ‘delaminate’ but don’t ‘explode’ tyres.

      That would just be total joke….. :D

      They must look somewhere else for the ‘entertainment factor’ and stop messing around with tyres.

    22. Cheers for COTD honors @keithcollantine I never expected it, if anything it was a bit of a rant. But thanks to everyone who agree.

    23. WilliamB (@william-brierty)
      2nd July 2013, 12:50

      @Dragoll – I agree…to a point. Yes, domination doesn’t have to be boring, and yes, as a Ferrari fan I secretly enjoyed the early 2000s, but what I think all fans want is to see the finest drivers, the finest engineers and the finest machinery put to test in the Colosseum that is F1. Was Schumacher really put to test? Was he under pressure from his teammate? After Hakkinen retired, did he have wide range of talented drivers to oppose him? Were there other chassis of the quality of the F2002 or F2004? No. That is again the case in the “Vettel era”, especially in 2011, where Vettel had the time, the grip and the tyres to set a fastest lap in the final few laps, having spent the race at 90%. Races like India ’11/’12, Korea ’11/’12, Valencia ’11, Canada ’13 and Bahrain ’13 don’t see pressure put on Vettel, and that is what fans what. What you must remember is that in F1 the car is 8/10ths, so as long as you have a good car, a comfortable margin over your teammate, you could dominate quite comfortably. Essentially what all fans want is the importance of the car devalued, because the true differences between Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Button, Raikkonen and Rosberg are really rather tiny, it is only the car that staggers these gaps in driver ability. Many of the best battles in F1 history have been between teammates like Senna and Prost, Piquet and Mansell, Hill and Villeneauve and Hamilton and Alonso in ’07; drivers with identical machinery. So I don’t think F1 is looking for the “WWE factor”, just perhaps a step away from a team sport and step closer to a more conventional individual’s sport, with driver’s pitted against one another in fairly equal machinery thus allowing for a fairly comprehensive answer to questions like, “Who is faster, Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton?”

    24. Report on the BBC here
      Says that the rear tyres for Germany will be with Kevlar strapping, front tyres will be unchanged. And then for Hungary, it says there will be 2012 tyres all round.
      It’s hard not to read it as a total cock up with everyone scrabbling for some kind of stop-gap solution. Oh F1, how did you ever get into this mess?

      1. front tyres will be unchanged

        Until those explode as well, then FIA will only react then?….

    25. Earlier in the season Gary Anderson was dead set against changing the tyres. He’s entitled to change his mind, but not to airbrush his earlier position out of history.

    26. Instead I read multiple posts about how ‘finger boy’ has done this, or done that… Then Rate the Race we saw yesterday as a nine or ten because after a safety car period in the last ten laps we had two guys going at it at the end, and why can’t there be more of this?

      I saw numerous people who flat out stated that they gave the race a 10 because a specific driver had a gearbox failure. I suppose I can understand thinking that way, in the abstract, but it’s the sort of thing most people would be embarrassed to admit. I don’t understand what sort of mind can publicly revel in its own nastiness.

      1. @jonsan I can’t believe f1 fans who follow the sport have such passion in watching someone drop out of a race, surely you’d want to see your driver beat your rival fair and square, although maybe that is just my way of thinking.

    27. That COTD was spot on. I also thought it was in bad taste for the fans at Silverstone to cheer when Vettel slowed and was ashamed of my countrymen, I know it’s nice for the championship battle to be closer but it was entirely classless to laugh at someones misfortune.

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