Drivers hushed up as Pirelli closes on new tyre deal

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Bernie Ecclestone has warned F1 drivers not to criticise Pirelli and said he intends to retain them as the official tyre supplier.


Comment of the day

There’s an obvious flaw in McLaren’s plan to have all four of its drivers racing in F1 next year:

Make sure they can race next year – where? Almost every seat in all other teams are virtually filled – there’s nowhere left to send Vandoorne or Magnussen.

Could this be a hint a Honda B-team is being set up? Other than paying Manor to run the pair of them I don’t see where else they could go.

Regardless, both Alonso and Button are very good drivers, there’s no reason to replace either of them when McLaren have considerably bigger problems to solve.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

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On this day in F1

Jochen Rindt was killed on this day in 1970 after crashing his Lotus during practice for the Italian Grand Prix. Rindt was leading the championship at the time, and as his points total was not overhauled before the end of the season he became F1’s first and only posthumous champion.

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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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52 comments on “Drivers hushed up as Pirelli closes on new tyre deal”

  1. So it is totally fine to say negative comments about something which is not wrong ( these power units) but it is totally unacceptable to say negative comments about something which is totally wrong (these pirelli tyres).

    I so wish for the day when F1 would be free from Bernie Ecclestone disease.

    1. OmarR-Pepper - Vettel 41 wins!!! For Jules (@)
      5th September 2015, 0:34

      @mjf1fan I know Bernie is the bad guy, but as soon as he retires or dies, a big corporation will keep things the same way or even worse. Don’t forget Indy also has the “silence” rule. And they don’t have Bernie.

      1. @omarr-pepper I dont follow Indycar so I didn’t knew about “silence” rule. However a quick google search helped me in knowing what you are talking about.

        I know what you are saying can possibly be true in near future, but we can sure hope for someone more sensible to take Bernie’s job. Someone like Ross Brawn ( just taking his name as an example, could be anyone).

        Apex Assasin – I watched 2 races in 2011 and 2013 i.e Indian Gp and I can get what you are trying to say regarding current PU. I havent watched any race in 2014 or 2015 on track, but in my opinion that noise of V8’s were bearable for initial 20-30 mins. After that if you didnt put your earplugs, you would go insane and that noise will be hurting you. I have seen many videos on Youtube showing current cars going at full steam and I love this noise.

        You are right in saying that regulations that govern PU s_ c k more, if engine regulations were freed for let say 2 years and then they were homologated, we could have seen more competitive racing instead of current domination. But this is FIA’s concern. They made such rules and teams agreed to them.

        I still feel many more fans would have liked current cars if engine rules were freed and there were more competitive cars instead of Merc domination. There is no element of suprise left- each weekend we already know top two podium steps are going to be filled by Merc drivers unless Merc do some blunder.

    2. Apex Assassin
      5th September 2015, 0:34

      These “power units” suck too*. They just don’t suck as much as the regulations that govern them and aren’t nearly as dangerous as the tyres have proven to be during Pirelli’s reign.

      *don’t believe me?? go watch and listen to any other era in f1.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        5th September 2015, 8:09

        Maybe you want to elaborate on that.

        I agree that the noise is less impressive, but you’ll notice that less when you take your earplugs out!
        And when you take your blinkers off you’ll see that they are more impressive when you actually attend a race. The extra torque clearly causes the cars to slide more.
        The PU are now state-of-the-art and use 30% less fuel.
        And don’t blame the new power units for the lower RPM or even the (consequences of) reduced fuel flow limits.

      2. Because it doesn’t matter that the engines are far more fuel efficient and torquey now, and that they represent the latest hybrid technology that’s working its way into road cars. No, all that matters is that they’re loud enough to shred eardrums.

    3. Unfortunately it’s this worlds fault. Opinions spread like wildfire. Opinions, comments and declarations of war all travel the speed of light so it’s in the best interest of the sport to think twice before saying anything. This time the subject is serious and the public outcry is the right way to go although you could cut pirelli some slack, they are one to one with F1, but this sets a precedent. Next time a couple teams will use the press for some futility, and more importantly someone may use the press again to devalue the sport.

  2. Also can someone explain me why Bernie has to decide which company’s tyres F1 will be using from 2017 andnot FIA?

    Surely, if FIA are serious about safety of drivers, then they should be the one choosing the tyre manufacturer who could provide safe tyres rather than Ecclestone whose only interest is to get more money out of everything.

    1. Travis Humphery (@)
      5th September 2015, 1:26

      Yes I’ve wondered this too.

      Why is tire decision down to the commercial rights holder?

      1. Because the governing body sold their right to govern to the commercial body. And the commercial body created the ruling class body (Strategy Working Group) to determine the technical and sporting regulations. Foxes and hen-houses – what could go wrong?

        1. Travis Humphery (@)
          5th September 2015, 15:06

          Ahh, cheers thanks for that.

  3. Apex Assassin
    5th September 2015, 0:32

    After 30 years as a paying, passionate F1 fan (which hasn’t always been the easiest thing in the USA) this may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

    WEC here I come.

    1. yeah I’m almost there. Another 3 years of this garbage and I’d rather take up basket-weaving.

    2. Apex Assassin, so what you are saying is that you prefer to watch a series where the organiser complained that privateer teams were bringing down the prestige of the LMP1 class and adopted policies to drive them out of that class and will convert the LMP2 category into a standard spec class, creating a monopoly for a handful of chassis manufacturers and banning over half of the current chassis manufacturers in that class from competing via a bidding process that was completely rigged (Racecar Engineering was told who the successful chassis suppliers would be before the bidding process even took place).

      Sorry for the rant, but the way that the ACO has treated the privateer prototype teams in the WEC is infuriating, not to mention how easily the manufacturers have been able to cheat and get away with it.

    3. I went to my first WEC event last weekend (6hr Nurburgring) and loved it, it won’t replace F1 for me but given the choice of going to Germany for the weekend with camping, hotels, transport and tickets for what it would cost a ticket to the F1 at Silverstone it’s a no brainer which I’ll go to in future.

  4. Well, the Pirelli deal has been pretty much concluded by Bernie before it even started. He as much as said so months ago. Hope Michelin didn’t spend to much time or money on their offering.

    The gag on Pirelli criticism just doesn’t sit well, but it certainly isn’t surprising. Much like the IndyCar imposed gag on criticism it really makes little sense for such censorship. Doesn’t it make more sense to encourage drivers and teams toward an open and honest dialogue for any problems or issues? Imposing a gag creates suspicion as though there must be something to cover up.

    1. It’s probably a lot more straight forward than a conspiracy, I think it’s most likely that Bernie is scared of losing Pirelli as he is worried that he can’t attract another tyre manufacturer with the capacity to produce tyres that he desires in the sport.

      1. Sorry, I made a different reply to you and this reply was intended for below, to Klon, but it seems my reply to him overwrote my reply to you instead.

        My reply to you basically said, I don’t think it’s a conspiracy, I think Bernie is worried about losing Pirelli because no other manufacturer is willing to make the tyres he wants,

        1. It’s sorted out now, could a mod delete this post and the now defunct explanation of what went wrong, thanks :)

        2. @williamjones – I don’t suspect a conspiracy so much as the appearance of one with a gag order issued. The sport and its image is strengthened by openness and the appearance of nothing to hide. This is a public relations tenet that many folks running small and large entities fail to realize. Of course, we are talking about Bernie here, a walking, talking PR nightmare.

  5. “If you sell me something, and it doesn’t work, I complain to the person I bought it from, I don’t complain outside.”
    Bernie, are you talking about Vettel? Really? This is the guy whose criticism of current PUs is very well documented. And off the top of my head I cannot remember another instance Vettel criticized others in public or in front of press other than the previous Pirelli tyre-gate in 2013. At least he’s consistent.

    1. Bernie’s “outside” complaints could fill a book.

    2. Bernie’s thoughts would probably be different if his life was in the hands of exploding tires.

  6. No one bothers as much as Vettel and his helmet designer to circumvent the crash helmet design rules :D

    1. Perhaps SV is planning to ditch tyes altogether and go powerboat racing, getting familiar with port and starbord early.

    2. Circumvent crash helmet design rules? Sorry, they didn’t say anything about the inside – so totally legal. I guess there was something SV took from RBR.

  7. “weak as water” The best drivers in the world with no balls.

  8. Censorship, what a great tool to manipulate the reality….

    Hope to see drivers voice their concerns (about tires, or anything else really) if they feel they need to.

  9. Bernie Ecclestone: “If you sell me something, and it doesn’t work, I complain to the person I bought it from, I don’t complain outside.”

    You should, Bernie. Moaning about stuff on Twitter or Facebook pretty much guarantees a rapid response and you get a resolution far quicker (and it’s usually a better resolution) than you get from just going into the shop or sending an email. The more people a gripe has the potential to reach, the more effort the company puts into fixing it.

    Given that many of the drivers grew up in a world of online shopping and social media, I suppose they know that too…

  10. petebaldwin (@)
    5th September 2015, 1:30

    Bernie Ecclestone: “If you sell me something, and it doesn’t work, I complain to the person I bought it from, I don’t complain outside.”

    Very good. Except when the new engines were quieter than he wanted, he was moaning to every camera he could find! He certainly didn’t try to keep it behind the scenes!

    1. He’s the boss. The boss plays by a different set of rules…but you knew that didn’t you? If your boss likes to come in late regularly, try doing the same and see what happens.

  11. “The bottom line is we’ve got something to sell and they have to decide whether they want to buy it.”

    It’s the fans who are buying. And they’ll only buy if you make your sport available. Empty stands at Nowhereistan racetracks may bring in big payouts from governments looking for vanity projects. But that only works while F1 still has some relevance to the world at large, something which is dependant on packing in the fans at ‘historical’ races. Cashing in on F1’s status is one thing, but this is starting to look like asset-stripping with no regard for the sport’s future. Losing Monza and its tifosi crowds would be a travesty.

  12. More and more recently (the last couple years I’d say) I’ve seen Bernie and others refer to F1 as “the show”, “show-business” or “entertainment”… It’s becoming increasingly obvious that this series is not about Motorsport, but rather a contrived environment with the value of entertaining being greater than providing the best competition.

    It’s just a matter of time before they do a WWF and change the name to F1E (formula 1 entertainment)…

    I’m going to make a deliberate effort to spend more time involved in my local motorsport council than following F1. At least there I know the competition is serious (albeit friendly) and not focused on entertaining.

    1. At least WWF had a reason…

  13. Leave it up to Bernie to do.. this, and pay the wages of Lotus’ staff.

    While we don’t know what we’ll get in return, we will most likely lose the paying of teams’ staff. However, a corporate overlord who is less hypocritical would, in my opinion, be an improvement at this point.

    F1 is at Monza, one of my favourite tracks, and yet, here I am feeling bitter about what’s going on off-track. Perhaps Bernie needs to take it a step further and censor the censoring, so the fans don’t get to see their cynicism justified.

  14. The only problem I have with the gag order on the F1 teams and drivers is the mentioned hypocrisy of it, given Ecclestone’s own rather nasty comments towards the current ruleset.

    Outside of that, it is a good idea and should be extended to more topics. The IndyCar rule is a good idea and F1 would do extremely well to copy it. Outside of the fact that no other professional sport allows participants to slam it like motorsport does and what good did giving drivers and teams (and commercial owners) freedom of speech and where did it get us? To a state of what I would call “corporate anarchy”, where there is no long-term planning, only hotfixes to address the issue de jour to keep the media off one’s back. That stuff is why we’re talking about irrelevant nonsense like refueling returning as if that had any relevance to the current state of F1.

    In theory, everyone being allowed to have their say is a nice thing, but the democratic approach causes more problems than it solves and the last thing the sport we love needs is more problems. So yeah, good on Bernie that he has at least realised that in one topic. Now he just needs to silence the other topics and work on the actual problems of the sport, but then again, might as well hope for the Easter Bunny to bring me chocolate.

    1. Tennis players have no gag orders, golfers have no gag orders, t&f competitors have no gag orders, martial artists have no gag orders, rugby has no gag orders, road cycling has no gag orders except within the team and downhill mountin biking has no gag orders. These sports are all in fine health, and with the exception of golf, in the best health they’ve ever been in.

      1. For literally any sport of those you mention that have anywhere near the budget that could work a F1 team I found players being fined for negative comments about officiating within 30 seconds of Google searching, so yes, these sports do have gag orders as far as the IndyCar rule qualifies as such.

        1. negative comments about officiating

          Would be the equivalent of making negative comments about the FIA or the stewards, not Pirelli.

          Certainly in football tournaments you hear complaints about the characteristics of the official match balls (this would be a closer parallel to Pirelli, as it is equipment supplied that the teams have to use) which is a different thing to negative comments about refereeing.

        2. @klon I’m sure you can, and indeed I can find you instances of sportmen being fined in the sports I listed with very low budgets when they make negative comments about officiating.

          Vettel did not talk negitively about a decision made by an F1 official, and if he did, I would fully expect him to be fined. He talked negitively about a product manufactured by an independant, for profit company who supply and partner with the sport. Can you find a like for like example of a gag order, before you waste your evening, let me tell you, no, you can’t.

    2. The drivers have been giving their views on the tyres behind closed doors for years, many different sources have reported this. The reason their criticism of Pirelli has spilled over in to public every now and then is that they clearly feel expressing their opinions privately has made little difference.

      Perhaps if Bernie, FOM and the FIA had taken more notice of the drivers opinions and engaged in a genuine dialogue with them (and the teams who have also been critical, and are now also gagged on the subject of tyres) they wouldn’t have felt the need to comment in public.

  15. “Part of the show is to create drama – and yes, Bernie is a magician in doing so.”

    but he is already too old.. his hands shake too much.. and all the cards are falling..

  16. Not once have I heard of people being told not to talk where it’s a good thing, outside of the courts. For me, it’s indicative of an unhealthy environment.

  17. You take any of these classic circuits (Monza, Spa, Silverstone) out and add a circuit into a country where no-one even knows, what Formula 1 is, then I’m done with the sport, Bernie. Period.

  18. In the meeting where Bernie told teams/drivers not to criticize Pirelli all of the teams/drivers apparently laid into Pirelli.

    Drivers made it clear they want changes to the tyres & would be interested in another supplier, The team representatives said they woudl be happy to keep Pirelli but want better tyres while Bernie told them he is happy with Pirelli & doesn’t want any changes because these tyres are great for the show.

  19. Comment of the day! :D Woop.

    Dont understand the logic of telling drivers not to comment or criticize Pirelli – least of all that request becoming public knowledge. It just looks bad no matter which way you look at it.

    Then again it makes sense for Pirelli to be given the chance to test the tyres more often than they have been, which also looks bad no matter which way you look at it.

    I tend to think Pirelli have done the best they can with the brief they’ve been given, but I don’t think that makes them bullet-proof to criticism. Gagging people from talking doesn’t solve anything it just hides it, so rather than solving a problem it’ll just make another.

  20. Vettel on the Radio to the Pit Wall in the Italian Grand Prix race: “Can you connect me to the CEO of Pirelli please , I need to discuss something confidential regarding my Right Rear Tire”

    How about that Mr Eccolstine. Does that sound respectful ????

    On One hand Formula 1 comments about lack of Democracy and personal freedom in many countries where F1 races are held and on the other hand F1 regime is fuly autocratic , nothing close to Democracy ” what an Irony !!!!

    1. LMAO. You are right.

  21. People complain about the drivers being automatons and not sharing their opinions, so Bernie goes and tells them to stop sharing their opinions.

    Nice one Bernie. You really do live on a different planet to the rest of us. The sooner you’re no longer involved with this “sport”, the better.

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