Tyre war idea not popular among team principals

2015 F1 season

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Team principals spoke out against the possibility of opening up F1 to tyre competition in future during today’s FIA press conference.

Formula One last had tyre competition in 2006, between Michelin and Bridgestone, and the former has been linked to a potential return to Formula One. However Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost was adamant that the current single manufacturer arrangement should remain.

“I just hope that no tyre war will come,” said Tost, “that means no other tyre manufacturer.”

“Because this means that two teams will get the good tyres and the rest will get just the scrap. Because like it was before: when Michelin was in it was Renault, therefore Alonso has good memories, and Bridgestone with Ferrari, therefore Michael was so successful – one of the reasons.”

“If this comes back it’s the same story. Two tyre manufactures – two teams which get good tyres. Three tyre manufacturers – three teams, and the rest just get what the others don’t like.”

“That means the complete competition drive up in a complete other direction. Then we would have after now the ‘power unit Formula One’ we would have the ‘tyre Formula One’. Once the power units are sterilised we open the next problem.”

Force India’s Bob Fernley and Toto Wolff of Mercedes agreed, as did Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. “One-make tyre is equality for all of the teams,” said Horner.

“I think that in the times of tyres wars of course effort does have to go behind your leading charge. And it will drive costs up immeasurably as you have to develop your car around a specific tyre. So I think it’s been one of the successes in having a sole tyre.”

Current official F1 tyre supplier Pirelli last faced competition in the sport in 1991, and motorsport director Paul Hembery did not rule out remaining involved if another tyre manufacturer came in.

“We’re involved in over 250 championships of which about 90, I think, are open competition,” said Hembery. “So it depends what the sport wants.”

“And then you’ve got to understand the rules, what the cost implications would be. Can’t really have an answer until we know the paramters. At the moment the tender will be for a single supplier.”

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Keith Collantine
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32 comments on “Tyre war idea not popular among team principals”

  1. I’m with Franz Tost on this, we don’t need this kind of stuff again, neither refuelling. Both drove the costs much higher then, and the competition were much more limited due to the different tires.
    We need less gimmicks, less mandatory pitstops, less aerodinamics, and less braking efficiency, that will do in my opinion.

    1. Ironically, all arguments in favor of standardized tyres can be used for standardized engines as well.

    2. I agree.. tyres are the single most important part of an F1 car. It’s the only part that has contact with the ground.
      Having a tyre war will mean more boring races like in the Ferrari era. No thx!

  2. Looking at how much money WEC makes, and how diverse the racing is, AND, how much better the racing is, I have to think the guys in charge of F1 are scared of change.

    1. @pcxmerc, there is virtually no diversity in terms of tyre manufacturers in the WEC – the LMP1 and GT categories all use Michelin tyres, whilst the LMP2 category virtually all use Dunlop tyres.

      Furthermore, the ACO is actively working towards forcing the LMP2 and GT categories to all use a standard tyre, with tyre development for those classes being completely banned.

      1. have you seen the power train configurations? have you seen the nose to tail racing, which cannot be achieved in F1? have you seen how teams CAN CHOOSE different tire makes? This is real diversity, not regulated nonsense, the racing in WEC-2015 is far better than anything F1 will offer this year, as drivers one by one, race after race fail to be able to stay with in 1.5 seconds of the next.

        1. Then go watch WEC. I hate WEC and find it boring to watch because it’s long and they have so many catagories racing together you can’t see what’s going on. It really is just cars going around in circles. Don’t change F1 to match something else. just go watch that something else.

      2. whilst the LMP2 category virtually all use Dunlop tyres.

        Actually as of the next race Strakka will be using Dunlops and there for every full season LMP2 car will be Dunlop shod.


        1. but they had that choice? something that keeps competition honest. That is the real sticking point most people miss :) If you can’t choose for yourself, you are really playing someone else’s game, which means it’s really just an act….

          1. So, by your logic, when the ACO forces the LMP2 and GT cars to use a single tyre supplier in 2017, they will be merely “playing someone else’s game”?

            That is before the proposed enforced equalisation of aerodynamic performance, banning over half of the active chassis suppliers in the LMP2 field from competing or enforcing standard engines for all LMP2 competitors.

            It does seem to underline the fact that the ACO can do what it likes with the privateers.

          2. by my logic?

            read my original statement, it says nothing about the ACO’s future changes. It has to do with WEC and the current year.

            spelled out for you “how diverse the racing is” … IS. not will be, not was, not could be, IS, as in present freaking tense.

            please, if you are going to talk about logic, avoid putting words in other people’s mouthes. You will only lose arguments that way. Strawman arguments are another glorius way to destroy your own position as well.

          3. @pcxmerc, by historical standards the WEC has less diversity in its ranks than in the past – thanks to the ACO, the privateers that were in the LMP1 class have been destroyed by their desire to turn it into a “manufacturers only” class.

            The number of chassis manufacturers is lower, and equally there is less variation in the powertrains than in the past, when manufacturers such as Mazda (remember when we had teams running rotary Mazda engines, which are now banned under the current regulations) or Peugeot could supply the independent teams with engines, along with the independent engine manufacturers.

    2. F1 dwarfs WEC in terms of viewership and income. These comparisons are going too far. Reasonable people differ about which has better racing but F1 is no way in danger of losing its relative commercial and public stature to WEC. Same with respect to IndyCar, another fashionable comparison.

    3. You are being too paranoid my friend…Despite being more than 30 entries everyone only talks about the 6 LMP1 entries fielded by 3 manufacturers. In WEC cars can follow each other closely because they are closed wheel and remember that THERE IS BALANCE OF PERFORMANCE!Not as powerful as in other categories but IIRC they call it “equivalence of technology” or something like that; in the WEC there are only 8 races and teams (even manufacturers i.e Nissan) regularly miss races because of lack of funds (Sard Morand team) or not being prepared enough (Rebellion Racing) or even worse because they haven’t tested enough (they have 25-30 DAYS of testing available!!!). If a team dares miss a race in F1 it will get dragged in the mud and shamed beyond reason. Don’t get me wrong,i really enjoy the WEC,they deserve a lot of praise and i really admire the way they work towards promoting themselves but you just can’t compare it to the super high quality product that is F1.It might be bad at promoting itself but the fan base and quality of exposure is beyond any other race series.

      Ps: a single impartial tyre supplier providing a QUALITY product is better than a tyre war IMO.Just my 2 cents on that…

      1. The “Equivalence of Technology” refers to the way that the ACO has set the regulations up so that, in principle, there is no performance advantage in choosing either a diesel or petrol powered car.

        The “Balance of Performance” kicks in as the mechanism by which the ACO can step in during the season to equalise the performance of the teams if it feels that one participant is too competitive.

        Development work on the powertrains is banned during the season, lest it upset the balance of performance and allow a team to gain a significant advantage, and the ACO has given itself right to rewrite the regulations during the season if it wants to help a team out or to penalise a team.

        Imagine if, for example, the FIA announced that, as a result of testing, all of Mercedes’s rivals would be allowed to use a larger fuel tank and would be allowed to use more fuel per lap than their rivals, whilst reducing the fuel flow limit on the Mercedes car, in order to restore the competitive balance.
        That is exactly what the ACO did last year when it decided that the Audi R18 would be have too much of a performance advantage – it promptly gave Toyota and Porsche a larger fuel allowance and a higher fuel flow allowance, whilst slightly cutting the fuel flow rate and the fuel tank size for Audi, in order to equalise the performance of Audi, Porsche and Toyota.

      2. hey, lets get one thing straight, this is about tires, and WEC has real choices, not restrictions like F1, people go on and on about how much it costs for tires, but guess what cost, is where supply meets demand, and guess what, one supplier means inflated costs, it means less supply, it means less competition and it means higher prices, it also means inferior products, and the opportunity for corruption increases dramatically. This is simple economics.

        this has nothing to do with the dogma, or what the commentators talk about on television it is simple economics. If tire manufacturers do not want to compete, they should not be making tires for F1, period. Competition and simple economics my friend. BTW, the racing in WEC is far superior to F1, and this year, the cars can’t even get with in 1.5 seconds with out ruining their tires. Shameful.

        1. Relax man,no need to get all worked up!Like i said in the post above i really enjoy the WEC and they thoroughly deserve all the praise they get.I also said that you can’t compare how closely they run because they are closed wheels and there is “equivalence of technology”.Concerning tyres i PERSONALLY (just my opinion) prefer one single IMPARTIAL supplier that delivers a quality product.Think about it: we already have a lot of complaints with 1,imagine what would happen with 2 (who cares if the teams have a choice)!As a fan i prefer seeing teams doing well because of a good engine and manufacturers pushing hard to improve theirs (and their costumers’) power units rather than tyres or 10 inch flaps hidden in obscure parts of the chassis which cost 10 million to develop in wind tunnel!Aero,engine and driver’s talent are the only things that should count.One last thing: don’t forget that when tyres are good no one talks about them;in a tyre war the producers would not only be competing to produce better rubber but also to grab better titles in the papers. Whether Pirelli,Michelin or Kuhmo i couldn’t care less,just please NO TYRE WAR!

        2. Also by your logic teams might as well choose which track to race on. Or the tarmac suppliers compete to see who provides the grippier better material to decrease lap times. Heck!Even the wheel gun suppliers could compete and start giving teams gamma ray powered tools to make pit stops faster than light!What i’m saying is that good racing is not about providing the teams with unlimited choices and very high number of variables…There should be only a few differentiators set in stone (driver talent,motor and aero),everything other add-on is a gimmick or unnecessary

  3. Crazy concept, but if there is a tire war, why not give all the tires to the FIA and have them give them out to the teams that have gone with that tire manufacturer? That way certain teams don’t get preferential treatment with tire quality.

    Also the FIA could ban teams being able to directly work with tire manufacturers, and instead just return all tires to the manufacturers after the race to allow them to do research.

    To me this seems too logical, which is why the teams haven’t thought about it and would never implement it.

    1. I don’t believe the tires are of good/poor construction, it is more a question of tires that are more suited to one team. Bridgestone worked very closely with Ferrari to produce tires that meshed with the car, same goes to Michelin and Renault.

    2. or you can use a lottery (with respect to quality).

      so far as one make favoring a particular team, you can use something of an open-source approach to take care of that. F1 needs more than a couple tire makers, competition is realistically the only way to ensure that more than one or two teams are getting the best effort.

      in the end the free market will always own a closed system that is greedy for money, the only thing holding back that free market are regulations. This whole affair really speaks to how uncompetitive the atmosphere is in F1.

  4. If F1 can (and should) have multiple engine suppliers then it can (and should) have multiple tyre suppliers. For all intents and purposes, the engines and tyres are both the same thing.

  5. Ferrari and Mercedes make cars. Chassis and engine so showcase this. They do not make tyres so tyres are not the same as engines. The team has no control over them they are designed by a 3rd party so should not be allowed to make a difference. I would argue as smaller teams like Sauber buy in engines why not buy in chassis. Honda is in F1 and prop up McLaren virtually buying in a chassis by McLaren. Is McLaren a chassis builder buying engines or an engine manufacturer buying in a chassis.

  6. What F1 fans want.

    Faster cars but with less aero and longer braking distances.

    Races that are a series of quali laps but where the fastest cars in the field do not pull away as something magical happens to car pace from Saturday night until Sunday afternoon.

    Tyres that do not degrade and can be pushed to the max

    More overtaking but not too much, just the right amount but this changes as they need something to moan about.

    No gimmiks and every overtake must be epic like in football where every game has a greatest goal contender.

    A Marxist approach to F1 team finances as this historically has worked throughout human history.

    In summary the cars start in speed order travelling faster than ever nothing can get in the way of the pure speed but somehow cars have to overtake the faster car in front.

  7. I personally prefer a single tyre supplier because the teams don’t make their own tyres and a single supplier is the best and least expensive way to ensure a level playing field. However if we need competition between tyre manufacturers in order to get good tyres then I would be an enthusiastic supporter so long as the teams would be free to choose to use the same tyres as any other team and the cost per tyre was a uniform fixed price, that price negotiated each season taking into account the publicity value of F1.

  8. A tyre war is the easiest way to get the cars going 5 seconds quicker and also resolves neatly how to decide how quickly they degrade- let them fight it out and see!

    I agree with all of negative points about it actually- but I do like open competition and simplicity. Yeah some teams could design their car around the tyres I suppose- but that doesn’t really bother me that much.

  9. can anyone explain to me why must use standard tyres but there are not standard engines, cars etc?

    I mean if F1 is a technological competition (different cars, engines, technology) different tyres must be allowed.

  10. Surely you can still have a tyre war of sorts by allowing different teams to run an extra tyre compound for only two or three races per season, this should give the teams a bit more room to adjust their tactics should they have a known grip problem at a certain circuit and allow them to bring their car further up the grid.

  11. I lean toward more than one tire maker. I think it is strange to call a tire competition a war, unless we also would talk about a power unit war, right now led by Mercedes. Sure Merc make the PU’s whereas Pirelli is an outside influence, but to the other Merc powered teams, is not their PU an outside influence? Do we question if the other teams that aren’t Merc are getting the ‘scraps’? I guess some do, but I don’t hear the teams complaining over concerns their PU is the dregs.

    I sure have to wonder when references are made to how it was before, implying that guarantees how it will be again. Are they incapable of learning from the past? The last era of tire competition was at a time when F1 was geared to have MS be the icon and shatter all the records. Bridgestone went to all lengths at a time when money and sponsorship was in no shortage, along with which went unlimited testing, including Ferrari doing the most at their own track where Bridgestone also had a setup. Times are different now. And even back then, I don’t buy the argument that only one Bridgi team got the best tires as did only one Michi team. I do believe that the tires were designed for MS and his Ferrari, and that is what the other Bridgi teams got to work with as well. So not really the scraps, just tires meant ideally for MS…FA with Michi by extension, because that is what they had to do to compete against the monster in the room that was trumped up MS/ Ferrari.

    I’m sure if they really wanted to, they could work it out that a tire competition would be healthy vs the bottomless pit of money that was the case in the past and which all the talk is about change from that. And after DC has just spoken out about the reality that all the drivers hate these tires but just can’t really vocalize that without appearing to run F1 down, and seeing how cars can now barely get within 2 seconds of a car ahead without ruining their tires, I really don’t see the big attraction to having one tire maker.

    Interestingly, Hembrey seems unafraid to have a competitor. He knows they can make way better tires. He knows that the only way being the sole maker works for them from a marketing standpoint is because they’ve been mandated to make banana peels that make for the story of F1 these days, which means we talk about tires. If they were more reasonable and were not such the overwhelming influence they are, we wouldn’t talk about tires…unless there was a competing maker with skin in the game. I know if I was Hembrey I would prefer my tires be talked about in a positive way rather than a negative one. Not to mention it is smoke and mirrors to suggest the racing is good because of these tires. Passes just because one blokes tires are outside their optimum window which is 95% of the time, is not to me driver vs. driver racing…just driver vs. disadvantaged driver, just as with DRS. But that is today’s F1…passes at any cost, including the integrity of the sport.

    1. Yea you make some good points but i think the FOM just got some priorities wrong…For example in the LMP1 class of the WEC michelin is the sole supplier that makes tyres tailored for each of the 3 manufacturers.To make things fair they can test each other’s tyres during any of their 25-30 days of testing and even ask to be provided with the same thing if they feel their tailor made tyre is inferior. F1 could apply the same principle but don’t really know how it would work out regarding testing (too few days) and subtle differences (there are 10 teams,not just 3). To cut to the chase what i’m saying is that when i comes to tyres the rubber company should work for the teams and drivers. Everything else can be catered for the show and spectators and fans (qualy format,lenght of sessions etc.) but the tyres should be developed with input from the ones driving,not Bernie Ecclestone

  12. Apex Assassin
    22nd May 2015, 15:42

    … And yet the fans out-pouring of support for it makes the FOM/FIA put the tyre tender out there. Pirelli should be proud, they’ve sucked so bad millions of fans are asking for them to earn a place in modern F1, not just have it handed to them.

    I’d love so see that scumbag Hembrey’s face right now! Because FAIL.

  13. A two tire race would be interesting as long as there where huge penalties imposed on the tire manufactures if a repeat of the Michelin fiasco of 2005 were to occur. F1 teams always make the grid because if they don’t they forfeit their entrance fee, which is substantial.

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