Pirelli “disappointed” teams disobeyed tyre advice

2013 Indian Grand Prix

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Pirelli have said they are “disappointed” Lotus, Force India and others did not obey their advice on the maximum stint lengths for each tyre during the Indian Grand Prix.

F1’s official tyre supplier wanted teams to use the soft and medium tyres for no more than 15 and 35 laps respectively.

However some teams exceeded those guidelines by considerable margins during the race. Force India kept Adrian Sutil on his soft tyres for 19 laps, four longer than advised.

Kimi Raikkonen stayed on his medium tyres for 16 laps longer than Pirelli’s recommendation. By the end of his stint his tyres had dropped off badly and he was passed by several cars, forcing him to make an extra pit stop.

Team mate Romain Grosjean ran long stints on both tyre compounds, and achieved the highest finishing position of a driver on a one-stop strategy, rising to third having started on the ninth row of the grid.

“We are disappointed to see that some teams went against our recommendations and used the compounds for longer than we advised them to do,” said Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery.

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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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57 comments on “Pirelli “disappointed” teams disobeyed tyre advice”

  1. Well if the team and the driver were sure that it wouldn´t be a problem I don´t see a reason to complain..

    1. Really, it is CYA time by Pirelli, just in case. In the wake of Silverstone they just want to make sure if anything does happen outside the recommended range that they have served notice and presumably lowered their own liability. I can understand the FIA mandated compliance with the correct camber and car side position for tires. Deciding when to change tires should be a team decision, not a Pirelli decision. Just like when teams have to decide when to change tires before the recommended laps run, they should be able to judge when to change when more laps are run.

    2. It’s at the team’s risk… that’s all Pirelli are making clear…

      But they don’t need to come out and say “they’re disappointed”…. they just need to say what their operating parameters are and that team’s operate outside those parameters at their own risk.

      BTW… wasn’t it an announcement about Michelin’s operating parameters that led to the farce at Indy ?

    3. maarten.f1 (@)
      27th October 2013, 23:40

      @celeste The problem is that Pirelli gets the flak if it does go wrong. And they’ve been getting plenty of that lately. I wonder if they regret ever getting into the whole thing…

    4. I guess the trouble is partly what @maarten-f1 mentions about people then blaming Pirelli for seeing Kimi defenceless, and on the other hand, it was teams doing differently than Pirelli adivsed that greatly enlarged the trouble with the previous iteration of tyres that we saw exploding in Silverstone (camber angles, tyre preassure advice and tyre swapping) @celeste

  2. it gave GRO a podium…

    FROM 17! ***
    not a bad choice

  3. LOL. Grosjean managed his stint very well, 1 stop. Raikkonen didn’t. Sutil did a one-stop and it paid off. So what’s up with that? I know that Pirelli told the teams to not “go extremes” but the some of the guys did it. So what??

    1. Actually I think Raikkonen managed his stint quite well to get 52 laps out of his medium tires. The team gambled that he could make 53 laps to gain P2 and hold that position, but he only got about 47 or 48 laps before losing positions. Pretty amazing still.

      1. (@bullmello

        Mate, nothing about that. It’s funny that Pirelli wanted to prevent this from exploring the limits. I mean, you never gain anything without exploring the limits. Grosjean is one of them and gained hugely. Absolutely ridiculous from Pirelli once I read that they told teams not to explore and try to extend their stints.

  4. Grosjean should really listen and follow Pirelli’s advice. He could have managed to be 5th or 6th!

    1. (@mike-dee
      Grosjean finished on the podium. I don’t see your point mate.

      1. @krichelle he’s kidding)

      2. He is firing sarcasm at Pirelli.

        1. Oh sorry about that, now I get it. hahahhaa

  5. Sounds like a joke. Pretty bad joke.

  6. Teams understand and accept the risks for putting their drivers for such a long stint. I can’t see why Pirelli are complaining about this. Because of teams and drivers taking the risks we have this less than boring Indian Grand Prix, if they had followed Pirelli’s instructions I am afraid this would have been a truly boring race.

  7. Well done, Force India and Lotus. There are already too many rules in F1. There is no need to make the racing even worse by limiting the number of laps that one is allowed to do on a set of tyres.

  8. I hope FIA won’t begin to enforce Pirelli’s advises. Sure it might be the safest choice, but F1 is about pushing the boundaries. Grosjean made it to the podium. It backfired for Kimi, but that is how racing is. That is how it is supposed to be. Why should Grosjean choose a worse strategy because some other drivers wouldn’t be able to pull off the same?
    But Pirelli probably just does this to send a signal to the teams, that if they run the tyres abnormally long, then they are on their own, and have no right to come crying afterwards when the tyres turned into marshmallows underneath them.

    1. Or blew up and caused a safety car! But it always looked like 1 stop could be on for this race…

  9. Those pre-race weekend recommendations given by Pirelli were probably skewed by how energy the drivers and car were putting into the tyres, as well as track evolution throughout the weekend, hence the aforementioned drivers staying out longer than recommended. The teams, quite simply with the use of data and knowledge of the cars’ strengths, raced with strategies that was going to help achieve the best result possible for their drivers. I say “knowledge of the cars’ strengths”, because we’re referred to the teams who are the best on the grid in terms of managing tyre wear.

    1. “referring” was what I meant, sorry.

  10. Correct me if I’m wrong: Sutil (Force India), Button (McLaren), Ricciardo (Toro Rosso) and Grosjean et Räikkönen (Lotus) all disobeyed this tyre advice without problem.

    I don’t see why Pirelli is unhappy that some drivers proves that Pirelli produced tyres that can last more than half a race …

    1. @paeschli I’m guessing they are just covering their asses, but agreed, it seems like a rather ridiculous statement! The tyres shouldn’t just fail.

    2. Well, in the case of Kimi I wouldn’t say “without problems”

      1. They didn’t explode, that’s enough for me. I lowered my expectations for tyres this season. ^^

    3. I agree – at worst I’d have thought they’d be pleased to gather so much data about using the compounds outside of the optimum parameters. Button did it in the last race too and I don’t remember them complaining that time.

  11. I really do hate Pirelli now. I mean, ****. You DO NOT know how long the tyres will actually last in different conditions. Sutil, Raikkonen and Grosjean done fantastically well. Grosjean especially. Whats the point in making an F1 car that can push to the limits, yet you can’t push to the limits. Yes I know they are worried. So make better tyres then. Get rid of Pirelli. More blowouts and bad response in 3 years than Bridgestone got in 13 years. Pathetic.

  12. Oh screw you Pirelli, you have handed the championship to red bull 2 years in a row with your tyre switching and stuff.

    1. @ausuma You mean the tyre switching all teams agreed on after the old ones exploded?

    2. This year’s tyre changes were requested by every single team after Silverstone.

      1. (@ausuma (@silence (@raceprouk

        But, we mustn’t deny that after the tyre changes look:
        -Vettel won all races except 1, which is the Hungaroring only because Lewis Hamilton is a master of that track.
        -The tyre changes helped RB a lot, we all know this cause it was posted here on this site.
        -The tyre changes might have hampered Mercedes, Lotus and Ferrari’s performance. Although, this is unsure with Mercedes because Ross Brawn said that they decided to balance the car’s performance. Ferrari and Lotus the same, they clearly lost ground with the tyre changes. Especially, Raikkonen lost ground.
        -You can’t do anything with safety. If there is no safety, there will be no races.

        1. @krichelle No one has denied that.

          1. @krichelle It’s a damn shame it had to happen, because it made the sport look ridiculous, stained somewhat Vettel’s championship and made the season less interesting.

  13. I will probably never buy Pirelli tyres. This company is a joke.

    1. But I remember that when road Ferrari’s were on Bridgedtones, the Stig said they used to be faster when on Pirelli’s.
      So, I guess F1 isn’t the right platform to decide your tyres on.
      And bad publicity… There is no such thing. There’s publicity.

    2. @f1mre

      Making your choice on road tyres based on what is happening in F1 is silly at best.
      I’m not saying you should buy Pirelli’s but I will remind you Pirelli has only done exactly what the FIA and the teams asked them to do.

      The situation wouldn’t have been any different with Michelin or Bridgestone as the supplier.

      1. @baron-2 @verstappen

        My problem is the style of communication, not the quality of the product.

  14. Steph (@stephanief1990)
    27th October 2013, 15:55

    I’m pretty sure all of the teams are very disappointed that Pirelli can’t make safe tyres but there you go.

  15. I cannot see how they can even blame Lotus and Force India for Pirelli’s failure to bring tyres which degrades in such a way that drivers are forced to pit. They are racers. If the tyres last, they push. Simple.

    1. Same in Silverstone with the avoiding of the kerb. They are racing drivers, you can’t just tell them to give up “milliseconds, centiseconds or whatever” they want everything they can get out of that car. Raikkonen, made his tyres last 16 laps than the limit Pirelli gave. Now, we all know that the E21 is a car that has super gentle touch on its tyres, so that’s no surprise that Kimi and Grosjean made their stints super long. Even the Force India car is super light on its tyres when we saw Di Resta making 50 + laps on a set of Medium tyres in Montreal. What’s up with Pirelli???

  16. So Pirelli have been advised to make overall worse tyres so the drivers will be forced to make more pit stops and now some teams have learned to bypass that short coming to make the tyres last longer. Yet Pirelli can’t make even worse tyres because they are already at the brink of melting and it would be a safety concern. I see some new regulations enforced on teams: ‘ it doesn’t matter what you think the tyres would last you will obey our recommendations!’

  17. I cant believe the majority are calling pirelli “killjoys” ,can you imagine if there had been tyre failures at high speed ,after running them past the recomended stint length. There would be serious legal ramifications,especially if someone was hurt (or worse) .

    1. Let the teams decide their own tactics…

      1. @f1mre That’s not really how it works. If the tyres had exploded because teams overused them (like it happened to Perez in Korea) most people would blindly blame Pirelli, as it happened in Korea. Pirelli has to try to make the teams use the tyres as intended to avoid looking bad.

        The same applies to engines, too. You can be sure Renault/Cosworth have a couple of strict guidelines about what their motors can do; blowing motors don’t make good publicity.

  18. I think the “safety concerns” are a bit of a red herring really.
    Kimi proved that the tyres drop off to beyond useless before they actually fail and fall apart.

  19. In the end, that’s all it is: advice. The teams can choose to heed that advice or not, but in the end, they’re going to do what’s going to give them the best chance at a good result. If that many teams were able to push the harder tyre beyond Pirelli’s advised limit, then maybe their estimate was wrong.

  20. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    27th October 2013, 18:34

    So it’s not enough for Pirelli to ruin the race in Silverstone, now they advice how to ruin races.

    1. You forget the teams were misusing the tyres at Silverstone (and elsewhere), until the regs to prevent this were introduced in Germany.

      1. I also forget now.
        Were they operating outside of camber or tyre pressure windows?
        I do remember Spa 2011 where RB were arguing with Pirelli over 1/8th degree of camber.

        1. Not only pressures and caber, but also fitting them to the wrong side of the car (they’re internally asymmetric).

  21. Build better tyres Pirelli. Your P-Zero’s on vettle RB9 and on my GTi are a load of rubbish. Going back to Michelin when the sidewalls on the current P-zero’s fail and they will

  22. Pirelli should use two layers of rubber: the good one and a bad one. The good one lats for 15 laps, or however long, and the other layer lasts pretty much forever, but is terrible for racing.

  23. They are saying they are disappointed cos its only a few weeks ago when fans where up in arms when Perez pushed over the limit and blew a tyre. Pirelli can’t win whatever they do or say.

  24. Michael Brown (@)
    28th October 2013, 0:43

    Pirelli have made the 2013 season tedious to watch. 2011 was much more entertaining than this

  25. Pirelli has insisted that they are ready to leave F1 after this year as they have copped a lot of criticism about their tyres and not enough testing. So I say bring on Michelin.

  26. Adhering to an advised camber makes sense. This does not. If the tyres are not safe beyond a certain number of laps despite being usable, then they are poorly made.

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